29" vs Coker

At what point (Distance-wise or otherwise) do you guys think it’s worth it to invest the extra money to get a Coker over something like a Nimbus 29" for commuting?

I’d suggest, not until you’ve got fully comfortable riding the Nimbus and have experimented with different crank lengths a little. Having ridden my Nimbus 29er (now wearing a Kenda Klaw XT rear tyre) for quite a long time, I find I can cruise at about 12mph on 125mm cranks which is not much different to the speeds I was making when I first got a 36er (150mm cranks, TA tyre).

That’s not to say that the coker wouldn’t be awesome. But cranks (and crank extractors) are cheap, so I pretty much always suggest people look at trying a few different lengths if they’re interested in more efficient cruising.

That said, if you do lots of distance and not too much weaving around people, riding stop-start in traffic, etc you may want to move to a coker sooner anyhow. I only took about 5 months to go 20" -> 29er and then 6 months to get a 36er as well. I didn’t need the 36, though, I just wanted it.

The nice thing about having a 29" and a 36" is that you can keep the former as a speedy XC muni, or a smaller machine to travel with, etc. There’s nothing quite like the coker for covering long distances at high speeds whilst still being reasonably relaxed. I’ve fitted out both with a T7 handle (I think this may have increased my average speed, although I’m not certain on that - it’s certainly given me a place to attach stuff I want to take with me, and it helps comfort-wise).

What kind of mileages are you looking at doing? Any offroad? All on road? What speeds do you ride, how hilly is it where you live? And do you need to fit your uni into a car? :wink:

I guess another option I’ll just quickly toss in is that if you’ve got the money you could buy a Schlumpf and get coker speeds with a 29er.

Do you already own a 29 ?

I moved up to a 36 from a 24 in an afternoon. It’s harder to turn but not really harder to ride, and it’s fun to be up high !:slight_smile:

If you want to know if you should buy a 36 vs a 29, I think that has a lot to do with where you are going to ride. I live in a flat town and ride places where I don’t have to stop a lot. I can free mount and idle the 24, but I haven’t really tried with the 36, it is trickier that way, at least for newer riders.

I am sure you would consider the small extra cost of a 36 money well spent, for any road riding. But perhaps if you lived in a hilly place with long stretches where you won’t find objects to help you mount etc. , there are situations where a 29 might be better. But some of the better riders here can do more on their 36’s then I can on my 20.

The 36 is the best choice for a road uni, even for new rider, unless you need to ride in difficult places and aren’t skilled enough yet. I will guess it’s not so bad in hilly areas either if you use long cranks. Unless there is a real reason not to, I would say get a 36.:slight_smile:

A 29er is better in crowds and tight spaces, and can be nearly as fast as a Coker if you run shorter cranks. Still, on really long rides, the Coker is significantly easier. For me, once a ride gets over 20km or so, the 29er starts to get annoying; if I were regularly riding greater distances than that, I’d be getting a Coker (or Schlumpf).

This is how i see it.

If you want to do MUni and trials, then a 29er would be the pick.

If you want to do some serious speed and light offroad, get the 36".

:smiley: :smiley:


I tried a 36" and didn’t get on with it at all. I then went for a 29" Kris Holm with dual cranks, and I love it. I am thinking about getting a T7 handle, but even with out it, I really like it.

I wasn’t that much quicker with the 36", and I am much happier free mounting, and riding the 29" than the 36". I didn’t give the 36" that much time, but after riding the 29" I wouldn’t go for a 36" again.

In the future I would love to get a Schlumpf, or better still a Schlumpf/KH hub for my KH 29", but it is quite a lot to invest in a Unicycle.


Mark Wiliamson which do you use more 29 or 36 ?

Mark Wiliamson which do you use more 29 or 36 ?

You will know that point when it happens. It’s different for everyone, and varies by the terrain, traffic, ability, budget, style and other aspects.

I’ve ridden 45 mile rides on a fixed wheel 29", 55 miles on a 36" and 74 miles on a geared 29" in one day. (Well, three individual days!). If it hadn’t been for my knee playing up, I’d have done much more on the fixed 29" than the 36".

A 29er is much more versatile than a Coker, and a lot cheaper too. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that to ride anywhere you need the biggest wheel around - you just need the right wheel for you.


Never tried a Coker…but I love my 29er…I think 29er because they arent as big and bulky but they still fly…But if your going to do like crazy long distance like Ride The Lobster then a coker probably…


Since getting a 36 I only ride the 29 when it snow. Don’t wait …


I sold my 36" and kept my 28".

The Coker is ideal if you want to ride distance all the time. It can also be great fun for storming over rough ground. However, it is less versatile than a smaller wheel.

I don’t think you make the choice on distance or saddle time, but on your style of riding. The advantages of the Coker become disadvantages if you need to keep making big adjustments: stopping, steering, accelerating/decelerating. Cokering is all about keeping it moving smoothly. A Coker on an empty road is a fine machine. A Coker on a busy road or bridle path can be a liability.

Apologies, in my earlier post I’d misinterpreted you as saying that you had a 29er already, which is why I was advising you not to upgrade yet.

However, I do stand by my point that a 29er can be a useful stepping stone on the way to a 36er, especially if you’re only used to small, light wheels initially. If you can afford it, this is not a bad route to take - and the 29" can be useful for things like town riding and muni where you might not be able to ride the 36" comfortably.

A 29er isn’t a necessary stepping stone, though - although it is one I found helpful and haven’t really regretted. Going straight to a 36" is also probably doable, and you may find that that works for you. Ideally you might like to find somebody (maybe on these forums) nearby who could let you try one out and see if it feels comfortable for you. Riding any big wheel can feel frightening fast, high and heavy - but once you’re used to it, it’s much less scary.

It all rather depends on what kind of riding you do in terms of distances, hills, roads vs offroad vs cycle paths, fast, slow, etc. If you give a few more details we can probably advise you better.

I’ll mostly be on sidewalks and cycle paths, with a few hills. I don’t really plan on being off-road much if at all.

I think Milefule’s reply really helped me decide for sure that I was going to go with the 29". I’ll probably be using it to go to classes with a decent number of people to avoid and a lot of accelerating/decelerating, stopping/starting, and steering. At other times, the most I’ll probably be going with it would be no more than 12 miles.

I ordered the 29" last night so hopefully it’ll come in some time this week.

Thanks everybody for the responses.

P.S. Does anybody know how to get the UPS tracking number from Unicycle.com? It’s not in the order info or either of the two e-mails they sent me.

I vary. I’ve gone through phases of mostly riding the 36" and phases of mostly riding the 29". I may have ridden the 29 more overall during the time I’ve owned both of them but I’m not sure on that. It’s probably fairly close.

My current setup is 36" - 114mm cranks (very short for such a big wheel, though not as short as the really good distance riders often use). 29" - 125mm cranks. The 125mm cranks on the 29er felt short when I first used them but now feel like I have quite a lot of leverage because I’ve got stronger and more used to the feel of them. Running 114mm cranks on the 36" is a bit hairy, and I’m not sure I’ll stick with it - it’s fast, though. 150mm cranks on the Coker gave me lots of control.

I find the 29" is very versatile. It’s smaller, lighter, still quite fast. With the current setup, I can ride fairly fast (cruise at 10-12mph, sprint up to about 15mph) on road and also do light XC riding. It’s quite easy to hop and idle it.

The 36" is more awkward in terms of size and weight. It looks cooler, though. With 150mm cranks I’ve been able to ride fast, sweeping XC very nicely. It could sometimes be difficult to mount, but it would roll (quickly) over everything once it got going. With 114 cranks I can cruise faster, but it’s less versatile. Even with 150mm cranks, it’s harder to hop and idle it effectively than the 29er. It’s much less good offroad if it’s muddy - slimy mud makes it far too slippy to control comfortably. It was more expensive than the 29er too. But I’ve had tremendous fun riding it, it’s an awesome feeling, it’s capable of a huge range of different riding types.

In summary: I don’t regret having the 29 but I don’t regret having the 36 either. I’m glad I have both. They can both do the same sorts of things, but often one or the other will be better. And nothing is quite like the easy, comfy, high speed cruising of the huge, cushy TA tyre!

Whoah, don’t blame me!:slight_smile:

Good choice.

A 29" is faster, much easier to ride and more versatile than my 28". (My 28 has a skinny high pressure road slick on it.) I have done 22.5 miles on the 28 in 2 hours 14 without a dismount. That’s averaging 10.1 mph, and I’m in my mid 40s and less fit than I’d like.

When I was “in training” a few years ago, I could hold 12 mph or slightly more on the Coker for an hour or so. The Coker is faster, but with some penalties that you pay for that. Not least is that a Coker can go a very very long way on its own if you fall off in traffic. A Coker can take several turns of the wheel to stop from speed, at 3.14 yards (10 feet, 3 metres) per revolution.

Awesome, I think you’ll enjoy the 29er regardless of whether you ever want to get a 36". It’s fast, versatile and fun. Do consider doing some XC muni on it, it’s an awesome feeling whizzing along the trails!

Sounds like you made the right choice. I love my 36er but concede that is not a great machine for accelerating and decelerating. Also not the easiest thing to mount.

In both cases when I ordered stuff from UDC once the order was in the mail I got an e-mail from USPS_Shipping_Services@usps.com with all the information and link to a site tracing the parcel.

I can’t believe anyone still listens to Mikefule. Just because the guy is informed, knowledgeable, experienced, and reports useful information in an accurate and understandable fashion is no reason to take his advice.

I noticed that 3.14 yards was surprisingly Pi-like: doing the calculation it’s obvious why- the wheels circumference is equal to its diameter (36")*pi

To convert inches to yards means dividing by 36.

So, the calculation is 36*pi/36.

so, the circumference of a Coker is pi yards and it travels exactly pi yards with each wheel turn- that’s a nice thought :slight_smile: