My First Coker MUni ride

WOW. I’m impressed. I took ol’ Cokey out on the MUni trails for the first time. It was awesome. I still like my MUni, of course, but this is a completely different feeling.

It’s way easier than I thought it would be (on XC trails, of course) and that’s keeping the 152’s on. I think I may throw on the Kookas and see if I’m unstoppable or what.

I was taking precautions at first, thinking about how weak the ‘normal’ Coker wheel was, but by the time I turned around and came back, I was sailing over everything, but still avoiding the drops, of course.

This is great. Got myself a date. Friday night at eight. Ooh I can’t be late. Coker MUni makes me perspirate


How on earth can you mount facing up hill and then climb it with 152s on the Beast?

All terrain Cokering

ATCing,ha,what’s next eh?I’m know it’s probably old school ,but haven’t seen it around here?

Sounds pretty Knarly .I can’t wait to try that.I’ve not ridden a Coker yet,4 or 5 day’s I’ll be triin it out,from what I’m reading ,it should be a ball.

Are all Cokers made by the Coker Tire Company??


I tried mine a few days ago for the first time on a single track. I’d used it on double tracks before, even in the ice and snow, and it was great. Nice and fast.

The single track was pretty rough. It’s hard to keep sideways balance when the trail is only a couple of feet wide, and hopping to clear rocks and such is tough because it is so heavy. The continual slowing and starting up again was a lot of work. And since I’m much higher up, I had to do a lot of ducking to clear branches. The rough downhills were scary but then again I’m a chicken anyways.

The best thing was that the 26" seems like a light little maneuverable toy afterwards.

Oh, and Kookas on it (170).

you hold it steady, jump ‘over’ it instead of ‘on’ it, and your forward and now down momentum takes care of getting it started.

If i spill before, and at the bottom of a steep enough hill (now noticable less steep than on my 26") I’ll just walk up to the top

Highly recommended. I’m going out again this weekend with two bikers!

Re: My First Coker MUni ride

keaner wrote:
> ATCing,ha,what’s next eh?I’m know it’s probably old school ,but
> haven’t seen it around here?
> Sounds pretty Knarly .I can’t wait to try that.I’ve not ridden a Coker
> yet,4 or 5 day’s I’ll be trying it out,from what I’m reading ,it should
> be a ball.
> Are all Cokers made by the Coker Tire Company??

All Coker tubes, tires, and spokes, as far as I know, are made by Coker.
Everything else someone else makes custom if you want it:
and for details.
> Tim:D

Success is goals.
–Lloyd Conant

Once you can ride off road at all, I think riding off road on a Coker is a good way of learning.

Although the Coker is faster (at a given rpm) things happen more slowly - but they happen more definitely.

Salvaging a ‘near UPD’ is loads more difficult, as the Coker is less responsive to sudden input through the pedals.

This encourages me to ride the Coker in a more thoughtful way, reading the trail further ahead, choosing the better (harder/easier? higher/lower?) of two routes across/round an obstacle.

It is important to let the Coker get a little bit ahead of you just in time for any obstacle which will slow you down.

If you need to slow down, you need to plan a wheel turn or two (or three) in advance. There are no ‘snap decisions’ on a Coker.

If you need to plug up a long hill, you need discipline, balance and timing.

The Coker, ridden well, flows smoothly over the trail, and the wise rider keeps the balance and speed ‘in synch’ with the trail. This is so much more elegant than simply using speed of reaction, and reflex to deal with ‘unexpected’ problems.

And if you can transfer these skills back to a more conventional MUni (as well as taking advantage of the smaller uni’s responsiveness) then you will become a better rider.

Apart from which, it’s fun, which is the only reason we do it.

But the cranks!!! 152s!!! The humanity!!!

I rode a friend’s Coker 3+ miles around the paved park path. Ups and Downs required concentration. But nothing like the UPS and DOWNS we experiece on trails.

Riding down gravel roads and such, ok. But what about when you head up a hill and encounter a root? I would think momentum would only make you crash harder.

Is it more common to Mtn Coker (Moker?) with longer cranks?

I like the short ones on asphalt.

i’ll be throwing on the 170’s, as there were certain hills I couldn’t climb.

however, pulling up on your Velo handle, standling on the pedals completely off the uni, slanted VERY far forward, after hitting the hill with momentum, and using your hill climbing body language you have been developing for a year or two, you’d be suprised!


After getting my Coker last Wednesday I have been out on it almost every day. I have been practicing long distance, speed and XC stuff. XC; amazing! Long distance; not too bad, although hills were more difficult that I expected. Speed; max at the moment is 15.9mph. On Sunday or Monday (can’t remember which) I turned a tight corner with the cranks at the wrong angle. BIG MISTAKE!! the right crank bent inwards about 5 mm. I found some 125s to put on to it and found that for long distance they are pretty good (as you would expect due to your feet having to travel less).

But what confused me was that, on the same strech of road as before, I only managed a top speed of 14.6mph and my legs were going like mad. Also, I find hills a lot easier with 125s. This seems to be the opposite to what happens with 24/26/29" wheels. Anyone know why??

Also I am guessing that hills will not get easier the shorter your cranks: there must be an optimum length, i.e. the shortest the cranks can be before the effect is reversed and it gets harder again. Anyone physicists like to explain?

Thanks, Sam

It’s not just physics. There’s psychology, ergonomics, experience…

As I may have mentioned (ahem!:o ) I have tried a few different sizes of crank over the last year, as well as a few different sizes of wheel. There are general rules, but few (if any) absolutes, as there are so many variables, including:
The rider’s skill level
The rider’s experience
The length of the hill
The quality of the road surface
The length of the rider’s legs
The ratio of the rider’s thigh to his/her lower leg (how far up your legs are your knees?)
The rider’s weight
The steepness of the hill…
And so on and so on.

On the flat, shorter cranks will tend to encourage a faster cadence (rpm) and therefore a higher speed.

There are diminishing returns when the cranks get so short that the rider loses confidence in his/her ability to stop or control the unicycle. The fear factor puts a limit on speed.

There comes a point when the rider’s ability (rather than confidence in his/her ability) to stop/control the unicycle is seriously compromised by the shortness of the cranks. The need for a ‘margin for error’ puts a limit on speed.

Up hill, short cranks can make it easier to lift the rider’s weight up onto the top pedal, allowing for a smoother action.

But longer cranks will give better leverage, all other things being equal.

Going downhill, the rider is trying to control the rate at which the ‘potential energy’ is converted to ‘kinetic energy’. This means (simply) trying to control the rate at which the back pedal rises. The mechanics and rhythm are different from when climbing a hill.

On the whole, long cranks help a LOT on descents.

There are diminishing returns in each direction, and this is easily demonstrated by a simple ‘thought experiment’:

A 24 with 6 inch cranks (150mm)
A 20 with 5 inch cranks (125mm)
The cranks are ‘sensible’ lengths. The length of the cranks is 25% of the diameter of the wheel.
Common sense, backed by experience, suggests that the performance of the unicycles will be comparable. BUT

Take a Coker (36 inch) and match the crank length at 25%. You’d have 9 inch cranks (228mm) and you suddenly imagine your feet describing an 18 inch diameter circle. How long could you keep that up smoothly?

Or take a (hypothetical) unicycle with a 2 inch wheel and half inch cranks. Nope! That wouldn’t be my chosen tool for a long steep hill. :astonished:

So, as a rule of thumb:
Find the shortest size of cranks which allows you to mount, ride and stop confidently. If you can idle, they should be long enough for you to idle confidently too. This is your ‘datum’.

Now, one size bigger than datum (150 instead of 125; 125 instead of 110, etc.) will probably be the fastest crank for YOU on that wheel size, at your present level of ability on a reasonable surface, on the flat.

A size bigger than that will be good for general use.

A size bigger than that for steep hills.

But never use ones which are so long that they feel ungainly.

The cranks which are fastest flat out on a good surface will NOT be the fastest on a mixed terrain journey.

It’s a blast! My first Coker trail ride was on the cross country jogging trails behind the football field at Davidson College N.C. I was camping at the lodge during the Hugofest juggling conference and I was taking the shortcut and WHOOPEE! I dodged trees and pumped for the firm singletrack and luckilly didn’t UPD at all. I chickened out at the gravel patch, but by then I needed a walking break anyway. 3/4 mile, flat out.
I gotta get a Muni this summer, the Coker don’t work on the steep muddy root-ridden track around here, but on milder stuff it totally freakin’ rocks! carjug