Last weekend I had my first flat and finding that a thorn had punctured my tire, I decided that my Duro Miner 29x2.1 was at the end of its life with a couple of bald spots. So I patched the tube and replaced the tire with a Conti Mountain King 29x2.4 for more bump-ability. I thought the thread pattern looked similar enough that it would make a good hybrid tire since my typical riding is about 60% pavement, 40% trail.
I’ve been riding for more than a year now and think I’m doing ok and I usually feel relaxed and in control. I’ve ridden up to 8 miles in a sitting without any UPD. My daily commute is practically UPD free. Now here’s the kicker: Since mounting the new tire it feels like my Nimbus is a completely different animal and I am hardly able to ride it. Yes, it rolls over bumps easier than before, but it turns like the Titanic on one hand but also hard to keep upright on a straight line as well. I’ve tried lowering the tire pressure (I started at 40 PSI to lower rolling resistance) and this helped a bit with keeping the uni straight (feels like it wants to tilt left or right all the time), but I still look like a tool. I’m riding with flailing arms again, I can not make 90 degree turns reliably and even free mounts are failing again.
Is this normal or is the Mountain King just a bad tire for unicycles?
After reading your response I got eager to try that and decided to ride home on my lunch break. Reversed the tire and bingo: The instability going straight is gone! The tire now tracks pretty decent. Still a bit more noise and rolling resistance than my well worn Duro Miner, but at least the tire is rideable now. Turning is also still a problem, but I can see that happening with a wider tire that has good tread instead of a tire where the center was completely bald. I guess I will have to practice sharp turns again.
Feels great to be in control again. I was even able to do a half revolution backwards behind some slow pedestrians on the way back.
Glad I could help! I got the tip from ‘unikum’ prior to the purchase, so I mounted it this way the first time. The rolling resistance on pavement was a bit of a shock compared to the previous tire, the “Schwalbe Table Top”, but I love it offroad:) Hopefully you’ll have a lot of fun with it!