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Most of my riding is on rocky 4WD roads. But the occasional dry wash is loaded with loose deep sand. The front tire is constantly catching bringing me to a stop. I've done a header or two, thank goodness for that helmet.
I'm running an older 26" Intense FS, with 2.2 wide front and 2.1 wide rear.
Is a wider front tire the solution? I can easily do a 3.0" wide front, perhaps even a 4.0 wide. Is there a tire out there that I could fit? My Intense has a crazy hub with flat aluminum spokes so I'd like not to change the wheel/rim.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.
 

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furker
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How wide are your rims? Crazy looking hubs with bladed spokes makes me think of DT Swiss XC race wheels with really narrow rims. Narrow rims won't work well with a 3.0" or 4.0" wide front tire. Even a 2.6" can be problematic. Especially tubeless at low pressure (which is what you will want for sand).

How wide a tire can you fit in the back? I personally wouldn't run a 2.1 in the rear with 3.0 or 4.0 in the front. Too much difference in how the tires ride.

The good news is that even just a 2.4" would probably make the short sections of sand bearable, while still working well on the rocky 4X4 trails where you spend the most time. If you have narrow rims I'd swap the 2.2" front tire to the rear and try a 2.4" in the front. But even a 2.4" is pushing it for really narrow rims depending on your weight.

Check the rim maker and tire maker's websites first to see what the max tire size is for your rim. You don't want to trade going over the bars from bogging down in sand, for going over the bars because your front tire folds over because the tire is too big for the rim at low pressure.
 

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4.0 and larger is the sweet spot for the conditions you describe. Throw a leg over a fat hardtail and see if it doesn’t make you smile. You could change your handle to Old, Slow and Fat. That is my suggestion.
 

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Most of my riding is on rocky 4WD roads. But the occasional dry wash is loaded with loose deep sand. The front tire is constantly catching bringing me to a stop. I've done a header or two, thank goodness for that helmet.
I'm running an older 26" Intense FS, with 2.2 wide front and 2.1 wide rear.
Is a wider front tire the solution? I can easily do a 3.0" wide front, perhaps even a 4.0 wide. Is there a tire out there that I could fit? My Intense has a crazy hub with flat aluminum spokes so I'd like not to change the wheel/rim.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.
Get a new bike.

You describe an additional benefit with bigger wheel and modern geometry bikes. Once I realized they no longer let ass clowns design 29rs and got used to axle hight, I realized you get superior performance with sand just like the rocky roads (and all rocks).

If you feel you have crazy hubs with AL spokes you have more reason for something new. If all you do is ride roads you might like an adventure/tourer type bike more than a MTB - especially if you ride from home and on pavement too.
 

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When riding through sand put majority of your weight on the back wheel...

Your front wheel will stay true, without sinking into the sand.

If you're riding on sand dunes, you'll want a plus or fatty.

3.0 or greater

Sent from my Asus Rog 3
 

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fraid of heights
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Most of my riding is on rocky 4WD roads. But the occasional dry wash is loaded with loose deep sand. The front tire is constantly catching bringing me to a stop. I've done a header or two, thank goodness for that helmet.
I'm running an older 26" Intense FS, with 2.2 wide front and 2.1 wide rear.
Is a wider front tire the solution? I can easily do a 3.0" wide front, perhaps even a 4.0 wide. Is there a tire out there that I could fit? My Intense has a crazy hub with flat aluminum spokes so I'd like not to change the wheel/rim.

Any and all suggestions appreciated.
I feel your pain... Had one of my worst/hardest falls from a sandsnake that tossed me into volcanic rocks... blacked out for a sec and was HARD to get up... :) It's that thing where your FLYING through hardpack and then it jumps out at you that is hard to allow for.

Note, if you've impacted your head at least inspect and consider replacing your helmet!!

Along with what everyone else has said about technique lower tire pressure helps with tire float?
 
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