Poll: Beach Tire Pressure

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  1. #1
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    If I want to ride on the beach, what tire pressure should I use?

    Post your suggestions based on experience with sand riding.

    Most of my riding will be on the beaches on southern Lake Michigan.
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  2. #2
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    Start at about 10 psi and go down from there. If you are in the wet sand you could run 20 psi and be okay. It also depends on what tires you have. Call spindrift in ludington

  3. #3
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    If it is loose dry sand, your tires should be so low they have wrinkles in the sidewalls.
    If you are riding in wet smooth sand, you can go slightly higher.
    No need to be anywhere close to double digit pressure.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    No need to be anywhere close to double digit pressure.
    No "need" perhaps, but depending on condition of the sand there might be no "need" to ride less than double digits.

    Sorry, but this is a foolish poll. What pressure you should ride is based on the sand, the rider+ bike's weight and the tires. Too many variables. Just like riding in the snow, ride the pressure needed for the conditions that day.

  5. #5
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    It really depends a lot on your weight and the tires. I run Bud and Lou and weigh 155 pounds; 4 psi is low but not uncomfortably low with them. 6 psi is pretty stiff. Anything more than that is pointless.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys, greatly appreciated. I understand that many factors influence specific pressure used. Our sand around here is quite loose.

    But so far the consensus is less than 10 PSI for sure. I can't go that low with my current wheelset without the tire falling off of the bead seat.
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  7. #7
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    What size sneaker are you running?
    how much do you weigh?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    No "need" perhaps, but depending on condition of the sand there might be no "need" to ride less than double digits.

    Sorry, but this is a foolish poll. What pressure you should ride is based on the sand, the rider+ bike's weight and the tires. Too many variables. Just like riding in the snow, ride the pressure needed for the conditions that day.
    agreed. there are some beaches with sand so hard you could probably ride a road bike. I assume this is not the case for your area, but, the only real answer is to go try and adjust...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    What size sneaker are you running?
    how much do you weigh?
    - 11, but no more running. That's why I bike!
    - More than I want, ~ 195
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  10. #10
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    This picture shows the kind of loose sand we have, along the shoreline as well as behind the first row of dunes.

    For sure, 10 PSI is too much for this surface.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails If I want to ride on the beach, what tire pressure should I use?-beach-ride-january-2018.jpg  

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Fithian View Post
    - 11, but no more running. That's why I bike!
    - More than I want, ~ 195
    Pretty sure he meant what size tires!

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Paul Fithian;13523449

    For sure, 10 PSI is too much for this surface.[/QUOTE]

    Sorry, I don't know exact conditions. I think 8 psi should be good for you: (based on this blog)
    Life on the bike with M-attAcker: Lake Michigan Beach Fat Bike Riding!

  13. #13
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    Thanks Jaker, I have seen that. They claimed to be at 8 PSI in similar sand. Where they rode is not far from where I am.

    Here's a map of the ride area, a combination of behind the first row of dunes and the beach.

    If I want to ride on the beach, what tire pressure should I use?-ride-route-january-2018.jpg
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  14. #14
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    I start out around 10-12 and let it out accordingly.

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  15. #15
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    I've ridden along Lake MI, Superior, and Erie. I can get by at 6-7psi, but that's because I will inevitably have to ride some pavement. If I'm committed to the sand, then 4-6psi is where it's at. That gets me through even some very soft conditions. I'm 190# on 4" tires.

    -F

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    No "need" perhaps, but depending on condition of the sand there might be no "need" to ride less than double digits.

    Sorry, but this is a foolish poll. What pressure you should ride is based on the sand, the rider+ bike's weight and the tires. Too many variables. Just like riding in the snow, ride the pressure needed for the conditions that day.
    Yeah, I usually figure my tires should be relatively as soft as the terrain. 10psi is the highest I've ever gone (= hard dirt/pavement). Might've gone down to ~2-3psi for snow.
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Fithian View Post
    Post your suggestions based on experience with sand riding.

    Most of my riding will be on the beaches on southern Lake Michigan.
    That's an impossible question to answer without a whole lot more info about you, the bike and the types of sand you want to ride. But, really all you need to do is go down to the beach with your tires harder than you need and start letting air out a little bit at a time until you find a happy spot. Then when you are back home check the pressures and record. Keeping in mind sand conditions can change so there isn't one forever answer to rule them all.

    Personally I never measured my beach riding tire pressure. I just adjusted based on feel.
    Safe riding,

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tunalic View Post
    I start out around 10-12 and let it out accordingly.

    I agree. I ride on the Gulf Coast beaches often. There is sugar sand and there is hard pack. On a normal day, there is a crossing of sugar to get to hardpack, and then it's pretty smooth. You can run as low as 2-3psi and it works great for getting through the soft stuff, but is draggy when on the hard pack.

    Depending on the tide, you usually have hard pack to ride on. Only at the highest tides will you be forced to ride on the soft stuff. Even with very low pressure, the sugar sand is very difficult to get through.

    I enjoy the hardpack so I like to ride around 10-12 psi. It's too hard for the sugar, so I'll just get a head of steam and power through the short width of it to get to the shoreline for the hardpack.

    If I get caught at high tide and need to ride through the soft stuff, I'll let air out.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    It really depends a lot on your weight and the tires. I run Bud and Lou and weigh 155 pounds; 4 psi is low but not uncomfortably low with them. 6 psi is pretty stiff. Anything more than that is pointless.
    Exact same for me. Bud and Lou. I have run as low as 1 or 2, which gets too low, and requires extra effort in anything other than deep dry sand (or snow). As high as 8 which is for paved roads only. Generally along the waters edge, 4 is perfect. I am a Michigander, but I also have ridden a few lakesides in Canada, Alaska, Florida, Washington, Oregon. Michigan sand is unique, and a bit more coarse than some other sandy shorelines. The amount of moisture in it seems to make a big difference. I have enjoyed babyhead sized rocks, peastones, and some other textures, and anything over 6psi would not have done well in any of them.

    Loved Rialto beach, Cannon Beach, Long beach, Copalis beach(pic), if you are ever in that neighborhood.If I want to ride on the beach, what tire pressure should I use?-cannon.jpg

  19. #19
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    I usually run 5 psi or less for Cape Cod beaches. Big Fat Larry’s are the perfect beach tire. Trails too.


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  20. #20
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    I enjoy riding my Pugs on the WA coastal beaches a few times a week, since I live within earshot of the surf, and a few miles to the south of Westport. The sand is usually fine grained, and packed hard down near the low tide water line. Its soft up above the high tide line, and the relative hardness also varies considerably with the slope of the beach. So I have tried to find a happy medium (which really doesn't exist, although I persist in hanging onto the delusion).

    I'm 160 lbs, rolling on 65mm Marge Lite rims and 3.8 tires with tubes. My F tire is usually at around 6psi, and my R at about 7 or 8psi, so that I don't have to change the pressure when returning to harder surfaces, although I will pump both of 'em up to around 10psi for riding the logging roads or anything greater than a small distance on pavement.
    On softer sand, they work better at around 4.5psi F and 5.5psi R.
    I got a pinch flat once on my R when I was running only 4 lbs, and went over a small log at just enough speed to create a nasty pinch, so I don't run 'em that low anymore.


    Quote Originally Posted by k.b. View Post
    Exact same for me. Bud and Lou. I have run as low as 1 or 2, which gets too low, and requires extra effort in anything other than deep dry sand (or snow). As high as 8 which is for paved roads only. Generally along the waters edge, 4 is perfect. I am a Michigander, but I also have ridden a few lakesides in Canada, Alaska, Florida, Washington, Oregon. Michigan sand is unique, and a bit more coarse than some other sandy shorelines. The amount of moisture in it seems to make a big difference. I have enjoyed babyhead sized rocks, peastones, and some other textures, and anything over 6psi would not have done well in any of them.

    Loved Rialto beach, Cannon Beach, Long beach, Copalis beach(pic), if you are ever in that neighborhood.Click image for larger version. 

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  21. #21
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    I was also considering a ride in some sand. In what position should I have my derailleur?

  22. #22
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    I live on the beach here in SW Washington (Seaview) and ride about 1000 miles a year on the beach. I run a 22/40 front and typically roll in 22 cog and I’m always somewhere in the middle of the rear cluster until I hit the summer cardio sand and then low gear and 3 psi is necessary. Then there are the days when the sand is like concrete and I roll 16 miles in an hour 5 (25 psi in my shaved BFLs).


    If I want to ride on the beach, what tire pressure should I use?-a692e711-f964-4c58-8fb0-f0e2e9f5dec7.jpg

  23. #23
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    My sand tires are Big Fat Larry on Clownshoes. I weigh about 255. I run 9-10 psi in the rear tire and about six in the front.
    When I used to run Bud and Lou all the time, I had to firm em up a little because the aggressive tread combined with my weight created so much drag I was done after about ten miles.
    I like turtles

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