The new 36" lightweight Nightrider tyre is here.
The new 36" lightweight Nightrider tyre is here.
I saw that yesterday and wondered when it popped up!
Looks great! I always thought the nightrider was the gold-standard tire, and it’s awesome to have a light weight option! I’m sure those 36er custom b*kes will be happy to upgrade as well! : )
Any info you can provide on how this was achieved? Is there any less tread? different rubber?
Does it “feel” the same to ride, or more compliant than the traditional one? Sounds like it could maybe be a good off-road option.
Lastly, some people may want to know if a 32" version is inbound.
Roughly half a Kg of weight saving. I’d pay the little bit extra if I had to buy a new tyre.
Very interesting. The weight saved on this tyre is about the same I will gain on the ReTyre project. (Studded tyre for 36’er: Studded tyre for 36'er - possible solution?)
wow ! 1400gm +/- 50gm for a 36er tire
Is the “36er” (inertia) special feeling still there ?
I did promise that I would give you the back story behind what has been happening with the tyres (this is going to be a long post, so sit back).
All the 36" tyres in the world (except the Walt tyre) are made by a small factory in Taiwan. It is a small family business and they were quite innovative on what they produced and specialised in producing odd products. They had a large tool that was adaptable and worked with a wet production process. I met guy once… we are the same age and although we did not speak the same language we were able to communicate.
In August 2016, he suddenly died.
We had a production run in the factory at the time for delivery in November. We were obviously worried this would be the end of the 36" tyre production although his widower assured us that he was not the only person in the factory and production would continue. So we placed our order for January and then our April order… then they tell us they can not do it! not only could not do it, but could not even complete our November order.
We worked together with them and some other factories to help them complete the November order (they needed some components they did not have). Although beyond that it was no tyres!
Our production had already started on all the unicycles and we had no tyres for 2 production runs at least!
We did 2 things then. We looked for someone to take on the tooling and looked for some way to keep unicycle production going.
To keep production going we looked at all the spare tyres we had as a group around the world. We pooled all of these and sent them back to Taiwan to go on the unicycles (this I think will explain the shortage of spare tyres for you).
We immediately tried to buy the full tooling set. That needs a little explanation… there are 4 tools required to make these tyres. 1. the tread, 2. the carcass, 3. the bead and 4. the main tool (this is called the bath).
For Nightrider 36" we owned tool 1 and had part owner ship of 2 and 3.
For Nightrider 32" we owned 1,2 and 3.
They would not sell us the 36" 2 and 3 as they wanted to sell as a going concern.
Buying the bath was out of the question. The bath is the universal tool and the core of the factory… going price $1,000,000
So we looked for partners to work with us. We needed a company with a compatible bath and the skills to build these large tyres. This we found in one of the large tyre manufactures who we already worked closely with. We commissioned them to manufacture tool 2 and 3 for the 36".
As they were looking at samples of the tyres and at the tools, the new company suggested that they had materials that could potentially produce a lighter version. We jumped at this suggestion, even though they said it would add to the cost. It is worth saying that this company has led the world in lightening tyres in the last few years.
In July (only weeks before our November container is placed with the factories) we received the first off’s the tool. They could only run the 32" tyre as the 36" tool 2 and 3 were not complete in time. So I built up a 32" and tested them. The standard tyre was good, it felt very similar to the old one. The quality was noticeably better. The interesting bit was the light weight one… wow! it was amazing. It performed so much better, it was responsive and controllable in a way I did not expect. Not all good news though. I could not keep the tyre on the rim! There was something wrong, so we got back to the factory immediately and asked them to check out why this was happening. It turned out that the bead tool was incorrect… so needed updating (more money!).
Now… timing. We decided to have faith in the company that not only could they correct the problem in the 32", but also finish the 36" in time. The problem from our side was, that we had to trust them, there was no more time for samples.
That brings up to date and the delivery arrived last Friday (Yes, we took a delivery of a container on Black Friday… madness!)
Wow, thanks for all these explanations!
First: RIP the man who made all our 36er tires.
What a nich market…
Second: when the new light 32" and 36" will be tested so that we are sure it stays well on the rim?
Third: you all make a great work !
Regarding the 32" version
Just to follow on to UniDreamerFR’s question.
I’m a little hesitant to ask this, but is there any chance of having the new 32" version checked with the Kent 32" wheel? The was the wheel that started the whole 32" thing going, and there are a few of us early adopters (like me) who have built a uni around it. It would be nice to use a Nightrider tire on it (I’m on my second Kent tire – they’re inexpensive, but don’t wear really well), but I’ve heard/seen reports of irregular fitment (i.e., coming off the rim). (Changing over to a matching Nimbus rim would be nice, but a real hassle, since the current setup utilizes a Schlumpf hub, adapter rings to go from 36 to 48 holes, and special-length spokes. A lot of stuff would have to be done over.)
I realize this isn’t your core target market, but it would be very nice to have this information, and I (and, I think, most of us) would rather purchase a Nightrider tire next time instead of the Kent.
Thanks for your consideration.
That’s an awesome story Roger! So the 32/36" Nightriders are now produced on an entirely seperate line?
Also, wasn’t the last Nightrider the ‘lightweight’ version? Does that mean this one is the ‘featherweight’ one?
As the old company are no longer making 36er rubber, how does this bode for other 36" tyres like the Qu-Ax? Were these made in the same place too?
The new tyres sound great!
Are the new ones marked so that they can be distinguished from the old ones?
Roger is the nightrider named for the knightrider bus in Harry Potter? (seeing as there is also the nimbus and a certain Ravenclaw Quidditch player)
…wait… does UDC USA have the latest version “lite” tire? Yours says 2 ply, over in U.S. says 4 ply (?)
I want one for Chirstmas!
Wow, I’m definitely going to get one of those new 36" tires, even though the one I’m riding still looks almost new. I got the uni in 2010.
Thanks Roger for that history lesson. Fascinating! All 36" tires (except Walt) were made by that one small factory! Gotta ask: Does that include the Cokers? One assumes those were “made” in USA (past tense) but one could be wrong about that. I don’t know when Coker stopped tire production. If they did do the tires for Coker, it would be interesting to know the history of how that 36" spec actually came about.
Condolences to the family of the 36" tire guy. Sad that it has apparently meant the end of their ability to make 36" tires. But I guess that has opened things up for new ideas and new techniques!
My fingers are crossed that they didn’t “cross” you with bad product. Do you have a contract that would cover such things?
I think it’s only really this year that I realized how global of a thing Black Friday is. I wonder how hard it is to explain to people that don’t have the Thanksgiving holiday. “See, there’s this annual holiday that always happens on a Thursday. This leaves everyone off work the day after, and it has become the unofficial kick-off (an American Football term?) of the Christmas/Holiday shopping season. Get it?”
Can’t wait (though I probably have to) to be riding on a robust yet lighter 36" wheel in the near future!
That’s my dilemma, although my wheel has done many fewer miles than yours. I can’t justify throwing away my current tyre, yet I know it will last virtually forever. Humm, such a first world problem :o.
I thought the old one was already 2-ply. At least the one for sale on the AU UDC website is listed as 2-ply and the old weight: http://www.municycle.com.au/catalogue/UP-TYR-36-N_item.html
The tyres have been checked for fit and pressure - they are all good. They would not go on the market until that is done. The standard tyre was actually quite hard to fit in the cold warehouse (4 degrees!), we had to warm it up in the office to get it fitted properly.
Qu-Ax tyres and Coker were both made in the same factory and I believe our friends at Qu-Ax will also have their tyres made in the new factory.
They are 2 ply, I think it is just a typo on the US site. I will speak with them. All their 36" tyres are off this new production run.
The UK did not get any spare new 32" tyres. I can not tell you if it will fit the kent rim. It should do going by figures, but it was slack on it before. I can not say if it will be different now.
There are no marks on the tyres to differentiate them at the moment (we did not have time for that), you can definitely tell though!
That’s a great story. And it’s amazing to see how people like you guys can help us get a better product. Realizing that there are enough unicyclists worldwide to give you the confidence to invest into a new product. That’s the nice aspect of globalisation for sure.
I looked on your website, indeed in the “Tyres” section, there is only one 32" model. I assume it’s the not-light weight. Which tyre is on the complete 32" uni you’re offering?
Considering those two quotes there is something I’m not sure to understand well.
You have tested a sample of the new 32" light tire which was great, but you could not keep this tire on the rim (because something was wrong on the manufacturing, and now this issue is supposed to be fixed with the upcoming batches).
What does that mean exactly?
Does that mean that you were lucky enough to keep the tire on the rim during the test and it blew out of the rim later when it was just resting or something like this?
Or was it depending on how much air you put in it?
I mean… what was exactly happening with this defective sample?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure you have checked the new light 36" tires for fit and pressure, but that also means, if I understand well, that no one tested those tires during a proper test ride yet like you did on the 32" sample tire.
I’m very interested by this lighter tire, but I want to be sure the tire won’t just explode because of not staying on the rim while I’m approaching 20 mph on my G36.
We all read those stories of random explosions of some of the 29" Schwalbe tires on Kh freeride rims while they were just resting in another room although it was ok for days prior to that.
It happened to me too one hour after installation : a Loud “BANG” but I was expecting it because of my previous readings, but I could not have guessed that it was going to happen otherwise, I mean the rim seemed to hold the tire properly.
I even have a testimony of a unicyclist (Simon Jan) who rode his G29 (same rim/tire combo: kh rim, schwalbe supermoto 29x2.35 50 PSI) and the tire went away after 20 km.
Of course very light schwalbe 29" tires with weak beads pumped up at High PSI on drilled kh rims made for low PSI off road tires, this situation has nothing to do with a much stronger 36" tire on a very good stealth2 rim, but you understand why I want to know what you mean by " I could not keep the tyre on the rim! "
+1. Mine has quite a few cracks along the side walls though… I usually don’t inflate the tyre that much (just below 35psi - the cracks widen as you increase the pressure)… So maybe I should buy a new one after all…
These tyres are from a different factory, so everything needs checking again even though they are using the same tools. I would rather have them a snug fit than having them loose.
You are right in that the lighter the side wall and bead the more likely to blow off the rims. Hence the problem I initially had with the sample 32" light tyre even though on the standard tyre it was ok - this is just that they used different materials than it was initially designed for. I blew it off at the top pressures, not where I was riding it.
I have checked the latest batch to be sure they fit and the indications are that there wont be any problems with the tyres coming off in use. So problem sorted.