First flat... do I just buy a bicycle inner tube?

I tried searching for the answer, but it looked like I was going to have to read 500 posts that did not answer my noob question.

I have a Nimbus 26" road unicycle. Just got my first flat (I think the valve tore). So, I’m going to replace it.

Obviously, I need to buy the correct SIZE tube which is printed on side of tire. However, can I just go to walmart and buy a 26" bicycle tube?

In other words are there “unicycle” tubes that I need to buy in order to handle the pressure of all the weight being on one wheel - or is a bicycle tube fine?

A Walmart tube is fine – probably a bit heavy but it’ll work. You’ll need a Schrader valve, rather than a presta valve, but Schrader is probably all Walmart carries.

normal bike tubes are fine… they’re the same thing that was in your unicycle before. If you really want something super durable, you can get 26" DH (downhill) tubes, but they are quite a lot heavier. There’s no need for a thicker tube on a unicycle unless you’re worried about running low pressures and want what little pinch/snakebite protection a thicker tube can get you. (normally people worried about that would just run tubeless)

If you want to check and see if it’s the valve stem of the tube, just pump some air in it and dunk it in a sink filled with a bit of water to check for bubbles. A patch kit is cheaper than a new tube. :slight_smile: and unless it’s at the valve stem or a large rip in the tube, you can patch pretty much indefinitely.

Has anybody successfully patched a tube when the hole is located on a join/rib :thinking:

if it’s near the stem, it’s best to replace the tube, but if it’s just on a seam of the tube you should be fine as long as it’s not a rip. Some patch kits will come with rectangular patches that you can run along such a seam. if it has a little rubber flap where the seam is, you should trim/sand that down so it’s as close to smooth as possible, and don’t be bashful about it, just be careful not to go all the way through. If there’s any ridge left on the seam (ideally not), make sure you get vulcanizing agent on both sides of the ridge. I wouldn’t use a pre-glued patch for that particular fix. It’s good to have both quick-fix stick on patches and the full patch kit in the repair bag. The stick-ons are in such a little container they can get lost sometimes. : P

You just don’t want any air pockets, so I’d probably go the extra step and take the tube fully out of the rim to get enough pressure to push all the air bubbles out.

Definitely doable, just more of a pain than a regular patch.

Thanks juggleaddict. That’s a comprehensive answer :D:D

Make sure to examine the tire to be sure whatever put the hole in the tube … is not still lodged in the tire. I made that mistake, before, and immediately wrecked a brand new tube. The problem in my neighborhood trails is thorns; I use a needle-nosed plier to pull them out of the tire.

I had a flat a few months back in my 29", but I patched it like I used to patch bike tires. Has been working fine since I did that. I did however buy an additional tube at a normal bike store, for when I don’t feel like patching. I am extremely lazy :slight_smile:

I find it easier on a bike to just replace the tube and patch the old one at home, but on a uni can see where I’d probably prefer to patch on the road if possible.

I’ve had mixed luck with stick on patches. Glue on one’s are much better as long as you can patch properly.

As others have said, patches at the stem are worthless. As far as tubes go, I prefer standard q tubes.

If you want to reinflate the tire as rarely as possible, take a Schwalbe tube. I never had any tube that holds air as long as the Schwalbe ones.

Probably easiest just to buy a new unicycle.

Yes, unless it’s at the valve you use sandpaper and solution for that, usually included in a patch-set.

+1 :d

I like your thinking! Honey I had to buy this one the other one was broken:D