I noticed the Nightrider tire is described by UDC as “our new 36” tire, has an innovative, cross cut tread pattern that offers a huge improvement in performance and control." It’s $82, same price as the Coker Button tire.
Does anyone still buy the Coker Button tire? Why? Is there a big difference? Is it possible the Coker lasts more miles?
I ride on streets and sidewalks, just road, occasional light off road. Is there another time-tested alternative to these 2 tires?
And lets talk tubes while we’re at it. I used to use a 29" for lightness, in my 36" tire. I just noticed UDC has the new Nimbus Clear Inner Tube - 36 inch, which it describes as "lightweight … explosion proof and will form an airtight seal around the nail or glass, slowing down the leak. This gives the rider extra time before they have to fix the leak. ( We have even seen this tube fixed with a lighter.)
unfortunately, these tubes are made from unvulcanized rubber which is lighter than traditional rubber but more porous. This means it is normal to loose 5psi to 10psi a night. (!!!) I MIGHT add air once/month, so this seems like a BIG inconvenience. Is it true? Should I just stick with the 28/29" tube for lightness?
There is also a light version of the TA tire (q-ax), at about the same weight as the nightrider tire (around 1700-1800gm) which is good for road and sidewalks.
Now that it is lighter the only downside is that the max PSI is about 32PSI even though some people have been inflating it much more.
You may find some reports about long time road usage here on the forum with this tire 36" Vee rubber tire.
The Vee Rubber Offroad tire has a tread pattern that lies between a Kenda Nevegal and Schwalbe Racing Ralph in terms of tread depth and design, creating good grip across a wide range of terrain and conditions while maximizing speed off-road and on. Tapered and ramped center knobs along with ramped transition knobs provide traction and control, while tie bars connecting the triangular transition knobs to side knobs help with cornering.
Size: 36 X 2.25 inches, to fit 787mm rim
Pressure Rating: 65PSI (32-40psi works great)
Weight: 1625g +/-40g
Tubeless Ready: Yes
I haven’t ridden it that much, and most of the time offroad but I am really happy with it so far.
I also use a FOSS tube with it. Lightweigth, durable and only small loss of air (noticed no big difference to my other munis)
I like the tried and true nightrider. somehow in thousands and thousands of miles, I have yet to get a flat. I have a 29+ tube in it right now, and it works well. It’s half way in between the foss tube and the standard tube weight. It still loses air a little, but it’s not bad.
There’s the coker road tire too, if you only do occasional/lite off-road, but I’ve found the nightrider to be very capable at everything I’ve thrown at it. Kinda looking forward to trying it out on the 32 when it comes out. my guess is that it’ll be a great rugged muni tire outside of the mud. I haven’t ridden my 36er offroad except for some smooth singletrack. The 32 though… could get down and dirty.
As everyone has already mentioned about the tyre choices, I’ll speak about the tube
The FOSS clear 36er tube is about as light as running a 29er tube (obviously depending on the 29er tube used) and is supposedly amazing at dealing with punctures. Weirdly since I got it (must be a bit over a year ago now) I’ve not had a single puncture - whether that’s just extreme luck, or the tube is automagically mending them, I’m not sure (And I’m not about to pull my tyre off to check).
It doesn’t lose PSI as much as you say - I pump it up every couple of weeks. I run it fairly hard (About 45-50PSI on a TA tyre) and haven’t had any issues with this setup.
Do be warned, there are stories floating about online about these tubes spontaneously combusting! It’s usually a failure around the valve, as it tries to push out of the (sharp-edged metal) valve hole in your rim. It’s not happened to me yet and I’m crossing my fingers…
It seems the Nightrider tyre is about the best 36er tyre right now - the newer, lighter TA tyre may be great, the original TA is awesomely smooth for road and I’m sure losing weight from it can only help, but I’ve never tried so won’t comment much further than that. There is another tyre from Qu-Ax but no one seems to have bothered testing it (It’s called a King George), mostly due to it being more expensive than the nightrider and an unproven design.
I had a Foss tube failure from trying to run it in a Coker rim. The valve hole was just too big, and the tube blew out right where the valve stem meets the tube. I got a replacement and tried to reinforce that spot with a plastic washer to fill the gap. Still pretty much instant failure. So I went back to a 29’r tube and didn’t have any problems. So if you’re running a different rim that has a better (tighter) fitting valve stem hole, then you’re probably good. (The stock 36" tube is nearly bulletproof, but man is it thick and heavy!)
The Nightrider is widely considered to be a good all-round mostly road tire. For some reason I didn’t particularly like it and sold the one that came with my nightfox while it was still furry, maybe I didn’t give it a fair shake.
It’s hard to beat a TA tire for smoothness on the road but they are a bit slick if riding on wet grass or mud.
The Vee rubber tire (The Todd) is a great off-road choice, but not as smooth as other tires on the road.
The Coker button tread is a hold-over and has no real advantage other than nostalgia.
Any specific reason you want a Nightrider over the other tires? Not to knock the Nightrider but I don’t know if it’s good enough compared to other tires to warrant international shipping.
If you ride a lot of offroad you might be happier with a “Todd”, the Vee Rubber offroad tire commissioned by WaltWorks. UDC USA sells them but you might get a better deal through WaltWorks. The Coker Offroad tire might not be a bad choice either. If you ride exclusively on-road, a Coker Ribbed XLR might be the way to go. Coker tires are available at www.cokercycles.com and cheaper than a Todd, or Nightrider with international shipping.
The nightrider is rather cheaper than the Todd, and far lighter than the Coker tires - at least the one I have is. It tolerates higher pressures than the Cokers too. Plus, it seems to be the preferred tire for tubeless applications, and this particular unicycle will almost certainly be tubeless.
That all said, there seems to be two different Nightriders out there - the older one similar to the Cokers in weight and max pressure, and the newer lighter one. I’ve only tried the newer one, and I’m not sure when they changed. Anyone know?
My first 36 was a Coker Big 1 with the Coker button tyre. It was great fun, a little noisy on tarmac. The tread caused a constant buzz.
My second 36 was a Nimbus. It had the aero wheel and the early TA tyre. The tyre had very little grip off road in the mud, but was smooth and quiet on the road.
I then added a Foss tube and the whole uni felt lighter and smoother. It’s not just the reduced weight, but also the increased flexibility.
My 3rd and final 36 is a KH with a Nightrider tyre and Foss tube. This is far and away the best set up of the 4. The tyre is grippier than the TA and quieter than the Coker button tread.
It is not a direct comparison as there were 3 different frames, 3 different rims, and various crank set ups. Also, my skill level and style of riding have developed.
However, if I had to choose from these set ups, I would choose the Nightrider tyre and Foss tube.
The Coker button tread had no advantages other than the quirkiness. There is a great affection for Coker as the first 36 inch unicycle, but the tyre was not designed specifically for that purpose and was therefore not optimised for it.