Coker/28 - a comparison.

For the last few weeks, I have been riding only 2 of my unicycles regularly: the Coker (with 150mm cranks) and the 20 (with 110mm cranks). Occasionally, I’ve ridden my 24 (150mm) and my mate’s 24 (125mm).

So tonight, for a change, I went out on the 28. How did it really compare with the Coker? I was riding some of my regular training route - although I cut the ride very short due to a bizarre mid-May combination of March winds and April showers.

A comparison of the specifications:

Coker: 26 inch wheel, 2.5inch section tyre, 150mm cranks. Pinned platform pedals. Viscount seat. Approx. 18 Pounds.

28: 700c wheel and skinny (32mm) tyre. Nimbus I frame (very similar to the Coker), 125mm cranks, cheap plastic pedals, Velo seat. Approx. 10 pounds.

And a theoretical speed comparison:
The Coker has a crank:wheel radius ratio of 1:3 (33.3%)
The Nimbus has a ratio of 35.8% approx.
The Coker ‘should be’ around 6% faster.
As the 28’s lighter and narrower, there shouldn’t be a lot in it, really.

First things first: the 28 is much smaller and lighter. It’s a LOT easier to get down the stairs, out of the door, and into the car. It’s lighter to carry. It is not significantly different from a 24 in this respect. On portability, the 28 wins hands down.

Mounting: I expect to mount the Coker ‘almost’ 100% of the time, except on uneven ground, or in a confined space. However, it is always a task I undertake with a certain amount of care - I position the pedal ‘just so’, pause for a moment, then go for it. Each freemount of the Coker is an encounter with destiny. I just hopped up onto the 28 as if it were a 20 or 24. On ease of freemounting, the 28 wins comfortably.

Idling: I can idle the Coker on my ‘good side’ on the flat, as long as I concentrate. I can idle the 28 on my good side ‘almost casually’, and I can idle it on my weak side with concentration. This has a knock on effect in slow speed manoeuvres and ‘3 point turns’. The 28 acts like a big 24. On ‘fine control’, therefore, the 28 wins comfortably.

Riding: I can storm about on the Coker, averaging 10mph for 2 hours, and I’ve done 12.44 miles in an hour on it. Top recorded speed on this set up (150s) is a consistent 14mph. I hopped up on the 28 and span my legs like a cartoon character running off a cliff, and sort of dawdled away at around 12 mph. This soon started to wear thin, as did my shorts, and I slowed down.

Tonight, I recorded a top speed of 12mph on the 28. I didn’t do a long enough ride for average speed comparisons to be really useful, but I got the impression that I was going substantially slower than I would have been on the Coker. And impressions count, because I’m riding it for fun.

In fact, a 24 feels faster, although this is obviously an illusion.

What I dislike is the slightly frantic nature of the ride on the 28. As I may have mentioned (ahem!) I have ridden a 24 with cranks down to 89mm, ridden one off road on 102s, and I’m used to the feel of short cranks. To me, 125s are ‘quite long’ and yet, by comparison to the Coker, the 28 felt far too ‘revvy’. Sustaining a high speed for a long period requires more commitment on a small wheel with short cranks than it does on a large wheel with proportionately larger cranks.

Also, the 28 felt much more twitchy, fore and aft. Some of this might be the narrower harder tyre, and the lighter weight of the 28. However, I felt even at the end of the ride that I was having to concentrate more on the 28 than I would have been on the Coker, except at particular obstacles where the Coker would have been ‘a handful’.

So on general ridng enjoyment, speed, and smoothness, the Coker wins by a wide margin.

Pose factor: come on, who among us doesn’t like a few admiring glances when we’re riding? Who doesn’t cringe just a little bit when people poke fun? It’s not a scientific comparison, but I felt that those who were ‘impressed’ were less impressed by the 28, and those who were dismissive were more dismissive of the 28. On pose factor, the Coker wins.

And a general score? Making a comparison of these two specific unicycles, taking into account the cranks fitted at present, and the tyres fitted, and so on, the Coker wins by a country mile.

What would I use the 28 for in preference to the Coker? Er… um… it’s safer in traffic. It’s more controllable in parades. Er… that’s it. If I needed lower gearing for more serious off roading than I can handle on the Coker, I’d use a 26 or 24.

Now I normally have the 28 set up with 110mm cranks (30% ratio) and on this set up, it somehow feels less frantic than with the 125s (smaller pedalling circle, legs ‘flapping’ less) and it will go faster than the Coker for short bursts. Even with 110s, it’s easier to idle than the Coker.

Conclusion: the 28 is ‘only’ a big 24, not a small Coker.
Conclusion 2, I much prefer the Viscount seat to the Velo, and I have two witnesses who support me.

Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

Mikefule wrote:

> A comparison of the specifications:
> Coker: 26 inch wheel, 2.5inch section tire, 150mm cranks. Pinned
> platform pedals. Viscount seat. Approx. 18 Pounds.

He obviously meant 36" wheel, just another damn typo.

Thanks, Mike; great post.

Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

> Conclusion 2, I much prefer the Viscount seat to the Velo, and I have
> two witnesses who support me.


Wayne van Wijk

The strength of the 28 is its versatility. You can ride it to the trail, then ride it on the trail, and you can do tricks with it. It’s fun to do all three without having to change Unis or drive somewhere to ride.

Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

Wayne van Wijk wrote:
>> Conclusion 2, I much prefer the Viscount seat to the Velo, and I have
>> two witnesses who support me.
> Why?
> Wayne van Wijk

Swoosh! Over the head.

Who might his two witnesses be?

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.

ah! i get it!!

he obviously means his hands!

or more important body parts. like his feet.

or maybe some friends in between.

Supporting witness reporting for duty.

I too prefer a viscount to a KH. Yes the KH handle is fantastic BUT the KH saddle shape just doesn’t suit my body shape.

I am a solid build and 6ft2 tall. Riding a KH saddle for more than half an hour results in chaffed skin. I think it is in part due to the seams at the front, the angle of the seat and the width at the front.

There will never be a seat that is fantastic for all people, there is just to much variation between different people. I envy all those who have found the KH to be the most comfortable seat imaginable. I’ll just have to wait till someone my size designs a saddle that suits them and mass produces it.

I really like how Mike wrote up his comparison. It really hit home when he mentioned the more effort involved in covering the same distance as the Coker.

I bought my 28er with the hopes of having a faster uni for going around town. My 24" Muni with 170’s lumbers along. My first ride with 150’s on the 28er was surprisingly still a little choppy and the speed wasn’t as much as I had hoped.

I recently mounted some 102’s off of a Juggle bug on the 28er and found that combination quite fun and a bit speedy. However, I also wanted the 28er to be for light off road. I don’t think the
102’s would lend it self to some of the fire roads around here.

Currently, I am playing around with increasing to a 29" tire and trying 125 cranks and 140mm cranks. Somewhere, there has to be a happy comprimise. I already know what it is. Two 29ers.
One for street with short cranks, a Big Apple tire, and one for off road with slightly longer cranks. It’s just money :astonished:

That is indeed the answer. But be prepared to replace that road worthy 29er with a Chinese made mass produced Blue Shift when it is available. The Blue Shift is the road weapon of choice. Put it in 29er mode when you want control around traffic or want to go uphill. Put it in 43.5" mode when you want to cruise open roads.

Count me in. And when will that be?

would it be possible to change gear while riding?
or would you have to step down, change and re-start?


Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

On Mon, 19 May 2003 10:39:56 -0500, wobbling bear
<> wrote:

>would it be possible to change gear while riding?
>or would you have to step down, change and re-start?

On harper’s prototype Blue Shift, changing gear requires stopping and
fiddling with a tool for a minute or so. Shifting on-the-fly is kind
of a holy grail that hasn’t been solved AFAIK.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

"Money isn’t made out of paper, it’s made out of cotton. "

Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

"Money isn’t made out of paper, it’s made out of cotton. "

Paper is also (sometimes) made out of cotton, search Google (try cotton
paper) and see for yourself.

Re: Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

Well, these sig lines are not fruits of my own research but quotes from lists of silly statements posted on JC. I have my doubts as to how true many of them are but for one thing I’m too lazy to put a qualifying remark to them. And it might spoil the whole idea too. But maybe I should start thinking about a completely new sig line scheme.

Klaas Bil

I really think this whole post is based entirely on personal opinions. Really, who is one unicyclist to say what kind of uni is better than another?

I personally like my 24" but this article has made me foam at the mouth for a coker.

suffering loves company…

Mike,i keep waiting for you to get a 700 x2.1 tyre for that 28,it makes a huge differance.

I know the feeling. I’m trying to resist the urge to buy a coker. I can’t afford it yet. The irony is that I’ll have a job over the summer, so I’ll be able to afford one then, but I’d have to buy a full price coker at £235, instead of an unused second hand one at £150 from someone at uni. That’s just cruel.


P.S. Yes, I have considered that mentioning that I’m trying not to buy a coker here was a bad idea. I’ve just come out of a particularly fun exam, so I’m not quite thinking as normal yet.

Re: Coker/28 - a comparison.

On Tue, 20 May 2003 02:01:32 -0500, XWonka
<> wrote:

>I really think this whole post is based entirely on personal opinions.
>Really, who is one unicyclist to say what kind of uni is better than

I for one like this type of discussion - or this type of posting
opinions if you will. They help me shape up decisions on prioritising
my purchases.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

There are approximately 450 million chickens in the United States.

I sort of agree, but I tried to make comparisons on performance, weight etc. in the hope they would be useful to someone trying to choose. The part which is subjective is the ‘fun factor’. That, I’ll agree.

On that point, I have noticed that simply riding the Coker becomes more and more fun the better you get at it, whereas when you get better on other unicycles, you have to go looking for things to do on them. I’m not saying that’s rational, right, or universal, but it’s a feeling I’ve noticed more and more over the last few weeks.

Would that be Nottingham Uni? Who is it? I may be interested.