36" Tire BLOWOUT while riding.

Good to hear, Dustin…let us know if you feel any difference.

The fact remains that UDC’s airfoil rim supplier has slightly reduced the diameter of these rims. Whatever the reason, it is unacceptable. You never heard about tires blowing off the old rims. This issue of tire fit is EASILY correctable. But UDC has been overly-protective of the identity of the airfoil manufacturer.

I think this is because currently, there is one manufacturer in the world who is able and willing to make 36" rims. Until they find an alternative supplier for rims, they probably don’t want to piss off the only current supplier. The current situation is a problem for riders round the world anyway, as the non-US unicycle.coms have to pay a fortune for their airfoil rims, because they can’t just come in the containers with all the other unicycle stuff that comes direct from Taiwan.

The hassle if they did lose the airfoil makers is that even if they find a replacement maker, these things take time to set-up. The current KH hub took years to get sorted.

Anyway, lets just hope they can find someone in Taiwan or wherever who can make an aluminium rim, then we’d finally have the chance to buy an almost completely unicyclist designed 36" unicycle.


I probably had a run of bad luck and ended up with several bad tubes. I hesitate to call them defective because we are running the tube beyond their design size. I think I just had a bunch that had some thin sections in the rubber. One herniated and blew when I first pumped it up to stretch it out. The others failed when I first pumped up the tube after it had been placed in the tire. I was using the Schwalbe tubes which are considered good tubes for the Coker conversion.

I’ll give the 29er tubes a try again. When they worked they worked well (lighter and a more lively feeling to the tire). I’m too lazy right now to order the tubes and go through the hassle of installing them.

i emailed them, and they told me april.

this is what I was planning on, until I saw the price for shipping. for a rim that size, shipping is $65 USD, so if I got the steel rim now and upgraded later, the airfoil would actually cost me $160 USD !!

Oh perfect! Thanks for letting me know.

Ouch, hadn’t thought of that. I’d only ever buy a coker rim at some point when I was likely to meet up with Roger from unicycle.com soon, but I guess in a big country like the USA, unicycle.com don’t turn up at most of your unicycle events.

In the UK, thanks to them having to be shipped from the USA, the airfoil costs £90, which because dollars are worth next to nothing any more is about 2 million dollars (actually it’s $180), even before shipping. So you guys are pretty lucky really.


I ride my arifoil with a 36" tube, however one of my teammates rides his 36" with a 29" tube. HE uses it daily and for general transportation in the sun, rain, snow, ice, etc and has had the same tube in the tire since August without issue. Its a tad lighter and helps control with a standard rim/radial 360 frame. I’d rather not chance it on my airfoil rim though after hearing the horror stories of blow outs.

29er tube and Wheel TA

I have found that even with a new Wheel TA tire, 1 year old Airfoil rim, a strapping tape rim strip (three layers thick) and the Schwalbe A19 29er tube and I run at 50 psi plus consistently, you have to be really careful about the installation procedure.

I followed U-turn’s directions and have had just one blow-out upon initial inflation to seat the bead (when I got in a hurry and didn’t really do all the stuff I outline below). I’d say the fit between the TA tire and the Airfoil rim is not ideal even in these older (2nd generation/powder coated??) Airfoils. The tire bead seems too easy to install.

My improvements to U-turns excellent instructions to accound for the bad tire/rim fit and the finickey 29er tube:

  1. If your TA tire has been used for a while on the steel rim, get a new one with your new Airfoil. Don’t try to reuse the old one. It may not seat well and is more likely to blow off -mine did.

  2. Use the Schwalbe bottle of goo on the tire beads

  3. Use the clamps as suggested, but also use your hands and some muscle to push the bead down into the center of the rim chanel to get both tire sides on.

  4. The biggest deal is to inflate Slowly, in short bursts initially and work with your hands to center the rim/wheel inside the tire. The Schwalbe goo is good for this phase. Inflate a bit and adjust again. Use a rubber mallet to hit the tire on the tread to try to push down down the “high” spots. Bounce the tire/wheel on the ground too. You can watch the tire “casting marks??” that run along the side of the bead, parallel with the tire to see if the tire bead is or is not as evenly seated in one area over another. Give it a spin in the frame and look for even seating of the tire. If it seems off balance (out of round), reduce pressure and readjust and try again. Once its perfect - or as close as you have the patience for, inflate to 50-55 and let it sit for a day - in an area away from your jumpy cat or newborn baby. If it’s gonna blow it will during this time and it will save you some skin, scabs and pain later on.

  5. Last thing, I haven’t had good luck patching a 29er tube that developed a hole. If you get a flat, plan on changing it at home with all your tools/clamps and goo and use a new tube.

I’m with you Tom that the rim / tire fit is far from ideal and hate it that the products fit so poorly to require such a rediculous procedure and have to risk UPD not only from the usual hazards, but from blow out too.


How did you measure this, unisk8r? Is there a definitive way to tell the older Airfoils apart from the newer ones? * I have 2 Airfoils at my house, not built up into wheels, one is definitely a newer, smaller one from UDC UK and the other I’m 95% sure is an older, bigger one. I just measured their diameters with a tape measure and they are both 802mm. I tried laying one on top of the other but they look exactly the same. I guess I need a more accurate measuring device…?

  • looking for the scratched ‘X’ will not help as not all newer rims are marked as such, only ones from the US UDC.

Tube was Twisted

I just got a replacement tube in the post today and when I started taking the old one out I noticed that it was twisted. It had two twists in it one on the far side from the rupture and the other right where the tube blew out.

So I’m wondering was the tube put in the tire like that when I bought it or did it twist itself after the blowout while I was wheeling it back to my car?

I’ve attached two photos…

My newer rim measured 803mm, and the older one 807. At least 4mm difference. That can still be substantial when it comes to tire fit.

Also, I could not find an “x” on my newer, smaller rim.

thayr, in my opinion, having seen quite a few wheels, I’d say that tubes don’t get twisted like that from blowouts. I’ve certainly never seen such an event. The twist appears to be from an improper installation.

If the blowout occurred at or near the twist, then it’s safe to say the twist probably contributed to the blowout.

Yeah, in the second photo I attached it shows the blowout in the exact spot of one of the twists.

Hearing that others ride with high PSI makes me think even more that the tube was already twisted in my tire. I didn’t put alot of air into it so the twist could explain the blowout.

Case closed?

Oh yeah, should I be angry with someone?