Onewheel GT and the XR came with 6.5″ wide tires and while the Vega slick had a generally flatter profile and more pronounced shoulder, both remain as relatively stable tires. Does the width of the Onewheel tire make for a more nimble ride? Yes, but you don’t need a Pint-sized tire to be nimble. With one wheel, you are pretty agile already.
PSI Can Do As Much As Tire Width
Tire pressure matters (PSI) The Onewheel makes contact with the ground in only one location and its only a few square inches of contact (Approximately the width of the tire multiplied by 1 to 2 inches or so (depending on tire pressure). When we lower tire pressure, the contact area can lengthen up to an inch. This could be the differences of 6.5sq.in. of contact to 13sq.in. of contact.
Hot asphalt can really grip to this surface area. When increasing the PSI, you can shorten the contact area by shortening the width that has contact with the ground. The Vega slick is relatively flat however Performance tires or even the stock Pint tire has a rounded profile which can minimize the contact surface area when increasing tire PSI.
Nimble is Better for Streets
Onewheel tires such as the Pint that have a 4.5″ width have even a smaller patch of contact with the ground. While these make for the most nimble of tires you can find on a Onewheel, you also need to remember that all your weight is focused on that one area. For trail riding, more surface area is actually preferable. Too narrow of a tire can sink more-so into the terrain than a wider tire.
Future Motion released their Performance Tire which offers a 7″ wide option. This spreads our weight giving more float for the trails.
Rubber Compounds Matter
Burris trail tires and even the FloatLife Enduro tires tend to have a lower Shore rating meaning the tire is softer. A grippy tire is going to hold on the streets but will wear quicker than a harder tire. Does it make the tire more nimble? Well, its not as important as the width and PSI. The type of tire you decide on should depend on what you tend to do with the Onewheel. Do you mostly trail ride? Are you a street rider? Consider these two points when purchasing a tire.
Unrelated But Trail Related – Hub Size
XR, Plus and Pint models have a 6.0″ hub whereas the GT has a 6.5″ hub. The larger the hub means the shorter the sidewall of the tire (we are limited on how much tire can fit within the wheel well). Some riders do extend their rails which do allow for larger tires but some also use smaller hubs which have a similar effect but keep the original profile of the board.
Nimbleness doesn’t factor here however if you are looking for an even more smoother ride, you can get into changing your hub size to a 5″ hub giving you more sidewall space which effectively gives you excellent suspension.
Narrower tires do result in a more nimble tire however you can get some added nimbleness by pumping the tire up (increasing PSI). Increasing too much and you do start to lose comfort. It may feel like you are rolling on a rock.
This is a one wheel board though. If you are mindful of the surface you are riding on (ie. hot pavement vs dirt trails, the board is incredibly agile in its self to maneuver with the best of them. If however you are a street rider seeking to increase your trick bank, a nimble tire always helps.