narrow hub racing coker

What are the pros and cons of a narrow hub for racing versus a wide hub for racing. Is there that much of a difference in a narrow hub to sacrifice the strength of a wide hub?


+1, I have the same question as I am thinking about building up a new wheelset with the new rim and tire from UDC

Narrow hubs (like what UDC call their wide hub- which is the std hub on most unicycles now) as opposed to the UDC superwide hub give you less q-factor and keeps you tracking straighter at high speed.

And the closer your legs are to the wheel, the faster you can pedal. When I’m going fast my legs usually get rubbed raw on the Coker tyre.

narrower hubs will offer less wind resistance and (very slightly) shorter spokes. This combo allows for (very slightly) less weight and less headwind resistance. A narrower hub also means that the flange base of the hub will be closer to the centerline of the wheel build which results in a small triangle being formed by the centerline, hub and spoke. This means that the wheel is not as durable laterally and that a good hit from the side or directly on top (less likely) could cause the wheel to fail.

so yes or no for a racing 36er

Definitely. Unless you’re a very large and tall person.

I’m both small and short

EDIT: Will the nimbus frame bend in enough to fit the “wide” UDC hub?

Their ‘wide’ hub I think is pretty standard these days, so don’t know why they still call it the wide hub to confuse people. I guess it’s wider than the older hubs like the Suzue.

Yes, I’m pretty sure I saw Roger had a narrow hub on his Nimbus frame so it should be possible to bend it in. You may want to check with them directly.


Have you even done an order-of-magnitude estimate on the forces you’re talking about? Or are you just blowing wind? :stuck_out_tongue:

I mean, if we’re talking 0.01% less wind resistance, then is it really a factor?

I don’t get off on ‘blowing wind’ like 99% of the rest of the internet.

I’ve ridden a N36 with a super wide hub about 2,000 miles over the past 12 months and noticed the wind resistance as well as the effects of wind gusts on the wheel itself. I also had a coker with a much narrower hub in my possession and it was noticeable how the wind reacted to the narrower airframe of a narrow wheel head on. As stated before, the differences are slight. You’re not going to see a night/day difference when switching between the two hubs unless you’re looking for the change very closely.

as for your order-of-magnitude estimate…no, I haven’t and I doubt you have either :). Just stating facts as well as what I’ve noticed while riding two different unicycles on the same paths a few hundred times.

Maybe if Koxx, Torker, Suzue, Qu-Ax, Sun, Profile Bedford and the all the other unicycle manufacturers start calling their hubs narrow-flange then UDC will stop confusing you by calling the UDC hub wide-flange.


Heh, no one’s talking flanges here. It’s the bearing to bearing distance. The extra wide hub has a wider distance, most hubs are the same distance as the UDC “wide”

Its confusing in the first place since most UDC hubs are “wide” hubs (for all size unicycles) and then there’s the “super wide” hub for the 36er which some people just call the wide hub when talking about a 36" wheel. Luckily, most everyone I know with a 36" has the same hub. So theres:

“normal” hub (original coker stock)
wide hub (stock for most UDC models)
super wide (stock UDC 36" wheelsets)

This is a complex subject, but basically

a) there is no difference in the spoke length
b) there is no difference in the areodynamics (the tire/rim/frame are probably 3 orders of magnitude greater effect)
c) there is significantly more energy lost in wheel flex with a narrower hub
d) if you are racing in mixed terrain, the narrower hub will eliminate or drastically reduce the effectiveness of a brake
e) there is tire/leg interference that will limit the hub’s narrowness anyway.

If you are trying to put your feet closer together, then mess with your cranks and crank Q, not your hub width.

My two cents!

+1 Dave. Why put offset cranks on a narrow hub, when you can use straight cranks on a wide® hub?

And it’s too bad folks keep using undefined terminology. If a “wide” hub meant to all a bearing width of 60 to 99mm, and a “superwide” as anything over 100mm, then we’d know what we’re talking about. But as it is, who knows what “wide” means? Why don’t we say a “100 hub” instead of “superwide”?

It’s just like the maddening terms “commuter”, “cruiser” and “touring” as used on UDC, when they should just group unicycles by clearly stated wheel size.

And having said that, +1 to GizmoDuck too. It’s just that hub flange width is always a tradeoff, and seems to be a very personal preference regardless of pros & cons!

I love my smaller hub, I don’t know which one is it, but its not the super wide thats on the Nimbuses! I also use cranks with as little q as I can find. I like it alot, the less my feet stick out, the more I like it. I only ride my 36er on the road, and other smooth surfaces, so its perfect for me. I also don’t have any problem with super tight turns. I do/used to do, alot of stupid stuff on my coker and no problems.

And as for bending the Nimbus frame to accept a narrower bearing spacing, yes you can do it, just be sure to adjust the bearing holders themselves to be vertical (a padded vice works well), after bending in the downtubes from the top.

Hey, I’m all for flanges that are as wide as possible, just not as long as it doesn’t affect the actual Q-factor. I know the KH and Nimbus ISIS hubs have very little clearance between the flange and the bearings in order to maximise the flange width. I think the KOXX ISIS hubs which have the same bearing spacing have flanges that are closer together.

Yes the frame bends with out too much of a problem, just stand on it. Here are the basic instructions how to then get it streight.