Adding weight to a wheel

Hula hoop canteens

For adventuring riders who need to carry a lot of water. Say you set off with a one liter bottle of water in your pack, and 2- one liter hoops, one on each side of the rim.

The stopper in the hoop would prevent the water from moving around. When the bottle was empty, an entire hoop would be drained to fill it.

This sounds like a bad idea, yet there is not all that many good places to carry water on a uni.

Thanks, Ken!

Like you, I’ve always found swooping (and other types of banked turns) to be a LOT of fun.

When you do them just right, it’s almost magical…

…kind of like when you land perfectly in an airplane and the wheels gently kiss the runway!

I’m hoping to get my ride repaired and start getting over to the club meetings again soon. Hope to see you over there…

I’m going to get

I think the unicyclist who made the original post hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while, so I would be very appreciative of feedback from anyone on this forum who has thoughts on this topic.

Do you think this idea of using three tubes (with or without inflating more than one of them) is a viable way of increasing the weight of the wheel (in the vicinity of the rim)? If so, would you do it the way the original poster described or would you do it differently in some way? If differently, how would you do it?

I realize that most people want a lighter wheel, not a heavier wheel, however, my aim in reviving this post is not to get into another debate about the pros and cons of a lighter wheel vs a heavier wheel, but rather to hopefully figure out a viable way of making a wheel heavier.

Fishing weights on the spokes or auto wheel weights for balancing tires on the rim have also been suggested, but it seems like the multiple tube method proposed by the original poster would be better. Anyway, I am very interested in hearing your thoughts on the tube method or any other good approach to making a rim heavier or wheel heavier (in the vicinity of the rim). Thanks!

If you want it really heavy, you could try filling the rim itself with lead shot… :slight_smile:

Tape over the spoke holes as if you were making it ready to run tubeless and fill the rim up from the valve hole. To finish off put the valve stem in and finish up filling from a spoke hole. You could also spray in some expanding foam at the valve hole to seal it up and hold the shot in place. It might settle a bit after a while though. An easier and cheaper alternative would be sand (and it might make less of a rattling noise…!)

It would seem like a good way to ruin a perfectly good rim and good luck if you have to change a spoke, but it would certainly make a 36" wheel pretty heavy.

I have only skim read the rest of the thread so apologies if something like this has been previously discussed.

When I first went to UNICON there was a guy who used to put a wrap of curtain weights in his rim. These are ideal as you buy them on a roll and they are small lead weights attached to a string. He used to have several wraps of them under the rim tape, then put the tyre back on.

In the same vein, you could cut strips of code-4 lead (lead flashing) and double-side tape them to the inside of the rim (even solder them together into a long lead “rim-tape” if you want to be fancy) – depending on the centre depth you might get a couple of layers and still manage to get the tyre on. That is probably a bit more practical than my suggestion of filling the actual rim with stuff.

Why not fill the tube with water? Seems like it would be easier than fiddling with weights. Remove valve stem, add water, replace valve, ride.

@rogeratunicycledotcom and @DrD Thanks to both of you for your excellent suggestions. I would never have thought of either of those ideas and they are both very likely much better solutions than the multiple tube method.

Now that I intend to get back into skatepark riding again, I want to build a 36er that will have handling characteristics as close to my original steel rim Coker as possible, while also having as strong a wheel as possible. If anyone knows the weight of the steel rim wheel that came with the original Coker, that would be very helpful. I should have weighed it before I sold my steel rim Coker. I’m guessing that I will need to add somewhere between 2 - 3 pounds of weight to an aluminum rim to get it to around the same weight as the steel rim. I envision riding my heavier rim 36er (once built) for most of the skatepark obstacles I attempt, but like a golfer uses different clubs for different shots, I may choose to use my lighter 36er for some obstacles. I think it will be great to have both options available to me! This puts my geared 36er build on hold for a little while, but I am very eager to start riding at skateparks again, so while I’m somewhat bummed out to wait longer to get back on a guni, I will be psyched to be one step closer to getting back to the skateparks. And there are a ton of them in and around NYC and vicinity now!

@IvenBach The information quoted above from earlier in this thread are the main reasons why I wouldn’t consider filling the tube with water.

Have you thought about using the self-stick lead weights used by car-tire shops when they balance wheels?

I had originally considered sticking those auto weights on the side of the rim, which might not be ideal due to the profile of the rim or the possibility of them coming loose. Somehow I didn’t think of sticking them on the inside of the rim until you just posted! That may be an excellent option.

I’ve always preferred higher pressure in my tires. Only now am I starting to like more give that comes from lower pressure tires.

Hope you can find an optimal solution that works well for you and is replicatable. Look forward to future videos of you riding.

@IvenBach Interesting! I think I generally ride with around 50 psi, but I may reduce that by 5 - 10 psi for certain types of riding, once I get a bit further along. I think I previously rode at the lower tire pressure before my long break.

Thanks, I really appreciate your good wishes and positive energy! I have high hopes for my comeback, but I may very well be delusional, lol. We’ll see what happens once my wheel hits the skatepark pavement! I’m going to work my way back systematically, starting with the small stuff and going bigger and bigger as I progress, if I do well. At nearly 55, I’m not the same guy I was at 35 when I made my video, but I’m feeling good and I am fairly optimistic. All I can do is prepare and train the best I can, give it a try, and wish for a good outcome! I am hoping to find an up-and-coming videographer to film me if and when I reach the point where my riding is the least bit impressive. If and when I am satisfied with what I’m able to do on my 36er, I will definitely post a follow up video. Thanks again for your encouragement. It means a lot to me.

I feel this more than ever with modern tyres.

I’ve always ridden muni on a 24" with a 3" Gazzoloddi or Wildlife Leopard which have thick sidewalls and are pretty heavy compared to modern tyres. Now I ride a posh 27.5" Flansberrium with a carbon rim and 2.6" tyre with paper thin (still the thickest I could find) sidewalls.

I used to be able to plough over rocks really fast and maintain my momentum easily but with mordern tyres the bumps kill my momentum and it’s really difficult to maintain speed.

Anyone know any 3" wide 27.5" tyres with ‘thick’ sidewalls similar to the old Gazz’s or Duro’s?

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I’d add one of those puncture-proofing liners, because if you add weight, why not start with something that helps in multiple ways.


That seems like an excellent suggestion. I started doing some research to see if it would be a viable solution, but I need to look into it further (or get additional information from forum members) before I’ll know one way or another. Based on information I found on the thread linked below, the original steel Coker rim was close to 3lbs heavier than the subsequent aluminum rim. In addition, the original Coker button tire was claimed to be around 5lbs, though I believe it is closer to about 3.25lbs. So depending upon the weight of the tire I get, I may need to add anywhere between three to maybe three and a half pounds of weight to the wheel (in the vicinity of the rim).

I haven’t done too much research on the puncture-proof liners yet, but the two brands I found quickly on Amazon (linked below) are about 3.5oz and 3.7oz per liner, respectively.

Since I probably need to increase the weight of the aluminum rim I purchase by at least 3lbs, I’d need nearly 13 of the heavier 3.7oz liners to achieve that additional three pounds of weight. As such, I assume that you’re probably suggesting that I add lead weights or something similar and then place the liner on top of the lead weights (or strips of code-4 lead flashing) that were suggested by the other forum members, is that correct? I don’t see how it could work any other way unless there are much heavier puncture proof liners on the market. If that is the case, I would be most interested in any information on the heavier liners (if you know of any) in order to save me the time of searching to see if I can find them. Even if I wind up having to use weights or a weighted strip, adding a liner as well makes sense, so your suggestion is quite good and I appreciate your input very much.

Even though our dear Duros were heavy for their small size, the key to their behavior was the sidewall stiffness (the weight was just a byproduct of nylon’s properties).

I managed to experience the same thing with a Surly Nate in 60tpi but I don’t know if they made a 27.5 version since. But going for the 60tpi (instead of the foldable, higher-end versions), may provide a closer experience to what the Duro spoiled us with :stuck_out_tongue:

Water would be easy to add weight but the problem is that the water (weight) would not be attached to the wheel and be free to flow in the tube. Also since there would likely be some air in the tube the water would tend to stay in the bottom of the wheel (at least at slower speeds) and cause a lot of drag/friction when the wheel rotates.
I use liquid in my tractor tires but it is only for added weight and not increased rotational momentum. Also in the tractor tire I’m not concerned about the added friction that is causes.

Have you considered eBike tyres? Scwalbe Eddy Current is listed at 1300g for a 27.5x2.8. I don’t think any modern tyre will be as thick as a Duro but that would not be far off in terms of weight