New Nimbus Nightrider! - compared to my old 36

I finally got around to getting one of the new Nightrider Pros and let me say…WOW this thing is amazing. I was going to just respoke my old 36 wheel with 14g spokes, but I figured…I might as well get the new rim, tire, frame, and by the time it came around to it I realized it would be nicer just getting a new 36 and selling my old one.

The new Nimbus Nightrider is very light and responsive. So far, I love the tire and it rolls quite smooth and it is great being able to put a lot of pressure in it (rated at 65psi). I will have a better idea of overall performance once I get a few longer rides on it, but for now I can say…Great job Roger and UDC on these new parts. Also, much praise to UDC US for being extremely fast with building up this uni for me and shipping it to me, I have had nothing but great customer service with unicycle dot com.

My old set up was this:
Coker Frame - Painted black with magura mounts (thanks to Bedford)
UDC Deluxe wheelset - Airfoil rim (good one, non-x), 12g spokes, super wide hub, Wheel TA tire
Seatpost - Primo Rod 22.2mm

New set up:
Nimbus Frame (blue) - very very nice!
Nightrider Stealth Pro rim (black) with machined sidewalls.
14g spokes (finally!)
Nightrider Tire.
KH Seat Post

First thing I noticed was the weight difference.

1232g old airfoil rim (good one)
1116g new stealth pro rim

116 savings

2060g wheel ta tire
1960g nightrider tire

100g savings

14g spokes instead of 12g spokes = 236g savings

116 rim
100 tire
236 spokes

452g total savings which rounded off works out to be a wheel that is pretty much exactly 1 pound lighter! I haven’t measured any of these weights myself because I do not have a scale and I really don’t want to measure each part, but I am taking these figures from unicycle dot com UK’s site. Even if they are off by a little bit, the weight difference is noticeable.

Another weight difference worth noting is the fact that the KH seatpost is noticeably lighter than the Primo Rod post. I didn’t have many options with 22.2mm rail type posts before. One last thing that I love about my new 36 is that I can now lock both the wheel AND the frame with a bike lock. The coker frame could not be locked, so I used to just lock my wheel.

I will have to write a full review later when I do a longer ride, but I rode into work today (8 miles) with the new N36 and it felt great. I will be trying out the brakes soon and I am hoping they work a lot nicer with the machined rim and a stiff Nimbus frame. This will probably be the unicycle I will be doing my Pittsburgh to DC ride with because I think the Nightrider tire on the 36 will handle the C&O canal better than a geared 29er.

My old 36 will be going up for sale soon for anyone interested, and it is a great unicycle (especially if you respoke the wheel with 14g spokes).

What kind of tube do you run? I like the higher pressure too, but I’ve had some trouble with the 29er tubes at 65psi.
I feel that the Nightrider handles road camber better. What do you think?

I think that it handles road camber about the same as the Wheel TA tire but I am not fully sure. I use a coker tube because they seem to be more reliable than the 29er tubes. Saving weight is great, but not at the expense of having a greater chance of getting a pinch flat.

Just rode the new Nightrider over 100 miles this last weekend and is definitely a great ride! The only thing I want to add to the review that I noticed from riding on the C&O Canal (packed dirt/gravel) was that the new Nightrider tire definitely does pick up a lot of pebbles that get stuck in the tread (as others have already mentioned).

Here is my new Nightrider in front of the Exorcist Stairs in DC (scene from The Excorcist where the guy fell out of the window and down the stairs).

How does the nightrider tire compare to the TA tire, purely for paved, smooth, road riding? I’m wondering if the real appeal for this tire, other than the weight savings, is the versatility of road/offroad use?

So if it going to be used exclusively for paved road riding, would this still be preferred over the TA for smoothness and a solid feel on the road? Just from my outlook, and having not tried the nightrider tire yet, I really love the feel and performance of the TA, and also the long tread life, which is another concern about the lighter, 2-ply (vs 4-ply TA) nightrider.

The Nightrider feels quite smooth on the road (pretty much as much as the TA), but it rolls better than the TA because you can pump the tire pressure up more than the Wheel TA. The higher pressure combined with the lighter tire makes for a great ride and makes the Nightrider better than the TA for paved smooth surfaces.

The fact that the Nightrider is lighter and can have more pressure really makes a difference, but at the same time the Wheel TA is also a great tire for the road. If I had to choose, I would go with the Nightrider…but if I was going to be riding on gravel surfaces all the time I would go with the Wheel TA simply because of the fact that the Nightrider tread is prone to give you a rock collection after your ride.

The nightrider is also much better than the TA for riding along a prom covered with sand.

For me the real appeal is the doubly high P.S.I rating than TA and Coker tires. I wouldn’t be too concerned about the tread life. There is a lot of rubber where you ride- it is weight savings from the sidewalls by having it 2-ply I think. Will Sklennars secret weapon is a shaven Nightrider tire so there is plenty there.

I was wondering if anyone has tried going much higher than 65psi. The other day the petrol station air pump thing stuck at 60psi and I kept turning the knob but it stayed there. So I pumped it up anyway and next thing I looked up and it was at 85 psi. I let it down a bit but it left me wondering about running it higher.

The stones can be a bit annoying but I find benefit of 65 psi outweighs the hassle of the stones.

He’s not the only one :wink:

There is about 400g of ‘spare’ rubber there on the Nightrider if you want to strip it down. I’ve taken about 250-300 off mine.

It isnt so seceret now is it :roll_eyes:

Im going to have to get this set up, but with the KH36 frame. Its deffinetly the next uni on my list.

I’ve recently finished a similar upgrade. I started with a Radial 360 with a steel rim and a wheel TA tire, upgraded the tire to the latest and greatest Nimbus setup for my March 100K ride / RTL qualification ride, and upgraded the frame for this week’s 100 mile ride. I didn’t get to experience the change all at once, but now my original Radial 36r has spawned a top of the line Nimbus 36r and I have the two side by side. I’ll be sure to do a set of test rides and write up the comparison before I sell the Radial.


From Josh at UDC when I asked him about it:
Normally its ok to run over the psi rating on everything but the Night Rider tire. All other 36" tires are rated at 32psi and when we designed the Nightrider we push the tire with testing to 65psi. We improved the belting and bead yet kept it lighter with the 2-ply to handle this pressure. That said the 36" rim and tire are pushing the limits already so in this instant I would not run it over the 65 rated pressure. We (UDC) have tested the tire extensively at 65psi and under and have had no problem so be very careful if you run the tire overinflated.

My own results at just shy of 70 psi riding on smooth pavement:
See image. New KH36 with <20 miles on it. Bummer. (But otherwise, I love it :slight_smile:

I run my 36 TA tire at about 25ish psi

I’m a low talent old fat guy, I like every break I can get. As long as I’m not bottoming (never happened), why run higher pressure on a 36 for local riding?

I can understand the appeal for someone with a geared hub, racing, to want the high tire pressure. Might work well for the racer. Lower rolling resistance, on a bicycle thinking, drifting into uni riding logic way. But it’s wrong. Wrong for the normal commuter.

On a non geared 36, the rolling resistance of the tire isn’t a problem. Having a compliant (sorta soft) tire is much better. Much better control over rough ground, and a smoother ride.

Don’t go for the hard tire 36 theory unless you are a geared up racer. A 25ish psi TA tire will last for thousands of miles, and provide better feel and control than a tire pumped up real high. High tire pressures do lower rolling resistance, on a 36 uni, this matters little. The handling and comfort factor of the softer 25 ish psi TA makes the minor extra pedal effort well worth it. A softer tire fixes road imperfections that could put you down. While making your ass feel better, the tire is the uni suspension, make it hard, and expect harder hits to your ass.

I suppose I’m a “normal commuter” and, depending on the tire, I may run it at high pressure (many people run their BA 2.35"s at high pressure). Certain tires only respond on road camber well at high pressure, and there are several cambered roads in my town.

There really isn’t a right or wrong, just personal preference.

You are right that the big apple 2.35 sucks on road camber at anything lower than full pressure, and thankfully it’s not a 36’er tire. I noticed that my button tread tire seemed to handle camber better when it was a bit low on inflation, but my TA seems to feel the same whether I have it at 2 bars (about 29 psi) or 3 (about 44 psi).

I know it’s only rated at 32 psi, but I thought I’d try it over inflated just to see how it felt. It felt nice and cushy, as well as very smooth. My next ride I’ll run it at 2 bars for comparison, but already it seems like the character of the tire doesn’t change with pressure as much as other tires I’ve had.

I have a friend in Virginia coming back around July 8th to Colorado. Would you sell it? How much?

I think he’s sold it, the thread was from 2 years ago.:wink: