4 Minute Mile?

Having recently ridden a coker (for the first time) on the track where the first 4 minute mile was run by Sir Roger Bannister, it got me wondering, how hard would it be on a coker? 15 mph for 4 mins, or slightly more because you’d lose time at the start mounting and getting up to speed seems reasonable, i think i remember some people talking about cruising at 14 mph so surely this would be do-able? How much training would be required to get up to this kind of speed, bearing in mind i ride almost exclusively 24" Muni, a little 28" and have only ridden a coker once so far? Would attemtping this on a curved 400 metre running track be more difficult than doing it on a straight mile? Might possibly be able to con the authorities into letting me do it on the Iffley road track, i think it would make great unicycle publicity.

That is 24km/hr…for 4 minutes…
Shouldn’t be a problem considering that the official hour record is more than 21km/hr(not sure of the exact number)…but yes, its possible…It will be a challenge with 150mm cranks but 125mm and below would be fine…if you’re a decent Cokeur, of course…

a straight road track would be easier regardless. turning takes effort and time. on a banked 1/4 mile track it takes less than a flat track but still. think about it this way, run around the biggest piece of furnature you have in the house, now run that same distance ina straight line, which was faster? but a 4 min mile on a coker seems easily doable.

Definitely doable. I kept to roughly a 25km/h pace for 2hrs during my 24hr ride. I’d say if you’re looking at riding a mile, a really good Coker rider will be pushing a 3min mile.

Re: 4 Minute Mile?

what about going for a 3min mile to make it more of a challenge!

(pedant) Roger ran the first SUB-four minute mile(/pedant)

Gives you one less second to play with:p

Ok nickjb, if you want to get pedantic, your reference to one second is ilogical, especially as Sir Roger himself ran less than 1 second faster than 4 minutes (actuall time 3:59.7) So what your really saying is i have an infintessimally shorter time than 4 minutes, which is a bit silly now isn’t it?

markf, nice analogy but a better one would be running around the block versus running in a straight line, obviously at the extreme running (or riding) in a circle is slower, it’s just a question of what radius of curvature do you need before the affect is noticeable? Also the track will not be banked, i don’t know about elsewhere but athletics tracks are genreally flat in the UK

Gizmoduck, have you considered attempting the hour record as accoridng to you and denali’s info. you’d smash it easily

Does anyone know how to alter a thread title? Seeing as the 4 minute mark seems easily within reach.

I know. Hence turning pedant mode off and adding a smiley :slight_smile:

Didn’t Roger Bannister et al run the mile on cinders?

Now that would be a challenge!


I first rode a measured sub-4 a few years ago on a bike path. I had to weave thru occasional bikers and pedestrians and also had to work with the curvature of the road. I was riding a Coker with 110m cranks.

A sub-3 would be amazing, but I know I couldn’t do it – too old and fat. Surely Ken or Christian Hoverath could pull it off riding with even tinier cranks, esp if the mile wasn’t from a dead start but rather from a riding start.

David Stone

Apologies nickjb, i get very heated when peope try to out-pedant me, the smiley should have been recognised by the part of my brain that handles light-hearted comments and treated as such, needless to say many brain cells will be losing their jobs over this :slight_smile:

totally_hooked - i think you’re right, also the track was 440 yards, not the 400 metres that stands in it’s place

Not me, I can’t sprint for peanuts. My average speed over long distances stays pretty constant, but I dont’ actually go much faster than that.

Christian could probably do it- he apparently hit 48km/hr on a Coker.

That or we could try it with a Schlumpf or similar geared up unicycle.

What is the current record for the (running) mile anyway? I thought it was sitting just over the 3:50 mark.

Does anyone know the nature of the correlation between 28" and 36" speeds? I just ran a 5:35 mile on a 28" with 125s on a muddy bumpy and hilly road, what would me coker performance be like based on this? (and assuming i’d had similar levels of experience on coker and 28") Also this was the first half of a 2 mile ride so perhaps i could get faster if i knew i didn’t have the second half to go.

My evening rides which are 10 miles long are often done with an average speed of about 15mph and that is with a 150m climb as well. So if you do it on the flat and only do 1 mile… a 4 minute mile should be easy for most average to good riders. On the flat I am reasonably certain I can maintain 18mph for a mile without a problem and that would be 3:20 - but would need a warm up and rolling start. As for 3:00 that would be 20mph and at the moment I could not do that for that long… with some training and a Schlumpf Coker I may be able to.


Wow. What a thought. What a machine.
What a nice way to get killed.

With cranks of same length and excluding factors like weight and other crap…i.e. taking only wheel size into consideration, a 36" is 1.285 times faster than a 28"…Your mile timing on a Coker with 125mm would be approximately…4:21…To be able to do a sub-4 you will have a do a 5:08 on a 28"…

I believe that is around 3:43…

A 24"/125mm setup should be equivalent to running speed…

I was about to say surely that’s wrong, it would be impossible on a 24", then i realised that of course it very nearly is impossible to run that fast, certainly for me. :slight_smile: Thanks for the input everyone, sounds like it’s well worth going for.