Big wheel kits are large (8”-10”) aftermarket rear idler wheels commonly used on mountain sleds. There are many advantages of having big wheels on your sled, but the most important ones are as follows:
- Reduced rolling resistance = less HP loss
- You can drop the outside wheels
- Weight savings
- You can install a longer track
- Less wear on the hyfax
- More nimbleness = better side-hilling abilities
- Customized look
If you want to find out more about the purposes of big wheel kits, this post is for you. We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled all you need to know under one roof!
What is the Purpose of a Big Wheel Kit for a Snowmobile?
It’s safe to say that the main purpose of a big wheel kit is to reduce the rolling resistance of the track, which results in more power and higher track speed.
How can these big wheels lower the rolling resistance?
In a nutshell, since the diameter of the wheels is larger (typically 8”-10”), they don’t have to make as many rotations. Also, when the track turns at the rear of the skid it doesn’t need to be as sharp, so it robs less horsepower.
But contrary to popular belief, a big wheel kit won’t make your sled significantly faster, so you won’t notice anything different on the speedo.
Another hidden advantage of big wheel kits is that you can drop the outside wheels, which translates to less weight.
What’s more, eliminating these wheels can make the snowmobile tip easier. It makes the sled easier to throw around in powder, while its side-hilling abilities also improve significantly.
Because of this advantage, big wheel kits are typically used on mountain snowmobiles to make them more nimble. Without the intrusion of the outer wheels, the sled can carve through the powder much easier.
Thanks to their design, big wheels extend below the hyfax to help prevent wear on the hyfax.
Also, many riders like big wheels as they give a customized look to their sleds. While having a big wheel kit on a mountain sled has many advantages, they are almost exclusively used for design purposes on trail machines.
On top of that, bigger idler wheels allow you to put a larger track on the same kit. For example, you can move to a 144” track from a 141” without additional modifications.
On the other hand, don’t forget that a big wheel kit always reduces the footprint of the track. So even if you add a larger track, you can expect about the same footprint. A bigger track will mean more weight to rotate without significantly increasing the track size on the ground.
Big wheels can be made of plastic, carbon fiber, or aluminum, and they are always available in kits with an axle, bearings, and other required hardware.
Big wheel kits do an excellent job on mountain snowmobiles, as they make the sled more nimble. The critical advantage of big wheels is that you can drop the outer wheels so the track can run on the two inner wheels only.
This results in better carving and side-hilling abilities, which can be a game-changer in the mountains.
These wheels’ larger diameter also leads to less rolling resistance, resulting in more power, faster track speed, and less wear on the hyfax.
Last but not least, big wheel kits can give an awesome look to any sled. This is why you can even see these wheels on some trail sleds as well!