Paved road mountain climbers

Hi I am training to climb a few in my area. I am riding a Nimbus 24” muni but with the Maxxis Holy Roller 1.85 tire. Along with the challenge of the incline is the damn road camber that I am obviously not used to. Is it a matter of practice, like anything else, for it to get easier? I had the tire around 30psi and I weigh 120lbs. The tire is rated at 60psi…dare I go that high and would it even make a difference? Any help or tips appreciated.

Practice practice practice! :smiley:

Also yes, consider putting a lot more pressure into the tyre. If it’s only 1.85" wide then you really should be running it fairly hard for road riding. Maybe not 60 but 40-50 (Try it and see).

What sort of climbs are you looking at doing? Any idea of distance and gradient? :smiley:

I ride a Holy Roller on my 26", and it handles road camber fairly well. It helps to have higher air pressure. (I typically run in the 30s when I know there will be road pavement involved, higher if it will be exclusively a road ride.) The tire should handle the rated pressure, but I would recommend experimenting to see what works best for you.
Getting used to road camber is (like everything else uni-related) a matter of practice. Search out one of the many threads on this forum for strategies on dealing with it.
Good luck! :slight_smile:

What sort of climbs are you looking at doing? Any idea of distance and gradient? :smiley:

The one I am practicing now is a 5.1% grade over about 5 miles. The grade on the bigger one is closer to 8% over 6-7 miles which I have no inclination to try until I’ve mastered this smaller one :slightly_smiling_face:

On some tires higher pressure can help to eliminate the road camber effect. On my 36er Nightrider tire I run very close to 65 psi. Other suggestions include shifting you center of gravity to the up hill side of the camber.


Very helpful video Jim thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

The one I am practicing now is a 5.1% grade over about 5 miles. The grade on the bigger one is closer to 8% over 6-7 miles which I have no inclination to try until I’ve mastered this smaller one :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Donna -
On my Whiteface trip a couple years ago I rode my 29" uni. Just before the trip I purchased a lightweight Schwalbe road tire (doesn’t matter which one) that I thought would perform well and it did … until I got to off-camber roads. It was horrible. I found out literally the day before the race. So I went back to a 3" mountain tire which is much heavier but has little to no off-camber feedback.

I’m kinda a tire junkie and have tried quite a few. Some have much more noticeable off-camber effects (on certain rims) than others and there are threads on this forum dedicated to tires and off-camber effects.

The point is, experiment: try it at different pressures to see how it responds. And try different tires if possible. Hopefully you’ll find one that rides well for you on your rim. The lightest most road-looking tire may not be the best one for you.

Whiteface Mountain road climb does have three (I think) quite annoying off-camber sweeping turns.

And best of luck in your climbing future!

Try a Maxxis DTH 24 x 1.75
I run one on a 30 mm rim. Don’t know how well it would go on a much wider rim.

Very light tyre. Only 440 grams. Makes the uni very responsive.

Low susceptibility to camber.

Guess what??? I have one of those that I haven’t tried yet! I tend to be a tire junkie! I gave it another go today with about 10lbs more pressure in the Holy Roller and I moved my saddle off center just a tad…much improved but next attempt will be with the DTH!

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I found the need for quite high pressures with light sidewall tyres for hill climbing. Otherwise there can be significant buckling of the sidewall under heavy torque.

Oldschool unicycles generally had 1.75" tires, and we ran them at high pressures for racing. I’d go for the full 60, though you can experiment and see if it rides better at different pressures. I know the Surly Knard 3.0 on my 26" KH Muni is much better at going uphill (on pavement) with loads of air in it. Then I let some out for the descent on the rocks :slight_smile:

As for camber, along with shifting your weight around, you can also adjust your body position. Basically, if riding on the right side of the road, put your right shoulder ahead of your left, and this will add a “turning” effect that should help you ride in a straight line against the camber. The “lite” version of doing that is to use your right hand to hold the seat handle, which will also put your right shoulder more to the front.

Then get out and try various roads with camber. Practice makes the master!

John should I worry about having these smaller width tires on a 42mm rim though with the high pressure? I am liking the Maxxis DTH 1.75 the Holy Roller is 1.85 and I like that one a lot too. The DTH seemed to handle the camber better…or maybe I am getting better :wink:

Honestly I don’t know much about narrow tires on wide rims. Anyone have any advice for that?

My best guess is that you’re fine; but I’m not sure where to draw the line of maybe popping off the rim…

Seems like I recall more than one report of 2.0" Big Apples blowing off wide 40+ mm rims.

Sheldon Brown posted a chart of recommended tire width vs rim width:

It’s a little bit problematic imho not least because it has "X"s in the recommended tire/rim combinations! (I always want to take that to mean “don’t do this.”) Also most of our tires and rims are wider than anything on that chart. Still, the basic trend seems to be that around 1.5 times rim width is a happy minimum tire width, which feels about right to me. It takes some extra tire to get a decent rounded profile.

Thanks for your insight. I will err on the side of caution though and not inflate either of these tires much beyond 40psi which is well below the recommended rate and will use them just for the paved mountain climbs and not everyday abuse :slight_smile:

Practice makes perfect. You may consider putting more pressure into the tyre.

When you say “paved road”, you mean tarmac or asphalt, or cobblestone like the streets of Montmartre?

I’m asking because high tire pressure on those is a killer, especially when they’re old and disjointed!

Asphalt :):slight_smile: