Decided to try letting some air out of my tyres (tires) out on my muni ride today, to help me roll over the rough bits better. Then found I was really struggling to ride, but put it down to lack of mojo today (to be fair I did have a bit of that).
Only when I got on the tarmac at home I realised that my tyre (tire) was squirming all over the place as I rode, delaying the reaction to my steering input - it’s kind of tough to ride when everything is delayed by half a second. When I connected the pump I found the pressure was something less than 20psi in a 2" tyre (tire) with a nominal minimum of 35psi! Not recommended. I guess I need to put the Leopards back on to run low pressures - that or get some other wider light fast rolling tyres (tires) to replace them.
There is a happy medium tire (tyre) pressure for muni, and it probably feels a little sluggish on the road. You may just not be used to it yet. As long as the rim isn’t in danger of hitting the ground when you hop, The pressure is probably fine. 32 psi is high for muni. You don’t get much cushion at that pressure.
However, it sounds like your tire (tyre) pressure is too low if it’s really unstable. You might try pumping it up a little bit and see if you can find a pressure that absorbs bumps and still handles well enough. Experiment a little bit before you change tires (tyres :p).
Well I pumped back up to the nominal minimum pressure and found I can still ride a unicycle - had done the school run with the pressure down, and was really struggling to stay on. Could probably run a bit lower than that before it gets all squirmy, but I think I’ve realised that 2" is really a bit narrow for muni. Having to adjust my perspectives as when I used that tyre on a bike I’d never have run it below 40psi - when will somebody come out with a suspension muni?
The thing is, the 3" Leopard which came with the muni just feels too big and heavy - am wishing I’d gone for the custom option when buying, as from what I can work out I didn’t save much if any money buying a complete Nimbus compared to speccing exactly what I wanted. Thinking about getting a 2.4 Racing Ralph instead (and running it tubeless as I do on my bike). I’m also only ~170 (used to be ~150 at racing weight!) so can run a bit lower pressures than a lot of people.
Some tires work better than others at low pressures.
I used to ride a Gazz at 15-18 PSI.
I don’t use a gage anymore so I don’t know what my current pressures are but generally I just pump until it is firm, get on the unicycle and hop a few times including a big side-hop. I like it when it deflects a bit on the hopping but doesn’t fold on the sidehop. Feel free to experiment with pressures. Finding the pressure that works for you can really make the ride more enjoyable.
If you want to try a largish tire to absorb bumps that is way lighter than a Duro I would consider a Bull Lock or Black Panther. They are what I have been riding lately. They are way bigger than stated, as in larger than a Maxxis Ardent 2.6. They need a bit more pressure than a DH tire but still absorb bumps very well.
The 2.4 Rubber Queen is nice on a (26") muni as a lighter but still quite beefy alternative to a Duro. I still run a Duro on my 26er (at about 18psi) and have just got used to the weight, but it’s pretty rocky round here and I’ve got another unicycle for light xc and racing.
I usually run a 2.4 RR tubeless on my xc 29er. Something around 25psi works best for me for fast xc riding - any lower and it squirms and folds, any harder and it pings off bumps too much. I weigh 12st BTW, so about the same as you. For “proper” muni I reckon the RR is a bit puny, but for fast xc and racing I love it as long as it’s not too muddy. I’ve got a WTB Prowler 2.1 that works well in nastier conditions on the 29er. When I used to use the 26er for xc racing a good old Z-Max 2.1 was good in the gloop.
You’re not that light and you’re not gonna have any better luck with sidewall stability on the RR, esp at low psi. The RR is a MTB racing tire, so the sidewalls are very thin and prone to cutting, ie not stable at low pressures.
You should read some of the tire reviews, they are chock full of insights that will prevent wasting valuable $$$ on tires.
Tubeless is worse than tubed in that you lose the “extra rubber” support that comes from the tube. If I went tubeless I’d bump up to a tire with a stiffer sidewall.
The Ardent is very popular in 26 and 29, nice mix of weight, durability, traction, rolling resistance, and sidewall stability.
Duro heavy, hehehehe, you should try riding a geared uni, now that’s a tank!
Some of the resistance you’re feeling at low pressures may also be due to riding a dirt tire (think soft tread) on pavement, which would feel sticky and slow. For pavement you need a different tire, like a Hookworm.
I’ve cut mine once, but that was riding a rock garden with sharp rocks and the wheel slipped between two of them. It’s not good for that type of riding I admit.
I used the RR originally because it was light and bigish volume for a 29er tyre. After suffering a few thorn punctures (it’s a thin tyre!) I went to tubeless with sealant. IME you can run higher pressures with tubeless without it feeling too hard (it’s much more supple), so sidewall support isn’t an issue for me. Bear in mind I’m using it for fast xc, not for rocky muni with drops and side-hopping - for that sort of riding it would certainly be too flexible and you’d slice the sidewalls up in no time. As much as I’m sticking up for the RR, for a more all-rounder sort of tyre you’d be better off going with one of the slightly beefier ones people are recommending.
Did I not mention the tyre I’m using? I’m sure I have somewhere on here - it’s a Conti Double Fighter which doesn’t have much in the way of tread and rolls just fine on tarmac (when I put enough pressure in!) Probably not enough slower than a Hookworm for me to notice.
For now at least I am only doing light XC jeyboy stuff - my skills aren’t yet up to drops and side hopping type stuff. It’s not like I tend to do much in the way of really gnarly stuff on an MTB. I always have the option of going back to the Leopard when I get a bit better (at which point I guess I might also expand my stable a bit). For now I reckon the RR will suit quite well (and on-one have them cheap).
I use RRs tubeless on my MTB, so well aware what they’re like. I’m unconvinced that a tube really adds much at all to the stiffness of the sidewall - if it did it would do just as much harm to the compliance when going over bumps. Totally outweighed by 1psi difference in pressure.
Anyway thanks for the comments - I had already devoured the tyre thread, and wasn’t really looking for advice on here.