maybe learning on a Coker is easier?

My bud wanted to try my uni. Had never ridden before. All I had was my Coker.

After about 10 minutes of trying, he was able to teeter for a while, almost ready for his pedal stroke, but not quite.

I was amazed at how he was able to do it, but then thought:

We think the Coker is hard, because we already learned on an ‘easier to ride’ uni.

What I noticed, is that after he got his first few 'oh my god I’m on a unicycle’s out of the way, the slow motion movement of the Coker was actually helping him. The 20" would have gone sailing down the sidewalk hundreds of times, but he was able to stay atop it for a good deal of time (relatively)

I would like to go back and learn on a Coker, because I think it would have been easier.

edit: this was freemounting

Re: maybe learning on a Coker is easier?

The only ones of the many people I’ve let have a go on my unicycles to have got any distance have always been on my 26" muni. I had my 24" and my 26" out a bit back for people to practice and the kids were doing much better riding the 26". I think it’s because the big fat Gazz tyre means you don’t have to think about direction or sideways balance, you just whomph forwards, whereas the 24" has more of a tendency to turn.


My analysis of the replies to ‘How long did it take you to learn’ may shed some light on this. I didn’t ask for wheel size that one learned on but many people stated it anyway. Sizes range from 16" (kids only) to 26". No Cokers yet.

Klaas Bil

I can’t recall who, but someone who contributes to this forum learned on a Coker a while back.

I’d guess that learning to ride 10 metres in a straightish line from a supported mount would be easier on a Coker than on a 20/24.

Every other skill would be more difficult and more dangerous to learn on a Coker - and tiring.

It is certainly good for learning to practise on 2 or 3 different wheel sizes, and transferring the skills when you’ve developed confidence.

For all round learning, a 20 or 24 is probably safest and best.

I still find that if I do a long ride on one size of wheel, it is a challenge to adjust to a different size. I notice that adjusting to a bigger size is easier. So if I do 40 Miles Of Bad Road on the Coker, then get on the 20, the 20’s uncontrollable for the first 5 minutes. If I ride the 20 for an hour, it just takes me a couple of attempts to mount the Coker, then I’m on - Big wheel keeps on turning, carries me home to see my kin, singing songs…

Scott Kurland, a personal hero of mine, is the almost-superhuman who accomplished this feat.

Re: maybe learning on a Coker is easier?

Harper wrote:
> Mikefule wrote:
>> I can’t recall who, but someone who contributes to this forum learned
>> on a Coker a while back.
> Scott Kurland, a personal hero of mine, is the almost-superhuman who
> accomplished this feat.

Aw, shucks.

Success is goals.
–Lloyd Conant

This is the same guy who contributed to a couple of sub 1-hour 15 mile rides. I believe the statement was something like ‘squats help more than everything else I do put together’. Thanks Scott.

I am trying to re-learn to ride on a Nimbus Nightrider pro, after ~30 years of not riding (I’m 51). I can’t mount unassisted, I need a curb and a pole or tree. My biggest challenge is putting/keeping my weight on my butt. Because I’m putting too much weight on my legs, I can only ride as long as my legs can handle it (1/2 mi max).

A friend insisted that I use his 24" to learn on. My uni history is with a 24. I found the 24 to be a LOT more difficult to learn on. I returned it, and I’m sticking to my 36. Thanks for your observation, it validates mine.

I actually agree with the premise. I learnt on a 20". However, it was a small task to upgrade to a 29" unicycle. After not riding a 20" for a year, and heavily riding a 29", I found the 20" was really hard to keep my foward-backward balance as I rode.

However, learning on something the size of a coker could also be detrimental, as a single pedal on that will move the unicycle some (calculates) 9.5’ down the road, where a 20" will only move you 5’.

This warrants further study.

Here you go, knock yourself out.

If learning on a 36", I think you’d definitely want some long cranks, not a pair of 125s or shorter. And plenty of air in the tire. Craig, make sure your seat is high enough. You should get plenty of leg extension when the pedal is at the bottom. The less you have, the more you’re going to beat up your knees by not sitting down.

When you get it right, you’re going to want to buy some bike shorts. :slight_smile:

As for switching from bigger wheels to smaller, this is always the harder transition. Anytime you’ve been riding one size for a long time, and the other size rarely, it’s going to take a little while to adjust. Even downshifting on the Schlumpf 36" leads to a brief period of very choppy riding until I get “back into the groove” of the lower torque requirements.

But when I used to do more performing, I’d switch from one wheel to another constantly so the transitions were much quicker. There was always a moment of roughness when going from my 45" to my 20" Freestyle, but it was pretty brief.


From age 10 until 16 my 24 was my “transportation.” No bicycle. I eventually became frustrated with the wheel size…and then started driving. 30 years later, I bought the Nimbus 36, because I remembered the limitations of the 24.

I appreciate your help, so I will check my extended length, again. My inseam is only 29, so I think I might be as short as you can be, and still reach the pedals. I have 150 cranks.

I bought gel padded bike shorts the day my 36 was delivered. Some things are just easy to remember.:wink:

Thanks for the suggestions.

I checked my leg at the 6 o’clock position, and it was almost straight.
I have my tire at 35 psi, because that is what is stamped on the tire.

First, am I “getting” it? Secondly, any more tips would be appreciated. Thanks again.

For me, the 36 was to hard early on

I rode an ancient 20 for a week or two, could go a ways. No hills here, so I ordered a 36.

Scary thing it was, and it whooped me the first day. I only tried 4 or 5 times, but I decided that was enough. I went home and ordered a KH 24. 24 munis, with a soft tire, can roll over sidewalk debris and cracks like they aren’t there. I spent about 2 months just with the muni, then tried the 36 again. Still scary at first, but I rode it many miles, and sometimes could even turn it around at the ends of roads, the first day.

Everyone’s different, I like 36’s, but for me, everything except straight cruising is a bit harder. Then you fall a lot further and harder. Despite being able to idle and ride backwards on smaller wheels, I still haven’t got that with the 36. I can’t recommend one for learning basic skills.

For someone on a tight budget, I would suggest getting an lx 24 first, then a 36. If you can afford a 24 ISIS muni, they are worth it, especially if you are kinda heavy.