Three-Stack Giraffe Unicycle Tire Pressure

Hi there,

I have a three-stack giraffe I got from Unicycle.com and when I first got on it I followed the tire pressure recommendations which were:

Top Tire: 20-30 psi
Middle Tire: 10-15 psi
Bottom Tire: 20-30 psi

When I followed those recommendations, the tires were slipping when I would ride and it was extremely difficult/unpredictable. So I added more air and the slipping has almost completely stopped, but each tire is at about 30 psi of pressure.

Basically, I want to make sure I’m not gonna damage the unicycle by having the pressures higher than recommended, but cannot ride the unicycle with the tires at the recommended pressures and slipping on each tire rotation.

I’m guessing the recommendation is incorrect or for an older model or something?

Also, does anyone have ideas about how to keep the three tires well aligned? Mine don’t look crooked, but they look like they are seated slightly off from being dead on, it rides great, but I want to make sure that won’t become an issue either.

Thanks for reading!!

Craig

I have zero experience with the UDC multi-wheelers. All of mine is from the 20th century, mostly with 20" 2-wheelers but also with some bigger/taller ones.

The correct amount of pressure is enough to keep the tires from slipping.

From there, you can make refinements. Start with the bottom wheel, since that’s the one contacting the riding surface. Get the pressure the way you like it so it’s not too sluggish. Then adjust the other two so the don’t slip (or only slip a little when you make sharp motions).

Those 20-30 pound numbers sound really low, but that all depends on tire thickness. Those numbers would make a lot more sense for fat tires so maybe that’s what you have. For 1.75" tires you usually need quite a bit more; like 50+ for the bottom tire. Maybe more for outdoor riding.

UV radiation makes tires lose their grippiness over time. If the unicycle lives outside, or spends lots of time in the car, the tires will become less elastic, and the loss of traction will become very noticeable on smooth floors, and probably also tire-to-tire. You might need to add more pressure as the tires age.

Be safe up there; make sure you’re in the no-slip zone!

Also I’d reccomend you to drain the middle tire if you don’t use your multiwheeler for a long time. I didn’t use mine for about 4-6 months and tires became deformed

That’s interesting, and probably good advice.

In addition, I am remembering also the effects of various pressures. The harder you pump them up, the more friction you will have in your “drivetrain”. So sometimes it’s better to have a small amount of slip than to have to work real hard to pedal the thing. It all depends on the circumstances, height of the uni, distance to be covered, etc. For example, if you’re going to ride in a parade you want to make sure it’s safe, but not to have excessive friction on the tires or it may wear you out.

BTW, the photo I posted above is of Yuichiro Kato at Unicon VIII in England (1996). He did a coast that went into a glide on that thing. He was good.