Street to Dirt?
This summer I hope to make the transition from riding around on the streets to some light off road attempts. Groomed wooded walking paths in the parks might be a good place to start. Anyway, I want an inexpensive off road unicycle with a tire that will be tolerable on the street and yet be fun for dirt paths. A 24 inch wheel seems good from what I’ve read around here. Right now I have a standard 20” Torker. It was great to learn on. I don’t think it will hold up to hopping or even small drops, so I’m not “going there” with the Torker.
At Unicycle.com (In the “rough terrain” category) Schwinn with the Kinda Kenetic or the Kinda Kolossal is available and seems to be about what might fit my goals. Of these two tires which is best for tolerable pavement riding and might be ok for easy dirt? Is there a better tire suggestion or something else I should be asking?
If you are gonna do both, I say go with a full on mud tire, and replace it when the pavement rubs the knobbies bare.
Better having a tire that’s better on the tough stuff, than one mediocre for two applications.
Once you get that first taste of dirt, you won’t be on the road too much anyways.
More important than the tire is the wheel. Tires come and go, but the wheel stays with you. Be sure to get a strong wheel that will do most of what your imagination tells you you want to do. Then get a nice wide, non-directional knobby to fit that wheel. More important than all that is to ride. I’ve seen people off-road on Torkers, other freestyles, MUnis, trials, and Cokers. There’s lots you can do off-road without doing drops and hopping.
Schwinns are my sentimental favorite because I rode them for so many years. I put a 1.95 knobby on my 24" Schwinn and found it adequate for Muni, the 2.5 was even better but in the long run I’d like a Muni that will handle a 3.0.
Well, you are just starting on this right? Just go for it on the 20" Torker. Is it the Black Stealth one, or the silver one? I had the silver one and with the 6" cranks, it is real easy on the trails. The black one has shorter cranks, but is real sturdy. You might wait until you decide if you really like off road riding before you get a whole new unicycle just for that.
Uh, what am I saying, buy two or three of 'em. Stock up while you have the desire. Heck, just get one of each.
Schwinn’s aren’t the best for converting to a muni. The frame is too flexy which will cause the tire to rub the frame. There is a reason why John Foss called his old Schwinn muni conversion a POS (Piece Of Schwinn).
I’d suggest a muni with either a United main cap frame or a Semcycle XLW frame or a Yuni frame. The United will be the less expensive one of the bunch but I don’t think it will fit a 2.6" tire. The Sem XLW and Yuni will fit a 2.6" tire.
You can contact unicycle.com and ask them what wheel and other components they can build up with the Sem XLW or Yuni frame to get the unicycle within your budget.
Yuni’s wil fit 3.0’S!!! but that doesnt mean you should get a 3.0. got with a good 2.6 to start and if you like the dirt, keep at it.
You can ride ‘dirt’ on almost anything. For years, I rode very easy off road on a 20 inch with a BMX tyre.
Knobbly tyre tread helps on wet mud, grass, sand and so on. It hinders on any hard sealed surface like tarmac, concrete, or even hard baked mud.
A fatter tyre will generally give more traction, but there is a weight penalty, and you lose some manoeuvreability.
One thing, though, as others have hinted: don’t aim low. Riding off road is surprisingly easy… until you start looking for little diversions and extra challenges. It will grow on you.
On narrow single track with lots of tight spots and sharp corners, you might appreciate the manoeuvreability of a 24. Otherwise, a 26 will roll over more.
Thanks all, from the one wheel geezer.
The suggestions in this thread are thought full, knowledgeable, and I am taking your suggestions seriously. I’ve decided at this point to put my Torker on the dirt just to get a feel for things. I will at least gain some experience. Then if I like “off road” I’ll up my budget and go with a better unicycle for off road riding. If dirt is not my cup of tea then I’ll get a “cruiser” and stay on the streets.
By the way, my Torker’s left crank arm keeps coming loose. Why? The threads look good and the square spindle looks straight.
Try this: go to your LBS, ask them to grease the spindle, put blue loc-tite on the threads, and torque to 35 ft-lbs. They’ll say that it’s too high, but say you want it anyway. I’d be surprised if that didn’t cure your problem. For symmetry do the other side too. If that doesn’t work, perhaps the crank or spindle is damaged or deformed.
I try to use the Miyata cranks because they seem to me to have the best quality; perhaps that’s just the projection of my persona…
Once a “square taper” crank arm comes loose, they sometimes get wallowed out and will not stay properly tightened. Being as this is a uni (no chain rings to worry about) I would try swapping the crank arms from one side to the other (be sure to leave the pedals attached, being as they are threaded differently for each side). This will sometimes provide a fix. If the problem moves to the other side after switching crank arms, then you will have to replace that crank arm.
I went for it!
Well I went for it today on a dirt road. It went very well. This was my first time off pavement. I’ve got a lot to learn but what fun.
Yeah on my torker I can tighten the crank and ride ten feet and it’s loose again.
I’m just getting a real muni in a couple of weeks so I dont really know what it’s like but I’ve been riding a 24" torker on the trails for almost two years now(even done a race on it). I would get a dirt specific tire though. For any street riding you do that would be fine but a slick or semi slick tire would be a compromise for sure. Once you get on the dirt, you’ll be looking for more. It’s definetly addictive. Have fun on the trails.
When I say the NEW 24" Torker HD (all black, 48 spokes…etc.) I was thrilled. I’m going to buy one in April. Your post is encouraging. I want to just try off road this summer. If I like it I can get a real good off road machine later. In the meantime the 24” Torker HD will do just fine. It would be fun to change to a knoby tire, or what ever, just to play around. It is a step up from my 20” standard Torker. I don’t need much at this stage.
Thanks for your post spickydoo
Re: I went for it!
You’re doomed. Better get a knobby. Have fun!