Tire for fitness riding 26" Club

I bought a 26" club uni to get back into riding after about a 10 year layoff. I’ll only be riding on flat(ish) bike paths. I really don’t like the tire that’s on it.

It’s 37mm rim. How narrow can I go? Would 1.75" be Ok? What about 1.5"? I like really high PSI and it’s easier to find tires with that rating in 1.5".

Would you choose a wider tire for some reason? Uni seems to come with really fat tires in general.

This is the tire I’m eyeballing right now cause it’s rated for 80PSI in 1.75".


Found these two charts which lead me to believe that a wider tire is more appropriate for this rim. Also, read something interesting at Schwalbe that narrow does not automatically mean lower rolling resistance because a wider tire stays rounder at similar PSI.


Rolling resistance is caused by two things: knobbles on the tyre, and the way that the tyre deforms from perfectly round at the leading edge of the contact patch.

A smooth tyre has less rolling resistance, obvs.

At any given pressure, a wider tyre will generally have a shorter contact patch. This is because the contact patch will have a similar area, but the width of the tyre allows it to be a wider, and therefore shorter. As it is shorter, there is less deformation between the perfect roundness of the tyre and the leading edge of the contact patch, hence, less rolling resistance.

A third consideration is that wider tyre can provide the same support at a slightly lower pressure. This means that the flex of the tyre will smooth out the effect of minor imperfections in the road surface. As a result, the unicyclist is not burning energy lifting their weight a few mm over every tiny bump and ridge in the road. The unicyclist’s centre of mass moves slightly more smoothly, and therefore more efficiently.

In road biking, there was a time when, in pursuit of speed and efficiency, riders were using tyres down to about 19mm at pressures of 130 psi. However, experimentation and experience have shown that something around 25mm to 28mm at a lower pressure is actually faster, with the added benefit of being more comfortable. Tour de France riders typically ride 25mm tyres now.

A unicycle has only the one tyre (count 'em!) and therefore, to support the weight of the rider, it needs either to be at a higher pressure, or wider.

When I had a general purpose 26, used for road, easy cross country and general riding, I had a Maxxis Holy Roller tyre which, from memory, was about 2.3".

I have a custom 700c wheel on one uni, with a narrow road bike rim. I have had 23mm and 20mm tyres on it. There is no doubt it is more comfortable and faster now I’ve put a wider tyre on it. From memory (I’m indoors and it’s in the garage) it’s about 32mm.

My 26 road wheel has a Maxxis DTH 26 x 2.15 with a gum wall and foldable bead. It weighs 635 grams which is literally half the weight of a Maxxis Hookworm and very flexible. It has dual compound construction so it wears well yet performs well on its edges.

With a lightweight tube it is such a responsive uni, capable of very rapid acceleration and deceleration. My DTH is on a Dominator 2 rim in a KH frame with 114 cranks. All up it weighs under 5 kg. Manoeuvrable like a smaller uni but fast and capable on the rough because of the diameter. The ride is superb.

Correction. The Maxxis DTH 26 x 2.15 foldable bead tyre weighs 555 grams.

635 grams is the wire bead model.

Weight really makes a difference. When I had my 29 I bought the lightweight Schwalbe Big Apple and you could really feel the difference.

Money is an issue, so I’ll be happy to get a tire with a rounder profile and not too heavy.

I’ve been struggling with that in the parking lot I’m riding in, rough pavement. Right now it’s a balancing act between what my knees can take riding and smoothing the rough pavement. Also, the current tire has a lot of squirm with the squishy side blocks so lower pressure makes that worse. But I think I’ll drop my tire 10PSI today to see how it feels.

Thanks for the detailed reply. It’s nice to be back in the unicyclist.com family again and nice to be back on a uni.

I have a pair of Panaracer Paselas in 26x1.75 on a bicycle and have ridden the same model of tire in 700c size on my favorite unicycle. I’m a fan. They’re comfortable and roll easily and aren’t crazy expensive. E.g.:


Unicyclists tend to go with a fairly wide rim relative to tire width, perhaps because muni is such a big thing for many serious riders and a wider rim helps to keep the tire stable at very low inflation pressures. If you ride mainly on pavement, you might like a tire that sits on the rim with a more generous curve.

Some local bike shops have a box of “ridden just once” tires for sale at very low prices, especially so if they have only one tire of a size and model, which is perfect for us unicyclists.

Trying out different tires to see what you like under different conditions is fun and educational. They aren’t that much trouble to change and that’s the only way to really know.

The Panaracers seem like really good deals for the money I’ve got a Panaracer tour in 26x2.0 as one of my choices on Amazon. The Unicycle budget is pretty tight to be doing much swapping of tires. So I need a good safe choice because I’ll be riding it for a while. I got other stuff on my wishlist like shorter cranks, better seat, etc.

Slightly off topic, but if you have a set of calipers handy would you mind measuring the width of the tyre?

57 mm wide on the 42 mm Dominator2 rim. BTW The circumference is 2130 mm.

However just looking again at the specs, the 26 inch at the Maxxis site is a single compound. I can find other references at bike stores to dual compound 26 x 2.3 DTH in both skinwall kevlar bead and wire bead. I would like to try the 2.3 inch foldable.

I also have a DTH 24 x 1.75 which I’m sure was a dual compound. It is has the 120 tpi Silkworm technology and I think if weighed around 450 grams. However I can’t find any reference to it any more. Fortunately I have a new spare, as my original is pretty worn.

Note the DTH is built to be light weight. There isn’t a lot of tread so it wouldn’t wear as well as heavier duty tyres. But it is really nice to ride and not very camber susceptible, especially the 24 x 1.75. BTW That tyre is not bad on the race track as a standard uni too.

I recon the Gypsy 26 x 1.5 would be an interesting road 26 tyre. Might be small on a 42 mm rim. Dual compound 120 tpi Silkworm construction, 80 psi and still very light.

Pushys still has the 24 DTH


I FINALLY found and ordered a tire that I think is perfect. Close to perfect I was shooting for 1.9"

Kenda Kwick Roller Sport 26x2.0.
A step up from budget tires with 60TPI and up to 80 PSI for $21.95 and free shipping. They are rare as hen’s teets but I found one on Ebay.



I was in a sports-centric big-box retailer yesterday and saw tires which may been identical to this. I knew I’d seen the tread pattern somewhere before - this discussion thread. Since Kenda is the king of cheap tire distribution, I’d think this tire wouldn’t be uncommon. Just look at what the sports-centric big-box stores have on the tire rack and you might find it.

What retailer?

I bought the one off Ebay and I’m really happy with it.

It’s called Dick’s Sports. They also have a faux-competitor storefront called Modell’s, which might have some of the same merchandise.

They have Dick’s where I live. I looked there and at REI when I was shopping. REI had a couple of candidates but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. Dick’s, that I went to, had about 10 tires and none were 26" road tires.

In searching for this tire, I’ve found that almost all of the results are for an electric bicycle that the market is trying to get everyone to buy. So I guess it is pretty rare to find just the tire itself for sale. I agree with you that it looks like a good tread pattern so, hopefully it becomes more commonly available.

My Club 26 came with a Innovo a few years ago and has been really good I even use it as my muni now but will put a more off road friendly tire on eventually.