Fun Coker ride 5/27/07

Going downhill, it´s not that hard.
On my ride yesterday my gps gave me a top speed of 35.4kph(21.4mph).
That might be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. I was really flying down some hills with my 152s.
I´ve only been cokering since March and have felt that I have been holding back while riding downhill. Yesterday all that changed. I just realised everything I had to do was push down hard on the handle and just “let go”, let the legs spin without me controlling them too much(if that makes sense). I guess it just took me a while to feel secure enough to let go.

Really, really looking forward to getting my 125s and T7 delivered now!

Training hasn´t been perfect yet, but I´m really starting to push it now. I will meet up with you in Siena, Nathan!


GPS is not really an accurate method to measure instantaneous speed. But going 21mph downhill is believable. It probably felt crazy though with those cranks! Zack Baldwin could accelerate up to 23mph on pretty much any downhill he wanted and that was without much training or practice. He was just a damn good rider. One one ride we did, he crashed twice, at 23 and 24mph, and still cranked out 80 more km to the finish. Crashing at speed like that can really hurt too.


I find that REALLY hard to believe with those long cranks, but if you say so, ok.

I agree that gps can be pretty unreliable. I do have it set so it averages the speed over the last 5 seconds, though. So the 34.5kph shouldn´t be a “spike”.
I could never get up to that speed on the flat, though. I just found some perfect downhills and let go, like i wrote. Really no pressure at all on the pedals. It´s funny just how much of a difference pushing down hard on the handle makes.

Nathan, if you consider yourself a slow rider, and can go 20 mph on a 36er, I’m like a total duffer.

My qustion–I have an old Coker, with the good airfoil rim but the rest is just the tin junk without the extra wide hub. I have an extra Wallis CB seat and can upgrade the rest (Nimbus frame, new wheel build et al) for about 350 bucks so I’m wondering if the advantages of the rig Corbin described are worth it over the old Coker/airfoil set up.


I’m afraid it is true John, neither of us is at the cutting edge of speed on Coker. The fastest I know of someone riding is 29mph and there are a number who have gone over 24. Just spend some time riding with one of those guys and you’ll see what I mean. I don’t worry about this at all as it’s obvious that you can have an absolute blast on these cycles at way below world-class speed.

What you need to enjoy 36" unicycling is a great wheel build with a wide hub, brakes that work, and a seat that is as comfortable as possible. Without those things, it can be good, but not great. Really the wheel is the deal. The old stock Coker frame is probably fine as long as you weld on the Magura mounts. The Nimbus frame is perfect - much cheaper than other custom frames and quality is good enough. Is a $350 upgrade worth it? No if that $350 is needed for something in life. YES if you can afford it, yes for sure.

Actually there are some people like Ken who are so skilled that they don’t need a brake. I would say that most people would need a brake to get the most out of it though.


To go with what Nathan said – the best upgrade is probably the extra-wide hub + airfoil. If you could get someone to rebuild your wheel, you may be able to add the hub to your airfoil, weld on magura mounts to the frame, and you’ll be set for very little additional cost. I was going to go down the frame-welding route for my stock Coker, but I never got around to getting it done, and instead just got a new frame for $120 when I ordered Louise a new Nimbus 36’er. I used the old frame, sans brake, for quite a long time. I just bent it outwards by hand to accommodate the UDC extra-wide hub.

Scott Wallis’ seats are GREAT! But, the new KH ones are good too.


Nathan - was the 29mph documented in some way? Was it a geared 36? If ungeared, 29 mph is around at least 275 rpm or 4.5 complete revolutions per second. That’s just not believable.

Please tell me more about this inhuman feat.

Are you sure they weren’t just banging together two empty halves of coconuts?

It was done by Christian Hoverath and measured by cyclometer. I think it was actually 29.3 or so. If you knew him, you would know it’s believable. He expected to crash but didn’t and was very happy and I think he vowed never to again go so fast. I wasn’t there when he did it but he is trustworthy and told me personally about it.

There are lots of threads discussing this. See Fastest speed on unicycle or unicycle speed record