UDC's response to the "X" airfoil 6/1/07

Actually, it’s not even as simple as this.

I’ve had an N36 since they first came out - probably nearly a year now. And I love it dearly and have no problems with the N36 frame or the airfoil rim.

I’ve been happily riding the TA on it. When I thought of selling my older coker I contacted UDCUK to see if it was one of the smaller rims that I had. It was. So I asked whether the coker tyre would be Ok on it (as the old coker was worth more to me if I would be able to use the coker tyre on the N36). They said that it would be OK as it was one of the old coker tyres. It was only the newer coker tyres that were having problems with the recent airfoil rims.

I was told the same leading me to believe that the new airfoil/TA combo had similar tolerances as the old airfoil w/ Coker tyre. However this evidently isn’t the case.

In my opinion they ought to do a product recall on safety grounds before somebody gets hurt after a blowout at high speed… Or any speed while riding in traffic!

Since UDC is sitting on their @$$, those of you disgruntled customers who are unlucky owners of airfoil-x should submit a report here http://www.cpsc.gov/talk.html and if enough people complain to the consumer product safety commission a recall might happen and all future Uni manufacturers would think twice about selling such a defective product.

More specifically this page

Or indeed, any product. So they recall the rims, everyone gets their money back and we’re all back on steel rims. Now 36" rims is never going to be a big product market and with all the bad press over recals no-one wants to touch it, a better 36" rim is never made and we’re on steel rims forever. Atleast with UDC selling the rims individuals can choose if they want to run risks with an airfoil or stay with steel, if UDC don’t sell them then there’s no choice atall. It’s just a shame that you guys in the US weren’t informed of problems when buying the rim, and that UDC US seems to consider to deny an knowledge of the problem.

Well the way I see it, a non defective steel rim is better than a defective “X” foil rim any day!

I think that’s fair enough - the key point is that people have to know what they’re getting. If there are common problems with these rims, or if they are restricted in allowable tyre sizes, UDC really needs to make it clear to their customers that this is the case.

I can see scaring away potential manufacturers being a problem but now that QU-AX is (already) making a proper allow rim I can’t see that being a problem. Manufacturers only have to worry if they knowingly produce and sell a defective product. Please stay away from the slippery slope… especially when your qualms have already been dealt with (i.e. other 36" alloy rims)

That is true, the Qu-Ax rim may well save us all. The point I was trying to make was that we are at the mercy of rim manafacturers, we need them to make good rims but they hardly need us to keep their profits up, we represent a tiny percetnage of their sales, if we p*** them off enormously, reporting them to the governemnt or whatever, they just won’t bother and we’ll be back to square one. I guess with unicycle manafacturers making 36" rims this becomes less of a problem because they need us a much as we need them.

Muniaddict, personally I prefer the defective X rim, to the extent that i spent $200 getting one. If UDC sells the airfoil then both you and I are happy as we can take our pick either way. If they don’t sell them then it makes no difference to you, and i can’t get the rim i want. But they really should be more upfront with the information.

Agreed. Its not the fact that they are selling these rims, its the fact that they aren’t straight forward about the issues with them.

“Please note that this rim is lower profile and the tire is secured by tubular tire adhesive. After the initial tire change it is suggested that tubular tire adhesive be used again when refitting the tire bead to the rim.”

That’s all it would take. No one would have blow out problems then. Of course the coker tire is still out of the question, but this is a good start to avoiding accidents.

This note has been on UDC for as long as I’ve been looking at the N36.

Please note: The Airfoil rim with an engraved X is slightly smaller than the original Coker single-walled rim; it is not compatible with the Coker brand 36-inch tire. Only the Wheel TA 36-inch tire is compatible with this Airfoil rim.

I ordered one, I’ve gone 88 miles in the last 10 days since I’ve had it(including 20 at LBI Unithon this Saturday) and the tire is firmly on the rim. I’m running 35psi, and I’ve gone approx 5 miles off-road (although not true muni trails), down curbs, up bumps, etc.

I’m not worried about it coming off or blowing out. Any other distraction could cause a UPD (like the pothole I hit Sat), not just a tire going out.

I don’t ever see a need to buy a Coker tire over the TA, so I’m very happy with my purchase.

And for those against it, UDC did advertise the “X”, and explained what it meant, so they are not trying to hide anything. They are doing what they thought was right to get the unicycles into our hands. If you don’t like that, don’t buy.

Terry, I think you should go ahead and get one; you’ll love it!

Request to Posters

Please when you post your experiences with these airfoils, if you could, please also measure your rim Overall Diameter and state it here along with your other info. That would greatly help us all to figure out where the minimum OD of the rim should be.

Based on my experiences, I believe the minimum useful OD to be 805mm. If anyone has run the Coker tire on an airfoil of less than 805mm OD, I’d sure be interested in your story. It would help end this phase of trying to figure out what works & what doesn’t.

I’m almost ready to just go with a basic radial 360! Again today I rode a friend’s nimbus 36 with the x foil, TA tire, air saddle and T7 handle, and 150 steel cranks. It felt sluggish and slow and I wasn’t at all impressed with the T7.

Then I mounted and rode Vivalargo’s standard Coker (standard frame) with the narrower hub, 127 pro wheel cranks, & old airfoil and coker tire, no t7 or air saddle. Pretty basic.

Verdict: Immediately felt more “nimble” and smooth, without all the extra stuff. Perfectly fine even for long 50 milers. So that’s what I’m leaning toward.

PS: Very similar feel to thisguyiknow’s basic steel-rimmed coker with the extra wide hub. Very solid and stable, and again, nimble and fast. And since I’m not going to have a brake or do any drops, this might be the best and most economical way to go, at least 'till something definitive hits the market, at which time I will not have spent nearly as much up to that point.

Wait, what is this narrower hub you speak of?
I see that KH his lurking in this thread, so I will go ahead and say “Hi Kris!”

It’s Vivalargo’s older standard coker (except he does have the good airfoil) with the narrower hub. But it still handles great!

Well, you went from 150’s to 127’s. Thats what happens. The smaller cranks create a “smoother” and “faster” ride.

I have the radial + a T7 and 125mm cranks. I guess the T7 is all about preference…but I love it. I don’t have a single complaint about my unicycle. The steel rim has never posed any sort of problem and I haven’t been riding it easy. Not too hard…but definitely not easy. Sure, it’s heavy. But is that really as big an issue as everyone seems to think it is on a coker? More weight=more momentum :).

It’s up to you what you want to buy. If I could do it again, I’d buy another steel rim. I never worry that the tire is going to blow off while I’m riding or that it’s going to fall apart or anything. I highly recommend the radial.

How do you fit the t7 on the radial frame? Is the seat post diameter the same as the nimbus? Edit I just checked and it is, cool! So since the radial doesn’t come with the rail base, (or does it?) you just bought that separate so you could then intsall the t7?

The frame size is 25.4mm.

The T7 handle is equipped with the rails and attaches directly to the seat.

So you need to buy a rail-type seatpost along with the t7. I bought the KH.

Here’s a decent picture:

Yeah that’s what I figured. Good choice as it makes the saddle more adjustable forward/aft/up/down. This addition along with the KH fusion freeride saddle (w/channel in center) will make the basic radial 360 w/ coker tire, my “WMD” of choice.

It already has the extra wide hub as standard equip., plus I can use TA or coker tire and pump that bastard up to 50 psi with no worries! Yep, this is my choice… and it’s all under $400! Thanks!

Good choice :slight_smile:

Any seat that you put on a rail-type seatpost immediately becomes 10x more comfortable. I have the standard KH seat. Yup, I’m running on 40 psi right now. It’s great! I just did a little photo-shoot so you can see how sexy the thing looks with all the additions. I’ll post the pics as a new thread, Check it out.

There are more than a few factors in this problem.

  1. The rim
  2. The Tyre
  3. The application
  4. The air pressure

Let start with the rim, which everyone seems to be blaming as being the problem. The size that it is now was made to fit the first batch of TA tyres that were imported in to the US. These were the only tyres available at the time (Coker did not have any).

The tyres that Coker imported after this production run of rims is larger. It is also looser on the single skin steel rim than it was using the old rim. The single skin steel rim has a bigger lip on it so it does not matter as much.

To compound and confuse things more, the latest TA tyre is slightly larger than the older one (luckily not by much). So we now have 4 sizes of tyre, old Coker, old TA, new TA and new Coker; in order of size.

Application; I have looked carefully at the way you apply the tyres. You can help prevent blow outs by cleaning off the silicon mould release agent on the tyre before fitting, we now do this here before fitting the tyres. This helps a lot, also making sure that the rim is not greasy. Please note that it is not unusual to be able to fit tyres on rims without using tyre levers, in fact I would have suggested this is the norm, not the exception. When fitting you should always check that the bead is evenly fitted to the rim, this should be done with any tyre although is extra important on bigger tyres. If it is not even then you should let the tyre down and reinflate moving the tyre as you inflate to be sure that it is even.

Air Pressure; I think everyone knows I am a lightweight but I have been doing some checking on what pressures and tyres are best for me for the MUT ride. I came to a surprising conclusion. I tried the tyre up to 60psi and then dropped it down in increments; above 30psi it actually did not handle well for me. The unicycle seamed to have a mind of it’s own on cambers and was uncomfortable to use for any distance as I was always correcting. It was not until I lowered the pressure that I could ride at my normal speed.