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  1. #1
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    Stuck in sand...

    I started 2016 reading this forum wondering what bike to ride for my commute bike. I grew up with a green 10 speed I beieve from Sears. Rode it all over up and down country roads, throught the fields of the farm delivering food and drinks etc. As a mom in the 90's I started to Mt. Bike on a Treck Mt. Bike in the sandy trails of upper part of Michigan. Fast forward to 2016. I have given my kids two of the 3 family cars. Mom decided to commute to work. You all helped me tremendously and I purchased a Specalized Diverge bike and fell in love. Riding my bike to work has changed my life. Fastforward to today...now. I wanted to spend my summer riding those trails up north in Michigan again. Returned to the bike shop with a fist full of gift cards from my students to put towards the purchase of a bike fit for sandy trails. I wanted another mountain bike. The bike shop person wanted me to puchase a cyclocross. I insisted that the sand I will be hitting will be too difficult for that bike. Regardless I ended up buying a Specalized Rockhopper. Ran right up north along the shores of Lake Huron to ride in the woods. I found it to be overwhelming and extreamily difficult. Partly because the sand was 3 to 4 inches of deeply churned up sand from all the ORV . However, every time I tried to start up again I felt that my front tire was just burrowing into the sand. I spent a great deal of my time pushing my bike or riding up on the edge of the trail breaking my own trail in over downed limbs and fallen branches. That part was fun..but I was very worried I was going to blow a tire or break the spokes. I feel like I bought the wrong bike. It did handle a basic trail fine, rode so smooth, could hardly feel a bump. However, I needed a bike to handle the sand etc. I feel like my bike from the 90's did a better job...or has my age creeped in and played a part in this disappointment.




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    Last edited by jkl1224; 07-04-2017 at 04:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Road Warrior
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    Ice Cream Truck | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    This would be a great place to start your search for a bike capable of riding on the beach..

  3. #3
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    That is my fear...I bought the wrong type of bike
    Why were they trying to get me to buy a cyclocross bike. I'm just sad. The trails I rode on were not all sand...




  4. #4
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    You might try letting about 1/2 the air out of your tires, and get the widest one's that will fit your frame.
    Sand is difficult, speed is your friend but requires a lot of power.
    The ice cream trucker is the way to go if your going to spend a lot of time on that sand beach.
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  5. #5
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    Salemen are so persuasive.
    I ride a MTB on roads, I'm not too proud to announce. I ride 55 mm (2.1") tires, more for long life between punctures, but the comfort over bumps is nice. These fat tires would be great for sand, and there are kid bikes now with 3.5" or bigger tires now for the really powdery stuff. The good news, good used MTBs are about $50 at the flea market or charity resale shop, so your expensive bike shop purchase can be written off without guilt. There are usually problems with brake or shifter cables from storage in the rain, these are $2 items. Oil and a coupla weeks softens up most shifters and lightly rusted chains. I use type A or F ATF (automatic transmission fluid)_ generously.
    The 21 speeds are handy through tall grass for me, would probably help on dunes too. SIS is okay. The 18 speed ones the axle shaft is light duty, I broke one with 170 lb. You may be lighter than me.
    The pacific and diamondback steel frames my last three purchases were very light. The secret to steel is QA on the welding, not the thickness. Steel is very thin now and the welds hold up. I got the last Pacific for $8 on closeout at Salvation Army, the chain was too rusted but the rear axle came in very handy when my $50 Pacific the race came unscrewed and droppe d some balls. I thought I was just getting old, it was like I was 10 years younger when i started riding a full set of bearings again. I think the center races are supposed to be glued to the axle in the 21 speeds, and this one wasn't very well.
    Kid mountain bikes fit me with my 28" legs; if you are taller or very leggy you may have to buy something more expensive. My bargains were all 18" steering tube to seat tube.
    On sand you'll need fenders. Its a stretch to cram them in on US mountain bikes, but I made some to fit mine. You can see them on new new introductions under lounge forum. Drop handlebars you'll have to buy separately. I'm searching for a taller stem for mine, and have the lean forward stubs turned backwards, but sitting straight up is so easy on my *****, who cares about the extra 4 mph I'd get crouching over.
    Have fun shopping and wave if you see me.
    Last edited by indianajo; 07-04-2017 at 05:17 AM.

  6. #6
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    I've found that salesmen at 'certain bike shops' just try to sell you whatever they can get the most commission on. I hope you use a different shop in the future.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  7. #7
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    JKL,

    I'm not familiar with the Rockhopper, but generally speaking, for deep soft sand, you need the widest tire you can possibly get, and run the lower pressure you can safely run without pinching the tube or damaging the tire/rim.

    If your Rockhopper frame and current wheels can't run wider tires, then you might be in a tough spot.

    The problem with sand and soft snow is, once you get a bike set up for that stuff, it's not really much good for anything else. If the majority of your ride is on harder surfaces, and the sand is only a small part of the ride, it's probably best just to either avoid the sandy parts or just deal with it as best you can.

  8. #8
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    You sound just like my husband. LOL. We did have to stop and walk the bikes on and off. I guess I just wanted to ride with out stopping. I'm sad they didn't talk to us about the fat bikes at all. Maybe they just thought we were not serious about trail riding. Oh well. We will head up north and see what the trails up there have to offer. 20 years ago I don't remember all the ORV either. Seems like more kids riding around on those. We used to ride on cross country trails or old snowmobile trails. It seems like they are all torn up by ORV. I hate that we have to drive to specific "bike trails" when trails used to be all over by us. End of rant. Thanks for the advice. Will try to let some air out as well as I know we are heading to deep sand.

  9. #9
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    I ride 50 psi in my knobby kenda 2.1" diameter tires on road, in 18" grass down my rutted summer camp driveway, across my fields after the poacher has shot, in snow, just not on ice. Stopping to let air out and put it back in again would be a ****. Plus valve cores start leaking about a fourth of the time when you open them. I carry a pump on the handlebar of the bike since I travel 10 miles from cellphone service and 20 from the meier's store, but it is a nuisance to take it off and put it on again. (those skinny under frame pumps have never worked, all three wouldn't grip the valve stem. I'm carrying the schwinn foot treadle pump, lightest and most compact solution that actually works for fat tires I've found).
    Stop at the meier's store and look at the fat tire bikes they are selling now for about $200. 7 speeds rear shifter only are not enough reduction for around here with the hills, but what I saw of Michigan was pretty flat. Chicago to Hastings r.t., Detroit Metro AP to Toledo were my excursions north.

  10. #10
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    Thanks. I appreciate that. Up NORTH very hilly. Frustrated at this point. However, I loved the ride of this bike and enjoyed all the rest...just in the sand. I knew we would be hitting a lot of sand and have to ride in a lot of sand just to get to the trails we want to ride on. We shall see.

  11. #11
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    If you ride the beach, go out by the water, the sand is a lot harder out there. But then there is the waves, and dead fish, and sometimes you fall in!
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  12. #12
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    I live in northern Michigan. Sharing sandy trails carrying a lot of ORV traffic can be challenging to impossible. Many of these trails have fall-line segments that contribute to erosion and the creation of sand pits at the bottom of hills. You sort of have to explore the area you ride in and get a feel for where you're able to ride, and where to avoid.

  13. #13
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    I agree with others to first try letting air out of tires. Try 20 PSI and see how that works. I doubt pinch flats will even be an issue - you won't be hitting anything fast or hard enough to have this happen!

    Fat bikes are great for sand and snow, but not much use for anything else unless you are looking for an extreme workout - not a bad thing. :-)

    There is the option of something in between - a plus bike like the Beast of the East:

    https://tinyurl.com/y8rzwvoj
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  14. #14
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    As I am reading this, I keep thinking something like the Trek Stache or the Specialized Fuse with their oversized tires would have been perfect for your needs. Maybe you can talk the shop into making a swap for a comparably priced Fuse 6 Fattie? I bet they will work with you since you have recently purchased two bikes from them. You are, in essence, the kind of customer they want to keep happy. Leverage that. A cyclocross bike like the Crux sounds like it would have been the wrong choice for you. Go back to them and see what you can work out.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  15. #15
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    A fatbike is really the best option for deep sand with 2 to 3psi in the tires. I can't imagine riding in 4inch deep sand in anything less than 27.5+ tires with about 8psi in them. Sorry the salesman screwed you over on that one and I would seriously try to return the bike. If returning isn't an option at the very least try fitting the widest tire that will fit in that frame. My mountain bike tires are 2.4 that I run at about 18psi and could easily do with less air in sandy conditions. I'm 145lbs so you'd have to adjust the pressure based on your weight. I could probably manage deep sand but it would suck.

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