I’ve moved to a location (Israel) with a lot more sand than where I used to live (MD). Anything less than a 3" tire is pretty useless in the patches of sand I encounter. Not all sand but enough patches that make riding a pain on anything less than a 3". I currently use a KH27.5 for muni and I find it works pretty well in small patches of sand but a bit of a pain still in longer and deeper patches. Any thoughts on how much of a difference something like a Hatchet would make with, I think, a 4+" tire in such conditions? Not easy to come by here, but will be back in the US in August and could take it as extra over-sized luggage.
Thanks in advance.
I ride almost exclusively fat unicycles. I have used some 26" 4"+ tires on both sand and snow and if you take the psi down they float nicely. Of course with a lower psi they are not too fun on the road so you have to take a pump and keep stopping or just decide if it is going to be sand or road for the day.
I currently have a hatchet and love it.
I ride a 26" mUni with a 2.4" Maxxis Ardent. There are some sandy patches on the trails in my neighborhood. Over time, my technique riding these patches has improved. You might consider sticking with what you’ve got for the time being, spend a little time sessioning on some difficult sandy spots, see if you improve, before getting a Hatchet. If most of your riding is on some form of sand (hard or soft), then the Hatchet might be perfect. I think that, on sand, fighting with the auto-steer of a fat tire is not a problem. There are lots of steep hills in my neighborhood; I don’t think I would care for the increased wheel-mass of the fat tire. Everything is a compromise.
Not having ever tried a fat tire, I’m curious to hear from those in similar circumstances. Eg. the difference in navigating very loose gravel/sand/snow on a 4+ tire vs a 3" tire like those found on 24s or the new 27.5s.
No comparison, fat tires spread the load out providing lower ground preasure ,generally (float) on top of the soft stuff. Narrow tires have high ground preasure and sunk in the soft stuff.
Alright I’ll have to consider a Hatchet. Looks to be about a pound heavier than my KH27.5 but you can never have enough unicycles. Shhh, don’t tell my wife.
I remember the first time I rode a uni with a 4" tire. It was many years ago, at Moab. Might have been a prototype or limited run tire at the time. Large Marge, perhaps? Anyway, the famous Slickrock Trail starts from a parking lot. First there’s 50 meters or so of loose gravel, followed by about 10’ of soft, powdery sand leading to slickrock rising up out of it at a steep angle. On my Wilder with 3" Gazzalodi tire, the gravel was doable but annoying; you had to really pay attention. But the sand was really soft and fine, and really a crapshoot to get across with hopping, or getting bogged down.
On this uni with the 4" tire, the gravel stretch became like a sidewalk. No thought at all to cruise down it. And the deep sand was like silk; I continued cruising right across it and onto the slickrock. Wow! A very big difference from 3" to 4"!
So you just have to decide if you want to trade a little weight and sluggish riding on the harder surfaces for something that will make the sand easy. It might even make the sand a little boring to ride on after a while…
John this is exactly what I was looking for. My kh27 5 with the Kenda is just OK on sand. Any stretch of loose deep sand and I’m a goner. Not so much fun. Sounds like the hatchet would be a good choice. It comes with nimbus 165 cranks right? Nimbus has always put on longer cranks than Kris stock. Any thoughts on the extra length for the hatchet vs 150s?
I don’t have one, but I would start with 150s. My G36 and my Muni both have 150s and that size makes sense (for me) in both cases.
I agree. I do have one and I like 150s on it.
I have one with a Lou and prefer the 165’s. Almost all my riding is on soft/loose stuff. My skill level is pretty low too.
Not saying your skill level is low, just think that’s why longer cranks are better for me. I have longer on the road uni’s too.