Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-25-08, 11:31 PM   #1
scattered73
Justin
Thread Starter
 
scattered73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bayou City
Bikes: Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
Posts: 1,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Riding through beach sand or fine deep sand.

I have had a difficult time riding through this. I have recently found that putting weight on the back wheel and pedaling like there is no tomorrow seems to be the best, but steering when I do this is not perfect. What do you guys do on this type of terrain?
scattered73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-08, 11:40 PM   #2
M_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,693
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That sounds about right. There's a lot of similarities between sand and deep powdery snow. And like snow I find it easiest if the tread is unbroken: less stuff for my wheels to bounce around on. I have trouble relaxing my arms, but obviously getting a rigid upper body is the last thing you want. It's on terrain like that that I always long for a much more relaxed fit: over the back wheel, with a shorter stem, higher bars, etecetera.
M_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-08, 11:55 PM   #3
ken cummings
Senior Member
 
ken cummings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: northern California
Bikes: Bruce Gordon BLT, Cannondale parts bike, Ecodyne recumbent trike, Counterpoint Opus 2, miyata 1000
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I walk the bike right down to the edge of the wave line and ride along the wet packed sand. The wet salty sand raised heck with the bike but it was a rental. I had a friend in SoCal who rigged his bike with extremely wide dropouts front and rear, laced rims together so he could run two fat MTB tires side by side, and added a 5 to 1 reduction jack shaft on his welded on rear rack. He had no problem riding in loose dry sand on the local beaches. With that gearing he also went up Fargo Street (35% grade) pulling his son in a trailer. He was going up at about 1 MPH but with the double wide tires he had no trouble balancing.
ken cummings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-08, 06:20 PM   #4
Steve in SLO
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hey Justin,

It's my first post here, but I have plenty of experience riding thru deep sand. A couple of tricks to it. First, get back on your seat with most of your weight back.

For the front end:
Ride with your hands on the tops of your bars (not in the drops--helps keep your weight back) and let the bars go loosey-goosey in your hands. Let the front end track mostly on its own. If you try to steer with a heavy hand the front end will just wash out on you.

For the back end:
Pedal in a medium cadence gear with steady, moderate pressure to the pedals. If you pedal too hard or are in a too-low gear giving too much power to the rear wheels, you'll break traction and you'll just stop.
If you start digging in the back end, try leaning forward a bit...it can help the rear end come up thru the sand while you keep pedalling

Turning:
Keep weight back. Turn in early and turn slow and steady or you'll wash out the front end.

Stopping:
Keep weight really back. Keep off the front brake or (you guessed it) you'll wash out the front.

I hope this helps.
Steve
Steve in SLO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-08, 11:21 PM   #5
Cynikal
Team Beer
 
Cynikal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sacramento CA
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 5,925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
All good tips above. I used to look down at my front wheel and overcorrect. I learned to look out about 20 feet and let my body react to shifts in the sand not my head.
Cynikal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-08, 12:01 AM   #6
flargle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Not contradicting the previous posts, just adding: you need to go into a sand section with a devil-may-care attitude, essentially point your bike in the right direction and hope for the best. If you try to "pick your line", you'll fail. Yes, you have to burn matches to get through these sections. Pump those legs.
flargle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-08, 12:11 AM   #7
StephenH
Uber Goober
 
StephenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Dallas area, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 11,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Sounds to me like a good application for some of those fine Huffy mountain bikes.
__________________
"be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."
StephenH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-27-08, 01:54 AM   #8
Steve in SLO
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Not contradicting the previous posts, just adding: you need to go into a sand section with a devil-may-care attitude, essentially point your bike in the right direction and hope for the best. If you try to "pick your line", you'll fail. Yes, you have to burn matches to get through these sections. Pump those legs.
On short sections, I agree that blasting through as fast as possible is a good strategy, as long as you can see the end of the sand and you think you can make it through it before you run out of steam. My previous post related to longer sections and steady sand riding, although the part of keeping your weight back still applies to blasting through a short bit of sand.
Steve in SLO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-08, 04:23 PM   #9
M_S
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,693
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Another (obvious?) thing to point out is that sand is REALLY destructive to drivetrains and rims (if you have rim brakes. If I try and brake after going through sand I get a horrible grating sound, and little scratches form on the rims. I don't want to wear things out more quickly than I have to, so I'd tend to just portage through sand.
M_S is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-08, 08:50 AM   #10
dirtyphotons
antisocialite
 
dirtyphotons's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,385
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
steve already said this but it bears repeating. low gears are your enemy, i always try and hit sand and gravel in the big ring (when i can).
dirtyphotons is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-08, 09:19 AM   #11
cardstock
4 letter tirade
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 8 blocks west of the Sears Tower
Bikes: Soon to be owner of a matching pair of Rock Lobster CX machines, Kelly Deluxe, Bianchi Commuter, Waterford R22
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
also, don"t look down, keep your head up looking straight through to the end.....
cardstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-08, 01:06 PM   #12
scattered73
Justin
Thread Starter
 
scattered73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bayou City
Bikes: Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
Posts: 1,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the tips, I got some new cross tires with more aggressive tread coming in today, hopefully with some new tips and tires I can master this terrain.
scattered73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-08, 01:08 PM   #13
cardstock
4 letter tirade
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: 8 blocks west of the Sears Tower
Bikes: Soon to be owner of a matching pair of Rock Lobster CX machines, Kelly Deluxe, Bianchi Commuter, Waterford R22
Posts: 541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
it sucks because it is messy and not so great for the bike, but practice is really key. Don't be intimidated, hit it fast, weight back, head up and go...the best thing is, once you get the hang of it and enjoy it and can ride through them, they are always crowd pleasers and will get you cheers
cardstock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-08, 07:07 PM   #14
Steve in SLO
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just to add one last bit:
Anticipation is key. If you see some sand coming up, peg it before so you can hit the sand as fast as possible with weight back. That'll give you some distance of "float" over the sand and in short sections you can float right thru it. I know this is not exactly supported by the laws of physics and particle dynamics, but once you feel it, you'll know what I mean.
Steve in SLO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-08, 04:48 PM   #15
jimisnowhere
Senior Member
 
jimisnowhere's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lynn, MA
Bikes: 60's lowrider, 80's Cavaletto Centurion, 94 Specialized Rockhopper sport
Posts: 472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I don't have any deep sand experience, but it seems like it would be like deep snow. Perhaps now (winter)would be the time to train this and minimize wear on your bike?
jimisnowhere is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-08, 07:57 AM   #16
scattered73
Justin
Thread Starter
 
scattered73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bayou City
Bikes: Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
Posts: 1,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So is sand and mud really bad on the bike? I almost always clean the brake pads and rims and drive train after each messy ride.
scattered73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-08, 08:26 AM   #17
somnambulant
So I says to Mable I says
 
somnambulant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes: '05 Urbanite Fixie, '06 Lemond Croix de Fer, '06 Jamis Dragon Pro, '07 IRO Bikeforums Track, '07 Planet-X Uncle John
Posts: 4,947
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardstock View Post
they are always crowd pleasers and will get you cheers
Totally.. I got some great cheers when I just put the pedal to the metal and bombed through the beach section at our New Year's Eve race. Unfortunately in a momentary loss of concentration on the last lap I had my weight too far forward and hit a buried rock or something and totally got launched over the bars. turns out sand actually is almost pleasant to land in. I had been chasing a guy down for most of that lap trying to find an opportunity to pass, and I was pretty smoked already, which is probably what lead to my flight. My arms were totally jello. Thankfully it was a muddy course and my Michelin Muds saved my ass.. in the last 1/4 of the last lap, in a slick off camber section I managed to catch the guy and pass him as he was coasting/sliding along the hill.

I'm definitely with the other folks who suggested going in as fast as you can, even if it's a long section, at least the first 20' or so will feel a little easier. Just make sure you expect the sudden drag from the sand and have you weight back already before you get in there.

On the first few laps you can sometimes find a less chewed up area to ride through as well, which I find beneficial. When there aren't too many other tire ruts crossing your path I find the bike tends to track a lot straighter.
somnambulant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:57 AM.