The Koga BeachRacer has been making waves since the Dutch brand unveiled a prototype at the beginning of the year. On Sunday 8 December, Koga Mountain Bike Team pro Ramses Bekkenk (Koga MTB team) piloted the 29in-wheeled bike to victory in the SRAM-sponsored 52km Noordwijk beach race. It was his second victory in the event, and he beat pros such as local rider Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge).
Everything about the frame is designed to make it steady when riding on sand. The seat tube angle is 74 degrees, to get the rider right over the cranks in a TT-like position, and the head tube angle is 71 degrees, to help provide a stable platform.
There’s an extra centimetre in the chainstays compared to the standard cyclocross frame, and it all adds up to give the bike a wheelbase of around 110cm. It may corner like an oil tanker, says Bekkenk, but on Holland’s wide, windswept beaches, nimble cornering is hardly a priority.
Ramses Bekkenk's Koga Beachracer
Koga produced the flat drop bars to help riders obtain a stable and aero position on the bike. While the production model is kitted in fairly standard componentry – sand and salt mean it needs replacing a lot and the company wanted to help customers keep costs down – Bekkenk’s BeachRacer was fitted with Shimano Di2 gearing and hydraulic disc brakes. The Di2 is holding up well to the sand, brine and frequent jet-washing, says Bekkenk.
Tyres – a critical choice to cope with the shifting soft sands – are a Schwalbe Super Moto on the back and a slightly narrower, more treaded Schwalbe Thunder Burt on the front, where there’s just enough clearance for the 2.1in width tyre in the custom fork. Bekkenk’s tyre pressure is incredibly low: 0.8 Bar (11.6psi).
Sand and brine conditions mean rust is inevitable
A chain and bottom bracket bearings will last about 500km and chainring and cassettes a couple more hundred kilometres. Bekkenk has a Mortop bottom bracket in the English-threaded frame because bearings are cheap and easy to replace.
Gearing is a single 42T front chainring coupled with an e*thirteen chainguide and an 11-28 cassette, which is just enough range to cope with barrelling tailwinds power-sapping sand and inevitable headwinds.
BikeRadar had a go at beachracing courtesy of Koga, so stay tuned for a feature on the resurgent discipline. In the meantime, click on the gallery for more photos of this radical bike.
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Koga BeachRacer (54cm custom)
- Fork: Koga BeachRacer
- Headset: Cane Creek 1-1/8
- Stem: Extralite Ultrastem OC (100mm)
- Handlebars: Koga custom (40 at bend)
- Tape: Deda
- Front Brake: Shimano BR-R785 road disc
- Rear Brake: Shimano BR-R785 road disc
- Shifters: Shimano Di2 R785 (prototype)
- Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 11sp, 11-28
- Chain: KMC X11sl
- Crankset: SRAM XX 42T
- Bottom Bracket: Mortop BSA thread
- Pedals: Crank Bros Candy 11 with custom cage
- Hubs: Shimano HB-CX75 (prototype)
- Rims: Notubes Iron Cross
- Spokes: Sapim Race and D-Light (mix)
- Seatpost: KCNC Ti Pro Lite , 27.2mm, Carbon-Ti seat clamp
- Front tyre: Schwalbe Thunder Burt
- Rear tyre: Schwalbe Super Moto
- Saddle: Selle San Marco Superleggera Aspide
- Accessories: e*thirteen chainguide, Timex computer
- Height: 176cm (5ft 9in)
- Weight: 68kg (149lb)
- Saddlesetback: 0mm
- Seat-tube (c-t-c): 540mm
- Saddle height: 730mm
- Headtube length: 100mm
- Toptube length (c-t-c); 560mm
- Total bike weight: 9.2kg (20.3lb)