This is billed as an alternative for those who want to be able to ride their dirt-bikes all year round. I, for one, see some potential problems.
First off, and most importantly to me, it retains the wheel on the front. That’s all well and good, provided you remain on hard surfaces.
Now, I grew up in a small ski resort. In the summer, they keep the chair-lifts running for mountain bikers wanting to try not to kill themselves on the slopes as they careen headfirst down nearly-vertical rock faces. We would merrily sit at the bottom, drinking a beer, shouting derogatory comments about their Spandex at completely inappropriate moments, hoping to distract their attention for long enough to result in a horrific crash.
The problem with this whole adventure in schadenfreude was that it was only really available as entertainment for a few months of the year. Or, it was, until some genius thought it might be fun to bring his mountain bike up the chair-lift in the winter time, and convinced all his friends to do the same. Suddenly, a whole new source of entertainment arose!
For those idiotic intrepid fellows neglected to consider the very same detail as the designers of this bike. When you put a front tire like that onto a snowy surface, it doesn’t skip merrily across it like a ski does; it sinks in.
It’s a pretty simple concept to grasp. The reason skis and snowboards work the way they do is that they take that small point that supports all your weight, and spread it over a much larger area. With a wheel like this one, you’re taking all your weight, and the weight of the bike, and focusing it on an even smaller area.
Nevertheless, while it seems like it might be a recipe for disaster, and a scenario that is more likely to end up with the rider heading ass-over-teakettle over the front handlebars, I am kind of glad to see it. At the very least, it has the potential to provide a whole new category of entertainment for my friends and I to watch while sitting at the bottom of a ski-hill in lawn-chairs, laughing our heads off.