Coker or wait for Harper's geared uni?

I am considering buying a Coker because I want to ride longer distances, but I am tempted to wait for Greg Harper’s geared 29" to start production. Does anyone have any idea about how long until they start producing the geared unicycle and what the approximate retail cost will be?

Tom Copeland

Re: Coker or wait for Harper’s geared uni?

As outlined by Jim Collins in the book “Good to Great”, beware the “tyranny of ‘or’”. It’s a valid mental exercise to think through how to get both immediate speed and distance gratification via the Coker, and longer-term speed, distance, and coolness gratification via the Harper/Howard (Double H?) geared 29-er.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with Greg at the NAUCC where he mentioned that he hoped to get the price down to about $500. The hub is still in the development phase.

I raced with Greg in the 10K, where he rode Blue Shift, and he totally kicked my butt. The thing flies on the flats! It might fly, too, on the down hill but he was too far gone for me to witness this additional humiliation.


Re: Re: Coker or wait for Harper’s geared uni?

So what, Tom, is your hedgehog concept, and how many unis does it involve owning? :wink:

Raphael Lasar
Matawan, NJ

Any pics/links to this mythical geared uni? What’s the gearing mechanism? Is there a chain involved? I’ve been thinking that I’d build a chain-driven uni for awhile as it could probably still be shorter than the Coker.

Google, here I come.

Its all internally geared within the hub. Pics and diagrams at Harper’s site.

It is not myth. I have seen it, sat on it, and failed to successfully ride it. See Harper’s avatar for the current incarnation, Blueshift.

It depends how long you’re willing to wait. If you have the money burning a hole in your pocket, I suggest starting off with a Coker. There will always be someone willing to buy it used if you later switch to the BlueShift.

The BlueShift is really cool, and I contemplated riding it to work. The Coker doesn’t fit nearly as well into car or closet, giving the BlueShift the advantage during all non-ridden minutes. The Coker’s advantages are the stability of the large wheel, and more space to attach stuff, such as a rack and such. I’m sure space could be found for same on a BlueShift though.

From what I heard, along with the $500 hoped-for sale price, the date of availability is totally unknown, and may be even a year or more in the future. After a manufacturer is found, there will have to be a round or three of prototypes, tested to see that they function as intended.

For $500, BlueShift would be well worth the money. I rode the 24" uni.5 when Michael Grant had it in Utah and it was amazing. We took turns riding Michael’s Coker and Uni.5 side by side. Uni.5 was significantly lighter and therefore more manueverable than the Coker.

I already have five unicycles and am about to order five more (three for the kids). I’m not willing to wait a year for BlueShift. I think I’ll by the Coker now and pass it down to my son later when BlueShift is available.

Tom Copeland

Speaking of the 24" Uni.5, Are there any plans to produce a production version, or will it be a case of buying the hub once it is in production and building up my own?

See this thread:

Re: Coker or wait for Harper’s geared uni?

tomcopeland <> wrote:

>For $500, BlueShift would be well worth the money. I rode the 24" uni.5
>when Michael Grant had it in Utah and it was amazing. We took turns
>riding Michael’s Coker and Uni.5 side by side. Uni.5 was significantly
>lighter and therefore more manueverable than the Coker.

I rode uni.5 (36") for two hours at UNICON XI. I rode BlueShift for 20
minutes in high gear (43.5") at NAUCC 2003. BlueShift rides much
smoother than uni.5. I’m sure there is far less backlash in BlueShift
compared to uni.5.


Ken Fuchs <>

Harper is certainly the guy to ask about price and availability of the geared hub 29’er but I know a little.

I currently have the latest prototype unit. The hub is prototype #3 with a 4th prototype axle. It’s very close to what the actual production hub will be since I haven’t had to modify it or fix anything that wasn’t right. The frame is prototype #1 and it’s got some problems. I had to do considerable re-work before I could make it work.

However, I now have a functional geared hub 29’er that I’ve been riding - so far so good. I’ll put some more miles on it, then tear the hub apart to see if there’s anything fishing going on inside. I’ll also get prototype #2 frame to check out when it’s available.

As a side note - I put a WTB Moto Raptor tire on the new geared hub 29’er and it’s excellent! Even though it has an agressive, knobby tread it’s very smooth and tracks straight and true.

Steve Howard

It sounds like it may be closer than I thought. Steve, is there anything special about the frame that you can tell us about?

Tom Copeland

Hey tomcopeland, let’s not bring an expert in at this late stage of the thread. It’s gonna mess up the great record of idle speculation we’ve got going here… :smiley:

I wonder if Harper would be willing to sell a prototype hub for testing? Are you reading this Greg? :slight_smile:

I’m getting a Coker for some distance riding next year- Vietnam to Cambodia (500km) in Feb 04 to raise money for OXFAM. Unfortunately there are about 40 (bi)cyclists to keep up with :(.
I think the geared Uni has to be more practical in terms of travelling (more compact) and unitouring than a Coker. Any thoughts?


All posts on this topic seem accurate enough and should only have the words “are”, “will be”, etc. replaced with the words “hope to”. I have plans to have a test rider very quickly put lots of miles on the first successful (needs no modification as delivered) prototype pair (hub and frame) before the actual production run. The price of one of the finished unicycles is speculative at best. The same goes for the release date.

Hi Greg,

A small bird landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear that you might be travelling to the Netherlands. Perhaps Klaas can be one of your test pilots? I’m sure he would accept the assignment. :wink: Ah man… the bird just left a present on my shoulder.


Yes, I get to see Klaas in October. He plans to show me the “hills” of Holland. Both of them.

Be sure and bring your snorkal too as both of those hills are probably below sea level. :smiley: Seriously, it’s a wonderful country and one of my favorite destinations. Have fun.