Road Uni - Handling Excess Road Camber

Today, I picked a not so pleasant 36er ride on a road with not much verge, and excessive road camber, plus a quartering head/cross wind from my right. I had to take some minutes facing traffic on the left side of the road for a while just for some relief.

Aside from picking better rides, what are options to handle either camber, crosswind or a combo?

Try different tires; the biggest contributor to performance on camber is the tire profile.

Other than that, just ride more.

Quartering crosswinds are always the worst.

Has anyone experimented with turning the seatpost slightly to change the angle of the saddle/handle to counteract the effects of the road camber? I am wondering if it would make a difference.

the best thing to do in this situation is to change your tire. The Nimbus nightrider has exceptional cornering and camber ability. I put about 3000km on a Coker tire on all manner of roads, and the nightrider is a marked difference.

I haven’t tried a wheel ta extensively, but I believe the profile is also not so great for camber… perhaps someone else can chime in. increased tire pressure may also help.

I rode the Wheel TA for a little while, about 4 months, and then switched to the new nightrider tire and pro rim. The TA was much worse for camber than the nightrider, and cornering is much smoother on the nightrider as wheel. It is quite the worthwhile purchase, especially with the higher tire pressure, and slight weight decrease.

Re: tire - It’s a KH 36 with the Nightrider tire.

The comment about getting more distance is valid. My riding to this point has been Muni and XC mainly on 29 & 24, and not much road. (Trials uni for other stuff). 36 is new. Done ~100-120km this week.

The tire pressure might have been a bit too low. What suggestions on pressure?

It’s funny; in reading everyone else’s posts, I’m going to go against the grain with my post:

I feel that the Wheel TA is much better for dealing with road camber than the nightrider. I have 2 almost identical 36s. The only difference is one has the airfoil rim and wheel TA tire while the other has nightrider rim (is that stealth pro? I dunno) and nightrider tire.

There’s one particular ride near my house that has a ton of camber. On this particular ride, the nightrider feels squirrely as hell while I don’t even notice a thing on the Wheel TA. Admittedly, I’ve put a lot more miles on the TA so I might be biased. However, my two friends that I usually bring on this ride have nightriders and bitch the whole time about the camber while I forgot about it on my TA. They bitch so much in fact, that they have now refused to do that ride with me anymore. And these are my RTL teammates so they are no push-overs!

The nightrider has a higher max inflation so it definitely gets me going faster, however the stability of the TA wins with me.

I guess I can agree with everyone that trying different tires might be beneficial.

I run the nightrider from 55-60 PSI, but I’m pretty light (130 lbs), and I only ride on road.

I find my TA is terrible on camber if I use over 30psi. Lower pressure makes it far more controllable in my experience (although some people seem to report the opposite). My usual commute is a mix of xc and road anyway, so a lower pressure is nice for the rough bits, but when I have tried it higher as an experiment I really didn’t like it on the road - felt like it’s permanently trying to throw me into the hedge.

From what I’ve heard, the Nightrider tyres are much nicer though.


On my 24" uni’s I tend to ride on the left facing the traffic as much as possible. It always seems easier for me to avoid the twisting feeling of road camber if I’m on the left.

My 36" riding experience (same uni and tire as your using) so far does not seem to be affected by twisting regardless of what side of the road I’m on so this has been a bonus. I run the tire at 40psi.

As far as wind is concerned. As prairie boys were going to have to just suck it up and keep fighting the wind.

Yes and yes. If it’s a long ride on consistently cambered roads (like the road around Lake Tahoe up here), angling your seat a bit to the left helps your body stay in a position to counteract the tendency of the wheel to want to go downhill (to the right). I learned that trick for track racing (long ago) on 800m tracks, which are practically all turns.

I’ll second the TA’s poor performance on extreme camber. I can remember a stretch of RTL road that was relatively banked for several KM.

I rode this section and by the time I finished I had a weird kink in my back that only went away after an evening of stretching.

I assume this is from my body’s constant struggle to stay upright and maintain balance.

Go with the nightrider.

Not to disappoint:), but I’ve never noticed road camber being any problem at all. And, Yup, I ride a TA with about 35 to 45 psi, and an airfoil rim. I haven’t spent much time on a night rider so I really can’t compare the two. I would imagine that rim width could make a significant difference in tire shape and therefore the ability of the tire to accommodate the camber. Is there any difference in the width of the available 36" rims?


:astonished: You’re the second person I’ve seen on this forum actually advocating cycling on the wrong side of the road. Apart from being extremely dangerous (OK, you can see the cars coming towards you, but other road users don’t expect a cyclist to be travelling the wrong way along the road!) it’s utterly illegal (or is it not in the US?)

Surely picking the side of the road to ride on willy-nilly isn’t a sensible solution to camber problems.


If you havn’t already tried and if it hasn’t already been mentioned (didn’t see it) try more/less air in the tyre, can make a big difference…

It’s illegal to the extent that unicycles are classified as bicycles.

Thanks. I did a couple of runs experimenting with tire pressure.

I increased to 60 psi. That’s a “firm” ride, runs well on payment, but digs on a “sort of” groomed packed, crush rock cycle trail particularly the soft spots.

For now, I’ve settled on about 50psi as better compromise on the camber (although there was no wind that day to judge all the variables) and for the non-paved that I mentioned.

First off I didn’t advocate anything. I just mentioned that I sometimes ride on the left facing traffic in order to beat road crown issues. As for it being extremely dangerous, I’m quite comfortable with it as I’m able to see the traffic coming and can step off the uni at any time and get out of the way. It’s much safer for me than continually trying to look over my shoulder to see if traffic is coming. I do not ride on busy streets in this manner only on quite residential side streets. (If that matters)

Secondly I’m located in Canada so I couldn’t tell you whether or not its utterly illegal in the US or not.

Guess I’m just trying to get back to my British heritage. Always wanted to drive on the left side of the road.

Another thing that might alarm you is that I sometimes let my dog drive the truck, but don’t worry too much because never for even a second is he off his leash while he’s behind the wheel. :D(credit to Garry Larson) I use the dog as a willy-nilly solution if I’m to tired to drive on my own.

I thought it might be my imagination, but the more my nightrider tire wears down, the flatter/squarer the profile becomes, which in turn makes even slightly off-camber road surfaces increasingly noticeable, even at full 65 psi.

I’m now more convinced that as the tire becomes more worn on the center most part of the tire, thus reducing the original rounded shape, it increases the contact area of the tire to the road surface. And it’s pretty well established that the more square the tire profile, the more “self-steering” and camber issues you will have.

So I’m wondering if it’s time get a new nightrider tire and start fresh with a rounder profile, which I’m assuming will reduce these issues considerably. I must have at least 8-10k miles on my current nightrider, which includes off-road riding as well.

When it is head or side windy, close your umbrella, because being Mary Poppins on a unicycle can be a bit dangerous when gusts pull you towards traffic.

Something nobody has mentioned is riding higher up on the road crown, closer to where cars drive- if it is not too busy. You will need to keep an eye and an ear out for other vehicles so you can retreat back into the steeper side-camber bit. This would work well in conjunction with your wrong side of road method but would increase the oncoming traffic’s surprise when they see you in their path.

Surely picking a unicycle to ride at all isn’t sensible! Do you not ride? Unicycling is more similar to running than bicycling, and for visibility the wrong side may be safer- or more dangerous depending on the road and conditions. Real safety is more important than perceived legality, as that is what safety laws are imposed for.

You could shave down the sides of your nightrider. You might save weight and restore some of the roundness to it. I’ve seen it done to a new nightrider and it felt nice to ride, because the majority of the time most of the tire doesn’t touch the ground anyway- those little knobbly thingies last for ages unless you turn really steep on purpose.

I’m too scared to pump my latest Nightrider up to max pressure after I had one blow off the side of the rim at 65psi. I don’t exceed 50psi these days just in case. I think it was a manufacturing defect though- 65 should work.