I have the airfoil wheelset from uni.com, with a 60mm wide hub, the stock version they sell.
It took everything I could throw at it for some very tough muni, drops, logs, rocks, smashing into things when I meant to ride over, hitting a rock dead on going fast enough to have me lying on my back 10 feet away from said rock…
It is still as true as it was when I took it out of the car on Friday
I look to upgrade my Coker with an Airfoil and, hopefully, lighter gauge, stainless spokes. Most of my riding will probably continue on roads. Maybe I’ll graduate to some relatively easy dirt trails. I don’t think I’m heading towards hardcore.
EXPERIENCED COKER RIDERS: what do you think about HUB WIDTH ?
Should I go WIDE, like 100mm? (Would I really like the extra wheel strength?)
wide seems like it is becomming the standard
wide would probably net the most responsive Coker
Or should I go NARROWER WIDTH, like 60mm? (Would I appreciate more the lower Q-factor?)
narrower may make it easier for me to ride fast
narrower may be more comfortable (I'm 5'8", 30" inseam)
The wide hub seems most beneficial for people using a brake. The wide hub makes for a stiffer wheel which means less wheel flex which means less brake rub (or zero brake rub if you have a Stockton wheel). If you’re not using a brake then you can tolerate the wheel flex with no noticeable problems due to a little bit of wheel flex.
The ideal Q-factor depends on your body (leg length, hip width, etc.). For me the wide hub on the Coker hasn’t caused any negative problems that I can notice. In fact, I think it’s been better for me because the saddle seems to be more comfortable with my feet a little further apart. It’s hard to know. But I don’t sweat about the Q-factor change for me and I don’t worry whether my Coker cranks are straight or flared out. It all seems good to me for my riding.
I don’t think I’d put an extra wide hub on a 24" track racing unicycle. At that point I think the Q-factor change would affect the handling and performance and max speed. But on a Coker I don’t think it matters much.
After riding a steel-rim Coker for three years, I recently set up a Coker with an Airfoil rim and a wide hub (I think it’s the 100mm one)… which I have been riding almost exclusively for the past couple of weeks. Since more than one variable has changed (rim and hub), I can’t say for sure which change is attributed to the rim or the hub… but I could probably make some decent educated guesses.
The lighter Airfoil rim definitely makes the Airfoil Coker accelerate and decelerate quicker at the expense of losing some of the flywheel effect and a bit of stability. The wider hub (combined with the lighter rim) makes the handling nimble and extremely responsive… but I also seem to get more lateral motion, which makes spinning fast more difficult/annoying… especially combined with the decrease in gyroscopic stability.
When it comes to strength… there is no comparison. I would have destroyed my steel rim 10 times already if I had attempted to do what I’ve done (3 ft. drop to flat surface and plowing up an assortment of 4-stair stairways) on my Airfoil rim on my steel rim Coker. I’ve felt my steel rim Coker flex a LOT just from hopping… and I’m sure you could easily taco a steel rim Coker that way.
What is better for you depends on your personal preferences and the type of riding you intend to do. While my preference for strictly street riding seems to be the opposite of the majority (maybe all) of the other Coker riders on the forum, I prefer a heavier, more flexible rim for street riding. For street riding, I prefer the steel rim Coker with the narrow hub for three reasons:
Less concentration and effort to maintain a fast, consistent speed due to the flywheel effect.
Less lateral motion due to the narrower hub and heavier rim.
Though this factor probably won’t come into play unless you make very aggressively banked turns (which is a necessary survival technique if you ride fast on the streets of a congested urban environment)… the heavier steel rim Coker is able to hold RPM better through steep banked turns. Aggressive turns make the wheel’s RPM want to slow down noticeably… which is much less of a problem with the added flywheel effect of the heavier steel rim.
If you don’t intend to smash up too many curbs (or any obstacle higher than a small curb), do much hopping, any significant drop-offs or Muni type riding… then the steel rim will hold up fine. I abused mine pretty badly for three years and it held up like a champ. If you get the steel rim, you will have to be spend money for maintenance to get it tightened and trued every so often. For strictly road riding… I like the steel rim better, but I’m the oddball when it comes to this. For you, being able to accelerate/decelerate more quickly and easily may be the main factor… it all depends on your preferences and riding environment. It would be great if you could borrow an Airfoil Coker (or at least test drive one) before you made your purchase.
I like my Standard UDC hub Airfoil Coker. I don’t think I’d go for the wide hub. I don’t notice too much flex (but then I don’t run a brake, but I doubt I’d notice even if I did- my bike mechanic does an awesome job of tensioning the wheel, and I’m using Stainless steel spokes, and the Airfoil rim is mighty beefy). I’m also reasonably light (60kg) and dont’ do 3ft drops on my Coker, just lot’s and lot’s of kms.
Personal weight plays a major factor in unicycling. As compared to Gizmo’s weight, I weigh 205 lbs (93kg). I went the wide hub route over a year ago. Everytime I would put power to the stock Coker wheel, it would flex, not so with the wide hub. I did notice the difference in Q facter at first but it never bothered me. My next project I will be radial lacing the wide hub to the Airfoil, we’ll see if there will be any benefits.
You’d be surprised. The Coker wheel with Airfoil and the widened hub does flex a bit unless it is built and tensioned to Dave Stockton standards.
My Coker wheel has the extra wide hub, Tom Miller spokes and an Airfoil rim. I had it built locally in Seattle. The first first build ended up having a bit of wheel flex which caused the rim to rub the brake pads. I had to take it back to the wheel builder and have him tension it up a bit more. After that second round it is doing better. No more noticeable brake rub when pedaling hard either on the flats or uphill. Riding on a well crowned road can also cause enough wheel flex to cause the brake to rub a bit. That big wheel is fussy.
The amount of flex that you get with a decently built wheel is going to be small. Probably only a noticeable issue if you’ve got a brake installed. But the extra flex could possibly result in spokes breaking sooner than in a wheel built with a wide hub and more spoke tension.
I weigh about 72 kg. I’m not sure how much rider weight factors in but I’m sure it is a factor.