old coker 36'er ... worth updating?

I have an old Coker steel frame, with a steel wheel build, and I’m wondering if this unicycle is worth updating the wheel build to a new lightweight alloy? The hub on the existing wheel is a UDC hub, so there should be an upgrade available. The other thing that has been problematic on this uni is the seatpost. It is a 22mm seatpost with quickconnect clamp, that I have never gotten to hold once handlebars are installed … the 1st UPD the extra leverage the handlebars give ensures that the seat will spin and need to be readjusted to straighten it out. I have tightened the quick connect to the point where I can feel that point on the seatpost feels actually compressed (oops maybe to tight).

In the not-so-distant past I would have suggested you get a new wheel from Coker and a knurled steel seatpost. Unfortunately the underpriced Coker wheel is no longer available without a unicycle attached, and the knurled steel posts have also seemed to disappear in 22.2mm size.

I would try using a degreaser on the seatpost and the interior of the seat tube and get them as clean as possible before re-assembling and consider using a dual (or triple if you can find one) bolt seatpost clamp. After degreasing things will likely start to rust but will hold their position better.

I would not bother with re-building the wheel with the same hub, to reuse the spokes and nipples you will need to re-drill the new rim with slightly larger spoke holes, and you still keep the heavy yet weak spokes. If you wreck a nipple in the process good luck finding a replacement. If you get new spokes your hub spoke holes are going to be too large and you should add spoke head washers, which will add to the cost, and 36er spokes are already ridiculously expensive.

So I would try to fix the rotating seatpost issue first and if you can’t live with the result then I would look into getting a new unicycle. (or get creative with a welder, etc)

what I did with my 2003 coker:

  • change the rim for a lighter one … but you need a new set of spokes (old ones do not fit)
  • kept the old seatpost and did some adjustements to fit a T-bar directly (I may find a picture of that somewhere) … it does work.

It doesn’t sound like you have a frame issue, just a seatpost/seatclamp issue. I’d vote against degreasing. Why sacrifice the frame when all you need is a new clamp?

I’ve been riding an O.G. Coker for a couple thousand km. Still running strong.

I ditched the original steel rim + hub ages ago for the aerofoil rim… huge difference in strength.

I’ve tried a few different handlebar / seatpost combos and recently upgraded to the KH Fusion Street + T-bar + KH 22.2mm forged seatpost. Again, great upgrade in comfort and usability.

I’ve been using an Odyssey single bolt clamp and it works just fine. Massive nut & bolt in there, never comes loose even with high speed UPDs.

Hang onto that Coker! The Cr-Mo frame will last forever if cared for. Can’t say the same for modern aluminum frames.