some 29-er questions

I’ve decided that the 29-er is my favourite unicycle and I think it’s time to


Currently I’m using a standard 700c Nimbus rim (a couple of years old, the old type

so fairly thin), Nimbus round 28" frame, Notos 700 x 2.1" tyre and 150mm cranks.

The rim is out of true, probably untrueable as the rim seems a bit kinked; but it’s

been that way for some time and rides ok, with just a little tyre rubbing on very

steep climbs.

The bearings are also shot, but again have been for some time and seem to ride ok.

The tyre is in need of replacing with a dodgy wear on the sidewall that causes

punctures, currently patched with a piece of old inner tube.

My first priority is to get a new tyre and I’ve a lot of good things about the big

apple 29-er tyre.

This will necessitate a bigger frame which will bring the cost to around £50, which

is all I can afford for now.

So my first question is-

is the Big Apple really a significantly better ride than a smaller 29-er tyre like

the 2.1" Notos.

i.e. is it as much an improvement as the Notos is over a standard 28" tyre? [/b]

(if anyone addresses this could they also say how much expereience they have on both types of tyre, and, if they consider the big apple to be a significant improvement, try to explain in what way it is better)

Also, recently there was some issue over the apple sidewalls wearing out quickly? does anyone have any updates on this?

Next, when funds are available I’m going to want a new wheel.

Probably the cheapest option is a 700c Nimbus built by

Another possibility is to buy a hub and rim and build it myself.

I think, if possible I’d prefer a wider rim than the current one. I don’t need the

top-of-the-range super strong 29-er rim, as I’m mainly interested in distance and

fairly mild muni, i.e. no big drops.

So my second question is-

[b]Where, in the UK, can I get a 29-er rim


what are good models of rim for this purpose[/b]

Obviously, local bike shops could possibly order something, but, where I am, LBS’

don’t really seem on top of things with strange tyres; recently one of them denied

that 29" tyres existed, despite me explaining what a 29" tyre was and that I

actually owned one.

If I do go the lbs route it’s going to be a lot easier if I know some specific

brand names of 29" tyres.

Last question-

For inner tubes I prefer something rated as 700c x 35-45, however these seem to be in short supply at all my local bike shops.

Generally they try to convince me that a 700c x 35-40 will suffice; is this true?

On a related note I see that stocks some nice looking 29" tubes, but they only come with Presta valves- where in the UK can I get a tube specifically for 29-ers, but with a schraeder valve?

Thanks in advance for any help with these :slight_smile:

On the Big Apple tire issue I have one on my 29 and love it. It is a very smooth ride, rolls well and has good bump absorption. It is great for distance and works well on the beach (hard pack). My first Big Apple tire experienced sidewall cracking. It became quite gruesome so I emailed Schwalbe and they were extremely cool about it and sent me a new replacement tire. They explained that there was a problem in the production some months ago and it was already corrected. If you are interested in getting one of these tires I would buy it direct from Schwalbe to avoid the possibility of getting the older stock.

I’ve used my Big Apple for over a year, no sidewall cracking so far. It seems to have been a ‘younger’ problem. I got my tyre from Germany. Please be aware that the Big Apple 29’er of 2.35" width doesn’t fit in the round Nimbus I 28" frame, but it does fit a (square) 28" Nimbus II frame.

I can’t compare the B.A. to the Notos, but compared to the standard skinny 28" x 35 mm it is Day and Night. So, if the Notos versus the skinny isn’t Day and Night, there is still room for improvement :slight_smile: That’s all I can say.

I bought a 40 - 62 mm tube on recommendation from the folks through which I ordered the B.A. They of course knew I had the skinny tube; I assumed it would be to small for the B.A.

Onewheeldave, your post had double line spacing, how come?

Klaas Bil

That’s my difficulty- the Notos/28 comparison is actually day and night.

Yesterday, due to the 29-er tyre being damaged I swappped back to my old 28" tyre

(700 x 40mm) and went for a ride.

It was awful, despite running all the pros (light weight, fits in frame really well

etc) I just felt that I had to constantly watch the road for defects that could

throw me off.

After the ride I immediately patched up the 29" Notos and put it back on. Later I

went for a night ride and it was superb, I could just focus on riding rather than

worrying about being thrown off.

There’s no way I’d ride the skinny at night, neither would I be able to ride as

fast as I do on the 29-er.

I really can’t emphasise how much nicer to ride, the Notos is than a skinny 28"; I

can imagine that a Big Apple could be more of the same.

Sticking to your analogy, maybe going from day to a really nice hot sunny day?

Certainly people who havce the Apple seem to universally rave about it, but then

again, I rave about the Notos in comparison to skinny 28".

Contrast that with the fact that, at 2.35", the Apple isn’t really much bigger than

a Notos (2.1"), so maybe there isn’t that much difference?

That’s why I need some feedback from people who’ve ridden both types of 29-er, but,

failing that, I’m tempted to just get the Big Apple and a bigger frame, and find

out through experience.

I don’t know; my computer is in a bad state and does wierd things. More bizarre

than the double spacing is the fact that when I type ‘c’, it often comes out as

‘cv’ (I’m definitly not hitting two keys at once)- really annoying and I can’t

figure out why.

An element to consider IMHO: I think crank length is a huge factor in my ride satisfaction.

I have some limited experience with 29er experimentation. I have 2 diff tires and 2 diff crank sizes. Sorry, no Notos.

Cranks: 125mm and 150mm
Tires: Big Apple and Nanoraptor.

Therefore 4 configurations
BA-125, BA-150, Nano-125, Nano-150

(It occurs to me I could run a test with one 125 and one 150 on the uni. Left vs Right. Thus getting the benefits of each. Or it could screw up the harmonious resonance in the uni-verse, tangling up my zen and that could take years of therapy to correct. I must first seek the council of Grandmaster2T.)

Readers Digest Conclusions:

BA-125: Fantastic for paved touring and gravel roads. Heavier, smooth, round profile… An elegant ride.

BA-150: Would be good for touring in the mountains or crosscountry. Better braking and hill climbing. But its flat here in Mudville so I don’t configure like this.

Nano-125: Lighter tire. But I tend to UPD a lot. Losing precious time and sapping energy by having to remount so much.

Nano-150: Fantastic for crosscountry (which includes the low end of MUni). Good control from longer cranks keeps me in the saddle and moving. Any loss in speed due to longer cranks is more that compensated by not UPDing.

Lighter tire and long cranks good if it will be stopping and starting and changing direction a lot during the ride. Heavy tire good if a smooth, swanlike ride is instore. IMHO.

I only have the one rim. Its pretty skinny. I blame this for the Nanoraptor wanting to fold if I land on it with some sidewards momentum. I haven’t paid any attention to the tube. (except to fix a flat once.)

Right now my Niner is configured Nano-150 because there is the Wolfpack Triathlon on our horizon.

The short answer: cranks are an important component.

Sadly, it seems that my 29-er pincture problem that I mentioned in a previous

thread, and which I thought was resolved, isn’t.

My solution had been to repair a damaged portion of the tyre sidewall and to

install some proper cloth rim tape (after filing down any spoke nipples with rough


Two bouts of prolonged and hard riding, both trouble free, seemed to suggest I’d

solved the problem, however, today, after fixing a spoke I found the tyre had gone


The puncture was on the inner part of the tube, and l0oked like it was directly

over a spoke nipple. I couldn’t feel anything protruding from through the rim

strip, so repaired the puncture and refitted the tyre.

I inflated it to just over 50 psi, replaced the valve cap. Seconds later the whole

thing rapidly deflated. :frowning:

Inspecting the tube I find a puncture, again on the inner part of the tube (a different place to the first though) which looked as though it was either over a different spoke nipple, or over the overlap of the cloth rim tape.

The obvious reply is, I guess, that this is a problem with the spoke nipples.

However, like I said I’ve checked for protrusions and can’t feel any.

And I don’t see what I could do about it anyway, short of replacing every nipple.

I’m currently totally at a loss as to what’s going on here, over past few weeks I’ve been getting punctures every one or two rides, which is clearly unnaceptable.

The punctures have been of different types, and my attempted solutions have failed to stop the problem.

I’m not naive about the causes of punctures having taken advice from this forum and done extensive searches on the net in general.

I’m wondering if there are other possibilities, such as: -

this problem started soon after I switched from 125’s to 150’s.

This initially seems unlikely to have an effect on punctures, but, one result of the switch is that I ride the 29-er much harder- go faster, ride lots of really steep climbs and generally don’t stop for much.

Last night, for example, I finished by ploughing up a climb so steep that, half way up, I snapped a spoke.

Could this harder riding, in conjuction with a rim that is old and narrow, be the straw that is breaking the camels back when it comes to punctures?

This situation affects my upgrade plans as I’m not especially inclined to invest £50+ on a Big Apple and the bigger frame necessary to take it, if the rim I put them on is going to be puncturing tubes on every other ride.

Breaking spokes is one indication that the wheel is under-tensioned. Overall, it sounds as though the wheel is very under-tensioned. This is exacerbated by the increased roughness of your riding style. The style is good, the under-tension is bad.

By being undertensioned, the rim is flexing so much that the spokes are pushing up into the tube and penetrating it, or the surface of the nipple head is. That slotted surface can be quite rough and sharp.

Since you are breaking spokes, all the spokes are compromised. Simply increasing the tension will just make the compromised ones break faster. I recommend having the wheel rebuilt by a good wheel builder.

The best rim that I know of for your riding is the Sun Rhino Lite. It has the widest cross-section. There is no DX32 equivalent for 700c (not that you would REALLY want it). Off-roading on a 700c is cross-country, not trials. To keep the tire from folding over on side hops, you will have to increase the tire pressure quite a bit higher than on your 24". In addition, you may have to use more angle on your hops and dismount more often.

You may consider replacing your rim when you replace the spokes. That way you will have a good overall package when you get done.