Fatter tyres and learners, QU-AX Cross 2.5” tyre

OK, after a fall earlier in the month that still has me limping I’m smart enough to know that I need some serious knee protection and stupid enough still to want to give unicycling a go. It doesn’t help that YT keeps recommending me unicycling videos on a daily basis.

I do however want to do all the that I can to avoid hard impacts with tarmac. I’ve read that learning on grass is really hard, but I have a stretch that is a gravel path colonised by the adjoining grass which I keep really short. It makes for something like an athletics track surface. I was thinking of getting the widest tyre that I could fit in my Indy Freestyle along with some knobblies for traction. The current cheap road profile 1.95” tyre (probably narrower) just spins on grass. If I can squeeze something wider in then lower pressures and better grip might be fine.

Could anyone comment….
…on whether I’m wasting my time and should just stick to tarmac (though paths and trails are my ultimate destination for unicycling at this point)
… on how wide the QU-AX Cross 20x2.5” tyre is mounted on a rim (mine is around 25mm externally, obvs rim width will alter tyre width)? I’ve got around 10mm all round on the current setup.

I would rather stick to asphalt and just add “sufficient” body protection. Learning on a predictable surface is just easier.
If you are a cautious person you will soon be in a state where you walk/run out UPDs and you will rarely hit the ground and a helmet and some gloves might be all you need. Obviously when you are pushing limits, learning bigger wheels, attempting to overcome more difficult obstacles you want to add some more body protection.

Note that lowering the pressure in your existing road tire might be helpful - even on asphalt - as it will make the unicycle less twitchy.

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Ride on the grass.
Ride on the tarmac.
Ride ambidextrously.

I would also suggest armour and commitment.

I believe that learning slower and with harder conditions will make you a better rider in the long run.
The secret is to ride.

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Ride. Ride. Ride. Time in the saddle is what counts.

Find your comfort zone and step out of it a little each day. You’ll progress at a decent pace when doing so. Keep at it and have fun while learning.

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The Qu-ax cross tire is another beast and most of the frames are not designed to accept it.
If you see the listing, it is given an ETRTO of 67-406:

Even if it is not exactly 67mm wide, it is far away from your clearance.
Even for BMX tires around the 2,35" mark it can be hit or miss for the clearance depending on unicycles.

Having a good set of kneepads is money well spent on a unicycle and keeping to tarmac for now will give you the best improvement/feedback curve. Don’t forget that unicycling is a game of mocking gravity (and paying it sometimes :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:)

there is a big challenge riding in grass for beginners. You are constantly reacting to small bumps you can’t see. Experienced riders just adapt to it, but it is not easy for someone who hasn’t gotten a knack for it yet.

When learning, your most common falls will scrape your hands, scrape your knees, or (more rarely) bump your tailbone. Gloves and long pants will protect you pretty well imo.

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I’d say if you are mounting and just immediately falling off on the grass, you are probably not learning much there at this point and should stick to a smoother surface until you are a bit better at riding. However if you are able to ride a bit on the grass, maybe using that as some variety in your training doesn’t hurt.
I agree that the key to learning is to ride and keep challenging yourself, but you have to make sure that you are actually learning something. I think mounting, the tire slipping, falling and mounting again 50 times in a row will not teach you much.

Maybe keep an eye out for any running tracks, tennis courts or other places with rubberized ground that you can use too, after gym floors those are probably the best to learn on in my opinion.

Thanks for all the replies. Investment in good protection for vulnerable parts is obviously a must. I had a look at my wrist guards last night and my fall has really beaten them up… but my hands and wrists were completely fine. Still can’t say that for my knee :frowning:.

Sounds like the Qu-Ax tyres are out, but I may try some narrower knobblies for that bit of grass I described. I have a Schwalbe Black Jack knocking about.