Alternative tires for the road?

Tires are like shoes—you have to try a few before you figure out what fits you…

It has occurred to me that we street unicyclers who ride on wheels that are 26” or 29” always talk about the same handful of street tires. Be it the Big Apple or Hookworm or one of the various off-road tires that riders use for road riding, the same names always pop up—which is fine because these are all excellent tires.

My question is this: who out there has had good experiences with street tires that might be considered unusual for unicyclers. For example—on my 26er, I was not at all happy with several tires I put on it, including the Hookworm and the Big Apple. I was hopelessly wobbeling and veering toward the left side of the road. Then, in a bike store, I came upon a Bontrager Cruizer, and it made a huge difference—I was riding totally straight. It has a great flat profile—and excellent, excellent sidewalls (see picture). An unbelieveable tire.

Now that I ride a 28/29er, I am once again looking for a comparable tire. I currently use a Michelin Transworld City 700 x 47c, which is fine, and rides pretty straight, but it is not as good as the Bontrager Cruizer. Even though the frame on my 28/29er is a Sun, I can see that I do have room for a bigger tire. Unfortunetly the Bontranger Cruizer does not come in a 29 size. But still, the way it behaved does make me think that it’s worth it to try other tires than the ones commonly discussed here.

Anyone here ever try “other” tires than the usual tire selections?


Nice looking tire, but I’m surprised that you like the square profile on a uni. No accounting for personal preference, I guess.

On a 26" for the road, I love the round profile of the hookworm, and on my 29er I prefer the Big Apple.

I use the Schwalbe Marathon XR on my bicycle - it has the same sort of profile as the Bontrager you have pictured there. I’m using a 42-622 on my bike, but it is also available as a 50-622. I’ve always thought they were a little too “flat” across the tread area for a uni, but you might want to check them out.


different tyres


I’ve got a 24" for the road.

Tried a hookworm, kept going to the left. And was a bit dodgy in the rain, I had cycled up some kerbs at an angle a few times and it just bounced off and followed the line of the kerb, sending me flying!

Tried a flat profile Nimbus one, was ok but not too good for maneourving(?) round stuff. Similar problem with kerbs.

Was in a bike shop and saw DMR MotoRacer RT 24x2.2 for £15.99.

Really thin sidewalls, so thin in fact DMR call it a “skinwall”, but I got the tyre at 70psi and it runs sweet!

Lovely grippy tread, and remains smooth to ride. A lot of street (bike) riders use these tyres I believe.

I’ve not taken this uni off road, but have cut across a field a few times on it. When doing this with the hookworm tyre on, a few pedals into it and it lost all grip and slid around. But with the motoracer on, I just kept going.

I don’t know if anyone else has tried these but I reckon it makes a cracking uni tyre! And they go up to 26x2.5 I think.



I run a Kenda K-RAD on my 20". Reason? sorta-knobby, and it’s one half to one quarter of the price of anything else around. I’ll probably get a proper tire when I get a proper freestyle uni. Until then, I don’t have the cash to keep replacing a 40$ tire every month. Because I ride too much. Because I’m addicted.

what about a road bike tire like this

I use a schwinn stingray 24X2.1 on my uni. It behaves very badly at low pressure, butis a real pleasure at about 70 psi.


i believe those road bike “tires” pictured above are just rims
i know road bikes have very slim tires, but i think those are just wheelsets

I believe those “rims” are complete wheels :smiley:

i meant that AND said that in the second line (notice “wheelsets”)
no worries mate

yah i know there no tire but i couldint find a pic with one

I use a Continental Top Touring 700 x 47. It’s fairly skinny and hard at 50 pounds of pressure. It isn’t much affected by crowns of roads. I use a suspension seatpost when I’m going for much distance.

I’ll be trying it this Sunday on the Centennial Trail–part of the Black Hills Muni Weekend. It’s a fairly long, not especially technical section. I’ll see how the tire does off road.

I know that Steve Dek has a bigwheel with a solid tire (i think…) and I’ve always wondered what it would feel like on the road. I assume if it isn’t too wide and thick, it wouldn’t be much different than a highly inflated regular tire.