How Long Will This Product Last? Short answer: Thousands of Miles. 3,000 miles on a set is not uncommon, 5,000-10,000 miles is often reported to us.
Long answer: The real question should be, how long will this product stay effective? They stay effective through their entire life, meaning they never go dull until they are completely disintegrated. Our 72 rockwell carbide are a 1/16” wide blade up on edge, brazed into a host bar that is a ¼” wide hardened blade up on edge. They stay sharp for the entire life of the runner. They wear much like a pencil in a pencil sharpener. See diagram here below that show how a traditional carbide wedge gets flatter with every mile of wear, compared to our carbide that stays sharp to until it is completely worn out:
Traditional carbides are an upside-down triangle that gets flatter/duller with every mile of wear. As they get flatter, they become a blunt wear pad with more surface area which slows down the wear progression. That’s great, as they wear, they extend their life, but the problem is, they are only effective if they are sharp. So how long do traditional carbides last? A traditional wedge-shaped carbide can grind down flat to become an ineffective 1/8” wide wear pad with just 2 dozen or so road crossings and a few bare parking lot crossings, in other words, just a few hundred miles of trail riding.
Won’t those thin U-Blades bend easily? No, and they are steel, not aluminum! The U-Blades (also called stabilizers or the outside keels) are CNC laser cut from a sheet of 1/16” steel, formed in presses at the factory, and then heat tempered at the factory. Tempering them after they are formed is the key to their strength. The tempering process in the oven and quenching pool at the factory is essential to making sure the product is durable enough for the rigors of snowmobiling. A decent analogy is, how many bent or broken spades have you seen? Our U-blades are of a similar thickness of a metal spade. Isn't it always the wooden handle that breaks.
Aggressive or Semi-Aggressive? We recommend Aggressives in most applications. They are around 10% more expensive, so please don’t think this is an upsell. Because of their deep penetration, 80%-90% of your ski pressure can be removed which makes for a way more efficient ride, while still being able to retain and even increase the sled’s carving performance. We provide a recommended starting point for your suspension setting in detail and you will only have to do a few trailside tweaks after testing. Remember, always check and adjust your rear sag after every suspension adjustment. 3 reasons to go Semi-Aggressive: Heavy front end (S/D 1200), lack of mechanical knowledge/experience, willingness to properly set up your sled, or strictly an ice fishing sled.
Aren't they heavy? The Semi-Aggressive (Standards) are lighter than Woody's Slim Jims.