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suggested tire width for sandy conditions

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suggested tire width for sandy conditions

Old 04-09-16, 07:46 AM
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avidone1
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suggested tire width for sandy conditions

I'm considering riding a few trails that can have some soft sand.
What tire size and tread pattern would be best
thanks
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Old 04-09-16, 12:56 PM
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DMC707 
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I use a Kenda Nevegal with the back tire mounted backwards ---- works for me --

whatever you choose , try to run the biggest tire that will fit your frame
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Old 04-09-16, 05:33 PM
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bikeme
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Get the widest tire that your frame can fit, like a 2.2 or 2.3. Also try and run a lighter tire. Lighter is better overall but in the sand with it's added grab, less rotating weight is better. Not to dis DMC707 but the Nev is one of the heaviest tires out there and most folks don't need its huge tread blocks. The Maxxis Ardent or Ardent Race is a good choice as is the Bontrager XR 2 or XR 3. These are higher volume tires relative to their size and will float well over sand.
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Old 04-10-16, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by bikeme View Post
Not to dis DMC707 but the Nev is one of the heaviest tires out there and most folks don't need its huge tread blocks. .
the attributes you mentioned (big tread blocks) are what make it good in sand when mounted backwards-- they act like small paddles
I have tried the Ardent and Kenda Straight Six in comparison and the Nev combo worked better--

But tire choice is a bit like beer choice, - everyone has their favorite, And it can also be dependent on what type of sand too. In my area its usually a nasty powdery red stuff that feels like the consistency of powder. If it packed just a bit better, my tire choice might be different
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Old 04-10-16, 09:49 AM
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4" .. get a fat bike ... Much narrower you have to ride the wet sand at the surf line.
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Old 04-10-16, 10:55 AM
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Loose sand is tough to ride regardless of tire width but that is fat bike territory but the mentality is that "wider is better".
If you don't think your tires are wide enough, or want more, try running with lower tire pressure.
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Old 04-11-16, 05:22 PM
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I can blaze right on In some pretty soft thick stuff these days,,

Downshift one gear,
Ease back to position 3 on your saddle,
Do not drop your torso down over the stem, stay at 45 degree's,
Elbows bent,
Spin the smoothest you can and pretend if you crash a bear will maul you..

2.2 tires, 2.3, 2.35 a bit wider is better to a point,
I had trouble on a 2.8 plus bike,,floated too much.
Digging In and cranking up the watts gets me through~~~~~~

The Saddle,
3 positions,
Position 1 On the nose, for climbing and all out burst power.
Position 2 Is Mid saddle, control with steady power,
Position 3 Is the back third, the wide part of the saddle, This is the rest position that you should hardly ever use.... BUT It serves well to get your weight back just a little on the rear tire so your front wont plow into the sand but not so much your front tires floats. It must still dig in so the side knobs go in the sand...

Steering In sand is easy, Don't use your hips just pluck your front tire up and set it down a little left or right,,just an Inch at a time,,Or do both.. If you just don't have the watts down shift another but KEEP the power on full !
Keep the bike perfectly upright, think boat rudder

Above all else a super smooth powerful cadence will get you through and If you find sand hard to handle,
Well then when you get through It turn around and do It again....

No Pain NO gain !
You can do more than you think, But remember to hate me later that night as you beat the cramps out of your legs

Or get a fat bike,,but you will hate hauling all that tire around every where else on your ride...

I ride 27.5 x 2.35 and like taking sandy sections, the workout, the energy and balance training is pure gold.

Last edited by osco53; 04-11-16 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 04-11-16, 05:25 PM
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I know from miserable experience that 2.5" is way too narrow.
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Old 04-11-16, 05:37 PM
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Wide tires with skinny rims and lower pressures really stinks..
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Old 04-11-16, 05:57 PM
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It depends. Yes, you can plow your way through some sand like osco described. And for that, skinny is actually better. Just watch cyclocross racing. But there is a limit to how much distance you can cover before you either bog down or lose control of the front wheel. If you are trying to plow through sand, keep it in a gear that offers some resistance. You don't want to spin, you want to mash. And momentum is your friend.

Then you can try to float on top of the sand. That's where wider is better, fatbikes with low pressures will let you ride through sand pits that would have you otherwise walking.

If the trails you are riding have short (less than 20 yards or so) sand sections just plow through them and if you have to walk. For that, skinny tires are better. If you are riding on the beach or 90% of the trail is sand, get a fatbike.
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Old 04-11-16, 07:31 PM
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Like osco, I live in Florida and we've got sand. Sometimes packed by the rain, sometimes long patches of sugar. Big knobs are nice. I used to run the WTB velociraptors, that paddle tread in back and arrowhead front worked pretty well. Also, pretty heavy and awful tractor-like when you got to hardpack. His technique description works. I'll add the hover position, weight back and butt just over the saddle but close so you can guide it with your legs. And yes, keep pedaling. Commitment counts. No sudden turns and pedal through.

Anyway, go as wide as you can fit up front without getting some brick.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:08 AM
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I ride in the desert southwest, and specifically picked up an Airborne Griffin 27.5+ for the sandy conditions out here. Best thing I ever did! The 3.25 up front and the 3.0 out back tubeless floats, no, glides through the sandy trails and washes with the stupid-low pressures - 10.5 front and 12.5 back.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:31 AM
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Yeah remember this above all else,

In every place you find hard to handle be it thick sand, hard steep climbs, drops or fast corners or where ever, don't look to the bike first, look to the bike last.

Look In your skills bag First, your bag ~o~ tricks may need some more additions.

Your Skill sets can be Improved for free
And that gives you a great feeling knowing your getting better, stronger, smoother and faster!
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Old 04-13-16, 03:43 PM
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I live in the Mohave desert and experience lots of different situations. Dee[p sand? yeah, fat bike.
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Old 04-13-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by avidone1 View Post
I'm considering riding a few trails that can have some soft sand.
What tire size and tread pattern would be best
thanks
For me, adding a Hopey Steering damper made a WORLD of difference. What I found with sand is that your front tire goes squirrelly, and as you move forward it'll make your bike go out of control and you'll fall over/crash. The Hopey keeps your tire straight. It makes it so that it takes an adjustable amount of effort to turn your handle bars. (There is no effort to turn them back to straight). It has the effect of keeping your front tire straight, easily keeping you moving forward. It's also great in ruts and going over wet tree roots, etc.

It used to be that riding on a beach was a novelty thing to do as I went off the trail, now I can on the beach (or snow) with no problem on standard knobby mountain bike tires (nobby nics).
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