In the search of human powered everything and largely because of the immense amount of snowmobile exhaust I inhaled over the past few weeks running back and forth from Irwin to Crested Butte (Colorado), I was stoked when I regained consciousness to find a big monster at my front door. Franken Bike could be one name of it but AluBOOYAH is its real moniker. Bamboo/aluminum construction, ice axe carrier, 4.5″ wide tires, and an innovative tech style binding A-frame ski carrier: this is the backcountry bike of my dreams.
I’m not a stranger to “big bikes” or what I thought were big bikes. Full disclosure: I like riding chairlifts or pickup trucks up mountains in the summer just to bomb down them. My downhill race machine tops the scales at 37lbs with 8 inches of suspension front and rear with over 220mm 4 piston disc brakes. Even so, the Alubooyah is a totally new behemoth. “Welcome to the world of fat bikes, Joe. We’re a bit different from the rest,” screamed the aluminum and bamboo machine.
Make no mistake. I’ve tried a bunch of bike/ski-carry combinations in the past: backpack style, PVC pipe on a rear rack, attached perpendicular to the down tube with snowboard ratchet straps, a bike trailer modified to hold skis, and even the stupid: one arm holding your skis while trying to steer, avoid pedestrians, ice, and rabid dogs all while on a single speed bike with studded tires. I’ve lost count of the amazingly awesome spills I’ve taken but the contusions on my right hip remind me of my stupidity.
With instructions to air down to 6 psi!! in addition to how to attach skis with tech style bindings to their custom CNC built A-frame ski carrier cleverly integrated to the rear bike pannier rack, aka AluBOO, I began to storm up the limitless potential of my new steed. Without the means of a snowmobile fund or simply when my Landcruiser meets the snowbank where chains no longer make forward progress possible, I knew this beast could make it–n packed or semi-packed trails or roads that is.
Best part with my skis on the rack and 100% human power, I was stealth! No emissions, no fuel to worry about (except my gels and whiskey), and best of all no noise!
Skis are held on to the rack by engaging your toe pieces to the “SKI” or “Touring” position fully locking them on the arms. The skis swing to the side to make attaching easier which also acts as a jury-rigged kickstand on snow. FYI: Dynafit binding equipped skis with a toe-guides (Radicals & Beasts) will require you to run the ski upside down due to machining tolerances.
Once ready to ride, pull out a trusty Voile, strap attach the upper portions of the ski together, wrap the supplied short tied inner tube around the binding heels to eliminate a scene from the Griswald’s Christmas Vacation, and FAT on!
With a bike this size and perceived monstrous weight (which it is not! Under 30lbs!) I expected the worst or norm. To crash within a pedal stroke or two. Nope. Using flat pedals and ski boots I was able to “fat” around with no problem at all.
It made quick work/fun of Snodgrass so I could join a group and even was a breeze uphilling on the ski resort. Only problem was if I wanted to ski I had to skin up to retrieve the bike.
Foremost though I was impressed with the simpleness and sturdiness of BOO Bikes ski carrier. I took a few graceful spills with some DPS skis and Dyanfit PDG’s but the super bike made it out unharmed!
Pre-order an Alubooyah bicycle ski mount here. If they get 20 orders, production will start. MSRP $135.
Joseph Risi was raised on pasta and meatballs in the “backwoods” of Long Island before seeking higher education in the mountains of Vermont. Always looking for adventure, building treehouses, working too many odd jobs around the world he now lives in the Aspen area of Colorado.