This is my new Coker. Dave Stockton (U-Turn) built it for me over the winter. I picked it up in NYC at the regular meeting at Grant’s tomb.
Rick Hunter made a custom 36" frame in a very cool lime green. The seat tube is extra short because I’ve got very short legs. I had him add stiffening bridges between the front and back struts at the brake mounting points. The brake feel is very positive, and my unicycle is now unique. I felt this was important because in DC there are quite a few fixed-gear riders who would love to own a new Coker. Since the frame is distinctive I’ve got a good chance of getting it back even if it is repainted. Theft was also a prime reason for requesting a Hunter, as it can be positively locked.
The air seat is a Dave Stockton special. I haven’t managed any rides longer than a mile so far so I can’t give a credible sense of how it would feel for a long ride. It’s less comfortable than my broken-in Brooks Swift saddle on my road bike, but more comfortable than my other unicycle saddles. I’ll post an update when I break the 10 mile barrier.
I can’t free-mount well yet. Anything bigger than a 20" I have to side-mount it while holding onto something solid. So in order to get on I removed the brake and extension. Now that I’ve put them on again for the photos I think I’ll try free-mounting using the brake tommorow.
It’s very strange going from a spin on the Coker to practicing my mounts on the 20". In some ways the Coker is the easiest of my unicycles to ride (I have a 20" and a 24") because it is so smooth and full of momentum. On the other hand it’s a little strange tooling along at 10+ mph knowing that I could face-plant in a hearbeat. I’ve got no fear on a bike at 60+mph despite a few bad crashes, but somehow even with armor the Coker has my full attention. One thing is for sure - I’ll never be intimidated riding a small unicycle again.
It was odd watching tall people ride it at the Grant’s tomb get-together. One of the guys had size 12 shoes so his heels nearly hit his butt!
Free-mounting it is going to be very difficult. The frame is almost horizontal when I stand behind it with the seat in my crotch. That means the extension is leaning backwards at a 30 degree angle which prevents me from leaning forward. It was pretty comical trying to get on that way at the meet because I couldn’t hold the seat between my legs.
One or two women riders have suggested that I “ride the seat up”, which would be great if my balls could start out in front of the seat. Somewhere between “balls behind the seat” and “balls in front of the seat” there is phase where the “cease and desist” alerts from my balls ruins the mount. Willpower is never going to overcome the male body’s natural reluctance to “do a grind” on its testicles. Somehow I’ve got to find a way to make first contact with the seat when it is near vertical.
My best hope is to either perfect the side mount or do a rolling mount with brake assist, or some “saddle-em up cowboy” combination of the two.
That is a beautiful machine:D
I have only been riding my Coker a short time and am also cursed with a short inseam. As for as freemounting is concerned, try my method. I put one foot on the rear pedal, reach over the saddle and grab the wheel with one hand and pull myself up onto the Coker. I’ll probably start trying to do a rolling mount on it tomorrow
Yeah, I tried that at Grant’s tomb. It wasn’t enough at the time but it has potential for the future.
The brake approach I intend to try this afternoon is essentially the same thing. My plan is to hold the seat vertical and get a bit of forward roll, then when the left crank is back and down at about 45 degrees push the seat forward, step on the left pedal, lock the brake, haul myself up, plant the right foot, release the brake and settle into the saddle. Then fall over sideways. My goal is to get at least 15 attepts every day until I make one.
My legs are short, too, though cyber’s are 4.5 cm shorter. The Coker is a lot harder to mount for us leg-length challenged people. One exercise I’ve done is ride the path around the local track (so a lap is a little more than 1/4 mile). Every lap or so I dismount, then mount again. With all the remounts and failed attempts, it’s a real workout. Doing 10 miles this way, even though the ground is flat and smooth, is pretty tough until mounting becomes easy. This exercise is good also because it helps avoid the “Now I’ve ridden 8 miles of cool road riding, but I’m afraid to get off because there’s no lamp post around” syndrome. I have to admit, though, that I still find mounting the Coker a challenge too much of the time, despite a lot of practice.
Try the rolling mount technique, it is the easiest way I have found, because the momentum of the wheel already moving takes away from the initial pedal moving problem, and the little jump you need to do would solve your small inseam problems.
Walk behind the Coker, then time your hop to land you good foot on the pedal as it comes up to parellel.
This mount was by far my favourite, easiest, Coker mount, and I was mounting with 99% success (because come on, we all miss a mount once or twice a year!) within a month or two.
Is this in connection with freemounting a coker (which I still can’t do) or are you implying that, as a woman, I am short, and can thus give helpful advice to a short coker rider?
I am about 175cm tall, my coker is standard in every way (other than the airseat and the rider), and my current experience of freemounting is pretty nonexistant.
The best advice for mounting the coker is along the line of Kenny’s method. My only variation is that I have a “support point” on the same side as the rear pedal as I tend to veer in that direction when I put my weight on the pedal. I do find that, with practice, I am putting less weight on the support point and can sometimes almost do without it.
Being accustomed to this method has caused some hilarity at the juggling club as I (as you may guess) am not accustomed to riding small unicycles. I seldom venture out on smaller wheels as I can’t always bend down far enough to grab onto the wheel to mount. You get FUNNY looks when you try to mount a 20 inch unicycle this way.
For the record my unicycle is short because most of me is torso. I’m 170 cm tall (5’7"), which is only about 5 cm shorter than average, but my leg length is average for people 152 cm tall (5’0"). Next Haloween I think I’ll go as a Flintsone.
My Coker is set as low as it can go- which looks similar to yours- I use a KH seat which probably is shorter than your airseat. I’m 1.65m tall and my legs are probably the shortest part of me!
I agree with what’s been said- a rolling mount is the most essential mount for any sort of riding- especially for Coker riding. It’s the only mount you will ever need for general riding. You might find you overshoot initially, but the worst that can happen is the wheel rolls out from behind you . It’s a great mount for off-road/mounting on uneven surfaces.
Whoa - that must have been a great trip! Great photos!
Today’s trip report: I only managed to UPD 7 times on the Coker today. I gave up on the rolling mount after three tries and decided to just spend time in the saddle. The seventh UPD was more of a crash, since I didn’t land on my feet. I was going about 10mph. The roll-out went well, no serious damage. (My left shin/knee pad now has a nice scar but I don’t. ) I decided to add elbow and hip protection to my suite of protective gear.
My 661 wrist protectors were virtually worthless. This was the first time I needed them and they shredded. I have the same complaint against most modern cycling gloves, too. It’s as if the manufacturers don’t understand the function of protective gear. The old cowhide-palm cycling gloves could take a couple of crashes before losing their protective value. The new ones with the wonder fabrics come apart the first time they kiss the road leaving your palms exposed (personal experience).
Since it was raining a bit I took the 24" out (it has spiky pedals) and worked on my mounts until it got dark. It’s strange but I really can’t tell the difference between my 20" and my 24" unicycles anymore. I have to check the color of the rim and the pedals to tell which one is which. They both feel like toys.
> john_childs wrote:
>> * It is very odd seeing a Coker with such a short seatpost. It just
>> doesn’t look right to me. And more importantly, it’s way to short
>> for me to ride. *
> It was odd watching tall people ride it at the Grant’s tomb
> get-together. One of the guys had size 12 shoes so his heels nearly
> hit his butt!
> Free-mounting it is going to be very difficult. The frame is almost
> horizontal when I stand behind it with the seat in my crotch. That
> means the extension is leaning backwards at a 30 degree angle which
> prevents me from leaning forward. It was pretty comical trying to get
> on that way at the meet because I couldn’t hold the seat between my
> One or two women riders have suggested that I “ride the seat up”,
> which would be great if my balls could start out in front of the seat.
> Somewhere between “balls behind the seat” and “balls in front of the
> seat” there is phase where the balls screw up the mount with “cease
> and desist” alerts. Willpower is never going to overcome the male
> body’s natural reluctance to “do a grind” on its testicles. Somehow
> I’ve got to find a way to make first contact with the seat when it is
> near vertical.
Seat-out mount? Hold the seat in front of you, hop onto the pedals…
> My best hope is to either perfect the side mount or do a rolling mount
> with brake assist, or some “saddle-em up cowboy” combination of the