Questions about Cokers

At one time not all that long ago Coker unicycles were all the rage. Infact I see the term Cokering used to describe 36er riding and other terms like Coker muni used. So I just want to throw out a few questions about Cokers for discussion purposed. For those of you with knowledge on this topic feel free answer them all or just one you pick.

1 when did Coker start making unicycles?
2 When did they stop making unicycles?
3 Why did they stop making unicycles?
4 did they make any other sizes other than 36?
5 Where did they all disappear to?I rarely see one for sale.
6 Anyone out there still riding one?

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This may answer 1:

3: Probably because other brands have displaced them in the 36" unicycle department, and spending their effort on making tires for cars and motorcycles is more profitable than fighting for a share of the small unicycle market.

5: Like most unicycles, probably hidden in a dusty corner of someones shed.

It was an odd sideline for them to be producing. It just happened that it turned out to have a market and at first they were the only ones doing it, but once the specialists start marketing their products to enthusiasts it’s hard for a company like that to compete.

They’re still around. I ride mine as a spare 36er when my Nimbus is out of commission for some reason.

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The guy right behind you looks exactly like you. Is he your twin or any relation?

Boy do I feel like an idiot I’m just realizing that it’s a trick photo of you riding in sequence. There for a minute I thought you were a part of a crazy clone unicycle cult.

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Having neither had the pleasure to ride or even look at a Coker up close im intrigued by its once amazing popularity. My question is this, what made other brands better I think I know the answer but would love to see other responses

The Coker was the original 36" unicycle and was built quite well, some riders rode it cross country. However the cotterless hub is not as strong as the newer ISIS hub. When I learned to ride a 36" it was on a Coker and would likely still be riding it if it was not for the cotterless hub. It held up well for most riding but when I started working on hopping I could tell that the cotterless hub was not up to the task. Every time I worked on hopping the hub bolts would work loose a little and require re-torquing.

Other improvements in newer unicycles are the ability to add disk brakes and a little lighter frame and wheel. The heavier weight is not a big deal for me because I kind of like how the heavier wheel just roles over most anything.

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This uni gang owns at least six torkers. That is where they all must have disappeared to, referring to your 5th question! :+1:

I think you have the Wrong uni in mind the post is referring Cokers instead of torkers.

I have an original Coker that I bought in September of 2001. The only thing original remaining is the frame. I guess it has about 10k miles on it. I’ve gone through four or five Coker tires. One of my best purchases of all time.

Man, you’re right, couldn’t remember the title…

I first rode a Coker 36 at NUC '98 in Monrovia, CA. David Coker was there and demoed the new cycle. He donated it to the convention and there was a raffle won by Gilby. I remember the tire was inflated to about 30psi and it was soft and hard to turn. At the time they also made a mini-Penny Farthing which we got to ride as well. And they already had their 36" wheeled bike but I don’t think he brought one of those.

I got my first Coker in April 1999 - the whole thing only cost $279 which was a great deal. The Airfoil rim came out in 2002 and man was that a great Coker upgrade. In 2003, I upgraded to a Hunter 36 and gave my Coker to a friend. I inherited another one later and gave it away more recently. I upgraded to a geared KH36 in 2008 and ride that today.

We definitely called the activity Cokering back in the day.

Here’s a photo from Sept 2002 after installing the Airfoil rim.

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Great info and picture. I love that brake lever it kinda looks like a index shifter . Could you give me some info on that? who made it an if it worked well. It looks really cool.

Is it acting as a drag brake?

We have something similar on our tandem as the third brake. If you’re mostly just wanting the brake for descents then I imagine it works pretty well on a unicycle to apply a consistent braking force without tiring out your fingers.

Yeah it’s a drag brake made by just using a cheap shifter lever. The seat is an air seat from a Gemcrest base (Roger’s design from back in the day). That handle was made by Chris Reeder in Idaho. Back then there were lots of guys building things to try out so we always had something new to try. Here’s a close-up.

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Here’s another configuration from a month later. Different handle. We were trying everything, cranks from 110 to 170, all kinds of things.

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So if I got this right you would apply pressure on the lever to the point of desired resistance while descending and just leave it and the lever would stay in place and it will place even drag pressure on the wheel.

Yeah, exactly. Bronson and I once were descending Mt Diablo (local hill, 1000+m descent). We rode side by side with the brakes on passing snacks back and forth, no effort, hardly paying attention to riding at all!

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That’s awesome, I love the sound of that.