What tires work best on the playa?

The best bike tires for Burning Man?

Type of Tire

The thing that you don’t want to happen, when you jump on your bike at the burn, is to auger into the sand and end up on your head!

So it is the width of your tire that is important on the playa and a 2″ width or greater works the best.  A standard beach cruiser tire is 26″ diameter x 2.125″ wide and is perfect.  The low profile cruiser tread pattern, that is pictured, is efficient too.

Wide mountain bike tires work fine at Burning Man too.  You don’t really need an aggressively  knobby tire , but if that’s what is on your bike just go with it, they’ll work just fine too.

I run these “small block knobbies” on my mtn bike and they work great on the playa

The main thing about tires at Burning Man is that they are wide enough for the sand and are in decent condition to make it through the week.

FAT Tires

We’re seeing a more and more Fat Bikes on the playa and they are awesome!  The tire width on these bad boys are between 4″ – 5″ so they just float over the sand and bumps.  If you bring a Fat Bike make sure that you have an extra tube with you in case of a flat. The bike repair camps might not have one.  I’ve used a regular 26″ tube to fix a flat in a pinch but it’s dicey.

Fat tire vs. regular 2.1″ tire

You need a Fat Bike to run Fat Tires!

Tires for Decoration

Colored tires are always fun and an inexpensive way to customize your bicycle. Especially if you need new tires anyway,

Colored Cruiser Tires 26×2.125″

Tire Problems

The biggest tire issue that we see at the Bike Gods repair is a tire that has dried out and the sidewalls are cracked and split, either from age or from being in the sun.  When this happens the casing splits, the tube pokes through and you get a flat.  We have to replace the tire and the tube – if we still have a tire. The tires that we bring get used fast! So check your tires before the burn.

If your tires look like these, even if the tread looks good, replace them.