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Tire recommendations for occasional sand

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Tire recommendations for occasional sand

Old 07-05-10, 03:43 PM
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Rich B.
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Tire recommendations for occasional sand

My guide to New England rail trails rates trails as 1,2,o r3. 1-paved, 2-hard packed with occasional rough patches, 3-mountain bike only. I'm trying to get off the trails clogged with roller bladers and strollers, and I'd like to incorporate some of the wilder trails in Maine and New Hampshire on my tours. Schwalbe isn't clear to me about "sand" tires, but Ive got to do better in the sand than I do with the Marathons I'm currently riding. I can only go as wide as 37mm on my Mavic A719 rims. Any suggestions?
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Old 07-05-10, 08:21 PM
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I have a tour I have done twice that has a 40 mile section of sand on it. It is fairly loose sand surface but packed down. Not beach but certainly not hard packed like a stone dust trail. I run swalbe marathon slicks and just dumped about 60 pounds of pressure to the point were there was less than 20 pounds. I had to be careful riding up on bridges and anything else that might cause a pinch flat. I liked this system fine if talking occasional sand vs with the rest being on the black top. These were 35 mm tires and I weighed about 260 at the time. By dumping the pressure I picked up the volume on the contact patch without needing wider tires.
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Old 07-05-10, 09:07 PM
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panaracer paselas are great all-round too, and have a bit more central tread than the marathons. i imagine that they'd be fine on sand at a lower pressure.
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Old 07-06-10, 06:33 AM
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If a wider tire will fit in your frame (and fenders?), a wider tire would probably do better. I think that the A719 sticker that lists max pressure for tire width is not a hard and fast rule for range of allowable tire widths. If you deviate by a small amount, you should be ok. I think that the real purpose of that sticker is to make sure that tandem riders do not use such high pressure that the rim fails. If anyone disagrees, please comment.

I decided that my 37mm wide tires on A719 rims were too narrow for sand. I tried some 42mm tires but had fender mount rubbing. If a 42 or 45mm tire will fit on your bike, that would likely do better than 37mm.

I eventually resorted to building up another touring bike that takes 26X2.0 tires.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:23 AM
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If it's loose sand, just buy a pugsley. It is never going to be fun on a road bike.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:05 PM
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I've put 37 and 42 mm Marathons on my A719 rims - worked fine.
The wider Marathons work just about as well as or perhaps a little better than any other touring style tire in sand.
Try Schwalbe Hurricanes ? They have a smoother center and treaded edges.
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Old 07-06-10, 10:48 PM
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Tread isn't really an issue with loose sand, there just isn't much to grab hold of. The key is wide tires and low pressure. Or just go slow with your current slicks.
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Old 07-06-10, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jtgotsjets View Post
If it's loose sand, just buy a pugsley. It is never going to be fun on a road bike.


Yup that's the answer!...

Assuming that's too much investment...fit the widest tires your frame will allow...a bit of tread is useful, but doesn't have to be knobby...run as low pressure as you can stand. That will help...how much sand and how far you'll be able to ride depends on the width of the tires and pressure relative to the weight of you and your bike and how soft the sand is. Even on a Pugsley at some point you are walking.
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