Coker: First impressions and trip report

11 FEB 2003 @ 1:18pm: UPS delivers the Coker!

I open the box… pretty.

And look at that: The Kris Holm Velo seat it came with has yellow back sides, the one that I had wanted to get for a previous uni but didn’t. I plan to swap it for the one on my muni soon. anyway…

It came with 3 seat posts. I found that the middle size one works for me. (34 inch pant inseam)

I pump up the tire to 40psi (I weigh about 175 lbs) and out the door I go for a test drive around the apartment building. It’s about 1:45 pm now.

I try to free mount. I’m on top and lean forward as I start to pedal and am soon standing in front of the uni. That’s not right. 2nd try results in the same outcome. The heck with it. I’ll learn to free mount it later. I just want to ride so assistance from my truck is in order. Off I go. No really. Off I go, now standing in front of the uni, again. My nieghbor gives his usual “that looks hard” comment, only this time I agree with him. I get back to the truck, this time using about 10 feet of it to push off as I generate a little speed and this time I’m moving. About 30 feet and I feel the cruise control engage. I’m headed straight down the road and thinking that I should have bought this thing long ago. After a block I keep going straight and decide that I might as well go get the mail at the post office. About 1/4 mile later I come to main street. About this time I realise that I either need to cross, or turn. Turning. I hadn’t gotten that far in the “learning to ride a Coker” process yet. Well, there were no cars coming so I was able to zip straight across without a hitch. I’ll try that whole turning thing later.

I get to the post office and turn onto the sidewalk. Not so bad after all, but not a 90 degree turn either. A good warm up for later I figure. I dismount, get the mail and then decide that my truck is over 1/2 mile away so I’m gonna have to figure something else out. I try a freemount. Nope. I use a piler of the building and I’m off, again, in fromt of the uni. 3rd try’s a charm and I’m ON, riding away.

I eventually have to cross Main street again and this time the road is full of cars and trucks. I’m thinking that I really need to start investing time to learn to idle. That would be usefull for these times. Right turn it is, cross the street when traffic allows. Wind myself back to my road and onward to the apartment.

Gee, that was a fast trip. I need more. I try a freemount and nail it. I had to be rolling forward a tad to get it, but I got it.

Off again, to Subway for food. Then, I figure I’ll go down town just because. Then pass through town passing the elementary school. It’s just letting out and the kids seem to like the Coker as much as I do. to the park that I usally Muni from. I find myself at the trailhead. Now, I was smart enough to bring my wrist guards and a helmet…But I decide that nope, fear of a taco keeps me off the trail. The parking lot is gravel. I soon discover that Cokers and gravel and sharp turns don’t mix. I ride a couple laps around the park and I’m back into town.

About this time I’m getting thirsty so I do wah anyone would do. I stop by a bar and get a beer, and a water.

These guys are getting used to me stopping by so most of the regulars don’t even give me a 2nd look anymore.

Such a nice day. I ride the walking/biking/(and now that I’m in town, unicycling) path down past the middle school, which is getting out as well, about 30 minutes after the elem. school. good comments from the kids. I keep going and soon I’m on the road to work, Buena Vista Correctional Facility. About 3 miles and I’m at the back gate, ride on in past tower 2 and stop by the boiler house to show off my new toy to Granzella. Turns out he’s giving an interview to a lady that used to ride back in 7-8 grade. If she gets hired, I’m gonna get her riding again. Then it’s off, and back on with the 2nd free mount attempt. I get a few shouts from afar. I can’t tell what they are saying, nor do I care. Inmates never have good things to say, especially when it’s about an officer on a unicycle. They tend to do that from their cell windows, and it’s impossible to know which window it’s coming from anyway.

So on around the grounds and down the 3/4 mile drive way to Tower 1 and the front gate. Go inside to get a drink of water. I’m walking past South Unit which must have been in the gym, because no yells from the cell windows today.

I few good comments from co-workers leaving for the day. I freemount first try this time, look at the watch and time my ride back home. After all, I’m gonna need to know how long it takes if I’m gonna ride to work when the weather gets warmer. It’s about 5 miles I think. It took me 23-24 minutes, and it’s uphill all the way against the wind. My previous time was 35 minutes on the 24 inch Torker, down hill with the wind to my back.

I really like this Coker. It’s about 4:30 pm now. It was a great ride.

I had read every post about Cokers since I found out about them . I was worried about the wheel being very prone to tacos the way people where talking. To me, the wheel seemed pretty durable. I didn’t go off any curbs and didn’t hop or anything, but this will be for roads only.

The Coker is indeed faster than a 24 inch wheel, but I didn’t find it to be scary fast. I didn’t fall at speed and I’m using stock cranks. If any of that changes, I may feel differently.

The bright yellow on the seat was getting “spit” on by the tire every time I went through a puddle. I plan on swapping this seat with the identicle black one presently on my Muni, so that’s not a big deal. I wonder if that yellow will draw peoples attention to my smokin’ bu… never mind. :slight_smile: -----Well, I just swapped them and now we’ll see.

There were a few times that I was sure I was gonna fall. I found the big tire just rolled over the bumps and as I tried to pedal out of it, I did, and kept going. That cruise control feeling, ya know? I can get used to this. The wheel feels like a giant fly-wheel that wants to keep going once it’s turning fast. It’s also not as hard to go slow as I had envisioned. Turning while going slow IS harder than a smaller wheel, but I expected that. I also found that my inner leg would occationally touch the upper part of the wheel. The Coker tire is smooth and I had on thick fleece pants over thick poly-pro pants so I felt next to nothing. Not sure how this will be with shorts on in the spring and summer. I may learn to not rub the tire by then anyway so I’m not too worried.

I also found that snow and ice is a bad thing on a Coker. Maybe not fresh snow, but this snow has been on the ground for over a week now and is the crunchy stuff with hard footprints and such. I did UPD a couple times and almost UPD several more. I wish this town had more sidewalks That would be a good thing too.

I encourage everyone to try a Coker. You may be hooked, so be ready to buy one if you try one. This one was one of the “re-manufatured”$300 ones from .

Well, that’s about it I guess.

Ed Hansen

What a beautiful description of your ride.
At the moment I only have a 20" uni, am trying to decide between a 24" muni and a coker. You’ve (and all the hype) almost convinced me.

Great writing! I loved reading it.

I tried a Coker recently and your observations ring true to my experience. I was successful free mounting by holding the tire, like Ben Edwards does in Yoopers’ video. It’s a different and enjoyable ride. If I were choosing between a Coker and a MUni though, it’d be dirt all the way!


I had my Coker delivered at work. My first challenge with the Coker was getting the big box into my car to take it home. I was driving a Toyota Corolla at the time. The box was too big for the trunk and too big to fit in the back seat. I had to take the Coker out of the box to fit the thing in the car.

Once I got home I put the thing together and I wanted to freemount the thing on the first try on my very first ride. I was smart and pointed it down a slight hill and then did a standard mount. I was up. I was going forward. I went about 20 feet and then I decided that I needed to do a U turn. Well turning was different than I expected and I fell off. It was a success. I freemounted it on my first try and rode off, but I didn’t get far.


Thanks a lot for the write-up it was a great read.

>I also found that my inner leg would occationally touch the upper part of the wheel.
I’ve noticed this with my conversion from 20" to 24".


Why is it that the typo’s never appear until after I re-read it the next day? :thinking:

Samuel: Both uni’s are good. Muni and Coker are like Pizza and free porn. Both are a wonderful part of life, just in different ways. :smiley:

I’d get the Muni first. The Coker is cool but Muni is tons of fun. I would be on my muni every day if that darn snow from last week would melt off the trails. It’s supposed to get up into the 50s in a couple days so maybe soon.

well, I just got home from work and better get to sleep so I can wake up and ride a uni during the “less severely cold” part of the day.

oh, and for those that may be keeping track, the Coker is uni #5. :slight_smile: “Hello, my name is Ed, and I’m a uniholic.”

And you started in November? Five unicycles in four months… craziness! :slight_smile:


What is the quality like on the rebuilt Coker? If I were to get one, it would be the rebuilt one because of the cost and the KH saddle.

Of course, I don’t think I’m getting one any time soon. My MUni will have to come first.


To, me the quality seems pretty good. But I’ve only been riding unicycles since 2 NOV 02. I have never ridden any other unis exept mine and wouldn’t know what to compare it too. I’m about to head out for a Coker trip to the kayak shop in Nathrop, about 6-7 miles away so it will be the first real test I guess.

Nice writeup, rather, thanks!

Re: Coker: First impressions and trip report

Great writeup, ratherbecokering!

I’m still straddling the fence between a short-cranked 28 (or 29) and
a Coker (once the weather warms up) but this was a clear push to the
36" side.

Klaas Bil

"An anteater can flick its tongue 160 times a day, eating 30,000 ants a day. "

turns out it was 8 miles one way… It took me about an hour to get there, dorking around a bit on the way; and about 45-50 minutes to get back. I think I do better up hill. The road follows the Arkansas River the whole way, so I know it’s up hill all the way home.

The Coker seemed to be wanting to turn one way the whole way down there. But I think it was just me.

I noticed that it was always my left leg that would rub the tire a bit and I had to ride with my left hand forward. I switched sides of the road to test the “crowning” of the road, I turned the seat around and rode that way, both road sides… One side of my butt was number than the other and my lower back was aching a bit on the left side.


On the way back, I noticed next to none of this. I also noticed that what ever side of the road I was on didn’t matter because it wasn’t really crowned, but sloped toward the river in most areas. Maybe I should have felt forces leaning me the other way, but I was riding straight so whatever.

I also found it helpful to swing my arms as if I was running. This helped me keep my speed up.

Does high/low tire pressure help with that? Higher better? lower better? How about seat post height? lower? higher? I’m sure I can figure this out in time and error, but if some of you that have been riding for years and years have some insight, it would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my butt just might be full of jell-o that shifts around and makes me lean to this side, then that side, then centered…

Good reading, and it sounds like I recall it.

I like my muni more than my coker (I own 5 unis and 2 UWs). The coker is great fun off road on twisty single track that doesn’t have big drops, steep climbs or really rough stuff. I recently competed in a 3 mile time-trial on my coker (1/2 on road 1/2 off) with bicycles and came in not last -which I consider winning.

I can definately go faster uphill than down on the coker. And I can go faster through single track than on the road.

I also notice some knee bumping the tire, especially on the coker. The big wheel exagerates poor posture and/or poor spinning and if you watch your riding on your other cycle, you may notice it there too. Sometimes, I too have trouble with a “drift” to one side when riding and it usually goes away after I do some fast turns. When I’m “drifting” the unicycle wants to turn instead of going straight and I get a kink in my back trying to make it go straight. Holding one arm out helps. It comes and goes -sort of. That is, sometimes when I ride, it starts (always at the begining of a ride), and when it goes away, it doesn’t come back (until the next ride). I don’t know what it is. Some think it’s foot position related.

At faster speeds I find myself bobbing up and down. Tire pressure has more to do with where you’re riding. Hard for smooth concrete and soft for mud/dirt/shale etc. It’s still a personal preference I think.

I can’t idle the coker, but it’ll hop pretty easy. I’ve had mine off road a bit and the wheel doesn’t taco as easy as I thought. It’ll roll right over a 20" log pile like a speed bump (with a little pull on the seat).

187.5 ants per flick!

I had holes in my legs from the Coker wheel after the Unithon last year.