I have a Nimbus 36 with the standard TA36" tyre, standard (heavy) tube, and square taper hubs. I have the Shadow handle set.
I count myself as an experienced rider, with regular mixed terrain rides of 10 - 20 miles and a few longer ones. I previously owned a “Coker Big 1” with the flimsy frame, heavy rim and the button tread Coker tyre. I also own a KH24 and a KH29 as well as other unis.
My typical 36 ride is a mixture of road and easy cross country - unmade roads, farm tracks, field boundaries and the like. I normally use 150mm cranks preferring the control they give me to the notional extra speed on the flat of 125s. Being something of a purist, I am unlikely ever to want a uni with brakes.
So, I’ve got enough money either to buy some upgrades, or to start saving for a KH36.
I could do this:
New Nimbus Nightrider 36 inch tyre: lighter and grippier.
New lightweight tube. The weight comparisons on UDC’s website seem a bit inconsistent.
New pedals because the ones I have are a bit clicky.
New 09 seat and KH bars for my KH29 (which has a perfectly good pre-09 seat which I am told won’t take the bars).
Various odds and ends like lights.
A KH36 which has:
A lighter (?) stiffer (?) simpler looking frame.
The 09 seat.
The pedals already.
The Nightrider tyre already (but not the light tube?)
A splined hub - but this is not somethign I need for my type of 36 riding.
2 hole cranks which I do utilise on my 29, but may not utilise often on a36.
A much higher price.
How much difference does the Nightrider tyre really make to handling and responsiveness compared the the TA36?
Same for the lightweight tube? Is it noticeably nicer to ride.
How much better is the frame really? Would I notice the difference?
I’m facing a slightly different set of choices for 36er upgrade(s). I ride similar terrain as described above, but occasionally push to more difficult off-road trails and steep(er) downhills. My goals are a lighter wheel and better brake (currently have a v-brake).
The two main options I’m considering aren’t listed in the OP, but you might keep them in mind:
1)New lighter tire that’s supposedly going to be available soon. I took a look at the one Nurse Ben is running, and it may be a really attractive option. The tread isn’t ideal for road use, but probably a good compromise for mixed riding. Weight is the main potential advantage. However, I’m going to wait to see how they get priced and how easy they are to obtain before deciding for sure.
2)Nimbus Oracle 36. Although admittedly not a great choice if you’re actually avoiding having a brake. I’m also disinclined to buy one with the default aluminum spindle - very much hoping they give an option of the Oregon (steel) hub.
I’ve currently got a Big One with aluminum frame (solid and light - diferent than the one you had?), Coker Non-Skid tire (heavy) and 29er tube (similar weight and waaay cheaper than a fancy 36er tube), KH seat/handle (perfect, nothing to change here), and 152mm cranks. 165/137 cranks might be nice if I want to do more off-road, but overall I’m very happy with the 152’s.
My best budget upgrade option is probably to just try the new tire on my current setup. The Oregon hub is heavy, so might cancel out the benefits of other upgrades. And my v-brake is fine for road and moderate xc use (i.e. probably what I should limit myself to anyway).
My new custom uni option is to buy an Oracle frame with a wheel built on an Oregon hub, then separately buy the new tire and disc brake of my choice, and use my current seat and handle. It’ll be interesting to see how that would price out compared to buying a complete new Oracle with standard spec’s.
My 36" has a KH frame on a Coker AL rim with a Nimbus 48h ISIS hub, Nightrider tire, 29" tube, KH Spirit cranks, Shadow handle, and a V-brake; it weighs 19 lbs. When riding the frame weight doesn’t seem to make much difference. The KH frame might be stiffer than your Nimbus frame, which could make a difference. Then again, if you don’t have to worry about brake rub it may not.
Nightrider weights are all over the place; mine weighs over 4 and 1/2 lbs. There’s no guarantee that a new Nightrider will be much lighter than your current tire but it will probably offer a bit more grip off-road.
I’m not sure if others are planning on having some of the new 36" tires shipped across the pond, but that is the way to lose some real weight as the latest prototype is 1 pound lighter than my Nightrider.
Aside from that, if you are using a standard 36" tube changing to a Foss tube (not so cheap) or a 29" tube (cheap and lighter than a Foss) is an easy way to drop some rotating weight.
James, I think you might be confusing the Oracle and Impulse hubs. The Impulse 36" has a wide AL hub, which you would want to upgrade to the Oregon hub for muni (NurseBen has done this). My understanding is that the Oracle uses the same standard width steel hub for 24"-36" sizes.
You can’t go wrong with a KH. I love my KH 29er. I’m also considering a KH 36er as an option. But I recommend the street saddle over the freeride, esp for 36er road riding.
New pedals don’t justify a whole new uni.
The difference in frame weight probably won’t be that noticeable. Difference in frame flex would be a bigger issue, but only if you ran a brake.
For the 29er handle, I just switched to a Nurse Ben handle, similar to Brycer’s handles. I used to love the Kh handle on my 29er muni, but these alternate handles are much more solid (and cheaper, and don’t require a new seat).
So your best budget option is probably same as mine: new tire (whether the Nimbus or the new tire).
James, I think you might be confusing the Oracle and Impulse hubs. The Impulse 36" has a wide AL hub, which you would want to upgrade to the Oregon hub for muni (NurseBen has done this). My understanding is that the 24"-36" sizes of Oracle all use the same standard width steel hub and frame spacing.
If you’re me, you would get the KH and keep the old one. Long as you have space. I have my nice, newer Schlumpf 36" road machine, but don’t like it for offroad riding, which tends to be almost 100% in low gear on my trails. So what I should do (but haven’t yet) is convert my old Coker Deluxe (2002) into a dirt-specific machine. Right now it’s more of a backup machine, with its old Wyganowski road handle and relatively short cranks. There are a few trails around here that are boring on smaller wheels, but quite fun on a 36!
I’m pretty sure the new Oracle 36 (but not the smaller ones) uses the Impulse hub. This from a conversation with Josh at UDC a while back (although I certainly can’t quote him), and word from Ben who saw a new Oracle 36 at OuterBike in Moab. The Impulse has been discontinued, and replaced with the Oracle 36.
Same for the lightweight tube? Is it noticeably nicer to ride.
Foss makes a significant difference, your 36 will feel more nimble, more like a unicycle. Nicer, if that is what you like. I went back the flubber tube.
The Impulse hub is the wide disc hub with an Al spindle that is made by Nimbus. The new Oracle 36 will use this hub (with an option for the CroMo-spindled Oregon?) but they may have decided to re-name the hub since the 36er will no longer be called the Impulse.
What’s the rim on your current wheel Mike? If it’s a steel one I reckon it’s well worth upgrading to a Stealth (or whatever the current Nimbus ones are called now), but then that and the cost of spokes etc may tip the balance towards just buying a KH. I reckon my 36er riding is pretty similar to yours (more xc than road, “long” 145mm cranks, rarely go over 15mph) and upgrading my wheel from the old steel rim with 12 gauge spokes to a Stealth with 14 gauge spokes made a huge difference to the feel of the machine. Lighter tube is also nice - I’ve always used a 29er tube in mine with no problems. The nightrider tyres are supposed to be nice, but I don’t think they’re really much lighter than the TA are they? Apparently the profile makes for a nice ride though - I don’t know, my TA refuses to wear out and give me a reason to buy a nightrider!
My frame and seatpost are still the old steel Coker type - can’t see much point in changing them apart from looks, and they’re not as flexy as some people seem to think IMO (I run a calliper brake on mine and don’t get any rubbing problems even on steep climbs). Or is yours a nightrider multi-tubed frame? (which I have heard various people say are very flexy sideways).
Yeah that’s my understanding as well - think Impulse with new Oracle aluminum frame. So it should also include the Nimbus handlebar system.
A clarification on terminology: I believe “nightrider” is just the name of the tire, which will stay the same. If you want the other limited run lighter tire, see link earlier in the thread (and you have to buy it separately).
Like Scott and James said, it is unchanged from the Impulse other than the frame and colors. They may spec a different brake, Josh said he was looking at the Magura MT 2.
The one I rode at Moab Outerbike had the Oregon hub, otherwise it was OEM, a nice uni for sure, a tad lighter, different look. I have the old stye steel frame and really like it, but apparently there were quality control issues with the frames being crooked, so the aluminum should be sweet.
If you are not a total weight weenie, and you are a big person or someone who rides hard, esp if you ever think you’ll go off pavement or drop curbs, you should consider getting the Oregon chromoly hub upgrade.