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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Edit: my original post below is a bit verbose. To simplify, what advice do sand riders have for a rider putting together his first fat bike for sand riding?

Been lurking here for a few weeks. Found my way over after looking into a Jones to ride fat front and improve traction on winter trails here on the Oregon Coast. Hadn't considered sand riding until I found fat bikes. My local trails are average and get boring at times; however, I have miles of world-class sand riding right outside my door. A few questions to sand riders:

1. Since sand and mechanical parts are not so friendly, how often does money need to be spent to replace parts? Which parts tend to wear the quickest?
2. Are the complete builds like mukluk and pugs worthy of sand out of the box, or is a rider better off building up with sand friendler parts? I see IGH rear wheels are popular.
3. How wide, or narrow, should a sand rim/tire be in order to maximize efficiency?
4. Can a rider get away with a narrower rim on sand? That way I could go with the Jones using a wider 29er rim and tire out back.

I think that's all for now. I read through frequent questions and other stickies at the top of the page, plus read as many posts as I could find. If I'm missing some threads that answer these questions, please direct me. I'm not much of a mechanic and don't like to fuss too much with bikes, so that is also a consideration.
 

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Dr Gadget is IN
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You're talking wet sand, vs my arroyo riding of dry sand - and most of the sand/wear issues are related to wet/salt conditions. In dry sand riding, I use a dry wax lube and have no special wear issues.

For efficiency in dry sand you want the widest rim and tire available. I note that me and a buddy rode a while back - he had 65mm rims vs my 100mm rims, same tires - he had to drop his pressure down much lower to float on the sand. His tires were so low the sidewalls were well wrinkled, where mine were just barely starting to deflect. We both left the same width track, but I wasn't burning power deflecting the tires. Also, many people have been surprised by the rolling efficiency of fat tires - at "higher" pressures like 12psi. I recall I was running 9-10 on that sand ride.

Before he got his Pugsley, he commented that following my fat track across soft spots was much easier than being first or following another skinny tire bike. Doing a fat front would give you that kind of advantage - but full fat is better.

Good luck with whatever you get.
 

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A Surly Maverick
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Hi BSV, and welcome :)

1) in a word Drivetrain ! Single speed chain with IGH is probably (IMO) best for wet sand conditions.

2) Yes they are.

3) Widest rim and tyre you can get = max floatation =more ridability and less walking.

4) Depends on how heavy you are (so in my own case = No !)........But, being honest most of us who started with a half fat (front) setup have soon realized the limitations and gone Full Fat.

Hope that helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help above. Essentially confirms my suspicions, but I like to do homework. For others, I simplified my questions into one and am basically asking:

What advice does sand riders have for a newb putting together his first fat bike?
 

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Actually, where he is, there's mountains of sand... really big sand! Beaches & wet sand too for sure, but plenty of soft sand and it dry's out amazingly quick when the sun comes out. If I'd a had a Single Speed down there, I'd a been walkin' most of the time. With a granny and the tires way down, I was able to climb some pretty tall dunes, once I learned to read the wind pack. It's really fine, light sand too. Much different than we have up north. If your gonna ride the Oregon Dunes area to it's potential, set what ever you get up with the 100mm rims or at least the 80's. I haven't experienced the BFL's yet, but I'd venture to guess that this is the place for them! BFL bikes do require drive train mod's so study up first - although for you first fatty, nothing wrong with good ol' Endo's or Larrys. I only had the 65's when I was down there, but the 100's make a huge difference in soft sand floatation up here on the Washington coast. I can only imagine what they'll be like on the OR dunes. Lube wise, you'll get all the chances you want to try every lube you can find. Just like the ATV's, Dune Buggy's & etc., sand & salt requires constant cleaning & re-lubing (for me, it's a labor of love). Sometimes when they're "rode hard & put away wet", I spray the chains & other raw metal stuff w/ good 'ol WD40. It does displace water & prevents rust, and I can alway's clean it off in the morning & re-lube w/ the good stuff. Welcome to fat bikin'! Your certainly in a good place for it. Look forward to my next trip down there!
 

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Actually, where he is, there's mountains of sand... really big sand! Beaches & wet sand too for sure, but plenty of soft sand and it dry's out amazingly quick when the sun comes out. If I'd a had a Single Speed down there, I'd a been walkin' most of the time. With a granny and the tires way down, I was able to climb some pretty tall dunes, once I learned to read the wind pack. It's really fine, light sand too. Much different than we have up north. If your gonna ride the Oregon Dunes area to it's potential, set what ever you get up with the 100mm rims or at least the 80's. I haven't experienced the BFL's yet, but I'd venture to guess that this is the place for them! BFL bikes do require drive train mod's so study up first - although for you first fatty, nothing wrong with good ol' Endo's or Larrys. I only had the 65's when I was down there, but the 100's make a huge difference in soft sand floatation up here on the Washington coast. I can only imagine what they'll be like on the OR dunes. Lube wise, you'll get all the chances you want to try every lube you can find. Just like the ATV's, Dune Buggy's & etc., sand & salt requires constant cleaning & re-lubing (for me, it's a labor of love). Sometimes when they're "rode hard & put away wet", I spray the chains & other raw metal stuff w/ good 'ol WD40. It does displace water & prevents rust, and I can alway's clean it off in the morning & re-lube w/ the good stuff. Welcome to fat bikin'! Your certainly in a good place for it. Look forward to my next trip down there!
I concur with this statement, take this to heart.
 
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