3.0 fireball on dirt?

Does any one use the fireball for muni rides? If so how do you like it?

I’ve always thought that huge tread on mountainbike tires was overkill. I’m in the market to replace my original kh-24 tire and I’m hesitant to go for the infamous gazz.

Comments are welcome from non-fireball users as well.

-Eric

I used the Fireball at Moab this last weekend. It has great traction on slickrock, but it got bogged down in deep sand more than the 24x3 Gazz that my brother-in-law was using.

The Fireball has a very abrupt edge–it is anything but a round profile tire. This makes side hills a much tougher challenge.

I love the lightweight feel of the Fireball, but I’m putting my Gazz back on for most of my riding. The Gazz does incredibly well in loose rocks, which we have lots of.

David Maxfield
Mitchell, SD

If your trails aren’t too steep, and if they stay pretty dry, the Fireball should work fine. But as soon as it gets wet, or when you want to ride on the steep, you’ll be very aware of the lack of knobs.

The Gazz has an extreme amount of knobbiness, probably more than one needs most of the time. A tire of similar width, but lighter, might be perfect for me…

I really love the Gazz tire, it does amazing things, Eric. I have a motto: In Gazz We Trust. It does great on rocky surfaces but it does not turn well compared to a smaller tire. However, I think the problem can be overcome with proper technique.

BTW I have a used Gazz tire with worn-down knobbies (mostly in the center) that you can borrow to get a feel for it on your frame or whatever. It’s just sitting in my garage collecting dust.

here’s what I use: -

http://www.unicycle.uk.com/shop/shopdisplayproduct.asp?catalogid=15

It’s a 3" knobbly but slightly smaller/lighter than the Gazz.

The Fireball is a decent ride in the dirt. I’ve done a few 3-4 hour rides with the setup and enjoy it. I actually began enjoying it more than the Gazz… maybe I’m a weirdo.

Why are you hesitant about the Gazz?

The Fireball is a great street and trials tire, maybe even good for mild cross country. If you aren’t riding agressive gnarly turf the Fireball might actually be preferable.

However, If the ground is damp, wet, or greasy, you have to use a lot of caution - the fireball becomes dangerous since it slides so quickly when things get moist.

Even if you were applying some solid torque up or down a smooth sandy hill of you could spin out.

Ironically, I put my fireball on last winter and kept to the dry streets doing a lot of trials (offroad wasn’t happening in New England due to the snow cover). And don’t try to tell me riding in the snow is fun. It sucks, even with a Gazz.

What kind of terrain are you riding around Austin?

Joe

I think riding in snow can be lots of fun. Don’t focus your frustration in the wrong place: WINTER SUCKS! Snow can suck when it’s in the wrong place, such as a driveway, or between you and work. But I had a lot of fun years ago riding in it, especially during my first few winters as a unicyclist. We used to ride down snow-covered hills, bust through drifts and plow-piles, and ride on top of giant snow piles built up in large parking lots.

http://www.unicycling.com/winteruni/

Actually, I like winter a lot.

Snowy hills could be fun, but when there’s rocks lurking just underneath, it can get pretty dicey.

I just get frustrated in winter since I can’t do the Muni/Trials I’m accustomed to.

If this winter is like last, I might finally build a studded tire out of an old Gazz.

In any case, those of us up North have a few more months. ENJOY!

the trails here are varied. it is usually dry. can be hilly or flat. there are alot of rocky sections of different types - loose or secured babyheads and slabs of limestone.

ive ordered the fireball and i’m going to see how it works out. my experience with wet rock is that it makes even knobby tires very slick. i like the idea of a lighter tire. and there are times i’ll be on the pavement riding the neighborhood hills. there are nights i can’t get to the trails, but can get a quick workout in the neighborhood after 9PM.

by the way. i’ll be at the camuniwkend. will i regret taking a fireball there? i can take the old tire as a back up.

-eric

In theory shouldn’t a slick have better traction on rock, for the same reason that slicks are better than knobblies on road i.e. more rubber in contact with the surface?

The trails are likely to have dry dusty dirt that would have very minimal traction with the Fireball. I’d put the old knobby tire on the rim and bring the Fireball as a backup.

You could likely borrow a used Gazz from someone at the CA Muni Weekend (probably one of the California guys). That would give you a chance to try it out. Give a shout-out before the muni weekend so someone will remember to volunteer to bring a used Gazz with them. I could bring a used Gazz but I’d have to fly with it which gets to be a little inconvenient.

One of the great things about the CA Muni Weekends is the opportunity to see and try new and different equipment. It’s like a toy store with free demos.

I’m not actually a fan of the Fireball tire. I don’t like the way it turns. You need to pump it up real high to give the tire a somewhat roundish profile so it turns somewhat. If the tire is not pumped up high enough it is almost unrideable.

I like the Hoggy G tire much better. Unicycle.com has them but they’re not in the catalog yet. You would have to call them to order one. The Hoggy G is a fat slick. About 3mm less wide than the Fireball, but it has a round profile that makes it a joy to ride on pavement. It’s a true slick (no flame tread) so it would have even less traction than the Fireball on dirt. The Hoggy G also has a thicker sidewall than the Fireball which means it behaves better at lower tire pressures. It’s actually fun to do turns on pavement with the Hoggy G.

I would think so. That would indicate that a Fireball might be better in a dry slickrock situation like a Moab. Anyone experienced this firsthand?

It would be cool to ride in challenging “Muni-like” conditions where it’s actually drive enough that the Fireball would be preferred, even for an off-road situation. Sounds like this could be the case in Austin. Let us know how it goes.

One of these days, I will have two rigs, one with a Gazz, the other with a Fireball. It ain’t happing anytime $oon, but that’s my goal.

Joe

We compared a Fireball to a 24x3 Gazz last weekend on the Slickrock Trail. Both had excellent traction. Traction was never an issue.

The challenge was dealing with the constantly changing camber and pitch of the rock surface. The Gazz coped better with side hills. The Dyno with the sharp transition from tread to sidewall required more work when traversing steep sidehills.

It sounds as if the Hoggie G would have been the perfect tire.

David Maxfield
Mitchell, SD

Yes. It’s the perfect urban tire for a 24" wheel. It should do well on slickrock too. You need one. Get one. They’re cheap (I think they’re under $20 at unicycle.com). Now that I have the Hoggy G I don’t think I’ll ever use the Fireball.

It would be nice if the Hoggy G had a little bit more air volume, but it does well with what its got. It has some bounce to help with jumps and landings. It loves the pavement.

The one drawback I’ve noticed is that riding skinnies like parking lot dividers seems to be more difficult. The Hoggy G likes to turn and is more twitchy on the skinnies. Tires like the Gazz and Fireball try to track more of a straight line while the Hoggy G will take the opportunity to twist and turn.

Get one. You’ll like it.

And it fits in an unmodified 24" Schwinn!

  • Frank