A fat bike is the best choice when you want to ride a bike on the beach. If you do not have a fat bike, opt for a bike with at least 2.2 inches wide tires. Wide tires will help you gain traction on the sand, thus preventing you from crashing. It would be best if you also rode near the water as sand tend to be more compact when damp.
When you know the proper steps for cycling on the sand, you can ride a bike on the beach without constantly falling or experiencing sudden stops. Biking on the sand is more challenging than biking on solid ground. If you do not know the proper techniques, your attempt may fail. So, let me share the proper steps for an effective and enjoyable ride on the beach.
Ride a Bike on the Beach with This In-Depth Guide
What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial:
- A bike, preferably a fat bike
- Biking gear – riding a bike on beach sand is trickier than riding on trails and roads, so you need protection in case of a fall.
- Puncture repair kit – you never know what sharp objects are hiding under the sand, so you need a repair kit and mini pump to continue your ride if something punctures your tires.
1. Check your tires (lower is better)
A fat bike is the best type of bike for riding on the beach. As the name suggests, it has thick and wide tires, allowing it to withstand the unevenness of the sand as you pedal.
If you do not have a fat bike, you need to check whether or not your bike tires are thick enough to slice through the sand.
Sand makes it difficult to maintain speed and control. However, wide tires disseminate your and your bike’s weight at a larger surface area. This makes the bike easier to control, allowing you to stay above the sand while maintaining a reasonable speed. If you do not have a fat bike, you can use a regular bike with a tire width of at least 2.2 inches.
Moreover, you also need to pay attention to your tire pressure when you ride a bike on the beach. It is ideal to reduce tire pressure when riding on the sand so your tires can widen a bit more, providing the bike with additional surface area. The wider the surface area, the better your bike will perform on the beach.
2. Analyze the sand’s depth (soft or hard)
Riding on the sand is tricky. For this reason, you must analyze the sand before riding your bike on it. Sand tends to be more compact when near the water, so riding your bike closer to the water is ideal. This way, your tires will be above the sand instead of just above it.
Additionally, riding a bike on the beach during low tide is ideal. This way, the sand will be damp, making it a lot denser and easier to ride on.
It would be best if you also looked out for sand patches. Hitting a patch of sand can cause you to lose balance and even crash, so you need the ability to read the sand’s depth, firmness, and slope. With these skills, you will be able to navigate your bike through the sand regardless of how tricky it is.
DIY Mountain Bike PRO Tip: Biking in sand is tricky, tires and technique are key. Hannah Finchamp Pro MTB Rider has an in-depth article about sand and MTB tires. Read it 👉 Mountain Bike Tires for Sand
3. Use a low gear and high speed (momentum is good)
Using high gear when you ride a bike on the beach can cause tires to fail from gripping the sand as they spin—such results in difficulty in pedaling and moving ahead. So, instead of using high gear, utilize your bike’s low gear and pedal consistently. This way, you can maneuver your bike steadily without exerting too much force.
Speed is another vital factor when biking on the beach. If you are riding your bike at varying speeds, gaining traction on the sand will be challenging. For this reason, it is crucial to ride at a significant and consistent speed to keep your bike upright.
Additionally, it would be best if you increased your speed when your bike needs to go over a deep patch of sand. This will give you more control, allowing you to get through the patch quickly. (source)
4. Observe your body position (float the front tire)
Do not lean towards the front when you ride a bike on the beach. It would be best if you had the rear wheel to support your weight so the front wheel could glide over the sand. You can also maintain your weight at the center of the bike by sitting upright or pedaling at a standing position.
Proper position is crucial to riding effectively on the sand, so practice your biking position before hitting the beach.
5. Don’t oversteer (slow handlebar movement)
When you need to turn your bike at a curve, make sure not to oversteer. Sudden steering when riding on the sand can cause your bike tires to dig the sand instead of moving forward. Such can either cause your bike to stop or even crash in worse cases.
For this reason, it is ideal to steer using your body instead of the handlebars. You can do this by slowly shifting your weight to where you want to turn.
By using your hips and shoulders to turn the bike, the tires will remain in contact with the sand, preventing your bike from sliding.
6. Relax (stay balanced)
You are in for a challenge when you ride a bike on the beach. If you encounter difficulties, stay calm so that you can think of a way to overcome the obstacles ahead of you. Avoid panicking when you feel your bike tipping over or when you experience bumps from deep sand patches. Losing your composure during such times will only cause you to lose control over your bike.
For that reason, stay calm and allow your body to absorb the shock and vibration caused by obstacles. (source)
The Best Tires for Biking on the Beach
You may think you can only ride a bike on the beach if you own a fat bike. However, that is not the case at all. You can use any type of bike for riding on the beach, as long as it has tires suitable for the sand. If you are not sure what tires to use, below are a few recommendations:
Maxxis – Minion DHF Dual Compound Tubeless Folding MTB Tire
One of the most popular tires for people who ride a bike on the beach is the Maxxis Minion. It has enormous knobs and aggressive patterns that allow it to grip the sand. The result of this design is a tire that helps bikes during sharp turns and provides control on loose trails.
Even better, it is abrasion-resistant, so sharp objects in the sand will not puncture it easily. (source)
Recommended by Pros: Read more reviews and check prices with this short cut link to Amazon 👉 Maxxis Minon DHF Mountain Bike Tire
WTB Velociraptor Comp Tire
This tire consists of DNA rubber, allowing it to deal efficiently with deep sand. Weighing only 829 grams, the Velociraptor makes a good tire for those who want to ride a bike on the beach as it helps with steering control. It also prevents you from crashing as its wide knobs hold on to the sand with power.
If the Velociraptor tread is what your looking for find it at Amazon 👉 WTB Velociraptor Comp Tire or at the WTB website 👉 WTB Velociraptor Comp Tire
This 2.1-inch-wide tire makes a perfect ride on the beach thanks to its ability to gain traction and rolling resistance on the sand. It is tubeless-ready, so you can quickly fix it when punctured. Still, you can expect the tire not to acquire damage easily as its sides have many plies for added durability. Read more about the MEGHNA over at Amazon 👉 MEGHNA Mountain Bike Tire 20×1.95/26×1.95/Kenda
What do you think about this tutorial? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment down below!
Biking on the sand is a tricky sport, so you need to know the proper steps to do it successfully. By following the steps mentioned above, you can prevent crashing and sudden stops when you ride a bike on the beach, resulting in an excellent adventure.
Learning about Mountain Bike Tires could take years. Let me help you just a bit quicker with some articles.
- Can a tire be great for both street and trail? – Find out in this article: Best MTB Tire for Street and Trail
- Are 26 inch Tires Dead? Heck no…Read – Who is a 26 inch MTB For
- Love playing in MUD – Read What tire is recommended – Mountain Bike Tires for Muddy Conditions
- Rocks can destroy a mountain bike tire – Find the Best MTB Tire for Rocky Conditions (PRO RECOMMENDED)
- Thinking about getting a 26 inch MTB let me help – Should I Get a 26 Inch Mountain Bike?
- Does sand slow you down? It might be you’ve got the wrong tires. Read – The Best MTB Tires for the Sand
David Humphries is the creator of DIY Mountain Bike. For me a relaxing day involves riding my mountain bike to decompress after a long day. When not on my bike I can be found wrenching on it or making YouTube videos at 👉 DIY Mountain Bike Read more about David HERE.
- Ann Trombley. Serious Mountain Biking. USA: Human Kinetics, 2005. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=jwjizfpu9qAC&pg=PA83&dq=how+to+ride+a+bike+on+the+sand&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjKuoiRooL6AhWwmVYBHePqAWIQ6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20ride%20a%20bike%20on%20the%20sand&f=false. Accessed September 7, 2022.
- Dave King, Michael Kaminer. The Mountain Bike Experience: A Complete Introduction to the Joys of Off-Road Riding. Henry Holt and Company, 1996. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=qykZ09XZk1gC&pg=PT96&dq=how+to+mountain+bike+on+the+sand&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8zrCPpIL6AhW5plYBHcx5DWIQ6AF6BAgJEAI#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20mountain%20bike%20on%20the%20sand&f=false. Accessed September 7, 2022.
- Maxxis – Minion DHF Dual Compound Tubeless Folding MTB Tire | Grippy and Fast for All Mountain Bike Trails | EXO Puncture Protection, 24, 26, 27.5, 29-inch Sizes. Amazon. Accessed September 7, 2022.
- WTB Velociraptor Comp Tire. Amazon. Accessed September 7, 2022.
- MEGHNA Mountain Bike Tire 20×1.95/26×1.95/Kenda 27.5×2.1/29×2.1 Foldable Replacement Bike Tire for MTB BMX Mountain Bike. Amazon. Accessed September 7, 2022.