Biking and skiing, for many this is the contrast between summer and winter, two activities we eagerly anticipate with the turn of the seasons. But the combination of packing up and peddling off for your next ski adventure is the perfect pairing. As the sage proverb goes, “Es passt wie die Faust auf’s Auge.”
If you live in or near the mountains, the attraction can be to set off directly from your house to maximize; simply load up, peddle off, and the adventure has already begun. From another angle, it is the ability to reduce your carbon footprint. Just as peddling to the store or to visit friends becomes second nature, so too can bike to ski with the addition of a short ride to the ski resort or trailhead. And then, of course, there is the joy of access, especially in spring, when you can forgo the long approach hikes on farm roads or dirt trails.
Whatever joy is calling you to pair your bike and skis, we want to help with a bit of motivation and tips for getting started from within the Vaude community.
In Chapter 1 of our story, Manu Pichler shares her motivation for Bike 2 Ski, on a micro-adventure.
In Chapter 2, Francesco Drago dives into 3 different tips for packing your bike.
A-Frame Ski Carry
This is the simplest way to pack your equipment and set out quickly on short rides.
Best For: We suggest it for the short commute to your local trailhead or ski resort, and it is also great for off-road rides where your skis might otherwise bounce around on the bike. The main downside to this is that the weight can become uncomfortable on your back during long rides.
Setup Essentials: This setup requires your normal ski equipment (boots, skis, poles), ski touring backpack, and a single ski strap. We also recommend a bag with a helmet carry if you go a long distance and want to bring both your ski and bike helmet.
Sandwiching the Ski on the Bike Frame
This setup requires a little more time and equipment, but it becomes a quick and efficient way to set out for longer rides once you become familiar with the layout.
Best For: This is great for longer road rides as the weight of the skis is taken off your back. It is also a good option for bike packing and multi-day trips. Be aware that this can make the bike more difficult to maneuver and is not great for bumpy terrain.
Setup Essentials: This setup requires your regular ski touring equipment (boots, skis, poles), ski touring backpack, and three ski straps. In addition, you will need thick material to protect the frame against scratches from your ski edges.
Homemade Ski Carrier
This setup is designed to inspire your creativity for a custom ski carrier. In creating your own system, a good goal is to get all heavy weight off your body and onto the bike.
Best For: If you are an enthusiastic bike to ski participant, building your own ski carrier is excellent for long trips and bike packing. It is also a luxury if you often go on short journeys and want a fixed setup for quick loading and unloading. In addition, the rack and basket make it great for bike packing and multiday trips.
Setup Essentials: Our inspirational setup requires your regular ski touring equipment (boots, skis, poles), and a ski touring backpack. Along with this, we utilized a standard rear bike rack and basket, a piece of plastic tubing wide enough to hold our skis, and three metal hose clamps used to fix the tubing to the bike rack. Extra ski straps to secure the skis and any basket cargo is also a good idea. Let your creativity and home ingenuity guide you to your own perfection.
Learn more about Bike 2 Ski:
Ice & Palms – A 100% self-powered Bike & Ski adventure
Roadbike & Ski – Daniel Eiermann`s trip to the Sustenhorn
Eco-friendly equipment for Skitouring
Eco-friendly equipment for Bikepacking
Text, images and videos by Tristan Hobson