Coker BigOne Replacement Spokes?

Long time since I’ve visited or posted on this forum! Been running too much and not unicycling near enough!

Anyhow, I’ve got a Coker BigOne with many broken spokes. Possibly from storage in a hot shed last summer. Bummer! It used to be I could custom order spokes from UDC the size and quantity I needed but sadly that seems to no longer be possible!

I’ve contacted Coker directly and they can’t sell me replacement spokes. I can purchase a new wheelset but that hardly seems very cost effective. I’ll go that route if need be but was wondering if any other Coker riders on this forum have experienced the same issue and if what you did to resolve it? Did you find a resource to replace broken spokes?

Thanks and happy riding!


had a similar problem. Finding 36 spokes is getting harder and harder. UDC UK sells custom penny farthing spokes, but they aren’t in stock that often from what I’ve experienced.

if you know what size, you may be able to make the stock ones work depending on what rim you have. UDC UK also has a spoke length calculator you can use. YMMV of course, last time I asked for help on here I was given at least 3 or 4 tools to measure spoke length, used them all and got all slightly different answers. Helpful to pinpoint what to order though.

how many are broken? hopefully the rim hasn’t warped or anything, in that case you’d be better off probably just buying the wheelset from coker. I had a similar puzzling conversation with them when trying to hunt down spokes. Why they don’t sell replacements is way beyond me.

Compulsion has them.

Disappointed in Coker

The Compulsion site may say the spokes are for a Coker, but they are listed as 371mm. My Big One has 358 mm spokes.

My Coker spokes saga:

The first person I talked with at Coker just said, “Nope. We don’t sell spokes. Nothing we can do.” When I called back asking for suggestions on where I COULD get them, the second person seemed genuinely puzzled on why Coker didn’t sell replacement spokes, and seemed determined to help me out. Eventually, he said he could take some spokes off a used Big One – for $6 a spoke, and I’d have to buy at least four. It seemed a hefty price, but it appeared to be the only option so I bit the bullet. Unfortunately, when the spokes arrived, the nipples were just a tad too big to fit in the rim hole, so I ended up taking the unicycle to a local bike shop and having them drill a larger opening. Everything worked out, but the experience really soured me on the Coker company, and I ended up going out and buying a KH 36er.

UDC USA and compulsion cycles both have 36er spokes. They are too long for cokers if I understand correctly. You might be able to buy those and find a bike shop that could cut them for you though.

Odd that this should come up right now…I just broke 2 spokes on my Coker on my way to the LBS. This is the 3rd and 4th, and I’m tired of having to drive to the not-so-LBS to get spokes I buy from UDC cut to length/threaded, so I’m going to buy a thread rolling die so I can cut/thread my own.

Here is what I’ve found for spokes that can be cut down, or raw spoke materials:

  • zinc plated steel unthreaded 2mm spokes from EBay - 1.00 ea
  • UDC stainless 36er spokes - 2.00 ea
  • Kris Holm black 36er spoke (through UDC) 2.50 ea

Are there any other sources anyone knows? If I go ahead I’d be glad to buy spokes for others and cut to length and thread - any interest? If so, which kind? Would charging a buck a spoke, plus shipping for the service be fair? I’d love a chance to amortize the spoke tool…



I have a spoke threading machine, and i would be happy to cut and thread spokes for people if the logistics make sense. Any way it goes there will be a lot of shipping, and that could make them very pricey.

I don’t need any compensation for doing it unless a lot of requests start heading my way.

I’d probably go with the stainless ones.



I have a spoke threading machine, and i would be happy to cut and thread spokes for people if the logistics make sense. Any way it goes there will be a lot of shipping, and that could make them very pricey.

I don’t need any compensation for doing it unless a lot of requests start heading my way.

I’d probably go with the stainless ones.



If you are just doing a few you can use a 2-56 die to cut the threads. I know there is debate about the strength of the threads, but the cut threads in your stainless spoke will be far stronger than the ones cut in the brass nipples. While it’s true that rolled threads are stronger I believe that the reason many external threads are rolled is that it’s much cheaper to do.

I would definitely like to take you up on that. Perhaps I could order ~20 stainless spokes from UDC and have them drop shipped to you…you could then forward them to me when you’re done; I’d gladly pay shipping. They should fit nicely in a USPS priority mail envelope.I’d then be glad to send them on to whomever else needed/wanted some.

Spokes would be 2.00 ea, 6.15 to ship to you, let’s say the same to ship from you to me. So, cost after shopping would be about 2.50…I’d pass them on to anyone who needed them for that plus shipping.

Are you sure you don’t mind?


I don’t mind at all. Pm me and we can work out the details.

Tom Miller from The Unicycle Factory can also make them. I don’t know if he will do it for free, but he is very reasonable. He is a little old fashion so you will have to call him. His number is 765.452.2692.

Jtrops and I have worked out a deal and I’ll be sending a bunch of spokes to be rethreaded by him and then sending them on to anyone who needs them. The final cost will be:

$2.50 per spoke
$6.50 for shipping, any quantity

I want 5 or 6, but I’m going to order 20 or so for others. If you want some let me know before Monday, so I can change the quantity upwards if needed.

Thanks jtrops!


So the issue here is that the Coker Big One (at least the aluminum framed one) has 48 spokes. As a result, the spokes need to be longer than KH or Nimbus 36ers which have 36 spokes. UDC USA only stocks 36er spokes long enough for wheels with 36 spokes.

The important part is that the Qu-ax 36er also uses 48 spokes of the same length as the Coker Big One. Shops that stock the 48 spoke Qu-ax 36ers may be able to sell you spokes.

I obliterated my 36er wheel on the cross country course at Unicon last year and fortunately Goudurix ( had a shop set up at the school and was able to sell me black Qu-ax spokes which fit my big one. Now a third of my wheel has black spokes and I’m almost out of the additional spare spokes I purchased. I ride my 36er pretty hard (new video in the works!) but these things are starting to break left and right.

That’s true, and I was once told by Josh at UDC that Coker uses the Qu-Ax rim. As for the length it would be true if the rims, hubs, and lacing was the same. It was said earlier in this thread that the current Nimbus spokes are 13mm’s longer than the Coker spokes. So, cutting them down has worked For Sam in the past. When this thread started I looked on Goudurix, and they don’t have 36er spokes listed. It’s always worth it to call. I have been lucky to find parts i needed that weren’t on the website, and the shipping is really not bad.

Thanks for the Qu-ax tip; it sounds like that might be a good solution. But spokes are already on their way and, as Jtrops said, I know this fix works. If I needed a set it would be nice to have black though. :slight_smile:

I’m buying a spoke tension tool too. Im curious what tension the current spokes are at, but, of course, I have no idea what the tension is supposed to be.


Thanks to Jtrops I now have 20 silver stainless spokes to fit Coker wheels. 4 are spoken for, I’m keeping 4…so there are 12 more up for grabs. Any takers, just PM me.

Also - I bought a spoke tension measuring tool, and I’m surprised at the variation in tension on the spokes on my wheel. I’m particularly surprised that spokes that ring at nearly the same pitch are clearly not at the same tension. When I wiggle them its clear that they aren’t either; looks like the tension meter was a good investment for me.

Anyone want to venture an opinion as to what the proper tension should be?

Your welcome. I’m happy to help when I can. After thinking about it more it is pretty unbelievable that UDC won’t cut and thread spokes to order. I read in an old post about how they (maybe Amy?) told someone that they won’t do it because half of the spokes get cross threaded when they try. Why not spend some time learning how to use the machine correctly rather than leaving people high and dry?

As for tension I just searched around and I couldn’t find it in the forum. I know that at one point I posted my 36er tension, and I think it was 120kgf. It is based on the rim, and since Coker uses a Qu-Ax rim I think you could get the right number from Benoit at Goudurix.

I just read Jobst Brandt’s book on wheel building and he claims that you can tension the wheel until you achieve “soft” wheel failure to find the highest kgf usable for the rim. Basically tension until it starts to mildly taco and then back the tension off until true.

This is one of those points in that book that I disagree with. It may have been true back when Rigida rims were standard, but rims are so much stiffer, and better made now that if you tension to the point of failure as described by Jobst you will most certainly be over tensioning the wheel. Back then the rims were so soft that it took very little tension to mildly deform the rim per the recommendation in the book, and the rim could give you good feedback about how tension was affecting it. These days even inexpensive rims are made out of 6000 series aluminum, the nipple beds are designed to support the stress better, and the rims are designed to be much stiffer. All of these factors should be considered when reading Jobst’s book.

I need a total wheel re-build so 48 spokes worth. Almost all my spokes look like they’re about to fail, corrosion near the middle of the spokes. I managed to replace the broken ones I had initially but as soon as I reseated the tire I heard a “pop, pop, pop” and a few more spokes broke! :frowning: So I’m at a loss now. I can’t really spend any money at the moment to do anything about it but may end up just purchasing a new wheelset from Coker for $250 at some point. Not sure I can trouble anybody to cut me 48 spokes!