Friday, June 10, 2011

Lighter Weight Tube

I wanted to try a lighter weight tube in my KH24. The whole unicycle is heavy, especially with the Schlumpf hub, but there isn't a lot of room for weight loss. One thing I have heard of is "rotational weight". It's something about how it takes more energy to move a pound of the rotating wheel and a pound of the rest of the uni. Weight on the outside of the wheel has a greater effect than on the inside.

The tube I've been riding with is the stock one, so I assume it is a heavy duty Duro brand tube that normally comes with it. By "heavy duty" I mean it is made of thicker rubber to help it endure the stressed of the most extreme muni riding. While riding a unicycle off-road may be considered extreme by itself, there are plenty of riders out there doing way more extreme riding than me. So I'm hoping a lighter tube will survive just fine and give me a lighter wheel.

I've read about some riders do this have having no problems, while others get flats soon after. So I'm still a bit concerned.

I had to call 5 bike shops before finding a 24x3 tube. Giant brand. I had heard Specialized brand tubes were good, but none of the Specialized dealers in town stocked a 24x3 tube. It's kind of odd. I found it at Towner's.
I weighed both the new and old tube using a cheap postal scale.
I don't now how accurate it is but here's what I got:

Duro: just over 15 oz. (425g)
Giant: 10 oz (284g)

I gave my new one a test spin around the neighborhood. I want to say I felt a difference, but it could easily be psychological.

But then again, my wheel's circumference is about 77", so that's about 4114 rotations in a 5 mile muni ride, which means I'm moving over 20,500 extra ounces around... that's 1285 pounds! Sounds good to me... whether it's logically sound or not!

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