What are some of the strong points of the Coker?
Also, what could be improved to make the Coker better?
What are some of the strong points of the Coker?
Also, what could be improved to make the Coker better?
Strong Points: Huge wheel, goes fast, can cover long distances.
Improvements that could be made: Stronger wheel (wider hub and stronger rim) (these are available). Lighter, stronger, cheaper, more easily available. Oh and you could put a coffee machine on one.
Seriously though, why do you ask?
Thanks for your reply Dave.
Can you elaborate on the areas that you would improve, please? You also mention that they are not easily available. May I ask where you purchased yours?
I represent Coker Tire Co. and I am simply gathering feedback from the consumer.
I hope you are enjoying your Coker!
All the Best,
That’s a MUCH better way to get our ears! Also I recommend you restart this thread over in rec.sport.unicycing where you’ll get more responses.
The best thing about the Coker is obvious: 36" of diameter! Bigger wheel = higher gear, and Coker is (or was until very recently) the biggest thing at an affordable price.
I’ve been riding a Coker Deluxe from Unicycle.com since 2002. Before that, I had 20 years of experience on a 45" hard-tire big wheel from The Unicycle Factory. The Coker is much more pleasant to ride, despite the smaller wheel, because the tire smooths out the ride and makes it comfortable. My big wheel is better for making sharp turns though, and I use it when I ride in parades. That’s about all it gets used for any more.
Coker improvements? I’d recommend doing away with the stock steel rim, as it’s weak and problematic. Supply it with a KH/Velo seat or equivalent. Much nicer than the Viscount. The stock hub is too narrow. Commission some wide ones, like the Unicycle.com wide hub.
Tire: The tire rides great. The only thing I don’t like about it is the weight. I understand the weight is a factor of its strength and longevity however, which I consider to be very important in a novelty-size tire. High performance is not necessarily a good tradeoff for a weaker tire. But a ligher one would be nice. Maybe a skinnier one, but not too skinny, like 1.5 or 1.75". This would be great for all those distance riders out there.
But I have a better idea. Instead of retooling the original tire, now about a new size? a 42" wheel would still fit the vast majority of your market. If you were to make a 42" size, it could be aimed more at the performance and distance market, rather than the novelty rider. This means a skinnier tire that would be proportionally lighter than the 36". You could get the makers of the Airfoil, or some similar good quality alloy rim, to make a rim to fit.
This wheel would really benefit from a wide hub. Note: My 45" wheel has something like 6-8" between the flanges. I don’t feel the extra width negatively affects my riding, as it’s a necessary quality for a solid, large wheel. You would at least want to double the space between the flanges on the standard Coker hub (which I assume is intended for a 20" or 24" wheel).
If you would like to hear more from me, please contact me at the email address in my signature.
First off, it’s good to keep it inexpensive and there are many things that would be nice to have changed, but isn’t necessary.
I think the most important things that need to be changed are the components in the wheel. Riding in winter here in MN makes them get very rusty. Also, the stock wheel moves quite a bit when accelerating and putting high torque on the wheel. So, I suggest not having a steel rim that can rust. Use stainless steel spokes, and have a wider hub so the wheel can be built stronger. Using a velo/KH seat would be much better as well. Those two things are the most important changes that could be made.
As for the tire, you could also offer a smoother tread that is more road friendly.
I moved this thread to RSU.
I love my coker!!!
I ride at least 30 miles per week on roads and trails. This is its first winter so I hate to see it get rusty It’s not rusty yet.
The bumpies on the tire are low enough profile that they don’t bother me, and I like the grippiness. For when I do occasionally take it on a dirt road. There is a lot of debate of the weight. I am pretty small 5’6 and about 130. I like the weight. It helps me going up hills, I get going fast and the inertia carries me up! It also makes balancing while going very slowly quite easy, which is great at intersections in the road not having to dismount each time.
I don’t have the experience of riding other large unis that some of the people on this forum have, but I’d suggest that if you make changes in the tire, that you keep current design available until the new one(s) gets better all around reviews.
An interesting thing you may find on this forum is the wide variety of applications the coker tire has been applied to, seeing as for such a long time it was the only one of its kind. Perhaps some specialized models to suit different needs is a possibility!!
Thanks for posting here and for the opportunity to give you input! Toddharless, please also check your private messages (PM)
dude, you guys should make one cheaper, and make it like a 20 inch fixed geared type thing with a 40 inch virtual wheel, that would be awsome, but not like a giraffe, like a normal uni, you know those mini-giraffe things
I think the most important thing that you guys can do is make the hub wider. the next two important is to get non steal spokes and rims. thank you for comming on th forums to hear our thoughts on the subject.
cudos and rep to todharless
Todd, if you’re looking for feedback on the Coker tire and the unicycle Coker sells, you’ll get some from this thread although not all of it may be relevant to your business model. For a broader picture, I’d also recommend you use the Search feature on this forum to peruse through some of the many many threads that have been focused on Cokers. Try a few different keywords, i.e. Coker, Custom 36, Distance Riding, etc.
One thing to be aware of is that due to some of the limitations of stock Coker unicycle (already mentioned…flexy, weak steel wheel, heavy tire/tube combo, uncomfy seat, etc.), most Coker riders do some level of customization to their unicycles. At the low end of the spectrum is a seat replacement to a KH/Velo or custom airseat, and at the high end of the spectrum are $1000+ unis with custom frame, custom wheel-build with extra-wide hub and aluminum rim, and swapping of the Coker inner tube for a lighter 28" tube or a tubeless system. Example: on my custom 36" shown here, the only component in common with the standard Coker unicycle is the tire itself.
Regarding the tire, I have nothing but good things to say. I like the traction, width, smoothness of ride, on/off road flexibility, and durability. Especially durability. I rode my first Coker tire for 1,300 miles and it probably had another hundred or two left when I changed it. Never a flat or leak in all that time. You’re probably aware there is now an alternative 36" tire on the market with a more traditional tread pattern. It rides well, although I can’t speak for its durability. There may be riders on this forum–especially in Europe where the tire has been on the market longer–that can.
Given that a definite “aftermarket” now exists to support the customization of distance unicycles based on the Coker tire, it’s hard to say what areas would make sense to change or upgrade on the standard Coker. I think the suggestions from John Foss and Gilby around wheel/rim/seat improvements would probably have the most immediate return relative to sales of your unicycle versus just sales of the tire.
Happy searching! If you ever get to the point you’re looking for “focus group” type feedback, I bet you’d get some takers here as well.
The coker is fantastic, because it’s relatively cheap, fast and really really fun to ride. I’ve got 1000s of miles on mine and it’s my main form of transport (I don’t have a car).
It would be great if it came with some better bits as standard, but not if it upped the price too much.
Cheap and easy upgrades -
Everyone upgrades the seat. A Kris Holm or unicycle.com/velo seat that has a big plastic handle on the front would be great. Most people who don’t have expensive custom handles use Kris Holm type seats. They probably don’t cost much different to a Viscount seat either.
Wider hub - a bit wider hub would be nice. Personally I don’t like the really super wide (100mm) hubs, but lots of people seem to be changing theirs for the unicycle.com coker hub.
Pedals - if it came stock with cheap metal pinned pedals instead of plastic ones (like these, called VP something - http://www.unicycle.uk.com/shop/shopdisplayproduct.asp?catalogid=36 ), it would be cool. Most people use some kind of pedal like this.
As for more expensive upgrades, it’d be nice to have an aluminium rim and stainless steel spokes as standard, but not if it upped the price loads, they’re not absolutely vital. A couple of us rode 100 miles in 10 hours on Sunday, both with stock coker rims, both our cokers have ridden an awful long way with no rim problems at all.
I love the Coker. I just learned to unicycle 1 year ago. I bought a Coker this year and rode 1500 miles. I LOVE the tire. The knobs are great for bike trails (crushed limestone).
I would say upgrade to a KH seat.
I opted to get the airfoil rim, as I knew I would use my Coker very much and did not want it to wear out quickly.
Offering different frame colors would be cool. I recently had mine painted yellow. Perhaps Red, Blue, Black, Yellow? Charge $25 extra for this, still a bargain.
Stainless Steel spokes would be a very nice upgrade.
Many people upgrade and add a handle. A handle option would be nice.
If you are thinking really BIG, a 42 or 45 would be THE KILLER!!!
Thanks for listening
Regards improvements, be aware that most of the people I know who ride cokers put serious miles on them. Duribility is an important factor.
The tyre is incredibly durable and I put about 2000 km on mine before I needed to replace it. When I bought my coker I upgraded the axle, bearings, frame, rim, saddle, cranks and pedals.
On the stock standard coker I know of several common problems.
Poor quality bearings and crank arms have caused difficulty and in several cases I know people have had problems with the cranks rubbing on the frame. Quality control is one area which could be improved. Upgrading the quality of the basic componentry will not result in a huge price increase but it will save much frustration for customers.
The steel rim is durable but difficult (impossible) to keep true and is very heavy. Something like the airfoil would be preferable.
I found out about the Coker unicycle in 2001 and immediately bought one. Seeing (and then purchasing) the Coker is what got me back into unicycling after a fifteen year absence from the sport. Since I’m back, the only kind of unicycle I ride is a Coker. I now have two Cokers – one with the stock rim which I rode for over three years and one with an Airfoil rim and a wide hub. I was also fortunate to have a 1.5:1 internally geared Coker on loan to me for several months (search ‘der Uber Coker’, if interested) which I enjoyed riding tremendously. The Coker is my exclusive form of transportation in Manhattan (where I live). Unless I’m leaving the City, I am riding my Coker to get around. It is extremely useful to me because it (just) fits in the trunk of my Honda Civic, making it very convenient for me to throw my Coker in there and then find a parking spot. It’s extremely difficult to find a parking spot in my neighborhood, so I’ll drive to other areas and then commute back and forth between my apartment and my parking spot on my Coker. Before I had the Coker, I had to pay over $350 per month to put my car in an outdoor parking lot. I commute to the grocery store on my Coker as well, since it leaves me with both hands free to carry the grocery bags. I have become somewhat well known in my neighborhood because people see me riding my Coker so often.
My favorite form of Coker riding is at skateboard parks and Mountain Bike parks, such as Ray’s indoor mountain bike park (http://www.RaysMTB.com). The speed and momentum of the Coker enables me to get up some decently steep and tall ramps and quarterpipes and have fun on berms. I have a video of some of that kind of riding online (there should be a link on the forum, if you’re interested) – all of which was done on your stock steel rim Coker. I did taco the rim a few times (mostly when I first got it and weighed a lot more), but have found that as long as I avoid certain types of aggressive maneuvers or riding up anything bigger than a curb, the stock rim holds up incredibly well. For more extreme riding, especially riding up things (such as stairs), a stronger rim is definitely needed. While many of the improvements mentioned, such as a better seat and pedals, would be nice, I’d probably upgrade both to my own personal preferences anyway (unless it came with an airseat and a good set of platform pedals with pins). Overall, I’m extremely impressed with your product. The suggestion that is most exciting to me, which I also think would be extremely desirable, is a larger rim Coker. I think a 42”, or even a 44” Coker would be really great! With lots of Coker riders out there who have become quite adept at riding a 36” wheel uni (and now that geared unicycles are available and becoming more popular, too), I believe there would be much interest.
I have often wondered how much interest your company has in the unicycle division. Coker unicycles seem to be selling extremely well, but being that unicycles are such a small part of your company’s overall product line, I was concerned that they wouldn’t be given too much attention. I am extremely impressed and happy that you are taking an interest in this division of your company and seeking feedback.
Being that I am extremely passionate about Cokers, I had thought about contacting your firm to see if you had any interest in sponsoring some type of Coker event or events. I envisioned a “Coker Days” sort of event that would feature a multitude of Coker competitions, such as racing (individual, slalom, downhill slalom, team relay, one-leg, etc.), a freestyle and/or tricks competition, a rolling trials competition, and perhaps some other events as well. If you and/or your company has any interest in this sort of thing, it would be great if you could respond on this forum and let us know… that way you can gauge for yourself how much interest there is. I think it would be a great promotional vehicle (no pun intended) for your company, as it would probably be worthy of television coverage!
Anyway, thanks for taking an interest in us Coker riders (or as some have referred to us - Cokernauts and Cokeurs). If there is anyway I can help, please feel free to contact me.
In France the Coker is extravangantly expensive, so there were very very few Cokers until Qu-ax provided us with their 36" -the Quaker in local slang-
edit: ah yes mine came with a terrible rim, badly welded and trued, I needed 2 months to get somebody who could true it
It’s great to hear from someone from the Coker Co.
You guys have changed the face of unicyling- it’s become a practical distance and cycletouring machine, and made so many things possible. Organised group unicycle tours are now being run because of the advent of Cokers.
I’ve been riding a Coker for about 2yrs and set the 24hr World Record on a Coker (378km), so some serious mileage is possible:
The original Std Coker is OK to start with, and probably does not need serious upgrades, especially if it made it a lot more expensive. It’s a great entry level distance unicycle for the masses.
However, most serious riders upgrade their Cokers to something lighter and stronger. Check out www.aut.unitours.org and www.laosunitour.org on how people set up their Cokers. Most of the time, the only original part is the Coker tyre.
My personal preference is for a lightweight set-up. When you are going seriously long distances and doing lot’s of climbing, a regular Coker feels really heavy and sluggish. My Diet Coker set-up is much faster and more maneuvarable (see photos in the link above).
I think the most important things are:
Anyway, the #1 thing that would be great to have is a lighter Coker tyre. You can do custom upgrades on just about anything else, but what limits custom builds is the heavy tyre.
Or perhaps have a regular Coker tyre and a lightweight Kevlar beaded 2ply (instead of 4ply) version. It doesn’t have to be absolutely bulletproof, especially if you convert to Stans no-tubes. The sealant seals any holes instantly. I don’t know of anyone that has managed to puncture a Coker Tyre (excluding pinchflats).
Looking forward to the Generation II Cokers
I would hate to see the present Coker tire change.
Why is this?
Because no one knows how to design a good unicycle tire. We as a community only find that some bike tires work better than others, and then buy the heck out of those few.
If the present Coker tire changed in pursuit of a new design, we might lose the one we have.
If Coker Tire Co. wanted to make a new design, while maintaining the old, that would be great.
In that case, I continually get interest in a mountain-bike-like knobby tire, something along the lines of a Motoraptor.
The newer 36" tire from overseas is extremely slick off-road and is thus more limited than the Coker’s button tread. I’d hate to see Coker Tire head in that direction, because the current button-tread tire is great for the mix of road and mild off-road that basically all 36" riders end up doing.
A lighter tube that is designed for 36" size would be fantastic. The 29er solution is nice and light but loses pressure too quickly over time and has a relatively sensitive installation process.
Since you asked, I’d want Coker Tire Co. to do what they do best and improve the tube and add an off-road tire. The 36" unicycle world is changing very fast and it seems like it’s outside the scope of Coker Tire’s mission to try to keep up with it.
I think an off road tyre and a change of seat would be the best upgrades although I am told it can be quite hard to get hold of the tyres when they wear out so better availability might be a bonus.
I do like the idea of a bigger wheel too, a 42" or even a 48" would be great to try out.
I’ve not done much coker riding though so I think a 36" will be my next investment.
let me just say i’ll be first in line if coker makes a 42" or bigger wheel. also a wide hub would be the easiest upgrade and it would give the wheel a lot more strength.
Wow, it’s great someone from Coker Tire Co is interested in what we unicyclists think. I had the pleasure of meeting David Coker in 1998 and trying his amazing huge wheel. As a beginner it was so difficult to ride that I thought it was just a novelty. Early the next year though, I had my first of many Cokers. I still have that original cycle and have at least 4000 miles on it. I have 3 more now, one for each member of my family, with upgraded components.
Others have pretty much said it all, but the basic design flaw in the Coker unicyle is the hub. It is too narrow. Upgrading that to 100mm and using stainless spokes results in a hugely different cycle. A cycle that I’ve taken all over the world and ridden so many thousands of miles. It’s the cycle that does it all. My dream would be a new version of the tire (exact same diameter) but 25-40% lighter and nearly as strong.
Thanks for posting here!
my 2 cents
Dear Todd from Coker Tires,
If you have chance to read these feebacks from some of the greatest Coker riders in the world you can see the Coker unicycle have started a revolutionary in unicycling! We all love riding our Cokers.
My humble opinion on this discussion:
-two selection of tires; button tread for MUni rider and smooth tread of distance riders
-I would be second in line to buy a 40’ or 42’ uni from Coker(if developed)
-Stronger rim and hub combination
-Metel pedals(instead of the plastic)
1)brake for MUni riders
2)KH gel seats
3)different crank sizes