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  1. #1
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    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?

    Hi everybody,

    I have ridden fat bikes just on snow and i loved it
    I never tried to ride them on sand and i wanted to know if it's as good as on snow.
    I found this video and it seems pretty amazing, but is just the guy really good or is it quite easy?

    Charge Cooker Fat Tires | Superble

    Thanks

    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-p1030900.jpg
    Last edited by dario8888; 10-22-2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: add an image

  2. #2
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    Where do you suggest to go sand riding (a good place with high dunes)? some good places in Europe or in the US!

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    I am building a fatbike, and one of my goals is to be able to ride sand. Most everyone seems to be into the snow capabilities but I have always ridden regular MTB all winter long anyway. I have not yet found an ultimate sand tire yet, so I am just going Bud and Lou till somebody makes one. My experience with sand motorized vehicles is fatter is better. Those spider treads always look cool to me. There are many sand dunes/beaches along Lake Michigan, my home.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I have ridden fat bikes just on snow and i loved it
    I never tried to ride them on sand and i wanted to know if it's as good as on snow.
    I found this video and it seems pretty amazing, but is just the guy really good or is it quite easy?

    Charge Cooker Fat Tires | Superble

    Thanks
    Well, first of all, this guy never pedals through the entire video. He's always going downhill! I'd like to see him bust a lung and see him actually do some work.

    As for myself, I've only had my fat bike for about a month now, and I've ridden along the sandy beaches but still not in snow. If you stay near the water, it can be pretty fast. If you go up into the soft dunes...yeah, you'll get a great workout!

    Edit: My 4.7" BFL tires seems to work great in sand.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

  5. #5
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    Great on sand, more fun on snow. Don't get me started on mud..

    two wheel livin'..

  6. #6
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    Yeah for me it's the same, I am building a new fatbike and i want one to go either on snow and sand!An italian friend of mine has a Charge Cooker with Fat Tires (With Surly 4" tires) but Vee Rubber tires seem pretty good for sand and snow as well..First bike is with Vee Rubber, second with Surly, which one do you think are better?

    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-charge-cooker-maxi.jpg

    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-casali_fat-tires.jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by marathon marke View Post
    Well, first of all, this guy never pedals through the entire video. He's always going downhill! I'd like to see him bust a lung and see him actually do some work...
    I agree. Just about any bike can look good going downhill, especially with a skilled rider.

    Yet to get to where you downhill from you have to climb there, and climbing is probably 80-90% of your ride time if you're in the hills.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
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  8. #8
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    Can i believe them or is just a commercial thing??

    Charge Cooker Maxi Fat Bike 2014 | Leisure Lakes Bikes

    "The Charge Cooker Maxi Fat Bike 2014 is designed to take you anywhere, in any conditions. This hardtail mountain bike takes the ‘fat bike’ feel to the trails for a new off road experience.
    If you want to ride anywhere and everywhere all year around then the Charge Maxi is the fat bike for you; hit the beach in deep sand and the trails when the snow falls hard and eat up the elements with the massive 4" wide tyres!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post
    Can i believe them or is just a commercial thing??

    Charge Cooker Maxi Fat Bike 2014 | Leisure Lakes Bikes

    "The Charge Cooker Maxi Fat Bike 2014 is designed to take you anywhere, in any conditions. This hardtail mountain bike takes the ‘fat bike’ feel to the trails for a new off road experience.
    If you want to ride anywhere and everywhere all year around then the Charge Maxi is the fat bike for you; hit the beach in deep sand and the trails when the snow falls hard and eat up the elements with the massive 4" wide tyres!"
    Bah humbug! Not as good as Bikes Direct whose fatbike lets you "Float over soft powder snow or deep sugar sand and laugh!"
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post

    Yet to get to where you downhill from you have to climb there, and climbing is probably 80-90% of your ride time if you're in the hills.
    That's my point.
    - Mark Ehlers
    The Prodigal Cyclist

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    Yeah I bet it's not easy to go up the dunes!I don't think there is anything you can do about it though? (easy to show just the fun part in videos)

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    two wheel livin'..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    Bah humbug! Not as good as Bikes Direct whose fatbike lets you "Float over soft powder snow or deep sugar sand and laugh!"
    Probably the only true part is that I laugh!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velobike View Post
    I agree. Just about any bike can look good going downhill, especially with a skilled rider.

    Yet to get to where you downhill from you have to climb there, and climbing is probably 80-90% of your ride time if you're in the hills.
    Do you think there is any tire or device that helps climbing dunes?
    p.s. after a hard work the good part is even better!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post
    Do you think there is any tire or device that helps climbing dunes?
    p.s. after a hard work the good part is even better!
    Dreams
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-fatsand.jpg  


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    Dario; probably one of the best people to learn about sand dunes on this forum would be Ward. He also has done some experimentation with 'forming' his own tire treads for the sand, which is worth a look.

    Find one of his posts...click on his name and do a search through his threads and posts. He also has a site where he lists many of his films: wardeproductions. if I recall correctly.

    Look for films about riding on the Oregon dunes...there are several to be found.

    Last of all, do not neglect looking at films by CoastKid and others from the UK.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Dreams
    I think k.b. has aced it
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  18. #18
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    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?

    I ride on super soft ocean sand all the time. I have a Moonlander and have used BFL's as well as Bud & Lou. Both work well but BFL is best. Consensus around here is BFL on 100mm rims is best setup. The lower the tire psi the better.

    Riding on sand can go from challenging to moderately easy. A LOT of it depends on sand conditions which change daily with the tides. Also wind speed and direction are very important. I find readjusting my mindset about speed has to be readjusted way down from trails riding. For longer beach rides better to not have a time agenda, pack a snack or lunch, and just take it as it comes.

    In general my Moonie is great on the beach. I tell people that the big tires make it possible but not easy. Again really depends on conditions. Sometimes I'm doing 3-4 mph in lowest 3 gears and others I'm flying along at 8-12.

    Don't plan on climbing in the sand at all. It's amazing how the bike will be cruising along and all of a sudden break traction on even a modest incline. Same thing happens if you try and stand and put some power down...instant spin and sink at rear tire. Forget about climbing dunes.

    This is all at slower speeds where power through the pedals is needed. If you can build up some speed beforehand you can definitely charge some smaller dunes where you carry momentum up the face. I've done that and it's a blast. But don't expect to power up anything in a low gear.

    I'd love to see a "paddle" tire for deep sand/beach riding. Same as Moto uses for dune riding. However, I think that would be an even smaller sliver of an already small market. Plus you wouldn't want want to ride a paddle tire to the beach on a dry trail or pavement. Obviously wouldn't roll well plus would significantly reduce the lifespan of what I'm sure would be an expensive tire. Having said that, I would buy one. You only need 1 for the rear.

    I wonder if they could design one with a thin hard compound down the center for riding on hard surfaces with "paddles" to either side.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post
    I never tried to ride them on sand and i wanted to know if it's as good as on snow.


    I'd always rather be riding my Pugsley on sand because that means I'm most likely in Baja Mexico enjoying some beach camping.

    Traction on sand is great and there is lots to explore at the beach and in the desert behind the beach.



    I've had lots of fun riding my fatty on snow, but that's out of necessity because I lived in a part of Canada that had a long winter at the time. I've since moved to the coast where I can trail ride on a "normal" mountain bike 12 months of the year and I don't miss the winter riding!



    I do miss Baja - just about every day of the winter though...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by racefit View Post
    I ride on super soft ocean sand all the time. I have a Moonlander and have used BFL's as well as Bud & Lou. Both work well but BFL is best. Consensus around here is BFL on 100mm rims is best setup. The lower the tire psi the better.

    Riding on sand can go from challenging to moderately easy. A LOT of it depends on sand conditions which change daily with the tides. Also wind speed and direction are very important. I find readjusting my mindset about speed has to be readjusted way down from trails riding. For longer beach rides better to not have a time agenda, pack a snack or lunch, and just take it as it comes.

    In general my Moonie is great on the beach. I tell people that the big tires make it possible but not easy. Again really depends on conditions. Sometimes I'm doing 3-4 mph in lowest 3 gears and others I'm flying along at 8-12.

    Don't plan on climbing in the sand at all. It's amazing how the bike will be cruising along and all of a sudden break traction on even a modest incline. Same thing happens if you try and stand and put some power down...instant spin and sink at rear tire. Forget about climbing dunes.

    This is all at slower speeds where power through the pedals is needed. If you can build up some speed beforehand you can definitely charge some smaller dunes where you carry momentum up the face. I've done that and it's a blast. But don't expect to power up anything in a low gear.

    I'd love to see a "paddle" tire for deep sand/beach riding. Same as Moto uses for dune riding. However, I think that would be an even smaller sliver of an already small market. Plus you wouldn't want want to ride a paddle tire to the beach on a dry trail or pavement. Obviously wouldn't roll well plus would significantly reduce the lifespan of what I'm sure would be an expensive tire. Having said that, I would buy one. You only need 1 for the rear.

    I wonder if they could design one with a thin hard compound down the center for riding on hard surfaces with "paddles" to either side.
    Very good advice here. Sand is like snow, it doesn't have a constant condition. What's ride-able one day, might not be the next. Sand that's wind blown and packed or has a crust is great until something motorized has rototilled it. Going up anything significant sucks.

    Gratuitous sand shot.

    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  21. #21
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    Sand is almost all I do on mine. The video is my old, deceased frame.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Lf4KMxRirEs?list=SP990633050DB40B67" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Rat View Post
    Dario; probably one of the best people to learn about sand dunes on this forum would be Ward. He also has done some experimentation with 'forming' his own tire treads for the sand, which is worth a look.
    Dune/Sand Quest Thread

  23. #23
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    Depends on the snow or sand conditions. Both can be hard or easy. In my experience so far, sand has been harder than snow most of the time. At least both are fun to ride in!

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by racefit View Post
    I ride on super soft ocean sand all the time. I have a Moonlander and have used BFL's as well as Bud & Lou. Both work well but BFL is best. Consensus around here is BFL on 100mm rims is best setup. The lower the tire psi the better.

    Riding on sand can go from challenging to moderately easy. A LOT of it depends on sand conditions which change daily with the tides. Also wind speed and direction are very important. I find readjusting my mindset about speed has to be readjusted way down from trails riding. For longer beach rides better to not have a time agenda, pack a snack or lunch, and just take it as it comes.

    In general my Moonie is great on the beach. I tell people that the big tires make it possible but not easy. Again really depends on conditions. Sometimes I'm doing 3-4 mph in lowest 3 gears and others I'm flying along at 8-12.

    Don't plan on climbing in the sand at all. It's amazing how the bike will be cruising along and all of a sudden break traction on even a modest incline. Same thing happens if you try and stand and put some power down...instant spin and sink at rear tire. Forget about climbing dunes.

    This is all at slower speeds where power through the pedals is needed. If you can build up some speed beforehand you can definitely charge some smaller dunes where you carry momentum up the face. I've done that and it's a blast. But don't expect to power up anything in a low gear.

    I'd love to see a "paddle" tire for deep sand/beach riding. Same as Moto uses for dune riding. However, I think that would be an even smaller sliver of an already small market. Plus you wouldn't want want to ride a paddle tire to the beach on a dry trail or pavement. Obviously wouldn't roll well plus would significantly reduce the lifespan of what I'm sure would be an expensive tire. Having said that, I would buy one. You only need 1 for the rear.

    I wonder if they could design one with a thin hard compound down the center for riding on hard surfaces with "paddles" to either side.
    Thank you for the advices, now i know better what i can and cannot do on sand!
    The next step is just to try it!!!!!

  25. #25
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    Name:  12-Sea-Sand-Snow.jpg
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    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-img_6755.jpg

    It would be great to find a place like this to try the difference between snow and sand, does anybody knows one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post

    It would be great to find a place like this to try the difference between snow and sand, does anybody knows one?
    Silver Lake Michigan, mid winter, but be careful where the sand drifts over the snow especially in the spring.

    Frozen sand gives great traction, like riding on sandpaper. When (if) you fall, it abrades like it too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Silver Lake Michigan, mid winter, but be careful where the sand drifts over the snow especially in the spring.

    Frozen sand gives great traction, like riding on sandpaper. When (if) you fall, it abrades like it too.
    Better not to fall then!Right now I'm in Europe so I'll try so find some place around here!Alps are really good for the snow trails, not so much sand around there though!
    Probably Scotland coast is good!

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    Something like this but starting from a snowy mountain would be great!
    First a snow trail and then arriving to the beach!

    My dream!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post

    Something like this but starting from a snowy mountain would be great!
    First a snow trail and then arriving to the beach!

    My dream!
    You have nice dreams! Maybe we need a thread "ultimate fatbike vacations" with places and trails that an unguided fatbiker can accomplish such dreams.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    You have nice dreams! Maybe we need a thread "ultimate fatbike vacations" with places and trails that an unguided fatbiker can accomplish such dreams.
    I just started a new thread called "Ultimate Fatbike Adventures"

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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Forgot about that thread. May have to bump it back up w/ some new info...

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    Trouble w/ making statements about riding in sand is, sand exists in soooo many types and conditions. And, even sand in one particular place behaves different from day to day (snow too for that matter). I love riding in conditions that require (or are improved by) high floatation tires & rims in general but sand is my favorite. With snow, you need good conditions to ride... i.e. some days a big storm dumps a bunch of powder and yesterday's packed track is buried. Also, generally speaking (and w/ the exception of "boiler plate" crust), most of the time in snow we follow a packed track. In sand however, you can almost always find something ridable on any given day and your free to roam. Kind of like skiing on an open slope. On group beach rides you'll often see folk split up all over the place, carving turns, doin' wheelies, railin' little dunes, etc. In larger dunes there are usually ridable "swathes" and unridable swathes. Lot's of times, you can connect the ridable surfaces together and keep the pedals turning... other times not. Depends on what Mother Nature did the previous few days.

    Here's a place we rode on the last Global Fat Bike Day. Though it didn't have snow yet last early December, this area does get snow... and wind! I'll try to get up there this winter and ride some snowy sand.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CmP5ZMKG_C4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    Here's the link to a thread I started about trimming tires for sand:

    "Sando's"

    Might WANT the bigger treads in snowy sand...

  34. #34
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    Everything Ward said about sand also applies to snow. Because on rare occasions you can ride anywhere on snow as well. That to me is the ultimate riding. Bottom line is that fatbikes are not best for sand or snow, they are just best!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-portage-spring-2012-0251.jpg  

    Latitude 61

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    Everything Ward said about sand also applies to snow. Because on rare occasions you can ride anywhere on snow as well. That to me is the ultimate riding. Bottom line is that fatbikes are not best for sand or snow, they are just best!
    That looks alot like a snow dune. Boiler plate is AWESOME!

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    Alot of the time around here, when the skiing's not so good, the fat biking is great, and vise versa.

  37. #37
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    Here is some dune surfing on my Moonlander on the Scottish NW highland coast, also some dune climbing too

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AGgUlEKLoEs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
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    Nice one CK! That's some primo dune ridin' there!

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    Great vid CK...Glad to see Scotland is not short changed by nature.

    Good eye too...on your find. I'm always looking for whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ward View Post
    Here's the link to a thread I started about trimming tires for sand:

    "Sando's"

    Might WANT the bigger treads in snowy sand...
    Thanks for that link Ward. You didn't have any pics or details on exactly how you did the cutting though. Razor knife? Back in the '70s we had a special 2 handle pull razor for cutting paddles off paddle tires.

    Most people do not understand how important the interface between sand and tire is and how the shear effect and floatation can be affected by tread or lack thereof. If I could get something like a 4.8 endo now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Here is some dune surfing on my Moonlander on the Scottish NW highland coast, also some dune climbing too
    Nice Video!Scotland is amazing for Fatbiking (and biking in general)!I went there 2 years ago and I want to go back there soon!

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    Good job!

    Were only 25 miles east of Edinburgh City, yet have an often deserted 35 miles of deserted coastline which offers some fantastic beachriding from flat wide beaches to technical rock crawling at low tides to sandy singletrack above the high tide line.
    You are all welcome here to come and enoy our coast, we are only 20 mins on a train from Edinburgh to our Victorian seaside town of North Berwick, which seems to have become the UK beach riding mecca and home to the biggest collection of fatbikes on the Scottish east coast.

    Forth Fat back in April saw 42 bikes turn up, the largest group in Europe to date.
    I am running Forth Fat as an annual event and your all welcome to come along to Forth Fat 14 on April 4th to Sunday 6th 2014.
    Eric and Tyler from Surly turned up at this years inaugral event and thought our coastline was breath taking and the pub scene on the Saturday night was as it always has been in Scotland - wild with the whisky!

    Here is friend Gary Bs film of Forth Fat
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EWymH78OB_Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    And my film
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/eJrnChz1DNY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    See you all who can make it to Forth Fat 14 next April
    plan it...build it....ride it...love it....
    http://coastkid.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    See you all who can make it to Forth Fat 14 next April
    I'll try to come!Forth Fat seems pretty amazing!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastkid71 View Post
    Here is some dune surfing on my Moonlander on the Scottish NW highland coast, also some dune climbing too

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/AGgUlEKLoEs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    Very cool video once again CK!! I need some better tunes though

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/6nccnpwENVo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    Very cool video once again CK!! I need some better tunes though
    That's the right song when you have to climb up dunes hehe!

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    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Thanks for that link Ward. You didn't have any pics or details on exactly how you did the cutting though. Razor knife? Back in the '70s we had a special 2 handle pull razor for cutting paddles off paddle tires.

    Most people do not understand how important the interface between sand and tire is and how the shear effect and floatation can be affected by tread or lack thereof. If I could get something like a 4.8 endo now...
    Right on k.b.! I may have given up some forward traction... but they are fast and "floatatious"! In the sand Bud & Lou can not keep up and are quickly left behind... wet sand or dry. I used a razor knife(s) that I made my own Gorilla Tape "handle" for. Dangerous though... the knife can "roll" on you, especially when it starts to get dull. Got to change blades alot! Should have went shopping for a propper handle... box cutter handle wouldn't get the angle and I was in a hurry.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51222326@N04/10012562675/" title="S1490023 by wardee61, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5550/10012562675_a29f1d318c.jpg" width="500" height="333" alt="S1490023"></a>

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    I rode my fat bike around the site rim trail in Canyonlands. Maybe not quite what you are thinking about as far as sand goes, however there are some really sandy sections including some hard sandy climbs. The fat bike was excellent in these conditions.

  48. #48
    nvmtbkr
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    Sand dunes

    Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-dune47660.jpgwe have miles of dunes close to town here in Winnemucca, Nv.
    Winter is best after a bit of moisture or after a summer thunder storm.
    I am attaching a few pics, the one of the tracks is about 20 miles in length, you could do a lot more, and yes I do climb them too! I normally end up with about a 6 mph average. Fat Bikes better on sand or snow?-duneage.jpgFat Bikes better on sand or snow?-video-150-0-00-18-01.jpg email me if you are interested in coming out to ride the dunes, I would love some company! nvmtbkr@gmail.com



    Quote Originally Posted by dario8888 View Post
    Hi everybody,

    I have ridden fat bikes just on snow and i loved it
    I never tried to ride them on sand and i wanted to know if it's as good as on snow.
    I found this video and it seems pretty amazing, but is just the guy really good or is it quite easy?

    Charge Cooker Fat Tires | Superble

    Thanks

    Click image for larger version. 

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  49. #49
    NMBP
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvmtbkr View Post
    we have miles of dunes close to town here in Winnemucca, Nv.
    Winter is best after a bit of moisture or after a summer thunder storm.
    That looks like great riding, a little too far away for me though. Who owns the land?
    Riding Fat and still just as fast as I never was.

  50. #50
    nvmtbkr
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    Mostly BLM

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