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Track/Race Unicycle for Road Riding?

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  • Track/Race Unicycle for Road Riding?

    My name is Bri! I'm new! I'm interested in buying a super light 24''-26'' unicycle for a very short (2 miles max) commute along a very flat cement bike path full of tourists. I like the idea of the Nimbus E Sport Race 24'' (25x1'' tube and tire, 25'' rim) because it is so light, but I have been told by one person that it's not ideal for any kind of riding other than on a racing track.

    Any advice? Has anyone used their track/race unicycle for short rides? If it's not ideal because the tire is so skinny, is it possible to put a slightly less skinny tire, like a 25x1.20, on the rim (the rim is 25'', 22mm wide, with 36H). I'm not really sure how large of a tire you can go without it not fitting the rim properly.

    I have to stick with a 24''-26'' size uni because of how crowded the bike path can become and because children randomly run out in the middle of the bike path without warning. I also like the idea of a unicycle under 10 lbs because I will be carrying it up and down stairs at school throughout the day.... And back in the old days when I used to ride with two wheels, I was a bit of a weight weenie with my cyclocross bike. Also, I will NOT be hopping up/down curbs on this commute, or doing anything that I would normally do on my muni.

  • #2
    Originally posted by bwrightback View Post

    ...
    I have to stick with a 24''-26'' size uni because of how crowded the bike path can become and because children randomly run out in the middle of the bike path without warning.
    I would argue you need to keep your speed down, and you need reasonably long cranks to stop suddenly and to maneuver around obstacles. A light weight unicycle would be fine. I find crank length and tire selection (and pressure!) have much more to do with the feel of a unicycle than weight.

    By all means be a weight weenie if it makes you happy.

    Have fun!

    Scott

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bwrightback View Post
      My name is Bri! I'm new! I'm interested in buying a super light 24''-26'' unicycle for a very short (2 miles max) commute along a very flat cement bike path full of tourists. I like the idea of the Nimbus E Sport Race 24'' (25x1'' tube and tire, 25'' rim) because it is so light, but I have been told by one person that it's not ideal for any kind of riding other than on a racing track.

      Any advice? Has anyone used their track/race unicycle for short rides? If it's not ideal because the tire is so skinny, is it possible to put a slightly less skinny tire, like a 25x1.20, on the rim (the rim is 25'', 22mm wide, with 36H). I'm not really sure how large of a tire you can go without it not fitting the rim properly.

      I have to stick with a 24''-26'' size uni because of how crowded the bike path can become and because children randomly run out in the middle of the bike path without warning. I also like the idea of a unicycle under 10 lbs because I will be carrying it up and down stairs at school throughout the day.... And back in the old days when I used to ride with two wheels, I was a bit of a weight weenie with my cyclocross bike. Also, I will NOT be hopping up/down curbs on this commute, or doing anything that I would normally do on my muni.
      I've also been tempted to look into the new ultra-light unis designed for track racing or basketball because I like the idea of a very light unicycle.

      However, the cost of an ultra skinny low weight tyre, is that they don't make for good riding on non-smooth paths.

      I did once put a very slim 700c tyre on my 29er to see how it handled, and a few days later put the big fat 29-er tyre back on

      Thin tyres require intense observation of the road in front, as even the smallest bump or pebble can throw you off if you're not aware of it, whereas a fat tyre rolls over them easily.

      I'd suggest you check MikeFules posts out- he's probably spent more time riding skinny tyred unis than anyone else here- I believe posts refering to the 'road razor' and 'bacon slicer'? will go into details of how they ride. I recall Mike enjoyed the challenge of riding these ultra skinny tired unicycles, but was also upfront on the fact that they were a difficult ride.

      However, if you do purchase a Nimbus E Sport Race 24'', please do post back letting us know how you find it.
      "You can't outrun Death forever.
      But you can make the Bastard work for it."

      --MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
      "Last of The Lancers"
      AFC 32

      Comment


      • #4
        I think I would tend to suggest the basketball model (http://www.unicycle.com/unicycles/ni...-unicycle.html). At 10 lbs it's not much heavier than the racing model, and the fatter tire will be a lot more "streetable" than the track racing tire. Still light and maneuverable. Just my opinion.
        "I'm a unicyclist. I make my own reality."

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        • #5
          i know it weights a few ounces but please put a light weight BELL on your new Uni to minimize collisions.
          So many people specially kids dont look at the direction they are moving and in half a second you can have fingers in your spokes, toddlers thrown against fences and heads hitting the ground.... sadly but true.

          If you can avoid congested paths specially visiting tourist as much as they like to see you riding. At best choose a time of day when foot traffic is at its lowest if possible. Take care. Hope you find a nice light rig

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone! I will look into the basketball model more. Unless I can put a slightly thicker tire on the e sport race, it looks like the popular advice is to avoid that particular uni. And yeah, I usually ride before it gets crowded on the bike path, depending on what time my classes are. Whenever I see children or families on the bike path instead of the pedestrian path, I get off my unicycle and walk around them. They are just too unpredictable.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bwrightback View Post
              Thanks everyone! I will look into the basketball model more. Unless I can put a slightly thicker tire on the e sport race, it looks like the popular advice is to avoid that particular uni. And yeah, I usually ride before it gets crowded on the bike path, depending on what time my classes are. Whenever I see children or families on the bike path instead of the pedestrian path, I get off my unicycle and walk around them. They are just too unpredictable.
              I round a lot in places with pedestrians. I've never used a bell- I did once carry a one of those dog clickers, the idea being that it's a lot quicker to use as it's carried in the hand rather than attached to the uni.

              Also, as it was to be used to warn people I prefered the click sound over a bell, as some people are going to find it annoying when a dude on a unicycle starts ringing a bell, as it's going to be seen as demanding they get out of the way. Whereas the click of a dog clicker is just a stange noise that gets people to look behind them, at which point they'll see a unicyclist and tend to shift without even thinking.

              But I soon stopped using it as it was so rare to actually need to use it..

              When it comes to kids, I simply alter my path so that, however quickly they randomly dart out, I'll not hit them- the ability to judge that will only come with lots of experience. The other thing when passing kids, or elderly/disabled people, is to slow down to the extent that you can definitly dismount in time if necessary.
              "You can't outrun Death forever.
              But you can make the Bastard work for it."

              --MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
              "Last of The Lancers"
              AFC 32

              Comment


              • #8
                I was curious about the Nimbus E-Sport 24" Race unicycle and took a look, and I saw that it uses a "25" x 1" wheelset", actually an ISO 559mm rim which is usually called a 26" wheel on bikes and unicycles--and really a 22" rim (558.8 mm rounded up) in terms of cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters and most other things. I'm willing to accept that this all came about from good intentions. But really, if someone wanted to confuse and mislead people, could they do any better? Or maybe I should say, any worse?
                \mini-rant

                Bri, I noticed that you also asked a couple of questions in the "Building a true, 700c road uni" topic. If what you're looking for is to see what it's like commuting on a light, high performance tire, how about just swapping a skinnier tire onto some standard (non-muni) 26" unicycle? A 26" x 1.50" tire has the same ISO 559mm rim diameter as that 24" racer and only puts you 1/2" higher up. That'd be 37mm wide, about halfway between muni tasmania's 28mm Schwalbe and MuniAddict's Resist Nomad from that other topic.

                I had that size on a coaster brake cruiser bike that I used as a commuter for a couple of years (original rims, 1 1/4" wide or so, about like most non-muni unicycles I'd guess) and had a great time on it. Lots of nice tires to pick from in that size, and if it turned out that it really was too twitchy for you to want to ride it every day, you'd have learned something and only be out the cost of one tire. You'd still have a nice 26" unicycle to try something else on.

                Just brainstorming a little here... Good luck whichever way you go with it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Would I be able to put a 1.50 tire on the E-Sport race? I don't know what the maximum size is that could go on that rim.

                  I am also now looking into the torker lx 26'', but again I don't know what the skinniest tire is that I can put on the unicycle.

                  I just want the entire unicycle to be super lightweight, which is why the E Sport looks so nice. But I might not be aware of just how impractical this would be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bwrightback View Post
                    Would I be able to put a 1.50 tire on the E-Sport race? I don't know what the maximum size is that could go on that rim.
                    Unicycle.com ought to be able to tell you how much room there is under the crown for a bigger tire before it rubs. Supposing that it physically fits, the question of what rim size to use for a tire (or tire size for a certain rim) has gotten kicked around a lot. Take a look at the earlier pages of that "Building a true, 700c road uni" topic. There's some good discussion about it and also a link to this chart:
                    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width

                    The author of that page thought most mountain bike had rims too narrow for their tires. And unicyclists matching up a rim and tire for their own use seem go with rims toward the wide end of that range. But there's a lot of preference in it, not so much about anything breaking or falling off as whether you'll like the way it ride and handles. A 1.50" tire on the E-Sport's 22mm rim puts you way at the other end of the range which doesn't look good to me, but you'd be the one riding it every day.

                    I am also now looking into the torker lx 26'', but again I don't know what the skinniest tire is that I can put on the unicycle.
                    I don't see the rim width for that Torker anywhere. I see that people have asked about the widest tire you can put on one, and the answer seems to be not much wider, so that might be good news for going narrower. Maybe someone who has one could measure it for you. The all-arounder/cruiser unicycles I have came with narrow-ish rims, no wider than what was on my old commuter bike.

                    I just want the entire unicycle to be super lightweight, which is why the E Sport looks so nice. But I might not be aware of just how impractical this would be.
                    That reminds me of the Weight Weenies bike site that's been around for a long time. The K-Rad tire on the Torker wasn't made to be ultralight, so there's probably a half a pound or more to save with a tire and thin inner tube. Cranks and pedals are other normal things to change just to get a unicycle to suit you and there'd be weight to shave off there too. It might never get as light as the E-Sport, but with the difference in price you'd have a budget for trying and you'd see how much difference each change made. But it's your call. Maybe you've got a bug for the E-Sport and you just need to have one and find out for yourself what it would be like, whether anyone else thinks it's a good idea or not. Sometimes that's just how it is.

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                    • #11
                      Well I went on a night cross-country ride when I got off work and I decided to pump my tires up a bit more than usual on my 20" Torker DX. It became a very...sensitive?...unicycle. Not sure how to describe it but I think I am going to pass on the super skinny high pressure tires for now until I can handle my muni a bit better. Plus, my two-mile commute doesn't begin for a few months so I have time to think it all over.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For a 2-mile commute I would recommend a 29er with one of the Schwalbe tires. There are some that are quite lightweight, and they have enough cushion to be usable in real-world situations; the Marathon Racer 700x38c weighs in at 435g. I'm partial to the Big Apple 29x2.0", myself, but it weighs twice as much.

                        If you go with a relatively narrow 700x or 29er tire, you will want a 700c bike rim instead of the KH 29er rim, because the KH rim is too wide for narrow tires. That'll drop weight, too.

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                        • #13
                          The unicycle to solve your commute and you can take a friend at speed
                          Attached Files
                          Unicyclists control pedals

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                          • #14
                            A practical every day light weight uni tire available for 20, 24 and 26 inch wheels is the Maxxis Drop The Hammer (DTH). The 24 x 1.75 weighs only 375g.

                            It is designed as a BMX race tire and works well on hard surfaces. The dual compound construction provides both excellent durability and cornering.

                            My ride is mostly on tar, broken concrete footpaths and occasionally across gravel and grass to get to another hard surface. There are way too many small drops and bumps for a racing tire to survive. The rim would get trashed.

                            I suspect you would find racing tires very limiting.
                            Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pagee View Post
                              The unicycle to solve your commute and you can take a friend at speed
                              Doesn't look plausible to me. The balance is wrong. The rear rider would have to be far lighter.
                              Triton 36" + 29" | KH 29" | KH 26" | KH 27.5" Muni | Nimbus eSport Race 24" | Torker LX 24" | Qu-Ax Luxus 20" | Qu-Ax Profi 20" | KH / Impact 19" hybrid

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