Knee recoup leads to Coker MUni

Hello fellow uniers. Its been who knows how long since my last post. But I’ve tried something new (to me) and thought I’d tell you about it.

As some of you might remember, back in Nov 07 I had a 24MUni crash that tore my ACL. My ankle got caught between the crank and spokes and the ACL popped as I twisted this way and the uni twisted that way… Surgery in January…official Dr monitored rehab for 6 months… Still rehabbing, but on my own.

At first I rode the 29er, but only on the streets. Did this for several weeks. Then I put 170 cranks (up from the normal 150s) on the Coker. Waay more control for stopping. Great power up the hills. Not as fast. This all seemed like a “responsible” way to Coker with a mending knee. Well, as all mentally stricken uniers know, its hard to do the boring stuff for too long before you see a funner thing that needs doing… Slow street riding lead to green belt (those paved paths some towns have put in their park areas) riding which lead to gravel road riding which lead to Crosscountry riding which lead to MUni. Of course, those who came to Memphis for NAUCC06 will remember that most of what we call MUni here is really XC. But we have a spot or two on each trail that could qualify as MUni.

As I progressed from street all the way to MUni, I incrementally reduced the air pressure in the tires. On the streets, I might pump her up to 50-60 psi. Now, riding XC almost exclusively, she’s got about 25 psi.

The knee is coming along. I’ve taken a stumbling tumble a couple of times on some steepish downhill tracks. That’s scary. I’m trying to tell myself to hit and roll, staying off the knee. But its hard in the heat of the moment for some reason. (We’re still surrounded by poison Ivy, that might be a factor somewhere in my head) So, being a “grown-up” (an oxymoronic term for anyone on a unicycle) I’ve decided to walk thru those spots.

I must say that riding XC on a properly tuned Coker is just about as much fun as I’ve ever had on a unicycle. Our XC trails are 98% flatish. For anything hillier I go for the 29er or the slow 24MUni tank.

Trying to keep my head and not do damage. Except for a couple of setbacks (stretching/ripping scar tissue which is to be expected), I’m strengthening each week and regaining confidence. The hardest thing for the knee to do is stop the uni. Going forward isn’t a problem. But going downhill, putting backpressure to stay slow is still very very wobbly. Bailing on a downhill leads to stumbling. Stumbling bad. Sitting way up on a Coker and going down some hill makes it seem like you’re twice as tall. Its still a little freaky. Sure is fun though.

Be carefull out there uniers. Rehab for torn ACL takes a long time. Period. No way around that. But there’s plenty of light at the end of the tunnel.


I to have discovered the joy of Coker Muni. Like you, the trails I ride my coker on are more XC. We have some true technical single track around here, but nothing I’d take the coker on, just too tight and steep! Anyhow like you I’ve got my new Coker Big One with 170mm cranks installed. I do also have a v-brake which I’ve adjusted to be fairly loose so it act more as a drag-brake than anything; however it has proved very useful on some the more steepish, technical downhill routes I’ve taken the 36er on. Really saves the knees and your quad muscles! So if you can get brakes on your coker I’d strongly advise it! Anyhow right now I’m training to do a metric century around here in a couple of weeks so my coker is in road mode i.e. T7 handlebar and 125mm cranks… I can’t wait to get back to off-roading though!

2007-11-17, 10:38 AM :slight_smile:

Welcome back to the forums. Its unfortunate about your accident but good news that its coming back together for you. Stuff like this should be a good wake-up call for all the younger riders out there that we actually are not invincible. What happened to you could easily have happened to anyone. Consider Kris Holm even, hes just getting back to riding after a long period of healing after tearing a ligament months ago. All we can do is ride within our limits and only push the bounds intelligently.

I’ve done a lot of Coker MUni this year. Some was specifically for RTL and other competition training, but some was because I wanted to. I don’t take the Coker on the same trails where I’d ride a 24" MUni. Or I guess I should say a Coker wouldn’t be fun on the trails I like with my 24" MUni. But trails that would be boring on the 24 can be pretty fun and/or exciting on the Coker. All those trails that weren’t technical enough to interest me anymore, now I’m back on them!

Tom, glad to hear you are on the mend.


I would love to have a break on Cokie. Your system seems better to me than a killer hydrallic wheel stopper. My knees sometimes hit the frame as it is. How do you keep from hitting a Vbrake?


We have limited trails here. First switch is to change from Clockwise to Counterclockwise. They become all new experiences. When I switched from Mountain B*kes to MUni, they all became fascinating again (and, as if by magic, twice as long). Now, this little adjustment has morphed them again.

Life is good. TM


Great to hear your story, although it’s too bad to hear it happened to you too. One of the hardest things is learning not to push it too hard. This summer I was starting to feel normal again, and did some hard rides on hard terrain. But in training for a multi day muni trip I was supposed to do with some bike riders a couple of weeks ago, I pushed it too hard and have ended up with an irritated meniscus and a bit of achilles tendonitis in the other leg from overcompensating, and am heading back for an MRI next week. It will heal eventually but it’s really frustrating as the knee felt back to normal before that.

The other big lesson is that it really helps not to be 100% obsessed with just one sport. My goal for the winter is to get back into climbing and try to branch out a bit, and not be so driven about riding and training.


I have the new Coker Big One and yes, as shipped and as part of the instructions it has the V-brakes on the FRONT. However, on another thread on this forum this issue was addressed. Long story short I simply turned the frame around and now the V-brakes are in the back and I’ve had zero trouble since! I just keep the brake tension really loose so I really have to squeeze down on the brake handle to get it to stop.

As for technical terrain I’m still exploring my personal limits with this setup. I can tell you I’ve ridden on some pretty rough trails and cleaned them just fine when I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to get through. The key was momentum and just rolling over everything in my path. The difficult thing was getting my brain to create a new line through the trail when I was so used to the lines I’d take on my 24" muni. So far my only real limitations are the impossibly steep rough trails and anything that is very twisty and technical; too hard to move that big wheel around. Other than that I’ve ridden a lot more difficult trails than thought I could. I’ve got some future plans to ride some long trails i.e. 100 miles + out West and the speed advantages of a Coker Muni may out weigh the mileage I’d have to hike because of terrain I probably wouldn’t be riding anyways even with a 24" or 29" unicycle…