10 Playa Bike Tips

“What kind of a bike should I bring to Burning Man?”

1. Bring A Decent Bike – I know that a lot of people recommend bringing a “junk bike”,  but the quality of your burn is hugely affected by the reliability and comfort of your transportation.  So try to bring a dependable, efficient bike that fits you well and is in good working order to Burning Man. Beach cruisers with balloon tires or a mountain bike work the best. If you are coming from a distance and can’t bring a bike then you can rent a good quality bike in Reno.

2. Bring A Lock – Even though this is Burning Man – unlocked bikes have a way of going somewhere else. Lock your bike, even in your own camp.  An inexpensive combination “word lock” works the best.  Try to have a few extra locks for your camp as people loose them. More detail.

3. Light your Bike & Yourself – Make it easy for other walkers, bike riders, Art Cars to SEE you! Also lights are awesome and amazing. It is really dark out there – you can not be too lit up on the playa!

4. Have spare tubes and a bike pump in your camp. If you get a flat either fix it in camp or bring it to a bike repair camp like the Bike Gods and have them fix it. How to fix a flat.

5. A comfortable saddle is a must and a seat cover is a nice thing to have when the hot sun is beating down. A black vinyl or leather seat gets really hot out in the desert. The most comfortable saddle for the playa.

6. Have some lube for your chain.  The alkaline playa dust is hell on chains. You might need to lube the chain every day to keep your bike running smooth and quiet.  We recommend a wax based chain lubricant like White Lightning or Rock N Roll found at bike shops. Try not to use oil or WD40 on your chain – it will turn into playa crud and will make your chain a grimy mess! How to properly lubricate your chain.

7.  Make sure your bike has a kickstand.  A lot of people put a small slice in a tennis ball and slip it on the end of a stock kickstand to keep it from sinking into the soft playa.

8. Wide bike tires work better on the playa . Tires that are 2″ wider or wider are best. A standard beach cruiser tire is perfect.  Best tires for the playa article.

9. A basket or rack on your bike is terribly handy for carrying your stuff or getting ice back to camp.  At Burning Man your bike is like your pickup truck and you will use it for everything.

10.  Decorate your bike so that it stands out from the others.  It will help you to always recognize it in a crowd of bikes plus it’s just cool! Unique lights and flashing lights will help you find your bike when you are out at night too.