Tyres in soft sand

Swaggie

Moderator
I have used Mudies for years on lots of sand & the type of tyre you use daoesn't make much difference but the tyre pressure & the drivers experience makes heaps of difference.
Hi Bill
Ive only used muddies on sand,It took a couple of days for me to realise although quite low 8psi was my optimum tyre pressure at the time.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
the tyre pressure & the drivers experience makes heaps of difference.

I agree.

I searched for evidence one way or another on tyre width on sand. There are tons of forums and even some websites with strong opinions one way or the other. And lots with failed or unbelievably complex maths on air pressure. But surprisingly I can't find anything that is more than an opinion. No youtube comparisons. No real tests. There must be something. A lot of people regualry drive on the sand. And the more people appear to drive on sand, the less strong their opinion from what I see. They tend to focus on sidewall height and pressure. That makes a clear and measurable difference. Get 16 or 17" rims - tops unless you go for 33 to 35" tyres.

I believe the consensus or average opinion is tyre width is completely irrelevant for driving on sand. That seems to back up my personal experience and what Mick Hutton said.

I think the tyre width has 0.1% to do with the outcome, with driver skill, vehicle weights, air pressures, tyre construction and conditions making up the remaining 99.9%. LOL

Just go for the tyre that suits you for other reasons, like availability in the bush, and sidewall height is my recommendation. Don't worry about the width. I think you should focus on getting the smallest rims you can fit, and afford, so you can have decent side walls.
 
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Grinbot

Member
Good ol' Robert Pepper released this YouTube video a few days ago: "Are wide or narrow tyres best for a 4x4?" -

As usual, he gets into the details, but I think this is a fair summary:

The contact patch is not much different for narrow or wide (for the same diameter); a little bit bigger for wide. So as Boobook said: tyre width is not very significant.

But narrow tyres are better simply because of less unsprung weight and the multiple benefits you get from that.
 

boobook

Well-Known Member
Good ol' Robert Pepper released this YouTube video a few days ago: "Are wide or narrow tyres best for a 4x4?" -

As usual, he gets into the details, but I think this is a fair summary:

The contact patch is not much different for narrow or wide (for the same diameter); a little bit bigger for wide. So as Boobook said: tyre width is not very significant.

But narrow tyres are better simply because of less unsprung weight and the multiple benefits you get from that.
Robert Pepper explains things with a good mix of technical arguments and common sense.
 

hiluxxury

Active Member
I agree.

I searched for evidence one way or another on tyre width on sand. There are tons of forums and even some websites with strong opinions one way or the other. And lots with failed or unbelievably complex maths on air pressure. But surprisingly I can't find anything that is more than an opinion. No youtube comparisons. No real tests. There must be something. A lot of people regualry drive on the sand. And the more people appear to drive on sand, the less strong their opinion from what I see. They tend to focus on sidewall height and pressure. That makes a clear and measurable difference. Get 16 or 17" rims - tops unless you go for 33 to 35" tyres.

I believe the consensus or average opinion is tyre width is completely irrelevant for driving on sand. That seems to back up my personal experience and what Mick Hutton said.

I think the tyre width has 0.1% to do with the outcome, with driver skill, vehicle weights, air pressures, tyre construction and conditions making up the remaining 99.9%. LOL

Just go for the tyre that suits you for other reasons, like availability in the bush, and sidewall height is my recommendation. Don't worry about the width. I think you should focus on getting the smallest rims you can fit, and afford, so you can have decent side walls.
Yes I found the same - there is little out there to confirm.

I have found from my cycling experience that increased volume and therefore floatation plays an important role on sand. I have a fatbike with 26x5.0in (5 inches wide) tyres. While the rim on the fatabike is 26in, the outside diameter of the wheel is equivalent to a 29x2.0in mountain bike.

With the increased volume, I can run the fatbike at 5psi day and night on any terrain whereas I'd be bouncing off the rim running this pressure on my 29x2.0 bike, which runs at about 30psi. The fatbike will traverse sand - beaches, desert sand dunes, any sand and snow. The 29in bike will stall on sand, even at 5psi.

Arctic trucks apply the same floatation principle for crossing snow. Some michelin tyres are marketed as high floatation for agriculture etc. Idk know how this applies in rock crawling situations or deep mud but was is nice having extra floatation so I can drop pressures for more comfort and I guess traction.
 

hiluxxury

Active Member
But narrow tyres are better simply because of less unsprung weight and the multiple benefits you get from that.
If that was full story, all vehicles would be fully independent suspension. Maybe land rover is doing something right.
 

Ol' Harley

Well-Known Member
A bit late to this one...

I do a lot of beach fishing, and I've driven on sand for years. I can't add too much to what's been said, but I do agree that the length of the footprint on the sand is a bit more important than the width. I don't take my tyres down to less than 12psi (about 83kPa - I still think in old numbers) and I've never gotten into strife. Drive easy and plan your approach. And remember, sand is notorious as well for little kids and disgruntled fishermen - keep a good lookout.
 
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