How to buy a Bobsled

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The bobsled is synonymous with the Winter Olympics. This large, gravity powered sled barrels down mountain courses with two or four person teams and pass spectators in the blink of an eye. If you are interested in purchasing a bobsled, there are some basic principles you should understand before writing a check.

  • Choose a size for your sled. Bobsled races are performed in two different ways, depending on the team and the sled. There is a two man and a four man competition. The difference is primarily in the length and weight of the sleds. Determine which you will need before shopping for a bobsled.

  • Test the steering components before purchasing a bobsled. Steering is crucial, not only to a bobsled team's success, but also to its safety. The small butterfly wheel is attached to the runners by a series of cables and pulleys. Inspect each to ensure they are in working condition.

  • Inspect the bobsled's runners. The runners on a bobsled function the same way the blades do on a pair of ice skates. These determine how fast the sled runs and how well it turns. Check to see that all runners are straight, properly sharpened and true.

  • Try out the brake to ensure the bobsled will properly stop when it finishes its run down the hill. The brake will be a small lever located where the last man in the sled is positioned. Pulling it up should lower an arm that acts like a claw into the ice and gradually slows the sled.

  • Look closely at the construction of the bobsled body. The fiberglass shell should be crack-free and smooth. If it is not, it may be a sign of wear and tear, especially if you are purchasing a used sled.

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