Beach Racing?

Discuss light weight issues concerning mountain bikes & parts.

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xnavalav8r
Posts: 2643
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm

by xnavalav8r

Anyone ever done any beach racing?

Apparently it is a big thing here in the Netherlands. I wanted to give it a try and entered my first beach race yesterday. It was an eye-opening experience. 42km, out-and-back, on the beach, in the sand and surf. It was my first time ever riding on the beach. I didn't really do any event-specific training. My only equipment change to my regular mountain bike was the use of 29x2.35 Schwalbe Super Moto tires.

My race result wasn't all that great, but I did confirm my fitness is coming along nicely. It was cold, below freezing at race time, so I decided to stay inside as long as possible to keep warm. I wound up lining up among the last of the 500+ starters in the chute. The race began in town but funnelled onto a bike path before hitting the beach, so the leaders were already about 1km ahead by the time I hit the sand.

I managed to work my way through traffic and up to the leading group by the halfway turnaround where I discovered I had lost my gels and food. I took a gel just before the start and must have dropped the others from my pocket while fumbling around with gloves on. (stupid mistake) I think I may have been in the top-50, definitely the top-75 at the turnaround, but with only water and no food, I knew I was in trouble. There was a tailwind on the way back and the pace really notched up. By 35km I was completely dead... nothing left in the tank. And the last 10km were the softest deepest sand. I lost almost 20 minutes after losing contact with my group at the 7km to go point... and drifted all the way back to 181st. Very disappointing.

It was a really interesting event. I'm considering another one next month. But am uncertain at this point. I'm waiting for my legs to tell me if it was fun or just torture...

Willpower
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Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 6:14 pm
Location: Somerset
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by Willpower

Hi, sounds like you would have done ok if everything came together. I am sure that you won't make the same mistakes again.

I am interested in the tyres that are used on sand.
I raced in Den Haag last year in an off road triathlon and noticed that the pro's were using ballon tyres with next to no tread, how does this work?

I will be racing there again this year in the World Cross-tri championships so I will be putting in some beach training between now and July, any tips will be appreciated.

by Weenie


HillRPete
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Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

Sounds like a fun race. Doubt it's all down to nutrition though, if you're out of fuel after 35k. Your body's reserves should get you further than that.

xnavalav8r
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm

by xnavalav8r

Willpower... everyone uses these balloon tires. I was going to use a set of Schwalbe Furious Fred 29x2.2 tires but was strongly advised not to. After doing some research, and looking at photos from past races, everyone was using the fattest, slick tires they could squeeze into their frames. I was very happy with the performance of the Super Motos... even on ice and snow. They were heavier than my normal tires, but performed pretty well.

Wassertreter... yes, it could be that my fitness sucks. This was my first mtn bike race since 1998. I raced road and 'cross after that, but haven't done any real racing at all since 2009. So, for a guy who is 40+ and just getting back into racing, I was pretty happy to hang with the fast guys for even half the race. I'll never really know what could have been...


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the_marsbar
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Location: Denmark
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by the_marsbar

That looks like a tough race. It looks very flat. Cross bikes not allowed?

HillRPete
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Location: Pedal Square

by HillRPete

xnavalav8r, oh, I didn't intend to insinuate lacking fitness on your part, maybe just very aggressive pacing? That sand sure eats power.

xnavalav8r
Posts: 2643
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm

by xnavalav8r

Wassertreter: Don't worry... I didn't take it that way. I'm just not as fit as I'd like to be. It's a fact. The sand does eat power though. I was amazed to see the winner finished in 1:18. But he's a pro rider and an animal on the bike.

Marsbar: I specifically asked about using a 'cross bike. It was pan-flat with a huge headwind for the first half of the race. I was told no. In hindsight, I think I would have been running a lot with the 'cross bike. It's ok to ride a 'cross bike through soft sand for 50 or 100 meters, but I would have been carrying it for a few kilometers in this race. Some spots were simply unrideable even with the balloon tires... I can't imagine what it would have been like on 34mm 'cross tires.

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michel2
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Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:47 am
Location: somewere floating between here and the other side

by michel2

My best result was 30 th place in egmond pier egmond, my hartrate averaged 180 something and i was knackerd, iits one of the things i miss most about living in australia, all these awesome beaches and no racing (;
Super moto or big apple r a good choice but dont pump them up rock hard, i think around the 22 psi worked good for me.
In belgium thy have a serie's of beach races a mate of my ( back home) just had a bike made purposely for the beach!,

Btw schoorl is also home to one of dutch beach specialist, i cant think of his name
But he won manny races early 2000

serum
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:27 pm

by serum

I ride all year, at every weather condition and the cold in combination with no food is an absolute killer for me. I'm now using Maltodextrin in a water-bottle, mixed with some concentrated orange lemonade along with some salt. It's easy to squeeze 80grams of carbs into a 500ml bottle, I normally use it on longer rides, but experienced it works well on short and intensive rides too. It's very effective for me. Careful not to waste any on your drivetrain, once dried it sticks like crazy :)

although normally carbs are essential during longer rides, for short intensive rides they increase performance as well. This surprised me, till i found this article;

http://www.scriptiebank.be/scriptie/eff ... statie-op-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I'm a way better performer in the heat than the freezing cold. My heartrate is significant lower in the summer than the winter.

What tire pressure where you using? Key to successful sand-races are to use a low pressure! I'm running a set of 2.4 racing ralphs in at 1.6 bar to avoid sinking in the sand. This works miracles.

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Ghastly
Posts: 465
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:43 pm
Location: Belgium

by Ghastly

I'll see you in Knokke (Belgium) on march 3th, then! ;-)

Last one I did was in De Panne (Belgium also). With a poor fysical shape I started on the 4th or 5th line (1200 starters!) and was already knockered at the first turning point (4km)! The remaing 50k's I did on willpower. Did had some luck in the first kilometer where they fell right behind me. Some dude let his dog loose into a bunch of 1200 riders...

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I'm number 114 ;-)

xnavalav8r
Posts: 2643
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:09 pm

by xnavalav8r

Ugh! I took my mtn bike out for the first time today since the beach race. After the race, I very meticulously washed, dried, and lubed everything. But today the wheel bearings were screaming like a couple of altar boys at the pope's retirement party. I didn't feel any grinding or excessive drag, but there is definitely a problem with the bearings. An overhaul is in order. I'm not sure I want to do any more beach races...

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michel2
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Location: somewere floating between here and the other side

by michel2

Yes u do ! (;
I used coat my bike in vaseline spray, good quality sealed bearings should be able to withstand the abuse. But it is hard on the gear but with propper messure's you should be fine

CamMancuso
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:37 am

by CamMancuso

You guys need some fat bikes! A beach race would never go over in the states, you get tickets for even thinking about riding on the beach here

by Weenie


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Ramjm_2000
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:26 pm
Location: US of A

by Ramjm_2000

Yup a light-ish fatbike would be ideal i'd bet!

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