Holy Roller

So here’s me the militant atheist extolling the virtues of a Holy Roller!

A few days ago I put a Maxxis 26 x 2.4" Holy Roller tyre on my MUni, in place of the Gazzaloddi 26 x 2.3". Today was my first chance to try it out properly.

I did about twelve miles of mixed riding through Sherwood Forest. At various times, I was riding on:
Soft wet fine sand.
Packed hard mud.
Loose gravel slopes - up and down.
Deep gloopy mud.
Deep puddles. One, memorably, had a massive root hidden in it. :astonished:
Forest tracks with loose ballast.
Very narrow single track mud between grass.
A deep carpet of pine needles beneath close packed forest pines.
BMX obstacles - humps and bumps and stuff.

There was uphill so steep I stalled and had to walk, and there were short sections of downhill so steep I had to “spin out”.

Conclusion: the Holy Roller makes the uni about, er… 10 times more fun than the Gazzaloddi did.

Maybe it loses on ultimate grip in the mud - although the tread clearly works because it leaves a clean imprint, and doesn’t get clagged up. However, in all other circumstances, the tyre was more nimble, more predictable, and more friendly to ride. I felt like the tyre was on my team, whereas the Gazzaloddi, at best, used to consent grumpily to travel with me.

The scale of the difference: I had been so unimpressed with the handling of the MUni, compared to my other three “working” unis, that I had been thinking of selling it - but today, I really enjoyed riding it.

The single most important factor seems to be the cross section of the tyre. Where the Gazz is almost square in cross section, the Holy Roller is almost round. If the Gazz is pumped up hard, then as you turn, it feels as if you’re lifting it onto its edge; if it’s soft, then it sort of squidges, causing a massive “coning” effect. I found myself constantly fiddling with the pressure, pumping it up for tarmac, softening it for mud, and so on. The Holy Roller just seemed right at “finger and thumb” pressure.

Here’s another example of the scale of the difference: those who have ridden with me will know I’m not much of a spinner, especially with long cranks. With the heavy-steering unco-operative Gazzaloddi, I used to plod along, natuirally slowing down to a cadence of about 60 rpm. Today, with exactly the same uni, cranks and pedals, I found myself spinning as fast as I could manage, even towards the end of a tiring ride. I trusted the tyre, you see.

Another example: I could idle the uni when it had the Gazz on it, but it was a bit of an exercise, and was never comfortable. Today, with the Holy Roller fitted, I stopped to offer help to a broken down bicyclist (and to ask for directions) and noticed that I was absent-mindedly idling as I conducted a conversation with him.

The message of this post: not that the Holy Roller is a magic tyre - there may well be better ones - but that something as simple as a change of tyre can make an enormous difference to how enjoyable your uni is to ride. I’ve mentioned on an earlier thread about the rounder section tyres I’ve fitted to my 20 and 28. Well, this new MUni tyre was the best purchase of all.


Have you got any pics?


From my very short ride of your muni with the Gazz 2.3 I feel it would be hard not to find improvement with almost anything else! As you mention, it did have a very square profile, so not a lot of grip when leaning - threw me onto the floor when I tried to turn it in the road. I find those sort of tyres pretty nasty on a bike as well, but somebody presumably likes them or they wouldn’t make them… perhaps they’re OK on a bike on VERY soft ground.

I assume the Gazz 2.6 and 3" that are so popular are a rounder profile than yours was - either that or all those riders are masochists.

You mean you dropped my beautiful pristine unicycle? :astonished: That must explain the scratches!:wink:

Of the tyre, or of me in a swimsuit?

Tell you what, tomorrow I’ll post some pictures of me with a spare tyre. :astonished: :smiley:

As requested by Cathwood, here’re some photos.

And some more. Still learning this new forum software.




Thanks Mikefule.
And just as a matter of interest (and thinking about getting a 26" MUni for Christmas), what length cranks do you use?

By the way, what happened to the pics of you in a swimsuit?

But back to unicycling. I took my MUni through some woodland trails today for the first time. (I have been having difficulty finding somewhere appropriate). It was great fun. But I find I am being drawn to distance rather than jumping up rocks or anything like that.

I have a question for you (which was the point of all that above). Is the 26" significantly more ‘distancy’ cos I found it really difficult to go any distance on my 24"? My legs were all wobbly. (Sorry too much information).


I use 150 (152?) mm cranks. Anything longer and I bang my chin with my knees. (I’m only just over 5’7" tall.)

My MUni is a 26 x 2.4".

I would not recommend the Pashley MUni because it is heavy, and the bearing holders can be a nuisance to remove. Changing a tyre takes much longer than with conventional bearing clamps.

I am told (but haven’t checked) that a 24 inch MUni with a 3 inch tyre has a rolling diameter approximately equal to a standard 26.

Of course, that means a 26 with a 3 inch tyre would have a rolling diameter somewhat larger.

If I had my time over again, knowing what I know now, I might well choose a 24 x 3 MUni. The alternative would be a 29er. The 26 is a bit of an inbetweeny size: slightly too big a gear for steep hills, but rather slow on the flat.

Rather mixed advice there, I’m afraid. I think the rule of thumb answer is small wheel, fat tyre for serious hard mountain unicycling; larger wheel, fat tyre for distance on rough ground.

If you’re going to ride river banks and forest tracks, the 29 would be good; if you’re going to duck and dive under branches, and zig zag between trees, and stomp up long steep hills, then the smaller wheel would be good.

P.S. Swimsuit photo follows. ;0)

I don’t think wheel size makes as much difference as fitness and how used to the wheel you are.

We did two long muni rides and one short one this weekend, I was on a 26"x2.6" and I think most of the other riders were on 24"x3" and didn’t have trouble keeping up.