36" TA tire - exploded

Hi All,

I just wanted to ask if anyone had experienced an explosion of a 36" TA tire.
My own tire, used for almost 6000 KM exploded during a maintenance work in which I was trying to fix a leak in the wheel’s valve.
It is a tubeless and the sealant inside the wheel started to leak about a week ago from the valve area.
The explosion was pretty loud and messy (lots of white fluid all over the place), but except for the loud noise I’m ok - hopefully my left ear will soon return to normal :slight_smile:

Could the root cause of this be the material fatigue?
Does anyone have info about the lifespan of a TA tire in terms of KM?


i also have a TA 36" tire. I noticed that small, sharp stones can get embedded into the surface. I guess this can create a weak spot. Did you inflate it beyond 32 psi?

Yes, the PSI was around 36 to 40 - but it never caused any troubles in the past year.

Does anyone run the TA at 32…? It feels FAR too squishy for me at that PSI, like I’m riding with a flat (And I’m not a heavy person). Mine goes up to 50-55PSI… though now I’m scared…

I’d say 6000KM is a pretty good life for any tyre. Not sure if the tubeless setup would make it last longer/shorter though. Out of interest, how easy is it to tubeless-up a TA? I’m considering it, thorns round here have already claimed one of my puncture-patches…

Tire pressure & rolling resistance

Well i have investigated tire dynamics for a vehicle dynamics course i taught at university a while back. It turns out the tire pressure and tire deformation are the major contributors in rolling resistance.

this page from Schwalbe tire company is interesting :

Since a TA 36" tire is designed to be inflated at 32 psi, i have inflated it to 32 psi trusting that the manufactured tested its characteristics and found this to be the optimal pressure.

So far the tire proves nice on asphalt and stone although by the sounds it makes when riding on a road paved with stones did make me dismount once to check for a flat.

A disadvantage of the tire is that it deforms so much that when sitting on the unicycle it is not 36" but a lot less. Since i am around 83 kg it may be warranted to inflate a little more. I haven’t experimented that much. So far the biggest influence on riding has been the wind. I can deal with hills and even sand paths but winds above 4 Bft (>10 knots) make my live miserable.

So i like the TA 36" but haven’t tried something else yet. Perhaps when this one wears out i will try something else.

On the other hand, tires are usually designed to be used on bicycles. Therefore spreading your weight over 2 spots instead of one.


It would be kind of interesting to measure the pressure difference when sitting on the tire though. It could be expanding everywhere else. Furthermore, aren’t the 36" tires designed for unicycles? I never saw or heard of a bicycle with wheels this large.

Have you read the article by Frank Berto? He determined years ago that the optimum pressure for any tire is when you have a 15% drop under the weight of the bike/rider. This would obviously be tempered by the same factors described by Schwalbe. Leonard Zinn has also written extensively about this same effect. I think the 15% drop would be true for any road going cycle, not just bikes. In fact on bikes it is common to run lower pressure in the front since it has about 30% less weight than the rear wheel.

Like an Inner City Bike?

Qu-Ax make a 36" cruiser bike too. But yeah, 36" tyres are pretty much just made for unicycles, the bikes usually use unicycle parts (Such as Nimbus rims and TA/Nightrider tyres).

Qu-Ax’s “Monster Bike”:

Coker’s “Monster Cruiser”:

There are many others, including one manufacturer who make them with ‘normal’ bike geometry specially for super-tall people (as in, they don’t have the super low-slung seat like the Cruisers).


36" bikes for tall people http://www.bikerumor.com/2013/04/26/soc13-dirty-sixer-builds-36-wheeled-mtbs-for-the-exceptionally-tall/

To be fully accurate, Coker made the bike before they made the unicycle; it’s the bike that inspired the unicycle.

Didn’t know that! To be fair I didn’t even know Coker made a 36er bike 'til I searched for Qu-Ax’s one (Which I’d seen in the catalogue they chucked in with my 29er Qu-Ax uni :D)


now i know why they keep asking me where my other wheel went :slight_smile:

Jtrops, is this the Frank Berto article you are referring to : http://www.bccclub.org/documents/Tireinflation.pdf ?

nice stuff!

That looks like an updated version of the one I was thinking, but still the same info.

Also found this site:

time for some experimentation. I have a bike pump with a digital psi readout. Don’t know how accurate it is though. Measuring tire drop should be doable with a laser pointer and a spirit level.

That looks awesome…

I have over 3,800 miles on my TA and I’ve been running 50psi with no issues. I’m also using the black inner tube that Coker sells.

It’s $12,000 awesome… :wink:

It doesn’t look nearly /that/ awesome.

What the heck is that frame made of?!? Is this the unobtanium alloy I have heard so much about?