Well, I bought a torker 24 last year in October and learned to ride, if you can call it that. Anyway, XMAS came and Santa left me a Coker with an Airfoil!!! Whoo hoooo I love Santa. Yea, I am 41, but so what I sent my list to the man in the red suit just like everyone else!
I live in Illinois, and by April I was starting to learn to ride the coker. Now, I consider myself a good Coker rider, not an expert, but just good enough to get some enjoyement.
I do mostly all bike trail riding, some blacktop, but mostly crushed limestone. Tuesday was my best day ever 34 miles total and I averaged 10 mph. Saturday 17 miles and Sunday another 17 miles. Not bad, I thought 68 miles for the week. This work thing kind of sucks as it cuts into my uni time, I guess I will need to speak with the boss.
I have 150mm cranks. I do not see how I can get my speed up much more. If I really work at it maybe I could average 11 or with a good wind 12, but that would be tough. Some people imply that with shorter cranks I would go faster, I am not so sure, and I am sure there is a tradeoff with balance.
I really like distance riding, people on the bike trail cant believe what they see. That is the best part. Most of the time I take my daughter. She is 15 and just barely keeps up with me. She needs more excercise.
How about it, are there other relative new Coker newbies. What are your experiences???
I used to borrow a club coker that had 150 cranks, it was pretty easy. Just recently I got my own with 127’s it was quite a difference at first and yes I do notice a small speed difference, the comfortable speed is the speed that I had to huff a bit to achieve before.
I would suggest, if you haven’t read it already, the book “One Wheel, Many Spokes” by Lars Clausen.
A great book about one man’s journey (on a Coker) across America and back. In it, Lars talks about crank lengths, etc.
I found it well-written and inspiring on many levels…
If your riding places are not real hilly (Illinois?), you should give a pair of 125s a try. At first you will feel very out of control, so you have to give them time. Do several rides before you pass judgement on them. Once you are comfortable you’ll be able to feel the speed difference that’s possible.
Some people ride with 110s and shorter, but so far I’ve stuck with the 125s to keep up a good level of control around the traffic on my commute. But I’m set on the 125s and would not go back to anything longer (except for hills or MUni).
Havn’t riden my coker for a while, but… I only ever avaerage 8-10mph. My top speed ever was 15mph. I’m not a fast rider. I did see a slight speed increase when I started thinking about circling my feet to improve my pedaling smoothness, but not a huge one.
Not all of us are fast riders but don’t let that stop you doing stuff you want to do, I’ve done the C2C and the mountain mayhem on my coker, along with hundreads of miles of cruising along country lanes and cycle paths.
Like Sarah I am not, and never will be, a fast rider. Over the last 3 months training for a 66 mile ride this weekend and the 24hr Red Bull in 3 weeks my Coker average has improved from <8mph to just under 10mph. My max speed has hardly changed at 10.5~11mph, it’s just my average that is getting closer to the max. I don’t know if it is psychological but I do know downhill is always my slowest direction!
I still use 150’s after experimenting with 125’s for a short while before moving back as Red Bull is off road and requires 150 minimum on a 36er.
Speed on the Coker is more about skill than fitness. Short cranks aren’t a shortcut to developing the riding skill needed to be able to ride fast safely.
When I first started riding the Coker my riding skill was not very smooth. I’d be making regular emergency balance corrections to stay on. I’d start to fall forwards and need to do a good push on the pedals to catch up with myself. I’d start to fall backwards and need to put backpressure on the pedals to keep my balance. I’d be doing those kinds of corrections all through the ride. You can’t go fast when you’re riding like that. You also wear yourself out on longer distances if you’re riding like that.
I started working on freestyle skills. Improving my one foot riding. Learned to wheel walk. And just generally got better at riding. My balance improved. I was no longer making the regular emergency balance corrections. My spin was much much smoother. The freestyle work got me to improve my balance and learn to ride while staying comfortably and controllably inside the balance envelope without taking wild swings to the extremes of the balance envelope.
So work on riding with an even and constant smooth pressure on the pedals. No emergency balance corrections where you have to quickly speed up or slow down. Learn to be smooth.
Try riding with 170’s on the Coker. The long cranks will force you to learn how to pedal smoothly. The long cranks will amplify pedaling problems and make it very obvious when you aren’t pedaling smoothly. Learn to spin the 170’s and your pedaling technique will improve.
After you’ve gotten to the point that you can spin smoothly and stay dead center in the balance envelope, then you can try going to the shorter cranks for more speed on the flats.
You started wheel walking AND one foot riding on a Coker? WOW!
I did not think this was possible, or at least extremely difficult.
Can you give some tips to other Cokeurs how to ww and one-foot riding, please?
I was practicing on my 20" freestyle. The improved skills on the freestyle uni transfered over to smoother pedaling on the Coker.
I have done some one footing on the Coker. It’s very possible to do but feels very different than one footing on a 20" freestyle uni. I have much less control over the Coker when one footing than with a 20" freestyle.
I ride with 110s on my coker all the time. I can average 12 - 13mph for an hour including any breaks, without riding super-fast. I think on a decent flat course I could do about 14.5 miles in an hour.
I find them pretty easy to control. You do lose some control, but not much if you’re riding regularly enough. However I do ride a lot more than most people, 10 miles most week days and extra riding at the weekend, 30 - 80 mile rides quite often.
The tradeoff with short cranks is that they require more skill and hence more practice to ride. They also make it harder to ride downhills.
One footing a coker is not that hard, so long as you go one footed while moving , not from static. Oh and don’t bother trying to get your foot on the crown unless you have super long legs liek jamey or tall Paul, most mere mortals just need to press the sole of the foot agaist the side of the fork above the pedal zone.
If you can one foot a 24 you can one foot a coker.
Thanks for all the replies. I will continue working on my skills. I have a torker 24 to practice other skills. The coker has a KH saddle. Seems comfy to me. It is not too hilly in Illinois and most the bike trails are pretty flat. The only thing that sucks in Illinois is that we constantly have 20+mph winds. I think I have finally learned to ride in a wind from any direction.