29er Tire Study. Wanted! Active 29er riders and design ideas

Hello everybody!

I’m initiating a study of 29er tires and am looking for people who are proficient and prolific 29er riders to participate. I had the idea based on earlier threads similar to this one, and based on my own experience with 29er tires.

I have three purposes: 1) to enhance the unicycling community’'s knowledge in this area, 2) to help me decide what to recommend to my customers, and 3) to help promote my micro unicycle-building and -servicing business.

The study, ala Greg Harper’s Blue Shift study, will send about 8 road and off-road tires around to selected riders. Each rider will be expected to mount the tires successively on his/her unicycle, ride them under various conditions, take extensive notes, and fill out a questionnaire. I will then collect the responses, develop a summary document, then publish the lot in a pdf that the public will be able to download at no charge. Each rider will also be expected to send the lot of tires to the next rider in the list. Depending on the number of test riders, each rider will have about 1 month to do about 80 miles of riding. This should result in a study that is 6-12 months long. If a rider damages a tire during the study, I will replace it. I will send extra tubes along with the tires.

A review copy of the questionnaire will be available for comment for download before the study officially begins.

I have already obtained the tires, and what I need now is: a list of riders, and ideas for what should be studied. I already have ideas for the latter, but would like to get untainted ideas from everybody else before I do the questionnaire. I will also consider tire suggestions and would add to the pile if it seems warranted.

So, please respond to this thread or PM me if:

a) you have constructive suggestions about the study in general;
b) you are qualified as, and want to be, a test rider;
c) you have suggestions about what the study should examine and how it should be constructed;
d) if you have opinions about which tires should be studied.

I don’t see any reason (yet) why this shouldn’t be an international study, so please participate if you want to, no matter where you live.

Qualifications to be a test rider:

  1. currently own a 29er capable of handling a Big Apple;
  2. enjoy and are proficient at riding a 29er on- and off-road;
  3. have access to on- and off-road paths of varying conditions;
  4. can commit to riding about 80-100 miles in about a month;
  5. can commit to mailing the tires to the next rider;
  6. can change tires and tubes easily without damage;
  7. can commit to filling out an extensive, perhaps tedious questionnaire;
  8. can commit to organizing your test rides to fit the conditions required by the study.

No compensation for the riders will be available except for the exposure and the satisfaction of enhancing everybody’s knowledge.

A brake is not required but would be nice to have. I will also ask each rider to send a photo of him or herself on a 29er and a brief riding-oriented bio.

My current list of tires is:

  1. IRC Mythos II front 700c x 2.1
  2. IRC Mythos II rear 700c x 2.1
  3. Kenda Klaw XT front 700c x 2.1
  4. Kenda Klaw XT rear 700c x 2.1
  5. Schwalbe Big Apple 700c x 2.35
  6. Schwalbe Marathon XR 700c x 1.75
  7. WTB Nanoraptor 700c x 2.3
  8. WTB Motoraptor 700c x 2.3

This is exciting for me, and I hope for you too! I look forward to everyone’s input.

Re: 29er Tire Study. Wanted! Active 29er riders and design ideas

unless there has been a change,those are both 2.1

thats sounds like alot of tyre swaping.im glad i have an excuse not to do all that work,no more 29er…what about doubling the work/test load by evaluating each tyre mounted both tread forward and tread backwards.

You are right on the tire dimensions, Jag. I guess that was an editing problem.

Not all the tires have directional tread. Hmmm… that would be a good optional exercise for the keener riders.

I would like to be a test rider, and so would Jeff Groves.
We could do all the above listed requirements, except that i’ve never made a .pdf file, so i might need some help there.

Anyways, i’d be able to put more than 80 miles, on them in a month, and Jeff could be a tester at the same time, so we’d do double the testing in the same time.

our emails are


this project sounds like fun


Weres Chirokid? He just got a 29er. I figured he would be jumping at the chance to be a tester. Keith did you read this!!! Free Tires!!!

I shoulda known Ryan and Jeff would be first in line. Cool! I will get the tires headed your way soon to get them out of the basement. :smiley: If possible we can get you on the tail end as well when the weather is warmer and the terrain is different.

bugman: it is clear that he’d have to send them on, right? :wink:

Oh, and there’s no need to create a pdf, just download and read. I have the pdf creation software here.

I’m in. I don’t have a 29er yet, but I will before this tour ends.

It does sound like a great way to: 1. Get in some miles 2. Test a lifetime worth of different tires 3. Help my fellow 29er riders determine the tire for them 4. Be able to say I was part of a unicycle experiment with Ryan. :smiley:

The problem is, I only have a seat, seat post and pedals for the SuperSHJag29er. I still have no UNI. Jagur is socked in with a huge ice storm… either that, or he mugged the big brown truck driver and swiped back his 29er as it headed toward Tennessee, or he took my money and is now posting from Hawaii. :wink:

Anyway, U-turn said we had to be “people who are proficient and prolific 29er riders”. Shucks, I just bought one. I haven’t even seen it, let alone rode it yet!

But it does sound like my kind of thing. --chirokid–

Nice. You did the first picnic table on a Coker, isn’t that right, Ben? Did we get that on tape? Perhaps Joey and Dan would want to do some test rides too.

I agree, chiro. Send me your email and we’ll put you on the list. You can practice up while the Toronto and Boston guys have them.

I’m not ignoring you U-turn, just waiting to receive my SuperSHJag29er. I should get her this week. Then I’ll give you a definative yea or nea.

kchirokid at aol dot com --chirokid–

I’m a little confused about how the tire rotations work but wouldn’t it be faster if each rider had one or two tires at a time so the reasearch could be done faster? But all that mailing of 29er tires might be a hassle…

The mailing is the major cost, so we distribute it between riders and compartmentalize the riding so that there is only one mailing per rider. Another reason to keep all the tires together is to ensure that they are all used under the same general outdoor conditions. Yet another reason is so that the riders can be in the same frame of mind, and go back and remount a given tire or two to do a retest. However, your point about overall speed is well taken. Parallel operations are often faster than serial; in this case, however, the context of the operations is very important.

how is the 29" tyre testing going please?

Any chance of an update please?


Hi Mike. We are just getting going now. The tires are off to the first volunteer but haven’t arrived yet. I am finishing up a micro website on the project, including the rider instructions and questionnaire. I will post when it is ready for public view and comment.

We currently have four volunteer riders from 2 countries; we are looking for more. Here is the current list:

Ryan Atkins
Jeff Groves
Ben Plotkin-Swing
Kris Holm

A unicyclist doesn’t have to be an expert rider to volunteer; he/she just has to be willing to work at it reasonably hard when the tires come, so that the study keeps moving.

I need a 29" unicycle.


  1. 700c racing; new category
  2. Might be great for “easy” mountain bike trails
  3. Might be good for riding to work instead of heavy Coker
  4. I don’t have one

So after I talked up a 700c class for unicycle racing for years, we finally have one. 100 and 1500m Races will be held at UNICON (and hopefully at NAUCC). I never bought a larger wheel for that purpose, because I preferred to stay in shape on a 24" wheel for the official races.

Now I not only need one, but I get to figure out how to get it to Japan with my other unicycles. I don’t want one just for track; I’d rather have something more versatile. Something I could possibly ride to work, or in the 24 Hours of Adrenaline, or on rolling trails, or in the Mt. Diablo Challenge.

But I don’t know if I’ve got the energy to make all those tire changes. How long is each person expected to have the tire pile? It might take them a long time to go through them all.

Time to start shopping for a 700c unicycle… :slight_smile:

John, I’m in the same position as you. I need a 29er, too, and for mostly the same reasons (except the racing and 24 hour bit) so keep us informed


The current draft, soon to be posted, has a rider riding two different 5 mile routes on each tire, with two different tire pressures. This is a total of 32 rides and a total mileage of 160 miles. About a month of reasonably-paced riding.

I’d love to build you guys 29ers. Check out this one that I built for a Unatic:

Custom 29er

29er Tire Study Update – March 2004

Hi everybody!

March 2004 Update:

The 29er Tire Study is going well. Ryan, Jeff, and Ben are putting on the miles here in the Eastern USA with the tires spread between them. Tommy Thompson from Memphis has joined the study.


The webpage reflects these updates.

May 2004 Update:

The Big Three here in the Northeast are nearly finished. Things seem to be going well.

Tom Maxwell from Memphis joined about 5 weeks ago and I finally have him listed on the webpage. Welcome, Tom.

We are looking for some female riders if at all possible. We want your feminine point of view!

We are also looking for other riders to test out these tires. You don’t have to be an expert, but you do have to be willing to put in the miles and fill out the form. Come join us.

March 2005 Update:

The Southern guys have bowed out of the study, to our loss. Kris Holm now has the tires and is in the process of evaluation.

Since we are down to 4 total riders, is there anyone else who wants to participate?

If you are a reasonably proficient 29er rider, have access to a 700c unicycle, can change a tire in a way that is friendly to the machine, and are willing to spend quite a bit of time riding and writing, please send me a PM and we can talk about adding you to the study to increase our rider base.

I will be trying to wrap this up within about 3 months, so if you want to help out, you will need to speak up soon.