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Thread: Sand

  1. #1
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Sand

    I live in a part of New Jersey where there are very few unpaved roads. There's the Delaware and Raritan Canal, which is nice but boring if you've done it before, and a few roads that are unpaved for a mile or two here and there.

    But not too far south of me, there's the Pinelands. Colloquially called the Pine Barrens. I've spent years exploring the paved roads through there, and there are a few, and some of them are pretty nice. But most of the roads are sand. Miles and miles of sand roads. Sometimes the sand is almost as hard as pavement, and you just roll. And without warning it can get as soft as sugar, and your tires dig right in. But usually it's somewhere in between, and with the right tires, at fairly low pressure, you can ride without much trouble.





    Anyone else ride on sand? Got any advice on technique, tires, etc?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Kopsis's Avatar
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    Here in central FL any unpaved riding is likely to include a significant amount of sand. And Florida sugar sand is so fine it makes most of the stuff I've seen in the Pine Barrens look like pea gravel It can get really dry in the winter months, so 6 - 8" deep sections of loose sand is not uncommon. I still haven't found a tire that I really like. Wider tires give you more float so you don't burn as much power, but seem to sacrifice all control. Narrower tires that dig in more let you retain a little directional control but create a lot of rolling resistance as they slice through the loose sand.

    In terms of technique, you need to try to spot to the soft stuff and keep your weight to the rear on entry so you don't plant the front tire and go over the bars. Obviously wide tires help reduce this risk. Always try to enter with the front wheel straight. You're going to lose most of the caster effect so any steering input will tend to abruptly increase as the front wheel starts to float. After that, it's mostly a matter of staying light on the bars, putting down power, and letting the bike go where the sand decides to take it.

    The good news is that falling off the bike in the sand is usually relatively painless

  3. #3
    meh Hypno Toad's Avatar
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    I recommend Pugsley! Actually, any fatbike will do...

    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I'm blaming you. There's a difference.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    a CX race course often includes a sand Pit section , to make you work hard every Lap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
    I recommend Pugsley! Actually, any fatbike will do...
    +1
    with Black Floyd tires

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    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    There are some trails here that get real soft and sandy. I'm usually out there on 35mm tires at 30-40psi (I'm not so exact in my inflation procedures). For technique all I an say is stay relaxed, keep your weight back, let the bike float, pedal in a low gear to the keep the wheels turning.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I often need to flip my brain to the freewheel side when reading this forum.
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    man I hate sand. I use to live in Tampa and some of the riding we had there was mostly sand trails. I ended up selling my mountain bike because it sucked so bad. I'd love to try a fat tire bike on that though. Doubt I'd use anything else on sand though. Just no fun.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

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