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Mushing Innovations

Steve Bergemann's Sled Rigging Hints

~click any photo for larger view~

Bridles

I have different kinds of sleds (both wooden and Hi Tec) and for a long time I have looked at what makes different sleds handle the way they do, especially the sprint and some of the mid-distance sleds.

So for all who feel that they need to find a better handling sled Id offer this to you to try first. This has worked for me on both types of sleds.

I use a bridle that combines the traditional bridle and some of what the distance sleds use. I use a standard bridle setup that goes around the back and side stanchions and goes up to the middle of the sled but with a loop that is 6 inches ahead of the brush bow. This is where all of the pull comes from.

I then add another line that goes around the front outside corners of the sled (where the front crosspiece attaches to the runners) and thru the loop of the bridle. Make this line with just a little slack in it. You are now pulling from where most of the weight is centered (at the back of the sled) and being steered from the front outside corners. Pull from the back and steer from the front. Also I dont use any bungee in this bridle.

I believe you will surprised in the sled's overall handling and ability to go around corners because now instead of trying to crank that short wheelbase sled, the sled is now following where the dogs are going.


Mounting QCR Rail

If you have a sled with wooden runners you might want to try, or at least discuss with sled builders and other mushers, what I found that makes sliding plastic on the QCR system real easy.

If you look at the top (the side that screws onto the runner) of the QCR rail you will find that its around inch wide, so if you have a 1 in wide runner take a router and make a cut in wide on each side of the bottom of the runner and no more than 1/64th of an inch deep, or a little less if you want.

What this does is equals the depth of space and takes away the variances between the QCR and runner. Now you can screw the QCR down tight and slide the plastic on and off with ease. This gives you the ability to race with the best Hi Tec plastic available and change it back to training plastic whenever you want, without resorting to caveman tools.

Provided by Steve Bergemann, December 2009


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