A friend just came back from the beach and he mentioned he decided not to take his bike because he wasn't sure if it would be easy/comfortable to ride it on the sand.

We started discussing if it would be easier dry sand or in the sturdier wet sand, and if the slope would be too much of a hassle. Then we discussed traction and using the lower shifts (assuming we're not interested in an actual workout). After the obvious impasse, I thought I'd be better off asking here:

What should I take into account if I want to ride a bike on the beach?

  • 2
    This is marginally on topic here, but there is a bicycles stack exchange - please look at bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/10262/2077 and bicycles.stackexchange.com/q/34362/2077
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 22:10
  • Thanks @RoryAlsop, I'll check them out. And maybe you could consider adding an answer and linking to those Bicycles.SE posts?
    – Roflo
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 22:55
  • 1
    Fat bikes are great for the beach.
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 1:52
  • On some beaches, riding is forbidden. Maybe not helpful enough to make it an answer, but it's certainly one of the things you should take into account.
    – anatolyg
    Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 14:10

3 Answers 3


Yes wet sand is easier.

Start in a low gear and see what works.

You want weight back - arms straight and head back.

Bigger tires are better.

Riding in soft sand is hard. As in difficult and tiring.

Note that sand and saltwater is hard on a bike.


They do make a balloon tire a wide one for bikes just for beach riding. That is the way to go on the beach. Takes a wide rim. See often in the Philippines & bikes made for beach & sand ridding. Gear low sand has a lot of drag even with beach or sand tires.


One important thing to bear in mind (and the main reason I've never ridden my mountain bike on the beach) is the effect of sand and salt water on all your parts and the frame itself.

The sand is going to clog everything up (bottom bracket, gears and cassette are going to take the brunt of this) and the salt water is going to make everything rust, including your frame.

I'd only do this on an old banger, I certainly wouldn't take your £3k full bounce mountain bike onto the beach.

If you don't want the bike to eventually seize up I'd strip the whole thing down and clean everything out (thoroughly) often. Pay particular attention to the bottom bracket, cassette and de-raillers. Remove them from the bike. Clean them and their housings out, I'm talking power washer here. Greases and oil them thoroughly and put them back in..... Then probably oil them again.

If you do get salt water into the frame your going to have a hell of a time getting it out and all the time it's in their it's going to corrode everything.

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