LiveWire Technical Alert

Recent problems indicate issues with the Nanoraptor 700c tire, at least recent batches. Please see LiveWire Unicycles for more information (click on “Technical Alerts” on the Home Page).

WTB Exi-Wolf 2.3 is the best alternative for off-road.

Thanks; I tried to suggest an alternative with approximately the same cross-section as the Nanoraptor for best frame compatibility.

Also, you use the word “best” – which others have you tried, under what conditions and with what criteria? I’m very interested to hear.

Hi Dave;

I have an old Nanoraptor that I’ve used off-road a little, it was a bit slippy on muddy trails. I had it on a Rynolite rim, so hoping sidways didn’t work too well (it doesn’t help that I weigh 210 lbs). The Exi-wolf I have found to be much better in mud, I think because the tread has bars that run across the tire, almost perpendicular. Also, I run it “backwards” relative to what the MTB’rs do (they put an arrow on the tire) because I don’t care about rolling resistance, I’d rather have the tread lined up to give a bit more grip on slippery surfaces. I now have a KH 29 rim, with Profile 190s, which is great, and allows me to hop any way I want with confidence. Here is a link to picture of me on it at Moab;

I also have a Big Apple that I put on the Rynolite wheel set with 150’s. that fun for commuting or playing tag with the kids.

That looks like a good combination, Jim. The Nano is a bit smooth for muddy trails. I have built a wheel with KH hub and rim but the jury’s still out on it. I will definitely look into the ExiWolf. Thanks!

If anyone else has had a blowout problem with Nanoraptors, please contact me with a brief description of the incident, including the tire, rim, bead type, and any batch numbers on the interior of the tire.

WTB has contacted me and suggests that the problem may be with the folding bead version, and specifically wants to know if the steel bead version is causing problems. Please send your comments through me so that I can organize them into a single communication.


Mine was an old steel bead, no problems with it. I will ask my friend Walt (, he and his friends are deeply into 29er bikes and could have some stories.

Was Jeff using a Nanoraptor in the Rich And Famous race? Picture from Nathan’s Webshots gallery.


That looks like a foldable Nano with a Rhyno Lite rim, John. I think that was one I built for him.

So far all the blowouts have been road or stationary, but with at least two different rims… all the data are not in yet.

WTB did say they had problems with the foldable tire with a tubeless setup, but they did not say what rim:

Ah, now I see the tube on Jeff’s uni… bonks self :roll_eyes:

Well, we have more data in, courtesy of Tony Melton in NZ. They have been having the same issues (blowouts) with the race version.

It appears that the so-called “race version” of the tire, which has an interrupted, segmented bead, is essentially not appropriate for unicycling. LiveWire recommends using only the continuous steel bead version of the tire.

For more details, please see LiveWire Unicycles for more information (click on “Technical Alerts” on the Home Page).

If you are a LiveWire customer and have received a Race Version of the Nanoraptor from us, please contact us at LiveWire Returns.

As U-Turn indicated, a number of NZ riders have experienced blowouts with the Kevlar beaded race version of the Nanoraptor 29" tyre. To this effect will cease to sell this tyre. This is a pity, as the older steel beaded version was a great tyre, but the only 29" Nanoraptor available in NZ is the race version.

Three other 29" tyres are available through

How common are these interrupted or segmented beads in folding tires? The folding tires I’ve used seem to have a continuous Aramid (a.k.a. Kevlar) bead around the tire. Is this segmented style of bead something new? I’ve seen some folding tires that fold flatter than others. Are those flat folding tires using a segmented bead?

My camera is on the fritz or I’d post a couple of photos for you. Basically there is a slight gap between segments where there is no bead, only cloth. This allows there to be a full fold there, not just a bend. However, the cloth itself is a little stiff, allowing a bump or crease to appear at the gap. I’m pretty sure that this bump helps keep the bead from locking in properly, especially with narrower rims where the tire-rim angle is more extreme.

This theory is supported by WTB’s stipulation that they not be used with tubeless setups.

I’m not really sure how common they are; this is the first tire I personally have seen with it. They do fold very well; I imagine that’s why they call it a “race” version. It might even fit in a jersey pocket.

I have a wheel built with a KH rim and the Race version of the Nanoraptor, and will endeavor to spend more time on it, both on- and off-road, in the next weeks. The KH rim, being quite a bit wider than the nearest competitor, may provide a better seating.

I appreciate Tony’s neighborly input in this matter which affects us all. He sent me more detail which I will fold into the webpage as soon as possible.

Done. Please see LiveWire Unicycles for the updates (click on “Technical Alerts” on the Home Page).

A second close inspection seems to indicate that the bead is continuous, however the bead folds over easily. One can hear a slight tearing sound if the bead folds in a new place. The resulting bead in that area is narrower and slightly misaligned so that it gives the appearance of being a separate segment.