I’m prepping for a big MUNI ride in a canyon in the panhandle of Texas, and I am wondering about tubes. I’ve never bothered to carry a spare tube with me while unicycling back east, but back east we don’t have serious cacti either. I saw a MTB post about putting on your slime tubes, and it got me wondering … is this a real concern for MUNIcyclists? A quick check of Amazon and it seems there may not be slime tubes that fit a MUNI (the ones they had only went from 1.75-2.1, I’m pretty sure my Nimbus (Leopard tire) is a bigger wheel than 2.1. Of course I can always just buy a couple of spare tubes, I’m just wondering if cacti thorn punctures are a very real problem in this part of the country.
I do all of my riding on trails lined with Prickly Pears, and I haven’t ever gotten a flat from one. A bigger concern is falling so that you don’t land in them. probably worse would be landing on a Yucca plant, ouch!
For some reason tire sealant like Slime works really well on tubeless setups where it is filling voids in the tire itself, but it isn’t as effective in tubes. So, half the time you will be replacing the tube anyway. The one thing I really don’t like about the stuff is that most of the flats it wont’ fix could have been patched if the slime wasn’t in there. End Slime rant.
In my (limited) experience, it doesn’t look like cactus thorns are particularly dangerous to unicycle tires. Most of us tend to ride with fairly burly tires, rather than lightweight stuff, which probably helps. Most of the few flats I’ve (ever) gotten on trails were due to pinch flats on hard bumps or landings.
Remember if you carry tubes (or patches) make sure you have all the tools necessary to use them. On my Wilder, with Sun DoubleWide rim, it’s really hard to get the tire off. I have some plastic tire levers in my Camelbak, but not sure if they’re sufficient to do a tire repair anyway. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a flat with that uni, just a very slow leak. My local trails don’t really have cactus, but I’ve been to Moab many times, and other places like the AZ Muni Weekend with no ill effects.
Cactus thorns aren’t a concern for muni. In my experience, they break off before they can push through. Goat heads are the real problem. You don’t have to buy a slime tube. 3oz or so of tubeless sealant in your current tube should do it. I’ve had good luck with the orange stuff.