Coker setup for offroad

Cokers are mostly used for cruising miles and miles on roads (paved or not). I’ve seen sweet rigs for road riding.

I’ve been riding my 29er along side (and behind) a couple of Coker MUniers. One has installed a brake and uses 150mm cranks I think. The other has no brake and uses 125mm cranks.

The terrain for these rides is mostly rolling hills accented with some challenging ups and downs of limited duration. We’ve got some hills here in Memphis, but not Billham’s Pennsylvania-style hills.

Question: Is anyone riding “the beast” with 170mm MUni cranks? I have enough trouble mounting while facing uphill on the streets. It seems to me it could only help.

I have discovered a whole new way (to me) of cokering, and can’t get enough of it.

I have 175 mm cranks on it.

I ride it as absolutely hard as I can, and expend as much energy as I am able to handle.

This goes for either on the trail, trials, or doing urban stuff.

You are able to meet the speeds that you could with shorter cranks, but also fly up and down stairs, and up curbs, and stop on a nickel. Cruising down the road, hopping up a curb to 180 land and ride away backwards…on a Coker??? well that’s just too fun!

152’s can be used for trail riding, but I am so glad I discovered this, I may not put shorter ones on again anymore…except to kick Ryan’s ass again next year on the 60km ride

I’ve used 110’s (w/brakes…and a bell) on the trail, which is very cool for flying down the flats and even through technical stuff, but even the smallest of hills need to be ‘pecked’ up. it’s still fun though


Check this thread afor some discussion on 170 cranks. Makes me think about getting a set of 170’s


I currently have 170’s on my Coker. I put them on a couple weeks ago when I was planning on doing a climb up Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park (the climb gains about 5000 feet over about 17 miles). But I caught a cold. Then when I got over the cold the weather has now turned and it would now be a wet and cold ride up the climb. I don’t know if I’ll end up doing that climb this year. Oh well.

Anyways, I’ve been riding around with 170’s for the past couple weeks. Works great. Lots more control. For rides where you’re going up and down hills they’re great. However, if I went on a 40 mile dead flat ride I’d probably go stir crazy.

My top speed is down. With the 170’s my top speed during a ride tends to be about 12 mph. With 140’s my top speed during a ride tends to be about 14 mph. Where the 170’s are better is for faster acceleration and faster deceleration. On rides where you are constantly changing speed the 170’s could end up being faster (e.g. muni). To maintain a fast speed it takes more mental determination. You have to keep reminding yourself to keep the pedals turning fast. If you stop thinking out going fast it is too easy to slow down. With shorter cranks it’s easier to maintain a faster speed without thinking about it as much. I’m sure that with more time on the 170’s I’ll get used to it more and it will be less of an issue.

I have not yet tried much muni with the 170’s. I’ve still got my long handle extension installed and the bike rack installed. My current setup is not good for muni. I’d have to remove the handle extension and the rear rack to turn my Coker in to a muni cruiser.

Give the long cranks a try and see what they’re like.

you want big cranks for your Coker you can buy these 8.25" long custom CNC machined aluminum cranks for sale on ebay.

talk about torque!


Crank length seems to be a fashion thing, to some extent. A year or two back, it was all short short short, for speed. I got down to 89mm cranks on my 24, and did some quite hard cross country on my 24 with 102s. Recently, Aspenmike posted a few reports of rides on a Coker with 170s, and suddenly everyone is long long long. (Next thing you know, we’ll be gone gone gone, jumping like a catfish on a pole.)

I tried 170s on my 26 and found it unrideable. It had no momentum at all, so every bump and rut became an obstacle. I put 150s on and that was comfortable.

Then again, I am in fact an undersized midget with short legs.

On the Coker, I’ve always managed with 150s. On 150s, I can freemount, ride, stop, idle (usually) and ride quite hard corss country. On 125s, I can mount, ride, stop, and do mild cross country.

Would the Coker be more fun on 170s than the 26 was, because of its greater momentum? I wonder. Unfortunately, I gave my 170s away in a rare moment of charitable feeling. Maybe one day.

Whoa! Who is selling them? They’re in the Bay Area, but I can’t make any guesses as to who they are based on their ebay name.

My interest would be in finding out who he managed to find to machine the cranks. Machining the square tapers would be tricky. If I ever get serious about getting some adjustable cranks made I’m going to need to find a machinist who can do the job.

a good friend of mine is a machinest, i asked him about making me a set of kooka replica cranks once and he said it requires way way too many special tools he does not stock in his shop.

if you can find a CNC shop and have your own CAD drawings you might be able to get it done.

he was only able to mill the basic shape and heat reat them.

square taper and splining require special tools, special expencive tools.

there is the eMachine website mentioned in previos threads?

It’s the square taper that’s the tricky part. The KH style splines or Profile style splines can be machined with a custom made broach (at least in aluminum alloy).

The Coker-sized unicycle is actually a relatively new development, as is off-road. I see the crank length thing as not a fad, but as a process of distributed investigation by the unicycle community.

As a point of note, Tom Miller of the Unicycle Factory has the exact setup required to do square tapers, and I have seen a videotape of him doing the operation. Give him a ring; he does excellent work.

The Unicycle Factory

Not a “fad” (fad being very much a pejorative term) but there is an element of fashion, I’m sure. Unicycling would be an unusual sport indeed if it were not subject to fashion, and equipment fetishism. People buy kit because of its perceived benefits, rather than any real benefits it will offer them in their own game.

There are many ways to ride a unicycle. I’ve done 15 miles in a muddy forest on a 28 with a road tyre and 110 mm cranks. It was hard work, but rewarding. I’ve ridden the Coker on and off road with various lengths of cranks, and I’ve done 20+ mile rides on a 24. Each combination of wheel size, crank length and tyre section behaves in a characteristic way. Some set ups are optimized for certain types of use, but the most important component of all is the rider’s experience.

I read with amazement Aspenmike’s write up of his 3 mountain passes on a Coker with 170s, averaging speeds that I could not manage on 150s on the flat over that distance.

I suppose all I’m saying is, a new set of cranks is not a short cut to a whole new level of riding. Practice and experience make more difference.

That’s Gary Kanuch selling those 210mm cranks. I remember when he tried them for the first time, at the Mt Diablo Challenge. They are the most beautiful looking cranks I have ever seen. I think they are ade by the same guy who made my adjustable cranks.

About Coker crank length, for offroad, of course you want 170mm or so. 152mm just does not cut it. 2 days ago we did a nice ride starting in Santa Cruz, up about 1000’ (mostly paved, but a couple miles of fireroad), then down 1000’ all on fireroad/singletrack, some steep and bumpy. Then a final 8 miles or so back to town, flat and paved. Total of 20 miles. I used 165mm cranks and it was great. If I didn’t have a brake I might’ve wanted a little longer. Other’s had 140 (too short), 158 and 170. Rob Bowman’s record time for this ride is 1:56 without dismounts - we were very relaxed and took a little over 3 hours. Try that on a 24" Muni!


Oh yeah, along the lines of what John Childs said: an offroad Coker needs more than just the right cranks. You also want a good handle system. Don’t get confused and try to use your touring setup. For the ride Sunday I was using a Scott Wallace CF handle which is fantastic. You want something with a really positive grip that you can pull hard on when needed.


A cross bar at the front of a GB handle works wonders and is a fantastic all around handle

pulling up through the rough, pushing down to unweight the saddle for endurnace…couldn’t ask for more!

My Coker is set-up with 150mm cranks for off-road, and usually 125’s or 110’s on road.

It’s always going to be a personal thing, but if you want to go fast you need to find a crank length that YOU can spin fast the time for the terrain you are riding, which will be different for everybody.

Personally, I ride a 29’er with 150’s off-road for anything that I can’t ride well with Coker/150’s. I think the 150mm cranks suit me well, whereas (maybe it’s a leg length thing), I can’t spin 170’s fast no matter what the terrain.

The other thing for off-road is to lighten you wheel. It will feel much livelier and climb better. Either go tubeless (do a search for my recent thread), or else use a 29’er inner tube.

A stiff carbon seat also helps climbing because it will not flex when you pull up or push down on it.

A Coker is certainly a capable off-road machine- it rolls over bumps better than smaller unicycles. At the UNICON12 DH race- there were people flying all over the place as they got caught by the hidden bumps. I rode a Coker over the same bumps with no problems.

Good luck,


p/s I will post my Coker Setup on a website soon.

Ken, you’re certainly right. It’s a personal thing. Also, there is offroad and then there is real offroad. Muni rides on a Coker, on steep terrain will be really tough on 152mm cranks. One good solution is to use a 29er or a Muni for these, but for those diehard Coker riders, they will likely find that going to longer cranks results in a pretty amazing ride. Not so much ultimate speed, but lots of fun and excitement.


That is because He opened our eyes to the potential. Look at the friggin’ vertical! The record speaks for itself…pushing the ride to where it has not been before. I don’t blame folks for wanting to jump on that. Everyone was trying shorter and talking about the speed improvements, but no one was really testing the limits of what you could do in the opposite direction. Aspenmike has been, and the test results have been very interesting.

Mikefule, you are an artist on the big wheel. Think of it as adding another color or brush to your distance pallette. Now you just need to get yourself near some terrain to justify that extra leverage.

A few things,

Tall people can spin longer cranks better. I guess Aspen Mike is pretty tall? I know Tall Paul can ride really fast on longer cranks.

Long cranks are great for serious mountains, which Aspen Mike obviously rides in. Especially if you’re riding off road. For cross country muni in areas without several 1000 foot mountains, I’d be surprised if you’d need them.

I think people with brakes can get away with a bit shorter cranks than without, as long as they have leg strength for the uphills.

Also, there are a few people who are just super-human and can ride way more than the rest of us. Roger Davies rides insane things on his coker with 150 or shorter cranks, due to having very very strong legs, I suspect Aspen Mike is similar in being able to ride so fast on 170 cranks.


hey brian, i remember using your coker with those awesome 170mm race face cranks at muni weekend. remember the big log pile we went up? that was awesome. i have 127’s on my coker at home and am soon upgrading to a hardened hub, 14g spokes and an airfoil rim. i wanna be like you when i grow up! (get a lil older?) anyways, any chance of seeing that footage of us both going over that pile of logs? i would like to see it and show my friends that dont ride yet. (i have two groups of friends, those that ride and those that dont ride yet)

Think of me as having Dorian Grey’s Coker in my attic. The Coker isn’t going rusty, but I’m getting older. Not ridden for weeks. :0(