As proponents of studs in snowmobiles, we install the metal picks in most of our sleds each winter, especially the performance models. We’re big advocates for not only better braking performance — safety! — but for sure-footed handling through the woods and rivers, and quicker, more positive acceleration.
We installed 102 Extreme Max Fat Head stainless steel studs in our 2010 Arctic Cat Sno Pro 500 demo last winter (we mistakenly listed in an earlier issue that we installed a different brand of studs in this sled). This package with tall nuts and round aluminum backers retailed for $327.54, which is about $10 more than equivalent setups from the major stud brands.
Most other trail studs have a 60-degree point, but the Fat Head picks have an 80-degree point that is arguably more durable, but not as willing to penetrate the snowpack or ice. Tips of our studs showed little wear and no breakage at the end of the season. They provided reliable traction all winter without bending or tearing out. Handling was definitely improved, especially when paired-up with a set of 6-inch carbides.
Extreme Max Fat Head studs are made with a thin, 1-inch diameter base designed to pull into the track carcass for less noise and wear against bogie wheels. They were designed for single-ply tracks, but the company says they can be used in conventional tracks, too. Extreme Max includes a 2-year warranty against bends and breaks.
— Andy Swanson
Lino Lakes, Minn.