When it is time to choose a runner type, it is essential to consider some basic parameters that can guide us toward an informed choice in our purchase.
When I bought my Arctic Cat Zr 6000, I was surprised and disappointed to see how much the company had neglected the importance of incorporating a high-quality runner into the standard Procross skates. Indeed, the company runners offered are, in my opinion, of poor quality. It is, in fact, only 2 side-by-side rods to which 2 barely welded carbides are welded. Fortunately, this part is easily replaceable, and at a low cost, if you know a winning combination that can combine ski and runners. Evaluating the Procross intermediate skate ski on the performance side, it is, however, possible to give it more bite by choosing the Qualipièces Cobra Head runners. This runner has been mainly designed to meet certain expectations, including the elimination of wobbling. Although I must admit that Arctic Cat’s Procross skate is not subject to this phenomenon, the Cobra Head noticeably improves the driving of the vehicle. In my opinion, the real problem with the Procross, like the BRP Pilot ski, is that neither of them is shaped enough to allow good penetration into the snow. To solve this problem, I believe that one of the solutions is to extend the underside of the keel with a runner that is deeper than the original one. This way, the natural curve of the keel is maintained without affecting the work for which it was designed while giving it more support when turning.
Cobra runner versus the original one
The single Cobra runner from Qualipièces is a viable solution to this problem, even though I would have preferred to try another type of single runner that Qualipièces manufacture, the Top Gold. I had to resign myself to the Cobra because, unfortunately, the Top Gold series was not distributed for Arctic Cat Procross skates. In the past, when I tested the BRP Pilot ski, I found that the Top Gold gave better results than the Cobra.
That being said, based on my findings, I think the Cobra does a good job but could be even more aggressive if it was deeper by 1/4 to 3/8 inches. I should mention that I am a snowmobiler who puts a lot of effort into steering a machine and that the Cobra should satisfy 90% of Quebec’s trail riders. The product is easy to install, robust, and resistant to wear and tear. The grooves left in the packed snow are straightforward and reveal that the runner does an excellent job. It is in the disentanglement that we would appreciate a little more depth from this runner where it lacks a little bit of bite, letting the front overflow into the curves. When crossing asphalt roads, the Cobra slides well and does not tend to destabilize the pilot versus a double runner when an obstacle is encountered.
In conclusion, Cobra single runners offer a very good price/quality ratio. They are much more durable than what the competition offers. I estimate that under normal use, Cobra runners have a life span of 15 to 20,000 km. In addition, they are resistant to impact and rust thanks to the cladding to which they are coupled. Cobra heads also protect the skis with its anti-sway spoons. Even though I find them somewhat lacking in aggressiveness on snow-covered trails, I recommend these runners to snowmobilers who want to improve the performance of their ride without neglecting the swaying. Taking a look at the company’s website, it should be noted that Qualipièces also offer other types of runners in single or double versions according to different configurations.