Mountain Bike Race on my Coker, advice please

There’s this Mountain Bike Race around my place every year, the Moscow Mountain Madness. It’s 12 miles, with the first 10 uphill. I have two unicycles: a coker and a 20 inch trials. [pictures here:]
I did it on my trials last year, and the going was very slow. I wouldn’t be able to do it on my Coker this way, but if I got a longer crankset, would that make it more possible? And how long of cranks should I get?

170mm cranks on a Coker allow for some nice leverage, and you will probably be able to ride in the congestion of many bikers better with a longer crank set.

Most mountain bike cranks are 170-175mm and bike stores will probbaly have a cheapo set lying around to almost give you.

All of the crank lengths I have had on my Coker, I have had the most fun with 175’s

Yes, longer cranks will make it easier, but also slower. I ran in a time trial with mtn-bikers, on my coker with stock crank arms, and only beat one rider. It wasn’t as long as the one you’re talking about, but the first 1/2 was up hill.

As you should know, the gearing on a mtn-bike will not work to your advantage, unless the hill is so steep that they are in a gear below 1:1. But since most mtn-bike races end back where they started, each up hill has an equal down hill. Use the shortest cranks that will allow you to spin all the way up.

Good Luck,
let us know how you do,

On 10 miles of flat road…maybe (people should seriously get away from ‘shorter cranks are faster’ reasoning)

In the trails? Longer cranks will give you more negotiation power, and in a rooty, bumpy off road course, will probbaly be easier. and therefore faster overall.

What it all boils down to is what crank length you are used to.

But if you get used to 170mm cranks, those would be your best bet (judging on my 2 years of cokering) advantage

I agree with Brian- short cranks aren’t necessarily faster if you can’t spin them as fast. You do need the leverage- so, unless it is flat gravel road- probably 150’s or 170’s or even 180’s. I remember Tony Melton spinning up a hill on 170’s (and disappearing out of sight) as I was slowly grinding away on 150’s.

Practice running uphills too. If it is too steep to ride on your Coker with the long cranks- it is probably very slow on a bike also. You may find you can run just as fast as them biking!

Good luck,