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  • Muni: tires, spinning and other questions

    I'm very new to muni and I'd like to ask a few questions.

    First tires and pressures. I'm riding a Kenda K-Rad 24x2.3. I have so far run it at 40 plus pounds. The other night I dropped the pressure to see how it would do. I'd guess i was stil around 30 pounds. I thought I was going to have to walk back the the parking lot. I could barely stay upright as the uni wallowed from side to side. Is this a case of using the wrong tire? I was doing okay with the higher pressure but wanted to see if I could roll over small obstacles easier at lower pressure.

    The trail I'm riding on is pretty basic so it's more XC than technical. I assume any tire running at low pressure will require more effort to achieve the same speed. I'd like to try a tire that I could run at low pressure to see which I like for the conditions I ride in. Any recommendations?

    Next question concerns technique. As you improve do you spend a larger percentage or your time spinning the pedals? Here's what I mean. On relatively smooth sections I try to spin smoothly at a high cadence and seem to roll pretty well over any small roots or rocks. If I get to rougher (for me) sections I start trying to pedal in 1/2 strokes so my feet are at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position to give me a better chance of staying upright. Is this pretty common?

    Thanks for any help.

    Take care,

    Brent

  • #2
    Some tyres are terrible at low pressure. Since the K-rad is not really a true muni tyre I'm not surprised it wallows at low pressure. To run low pressure successfully on a muni I'd suggest a tyre such as a Duro 24x3". These tyres are so big and have such a large contact patch that you can run them at low pressures. It is recommended that you use a wide rim for any 3" tyre. Check your frame's clearance before you go ordering one of these tyres, as they don't fit in all narrow (freestyle) 24" frames.

    You'll get smoother and faster in your pedalling as you improve. I would try and focus on pedalling smoothly rather than a stop-start motion. Often your momentum will carry you through rough sections. Also try and scan the trail ahead to find the smoothest route through obstacles - sometimes this can be a more twisty or circuitous line than you'd take on a bike but unicycles can turn on a dime so take advantage of it!

    Happy muni-ing!
    Take a squizz at my YouTube videos!

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    • #3
      Rim width is a huge factor for how a tire will feel at low pressure. In MUni terms 30psi is moderately high, but if you are using a freestyle wheel you just won't have the lateral support of a wide rim you need to keep the tire from folding at lower pressures.

      for example; I started out with a Gazz 3.0 on a DX32 (38mm wide) it was either pretty hard or downright floppy wet-noodle feeling with unpredictable rebound. I went to a 46mm rim and can drop the pressure until it bottoms on bumps without loosing stability.

      Different tires have different characteristics and some work better at various pressures than others. Tire feel is really subjective so while various tire reviews might help you choose one the only way to really know what you will like is to try them, which can get sort of pricy.


      As you get better your riding will get smoother and you can spin through more sections. Try to keep your speed up and you might be surprised at what you can weave your way though, just avoid what obstacles you can and look where you want to go.
      My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bcarter1234 View Post
        Next question concerns technique. As you improve do you spend a larger percentage or your time spinning the pedals? Here's what I mean. On relatively smooth sections I try to spin smoothly at a high cadence and seem to roll pretty well over any small roots or rocks. If I get to rougher (for me) sections I start trying to pedal in 1/2 strokes so my feet are at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position to give me a better chance of staying upright. Is this pretty common?
        I don't know if it's common, but I do that a lot on rougher terrain. Mostly I just stop with the cranks parallel to the ground and do a hop to regain my balance if I'm off balance, or to rest momentarily before tackling the next section. I find it harder to get going again if I'm on a steep hill if I stop, but on relatively flat ground it works well for me.

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        • #5
          You need a muni tire, the K Rad is a skinny freestle tire.

          10-12psi Surly Larry 3.8
          12-14psi Duro 3"
          14-16psi Intense 2.6
          17-18psi Racing Ralph 2.4
          18-20psi Stout 2.3

          Notice a pattern?

          Get a real muni tire, it'll help with absorbing irregualr terrain features, but beware, riding a low pressure fat tire does take some speical skills and a little more muscle
          I dream of hamsters and elderberries

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