tires Ken Fuchs writes:

>Many unicyclists actually do keep their tires overinflated by 25-50% above the
>tire’s rating. I generally inflate my tires to 80 psi,
>is 33-60% overinflated based on the tire’s actual rating.

I have been told that the burst pressure of tires is supposed to be at least
twice the pressure value printed on the tire. Many of my fellow recumbent
bicycle riders routinely overinflate the cheap low pressure 16 and 20 inch tires
available here in the US. Tire life suffers proportionally though, and blowouts
become more likely as time passes. Of course, a blowout on a unicycle wouldn’t
be as dangerous, since speed is usually much reduced.

>Tires on a unicycle are usually overinflated because only one wheel supports
>the rider’s entire weight, bouncing takes less effort, the
tire >protects the rim better when bouncing or curb jumping, and both rolling
>and twisting friction are reduced.

Ah! I had the opposite theory, underinflating for less bumpy ride, and (I
thought) to make bouncing easier. I remember reading in a magazine that bicycle
bunny-hoppers _under_inflate to get more bounce. It makes for much smoother ride
over bumps, but maybe this is why I haven’t been getting much altitude on my
hopping attempts. I’ll try it.

Also, doesn’t it seem likely that if the tire is inflated over recommended
pressure to start with, dropping from a curb or hopping might compress the air
inside much closer to the burst pressure? Has anyone here actually had a blowout
from a long drop or hopping?

>However, overinflating the tire, reduces control over vertical axis twisting,
>so riders who have trouble controlling this axis should inflate their tires at
>the recommended rating or lower.

I do this, using the round cross-section tire. It works.

Iain Hibbert writes:

>and I keep seeing references to unicycle tyres - do they really make tyres
>specifically for unicycles? mine doesn’t look any different to
>normal bike tyre…

I found a tire at the bike shop, apparently made specifically for unicycling. It
was made by Panaracer, which also makes bicycle tires. It is labeled “Panaracer
Unicycle HP” on the casing. It is round in cross-section and has a crosshatch
tread pattern. It has whitewalls and very soft blue rubber. Didn’t last long on

Don’t know if it is still made, it was the last one in stock and had been there
for a while…

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| Dennis Kathrens | “Something’s missing there.”
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