Well, someone offered to lend me his car to drive home as it was 15 km’s away, and I had been dropped off. No thanks, I’d like to borrow that 29’r…and I was off, with a laptop slung.
I made sure to remember to judge the ride as unbiasedly as I could, and waited for about 5 Km’s before I really made a judgement.
I like it far less than the Coker. I was riding it with 127mm cranks, and the entire time I felt less-than steady where I would generally be cruising without any thought.
I did not find it to be this nimble ride everybody always talks about, the entire time I was thinking, Gee, I wish I was on my Coker going alot faster, and more enjoyably, or even a 24" or Trials (I ride those for distance everynow and again when I’m going for a good cardio burn)
The route I took was through downtown, on roads, and on the sidewalk, having to deal with tons of sidewalk-road-sidewalk transitions. I felt less comfortable riding beside traffic on the 29"r. I had to plan my pedal strokes, and swerve far more often than with the Coker.
so I could play on.
Ideally, you would want to try both before making a decision on buying one, but I would (and will) recommend to anyone having to make a blind choice on one or the other (which happens alot with all these online orders) to go for the Coker. There comes disadvantages to having such a cumbersome (still less room than a bike, so really not THAT much of a hassle) But I am willing to deal with any downsides to the Coker (like the weak rim, no knobby tire) for all the Ups that it has.
To each his own, but I am thankful I got a chance to get some miles on one, as I can safefly say I will never own on.
My experience was similar. I felt more unstable on a 29er than on any other uni. After riding a bit more, it felt okay but I never really got the 29er groove going.
I sold mine to Mojoe and planned on building up a new 29" wheel to fit my 26" Hunter frame but still haven’t done it. With a Coker and a 26 x 3 Gazz (which measures 28" diam.) it seems sort of redundant.
When I want to do a road ride the Coker is the choice. When I want a bigger wheel off road, the 26 X 3 is the one (although I’ve been having a great time with the Coker on single track).
First few times I rode a 29"-er (in it’s skinny tire 28" form at the time) it felt pretty much like you describe.
I think to get comfortable with it is impossible in one day, you need to spend a week or two before you adjust to it.
I’ve no Coker experience so I can’t compare the two, from the many other posts on the subject I think it’s clear that 29-ers aren’t a Coker substitute.
Still, I think that when acclimatised to they’re a great deal better than your post is suggesting.
I’ve not been on 29-er since a recent accident whilst it had 110mm cranks on. but I’m looking forward to switching the 125’s back in and getting out on it because I had some great rides on it, it’s a lovely constrast to the muni with it’s extra height, speed and smoothness.
If you compare the 29 against the Coker using only one criteria (e.g. commuting), then I’m sure the Coker would come out looking better. But the 29 is more versatile overall; it can do more things (Muni, tricks, commuting) than any other kind of uni.
I get bored doing one thing on a Uni for the whole day. With a 29, you have a choice of doing many different things at any time, and without having to lug extra unis around in a car. I find that very liberating.
true enough, however, if I were to take the 29r MUni’ing, I sure would have a lot less fun on it than on the 24x3. So on that note, I’d just take the Coker if I didn’t have the 24". The Coker on the trail is a whole new experience, and fun in it’s own right.
The 29r is versatile, yes, but worse at both things than each optimal uni.
Lesson? A true unicyclist cannot own one unicycle.
I was able to appreciate the lightness of the 29r today when I carried it back to the owner while riding my Coker. However, I certainly wouldn’t be carrying anything so bulky on the 29r out of stability reasons.
The best part about this was not wanting a unicycle I don’t currently own. That is bizarre.
same here,thats the feeling i get every time a sit on a Coker.
one other thing better about a 29er is if you end up not likeing it,its alot easier to pack up and ship.when i sent my Coker off to Canada ,i had to find then cut down a refriderator box.it was well worth the effort though and i shed no tears as i chucked the KoKer on the UPS hub station conveyer belt.
The more miles I do on the 28, the more I enjoy the 28. It’s neither better nor worse, just different.
A 29 (28 with a fat tyre) would be a different thing again.
I do know that it took me a couple of hundred miles to fall in love with the Coker - after the initial excitement of “Wow! I can ride it!” followed by a period of, “Oh, is this all it does?”
Likewise with the 28, I thought, “Yeah, So what? A big 24.” Now I think, “Hmmm… light, transportable, fast, nimble, elegant.”
I think a Coker is in a category of its own. Other sizes of wheel are more similar to each other than the 28 is to a Coker. the mistake we make is to think that a 28 is almost a Coker - it isn’t. That doesn’t make the Coker better - that’s a matter of preference - but it is different.
Try the 29er on singletrack or some complicated sidewalk stuff, I’m sure your opinion will change. The 29er is fast on trails and a bit more relaxing than (God’s Gift) a Coker. I’ve been having a lot of fun abusing the Pashley on a local trail; and now I have the gaping wound to prove it!
The Coker has a massive tire (more so than the wheel) that makes it cruise so smoothly. They are also VERY COOL looking. A 29er or 28" is a nimble, controllable machine as long as the cranks are long enough. I have not found a 29er “zone” because it’s so slow. I have not found a 43.5" “zone” either because Blue Shift is too fast, too responsive, and requires too much concentration. The tendency of the Coker to smooth out the road with its large diameter and huge rotational inertia makes it possible to ride in this “zone” where the rider makes reasonably good time and doesn’t have to concentrate so much to remain upright.
Cokers can also be ridden in a herd because they are stable over a wide range of speeds for many people. Riding in a herd is great fun. Refer to Nathan’s recent thread or this one about the Iron Horse Trail. The 29ers will always lag behind or spin like the dickens. If I ride Blue Shift in 43.5" mode I want to ride faster than the Cokers because it’s more stable when it’s spinning a little.
At NAUCC I was able to prove that I could freemount and ride the 43" Blue Shift (thanks, Greg!) which was satisfying. But I wasn’t able to spend any time on it cruising. That would be interesting, I’m sure!
To me riding a Coker and riding a Strongest Coker are different things. The flywheel effect is diminished (whether for good or for bad); manuevering, handling, and mounting are easier, and I have a lot of confidence in the strength of the wheel on any obstacle, curb, turn, or pothole. Transfer of energy into the road is much better as well. That should only improve with the Hunter 36 and GB4 36 frames I’m trying out.
Jag see if you can try Nathan’s sometime. Hopefully if Sofa and I can get together to try mine someday.
I also have been working on 29er riding and I find it to be nice and light and a lot more likely to be thrown into the car for potential riding than the Coker. The selection of tires, though small, is much more versatile than the 36" selection. Quality spokes are a lot easier to find, and although you usually have to special-order (nobody in CT or RI that I have called - many - carried the 700c Rhinolite rim or Nanoraptor tire in stock), wheel parts have many more potential sources.
If I were attending college full-time and riding a uni around for transportation, I’d much rather ride a 29er than a Coker because the 29er would be a lot easier to carry up and down steps. But maybe a 24" would be even better.