Disk brake and long cranks on Coker

As some of you might know, I’ve built myself a disk brake equipped Coker. The original plan for the disk brake was to order a new IRD Dual Banger mechanical brake and build the hub and frame around it. I wanted to use a mechanical brake to make trying different brake levers and mounting schemes easier than it would be using a hydraulic brake. The Dual Banger looked really good since, unlike the Avid mechanical disk brakes on my mountain bike, the IRD is designed such that the pads push into and contact the rotor equally from both sides. Every other mechanical disk brake pushes just the outboard pad into the rotor forcing the rotor to bend or deflect into the inboard pad.

My plan was to order parts, build the Coker, do some local rides and ride the Iron Horse Trail with the Seattle bunch. Two weeks before the Iron Horse Trail ride, the wide disk brake hub was made and all the parts for the Coker had arrived except the disk brake. I didn’t want to make the frame without having the disk brake in my hand. I called the outfit where the disk brake was coming from and found out that IRD had some production problems with the Dual Banger and it wouldn’t ship for another month, so I tore the Avid disk brake off the front of my mountain bike, built the frame and did the ride.

The IRD disk brake has finally arrived and been installed. I have Harper’s stylish red Kooka cranks and MUni hub on my work bench for evaluation after some big drops that Ryan Atkins did on them at the California MUni Weekend. This evening I put Harper’s cranks on my Coker and took a ride. The Dual Banger disk is smoother and more controllable than the Avid mechanical was … it’s really nice. I LOVE those big ‘ol 175 Kookas though. They make the Coker way easier to ride in the dirt and on gravel trails and roads. It’s so much fun! I could even idle the Coker (25 oscillations) easily on my strong side (not so easily on my weak side though). The red Kooka’s look really nice too.

Harper will get his cranks back … eventually!


cool. i was curious, because i am new, what advantages does the brakes you currently use have over the other kind of normally used uni brakes? and any suggestions on what cranks to get on my coker? i mainly do flat city riding.

P.s. nice setup for that coker, it all looks really nice

Wow! That’s an awesome looking setup, I really like how the frame gussets look. Is there a reason you used stainless instead of aluminum? How do the disks compare to maggies?

Keep up the good work.

Re: Disk brake and long cranks on Coker

Harper has been having mail problems. The best way to get the cranks back to him is to send them to my home address. I’ll try to remember to pass them back the next time we ride.

Re: Re: Disk brake and long cranks on Coker

He might be better off taking his chances with the mail.


Steve how would you rate the stopping power and more importantly modulation of the discs versus hydraulics?

Rim brakes can rub and cause drag during hard climbs if the Coker has a flexy frame or loosely tensioned spokes. That shouldn’t happen with a disc brake. Another thing that’s nice about disc brakes in general is that the braking surface is farther away from dirt and water than a rim brake but the main advantage of a disc is that it looks cool!

I’m new to Cokering so all I know about cranks lengths is what works for me at this early stage of Cokerdome. There’s been plenty written about crank lengths by others that know way more about it than I do.

The aluminum frames I’ve made are as wide at the crown as they are at the hub so the legs are straight up and down. That’s good for 24" MUni frames since the wide crown is needed for tire clearance. I think the 29’er frames I’ve made would look better with a narrower crown and legs that taper out wider at the hub, but the wide crown still works OK. My Coker has an extra wide hub so an aluminum frame made like the others would be way too wide at the crown. It would be a real knee-knocker and look horrible with all that clearance on either side of the tire. I haven’t figured out a good way to taper an aluminum frame of my design from narrow at the crown to wide at the hub so I took the easy way and made a welded frame with legs that taper from narrow crown to wide hub. I used stainless steel since I use so much of it in the fabrication of food equipment. I know how to work with it.

I have Magura’s on my MUni but I’ve never ridden another Coker with brakes. Probably comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. However, I think the brakes on my MUni are easier to control than the disc brake on the Coker.

I’m sure a properly set-up Magura brake works every bit as well as the disc brake on my Coker … maybe even better. The disc brake works well but the fact is that I built the disc brake Coker just to see if I could. I’ve been surprised at how many non-unicyclists have noticed the disc brake and commented on it.

As with most everything I do, it doesn’t have to work very well as long as it looks good!


The apple and orange may be the ride not the brake. I have the same Magura setup on my 24" Hunter and my 36" GB4 Coker, and find braking to be much more challenging–touchy–on the Coker. Would be interested to see what others think that have Maggie setups on both Coker and muni.

I had pretty decent control over the brake on my 24", but the first several times I tried it on the 36" I went airborn. Had to change the name of my brake handle to the “Eject Lever”.

i heard the the IRD dual piston hydro’s were a failure…i hope these new mech ones turn out better.