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Skate skiing for a cyclist

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi. 

I'm totally new to cx skiing and I'm looking for some advice. I hope you can help.

 

I'm an elite cyclist, looking to supplement my off-season training, with some cx skiing. I'm really only interested in the skate style, since that's the most movement/muscle specific to cycling. 

 

I don't live near any groomed tracks, but there's fields, and forests around. 

I've come across different statements about unprepared tracks. Is it just harder to skate on ungroomed tracks, or is it in fact impossible?

 

Also, since I'm not going to be doing any racing, would I be better of just getting some classic skis and skating on them?

 

When buying skate skis, I'm not really sure what to look for, and if there's any type of skate skis more suited to unprepared tracks?

 

I'd be grateful for any advice you have.

post #2 of 11

I'll take a quick stab at an answer.  First, I'm not going to say that you unequivocally can't skate ski outside of a groomed trail.  If I did, someone would probably quickly follow up with examples to prove me wrong.  And when conditions are right and a good crust forms (in the spring in my neck of the woods), you decidedly can skate ski just about anywhere.  That said, conditions are not usually right for crust, and skate skiing in ungroomed snow is very, very difficult.  Are there packed snow machine trails or anything in your area?  Trails that have been packed by fat bikes?  I've taken my skate skis out on pretty narrow trails where the skis are not necessarily at their best, but I've been able to cobble together a ski.  In untracked snow, trying to skate ski becomes a real chore.

 

I wouldn't write off classic skiing as not beneficial to cycling.  Its hugely aerobic.  It still hits the leg muscles, the glutes, the lower back.  I mostly skate ski, but when I do pull out the classic skis I definitely feel it in different muscles.  Both skate and classic really rely on a strong core.  While no expert (and nowhere near an elite cyclist myself), I would think you'd get cross-training benefits from either or both of skate and classic skiing.

 

If your interest is in skating, I wouldn't get classic skis and try to skate them.  The cambers are very different.  Different tools for different purposes.  And to my knowledge, no one makes a skate ski suited to ungroomed snow.  A lot of manufactures make light touring skis, usually waxless, designed for skiing in untracked snow.  I'm going to guess if you don't have access to groomed trails you also don't have access to a shop that specializes in xc skis?  That would limit my advice on your questions as to what to look for in skate skis, as I would say to look for a shop that will take the time to properly fit you to a ski with the right flex and length for your weight.

post #3 of 11
^^^^

+1
post #4 of 11
I would second that skate is really only suited to groomed tracks and trying it on unprepared surface will just be pure pain. Classic will still be good and will challenge aerobically. Like tires, go specific, classic for classic, skate for skate, just like an all-season tire is "OK" it's not as good as a winter tire in the snow
post #5 of 11
If you are an elite cyclist, you won't be satisfied with any halfway measures after a few outings. Do the full Monty or don't bother with skate skiing, is my advice. Meaning ... go someplace where the trails and grooming are designed for skating, and use dedicated skate gear. You wouldn't do a group road ride on your aunt's hybrid, would you?
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

If you are an elite cyclist, you won't be satisfied with any halfway measures after a few outings. Do the full Monty or don't bother with skate skiing, is my advice. Meaning ... go someplace where the trails and grooming are designed for skating, and use dedicated skate gear. You wouldn't do a group road ride on your aunt's hybrid, would you?

I've got to weigh back in just to second what qcanoe says above.  Getting out to xc ski in ungroomed meadows and woods (which is what you describe as having availbale to you) can be a great way to spend part of a day, but it is the xc skiing equivalent of taking the beach cruiser out for a spin while on vacation in Key West.  Skiing hard on groomed trails--whether skate or classic--can provide incredible fitness returns.  If your sole interest is cross training to maintain cycling fitness, find some groomed trails.  Its worth the effort!

post #7 of 11

Yet another person voting that you've already gotten great advice.  Listen to it.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

wow, thanks for all the great info. Exactly what I was looking for. 

 

I think I'll have to do some research to see if there's any prepared tracks. We do have a large mountain bike community here, and I think they prep the mountain bike tracks. I'll head out and check it out. 

 

Any advice on what to look for in a skate ski? I see some websites have the option of a hard or medium ski. How about length? I'm 6'3 (or 191cm) and 76kg.

Thanks again.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juul View Post

 

Any advice on what to look for in a skate ski? I see some websites have the option of a hard or medium ski. How about length? I'm 6'3 (or 191cm) and 76kg.

Thanks again.

 

As above, first recommendation is to get sized at a shop that knows what it is doing, but if you don't have a shop available and are looking at mail order the below link is a good collection of sizing charts for different ski manufacturers:

 

http://skinnyskis.com/sizinginfo/

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juul View Post

Any advice on what to look for in a skate ski? I see some websites have the option of a hard or medium ski. How about length? I'm 6'3 (or 191cm) and 76kg.

Thanks again.

You need to put the horse in front of the cart, not the other way around.

 

Find a xc center that has groomed skating lanes. They will have skating skis for rent and for demo. Besides, you need some lessons too.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by at_nyc View Post

You need to put the horse in front of the cart, not the other way around.

 

Find a xc center that has groomed skating lanes. They will have skating skis for rent and for demo. Besides, you need some lessons too.

Yup. 


...and if you don't have an xc center close to you with skating lanes..... you got no business buying skate skis.

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