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A beat-up steel frame, studded tires, and lobster gloves used to be the only key ingredients for building a winter commuter bike. Not anymore. Steamboat Springs’ Moots bicycle company’s second fleet of snow-specific FrosTi cycles are slick (in a good way).
The frame—available in four sizes (16-, 18-, 20-, 22-inch)—is molded to accommodate tires spanning 3.7 inches wide. It’s like a tank tread, in bicycle terms. But, in true Moots fashion, the titanium frame allows for a doable uphill slog, as the bike is about 34 pounds when built-up. The frame will run you $3,975, but you get to customize the part quality depending on how “blinged” out you want your FrosTi to be. (The bike shown on the Moots website would retail for about $6,900.) It’s not cheap, but you’ve got to pay to play. Or justify the cost by going on a snow bike adventure like Grand Junction’s Mike Curiak.
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Curiak was one of the key inspirations for the FrosTi bike. When the bicycle wheel builder decided to take on Alaska’s Iditarod Challenge by bicycle, he knew he needed a burley ride that would work on all types of frozen terrain. The Moots team took on the challenge and produced a snow bike Curiak affectionately called “Snoots,” a mixture of snow and Moots. The bike was outfitted to carry all of Curiak’s gear and food for the 25-day, 1,100-mile self-supported journey from Knit to Nome. (Watch Curiak and Snoots’ journey here.)
With Curiak’s prototype-model tested in some of the planet’s harshest conditions, the team at Moots started building snow bikes for themselves to take on the Steamboat winter before showing a model off at the 2008 North American Handmade Show (which will be in Denver this spring). And now, you can have one for yourself. Preorder with a Moots dealer before November 1, and you’ll have your chubby-tired bike 10 days before Christmas. The only holiday present better than a bike with a bow is a bike with a bow you don’t have to wait until March to ride.
—Image courtesy of Moots by Michael Robson.
Follow editorial assistant Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.