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  1. #1
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    New question here. Pedaling on Loose Sand

    Hi,

    I hope anyone can help me this. I have a gravity bullseye monster fatbike with 26 x 4 inches tires. I've tried to pedal it on loose sand as in the pictures but I couldn't. I've lowered the gears to get the maximum torque and lowered the pressure till 3 psi but in vain. I have asked a lot of manufacturers online but I did not get any helpful answers. Are there are any tires suitable for this type of sand? Can I add a chain or something around the tires? will they help? Below are pictures of the sand & my bicycle.

    Here are all the details of my bike:
    1) Frame: ALLOY 6061 FRAME
    2) Fork: 26" CrMo FatBike w/Threadless steerer 1.125"
    3)Rims: 26"x32H HJC P-50 WIDTH 80MM W/BIG HOLES, ALLOY BLACK
    4) Tires: V-Rubber MISSION 26x4.00, WIRE BEAD, BK 72TPI

    Samer Sherif
    Fatbike Blogger & traveler (www.travel-fat.com)
    Pedaling on Loose Sand-whatsapp-image-2017-03-27-6.24.47-pm.jpg



    Pedaling on Loose Sand-17571679_1616659551684100_1882701357_o.jpgPedaling on Loose Sand-17571462_1616659518350770_890320793_o.jpgPedaling on Loose Sand-17547671_1616659451684110_1014024818_o.jpg
    Last edited by simoblue; 03-27-2017 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Bike sizing Details

  2. #2
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    This is part of why I own two fat bikes and three wheelsets. I ride a lot of sand around my state and conditions are not all the same. Really soft and you need 4.8 +. I do well with 90mm rims and 4.8 Schwalbes. But for really soft deep sand My Triple B has 100mm rims and 5.05" tires. I can ride certain places the 4.8's will not work. 65mm rims with 4.0 tires will work provided there's some moisture in the sand, but can be tough or impossible in soft deep conditions. What size rims and tires are you using?

    I've ridden a sand dune on 26x4 once. I had to learn the hard way to read the sand as I could ride most of it, but would hit a soft pocket every so often that would stop me.

  3. #3
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    loose, soft sand is one of the more challenging surfaces to ride on. For this sort of thing, bigger is always better.

    With 4 inchers, you're going to have to stick to relatively well consolidated sand.

    Also, 3psi is probably still too high.

  4. #4
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    That powdery sand is about the toughest to through....
    Lower pressure until you see wrinkles. Biggest tires you can fit. Stay close to the water (packed more).

  5. #5
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    +1 on staying closer to the water. I rode a good amount of sand around the Great Lakes in MI and OH. Most of it was just rideable for me (190#, 4" Snowshoe tires on 80mm rims). I'm sure I was below 5psi for a lot of it, but I was able to get by a good bit of it at around 7 or 8psi.
    It seems you need to really balance your weight and pedal good steady circles. If the front is plowing, you might need to lighten/float it a little, but that means the rear might start to bog - esp. if you lose traction for any reason. A sort of a rocking motion, front-to-back might help, but any sideways movement will help dig your tires down in the sand.
    I do not think lower gearing is the answer.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  6. #6
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    Here are all the details of my bike:
    1) Frame: ALLOY 6061 FRAME
    2) Fork: 26" CrMo FatBike w/Threadless steerer 1.125"
    3)Rims: 26"x32H HJC P-50 WIDTH 80MM W/BIG HOLES, ALLOY BLACK
    4) Tires: V-Rubber MISSION 26x4.00, WIRE BEAD, BK 72TPI

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    loose, soft sand is one of the more challenging surfaces to ride on. For this sort of thing, bigger is always better.

    With 4 inchers, you're going to have to stick to relatively well consolidated sand.

    Also, 3psi is probably still too high.
    Thanks for the tip

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    That powdery sand is about the toughest to through....
    Lower pressure until you see wrinkles. Biggest tires you can fit. Stay close to the water (packed more).
    Thanks for the tip. I don't know what are the biggest tires that my fatbike can fit.

  9. #9
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    I live on a beach and most of my fat biking has been on the sand. Several points:

    1. You don't necessarily want the most torque. That causes the rear wheels to spin that digs you a hole. In most cases for me, when I hit the soft stuff, I try to get through it in a higher gear (less torque, less spinning of the wheels). That seems to work for me.

    2. I rode an entire year with the 27.5x4 on the Trek Farley. That worked pretty well but staying near the water worked best. When I switched over to the 27.5x4.5, that worked much better in the sand. Part of it was the bigger diameter of the 4.5 with the 27.5 rim. Part of it was the width. FWIW, the 27.5 format for a given width of tire seems to work better in the sand (at least for me, I realize rim size is a near religious issue for some).

    3. Seems to me the sand is different every single day I ride. The higher the moisture content of the sand, the easier it is to ride. The more crust there is on top also helps. That said, no two days have ever been the same and it takes a lot of practice to be able to "read" the sand and figure out where to go on the fly. For example, the driest sand I ever saw was during the winter after a protracted very cold spell with very low humidity. Very dry, none of it stuck together and was very difficult in which to ride.

    But, what fun it is! Riding on the beach is a blast just because it looks like you shouldn't be able to do it.

    J.

  10. #10
    turtles make me hot
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    When I ride on the beach, I use Big Fat Larrys on Clownshoes. Really low pressure. I weigh like 260. Works mint.
    I like turtles

  11. #11
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    I love riding on the beach and have played a lot with low pressure etc. But at the end of the day I get tired of playing with pressure and re inflating to do the road commute home etc. So I tend to keep an eye on the tide charts and ride the wet sand at low tide and barely have to lower the tire pressures

  12. #12
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    I don't race cyclocross anymore, but years back when I did I was always amazed by a few elite racers who could cut through loose, deep sand and kick up rooster tails with 32x700 cross tires. Good technique can allow one to go far on skinny tires. Look up websites for sand riding techniques for cyclocross. There's many resources for this with videos:
    Technique Thursday: How to Ride Through Sand in Cyclocross, Tips and Videos
    Vee Missions don't have very aggressive tread so they ought to do well in sand.

  13. #13
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    One thing not mentioned in the replies is don't fight the line the front wheel wants to go. Too much steering will dig the front wheel. That's what makes steep descents in loose sand fun

  14. #14
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    I ride deep dry beach sand quite often. My .02

    1. When in very deep sand try to ride as slow as possible. Pedal very slow with light but steady pressure on the pedals throughout the crank circle. Seems counterintuitive but it works. I tell newbies to ride as slow as they possibly can without stopping.

    2. Try to keep bike pointed straight and lean bike to steer or navigate tracks and bumps. Turning bars too much will just push sand.

    3. I ride a Moonlander with BFL's. BFL's are widely accepted as the best tire for sand. Tubeless helps. Interestingly I bought my wife a Pugs and she had a hard time following me through the deep stuff and blamed it on her thinner Marge Lites. I kept telling her she needed more practice and to try the techniques above. So one day as we were exiting the beach through the deep stuff, I went first and like usual she got off and walked. To prove a point, and my theory, I got on her Pugs and rode it through the deep stuff. She was amazed, and admittedly I was too. But it proves it was more about technique than equipment. The skinny tires weren't QUITE as good as the 5" on the Moonie but nowhere near as different as I would have thought.

    4. These techniques also work well in deeper snow for me.

    5. Initially I found riding in deep sand frustrating and slow. But with some patience I've come to enjoy the different skill set needed and it's nice to have the option to have fun at slower speeds on different terrain.


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  15. #15
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    bigger is better

    Quote Originally Posted by simoblue View Post
    Are there are any tires suitable for this type of sand?
    I bike in loose sand pretty much daily.
    My experience has been that carrying so much speed as possible reduces overall energy consumption, given a fixed distance to cover. A 2XL on 100mm rim in Lauf Carbonara maximizes flotation and helps maintain control in trampled sand. A somewhat smaller rear tire (Juggernaut Pro 4.50) yields oversteer, which I find more often recoverable than understeer. A single 30T chainwheel driving 11-36T minimizes digging holes from too much torque, as does remaining seated.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    I live on a beach and most of my fat biking has been on the sand. Several points:

    1. You don't necessarily want the most torque. That causes the rear wheels to spin that digs you a hole. In most cases for me, when I hit the soft stuff, I try to get through it in a higher gear (less torque, less spinning of the wheels). That seems to work for me.

    2. I rode an entire year with the 27.5x4 on the Trek Farley. That worked pretty well but staying near the water worked best. When I switched over to the 27.5x4.5, that worked much better in the sand. Part of it was the bigger diameter of the 4.5 with the 27.5 rim. Part of it was the width. FWIW, the 27.5 format for a given width of tire seems to work better in the sand (at least for me, I realize rim size is a near religious issue for some).

    3. Seems to me the sand is different every single day I ride. The higher the moisture content of the sand, the easier it is to ride. The more crust there is on top also helps. That said, no two days have ever been the same and it takes a lot of practice to be able to "read" the sand and figure out where to go on the fly. For example, the driest sand I ever saw was during the winter after a protracted very cold spell with very low humidity. Very dry, none of it stuck together and was very difficult in which to ride.

    But, what fun it is! Riding on the beach is a blast just because it looks like you shouldn't be able to do it.

    J.
    John pretty much nailed it with those 3 points. I live near a beach in Florida. I've gotten pretty good at it. There's a technique to it involving pulling the handlebars with each surge. Being in the right gear is critical.....too high or too low and you'll stall. The 27.5" x 4.5 get me through some deep stuff that I couldn't do before. Also, water content of the sand. We are having a drought now so the deep sand is a bitch. It is one helluva workout. One last tip....keep the front wheel light.....but keep it straight.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by burtjason View Post
    John pretty much nailed it with those 3 points. I live near a beach in Florida. I've gotten pretty good at it. There's a technique to it involving pulling the handlebars with each surge. Being in the right gear is critical.....too high or too low and you'll stall. The 27.5" x 4.5 get me through some deep stuff that I couldn't do before. Also, water content of the sand. We are having a drought now so the deep sand is a bitch. It is one helluva workout. One last tip....keep the front wheel light.....but keep it straight.
    Thanks for the tips. Looks like i need a new bike for that sand.

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