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  1. #1
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    Coping with soft sand....

    OK, recall I am new off-road riding.

    It is warming and drying up here in the Southwest....On my most common ride I am finding myself having a harder time of late crossing washes with soft sand...front tire cuts in and either I slow and correct or stop and walk out of the sand trap....since I have done these rides all winter without issues I suspect it is the drying and consequent loosening of the sand in the washes.

    Most of the crossings are short and if I line them up well I can sort of roll thru....running 2.4 tubeless at 20 lbs...

    Would appreciate any advice/thoughts. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    play with tire pressures and carry speed so you wont "sink"

  3. #3
    one chain loop
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    weight at the back and no sudden turns, just like riding ice.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  4. #4
    1*14*29*2.1 & 1*1*29*2.4
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    like said, light on front no turns keep power steady and momentum up. 20psi is good for all round riding, and you've got a nice size tyre, but if you think you'll be in the sand a lot maybe slightly lower PSI. Is it a 29er? That can help a little.

  5. #5
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    Thanks all....

    The vast majority of my ride is hard sand/gravel but there are lots of small washes to cross, often with a steep drop into them which pushes the weight forward and these seem to be getting softer and deeper as it heats and drys up...I had dialed in the 20 lbs for the majority of the ride, some fast turns where too little pressure gets too much sidewall flex...but I am going to try lower pressures as suggested...hadn't anticipated the changing conditions but I guess optimal tire pressure is always changing...

    I am riding Racing Ralph 2.4's...Is there a wider tire out there for my 29 Stans Arch rims?

  6. #6
    Just Ride
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    As others have mentioned, weight toward the rear, and no sudden turns. I'd add to that light hands on the bars. Loosen up more than normal on the bars so they can "float" in your hands. Hard to explain, but I think you catch my drift.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzydog View Post

    I am riding Racing Ralph 2.4's...Is there a wider tire out there for my 29 Stans Arch rims?
    There are wider tires, but I haven't heard too many good things about those tires (e.g., WTB Weirwolf 2.55"). I think Racing Ralph and Ardent are best options for wide tires, unless your fork has enough room for Surly Knard.

    I don't ride in winter anymore, but when I did, my front tire used to cut in all the time like you do in sand. Like others have mentioned, I rode with my butt sticking out all the way back as if I'm going down hill, and I found riding slowly gave me enough time to correct my front wheel (by popping a small wheelie) when my front wheel cut in. Going fast didn't work at all for me - soon or later, it would cut in and I would bail.
    Ghisallo Wheels

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  8. #8
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    What width rim? A wide rim is the lightest way to get more tire volume. I am running Mavic EX729 and they are the best rim I have ever used. A wide rim will give you less sidewall flex at low pressures, plus you can run lower pressure because of the large volume.

    Other than larger tire volume, speed will keep you above the sand.

  9. #9
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    Ass back and throttle WFO. Sorry, wrong bike.

  10. #10
    ENDO!!!
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    I like to get on the back tire and carry some speed into it and "surf" it, as in controlling your bike with weight transfer rather than any turning of the front wheel. And no brakes!
    Just circles turning circles....

  11. #11
    I don't huck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzydog View Post
    Thanks all....

    The vast majority of my ride is hard sand/gravel but there are lots of small washes to cross, often with a steep drop into them which pushes the weight forward and these seem to be getting softer and deeper as it heats and drys up...I had dialed in the 20 lbs for the majority of the ride, some fast turns where too little pressure gets too much sidewall flex...but I am going to try lower pressures as suggested...hadn't anticipated the changing conditions but I guess optimal tire pressure is always changing...

    I am riding Racing Ralph 2.4's...Is there a wider tire out there for my 29 Stans Arch rims?
    OK..I do not know why but the best tire I have come across for steering in sand has been the Specialized Ground Controls. I noticed it with the 2.1s and even more so with the 2.3s (really a 2.2). The rest of the time the tire is a decent all-rounder, nothing dramatic, but it is great on those wash crossings like we get here in So Cal in summer. It just seems to not want to cut in and 'ski carve' away....might be worth a try. I am using the Control version if it matters.
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