Rebuilt Coker Wheelset vs. Airfoil Wheelset

I am considering building my own coker is the coker airfoil wheelset at $209 on Unicycle.Com. abetter value than the rebuilt coker wheelset at $149. My primary use will be streets and paved bike trails. I guess my question is the airfoil wheelset overkill or well worth the extra $60. Additionally, I saw a thread in here that someones Dad did custom coker frames but I can’t locate it. Thanks.

I’ve taken my stock one through a bunch of stuff.

The airfoil wasn’t an option then.

Only $60 more? I’d take it.

If strength isn’t your concern, I’d take it just for the rust protection of aluminum over steel.

However, if you only get the stock one…you’ll like it just fine

The Airfoil isn’t overkill at all. It makes for a better and stronger wheel. The wheel is the most important part of a unicycle. A better wheel makes for a better riding unicycle.

If you can handle the extra cost of the Airfoil you won’t regret the upgrade.

Both the standard Coker wheelset and the Airfoil wheelset at say they say they are built with a Suzue hub. A Coker really needs a wider hub than the Suzue. Go for the widest hub you can get. Get either the Semcycle hub, Schwinn hub, or the Chromoly hub. The wider hub makes a big difference in the strength and stiffness of the wheel. I don’t know why is using the Suzue hub. There are better (wider) hubs in the same price point available now. Maybe it’s just old text copy in the catalog and they’re now using wider hubs for their Coker wheelsets.

A Schwinn hub or hub with an Airfoil rim would make for a very nice Coker wheel. It will be a very noticeable improvement over the stock Coker wheel.

The ultimate is a custom wide hub like what UTurn uses for building his strongest Coker wheel in the world. The custom widened hub makes a big difference especially if you’re using a brake. With the widened hub the wheel has less flex and will not rub on the brake pads. With skinnier hubs you can have problems with the rim rubbing the brake pads when you climb hills or do other hard pedaling. But a wheel with a custom widened hub gets to be quite expensive. A wheel made with a Schwinn hub or Chromoly hub will still make for a good wheel for much less money.

For me, I’v ridden several cokers for semi extended periods of time, and have never had any trouble with suzue hub based wheels with the airfoil rim. They never flex noticeably to me while riding, and I’m not exactly light. I wieght 220, and sometimes angle in at… I donno, maybe 70º? at ten or 14 mph, no flex noticeable. However, if you dont mind the extra money on top of it, and really want to make sure you’re coker wheel can handle a 7 foot drop, that’s certainly fine.

Also, on the subjext of custom frames… That was probably me/my dad. Awhile ago I think I mentioned it. Yeah, I cant find it either. Currently, 160 Plus shipping. Made for a standard 22.2 seatpost, also includes brake bosses for V-brakes. These examples we’re taken awhile ago, but the basic design remains the same.


Irene has a Coker with an Airfoil rim, Suzue hub and a Wyganowski frame. She has problems with the wheel flexing and rubbing the brake pads when she climbs. She often rides with the brake cable disconnected just so the brakes don’t rub.

I had a little bit of brake rubbing on my wide hub Coker, but a trip to the wheel builder for another round of tensioning fixed that. Now I have no brake rubbing at all. It takes a lot of tension to eliminate brake rubbing even with the w-i-d-e hub. My wheel was built by a local wheel builder and not by UTurn.

Suzue hubs work, and they were the standard a few years ago. But wider hubs make for a stronger wheel so it just makes sense to use a wider hub when getting an Airfoil wheel built now. Even something just slightly wider than the Suzue is better.

It could have been the frame, Wygonowski frames build with miyata bearing holders tend to have issues with flex. Or, that’s my experience. It’s less of an issue of 20" uni’s.

Doesn’t falling off that Coker on the right hurt your bird?

not to jack the thread or anything, but max, how is that one coker with radial spokes? I was going to build my 700c with radial, but got talked out of it, and used a 3x instead.

One, No, the bird is fine. the bumper of the handle hits first, by far.

Two, The radial spokes suck. big time. It flexes, winds up, doesnt stay true, and I’d imagive that spokes break. Just not worth the effort.

And I forgot to mention, my airfoil wheels were built with Tom Miller 14 gauge stainless spokes. That could make a difference.

Tommy’s 14g coker spokes (in 3 or 4 cross) are great!
As are his wide hubs. Too bad some retailer doesn’t contract with him to make wide hubs…

Yes, it could be the frame doing most of the flexing rather than the wheel. It’s almost impossible to differentiate between frame flex and wheel flex as you’re riding. The symptoms are the same.

Is there any way to stiffen up the Miyata bearing holders? Is there any way to get the bearing to not move around in the Miyata bearing holder?

But sometimes the flex is in the wheel. My GB4 Coker had some issues with the wheel rubbing the brake pads. I know it was due to wheel flex because the GB4 frame is very stiff. In that case more tension in the spokes fixed the problem.

Theoretically… you could drill a couple holes, and put set screws in to hold em in place. The other thing is the frame/bearing holder tends to have some flex too.

Also, I wasnt saying the wheel doesnt flex, Im just saying I dont notice it.

I’m thinking of getting that rebuilt coker off I think a couple people said it wasn’t the strongest, but i’m not planning on doing drops, just maybe dropping it while I learn, so is it a decent one for just riding?


Max and John, here is my take on frame flex vs wheel flex in a Coker:

I started with a stock Coker - it flexes and is difficult to tune to be usable with brakes.

I upgraded the wheel to an Airfoil rim, same spokes and (narrow Suzue) hub. Result: about the same although it is REALLY nice to know the wheel won’t taco on me.

So of course I assumed it was the $40 Taiwan frame. So I upgraded that to a bombproof KH36. Result: looks nicer, maybe feels a little better, but in the end, still rubbed just as much on steep up or down.

What was left? Just the wheel. So I upgraded that to a Dave Stockton Super Coker wheel. I was afraid to bend the KH36 frame and didn’t want to downgrade to the stock frame, so I got a wide Hunter36 made. Result: IT’S A WHOLE NEW WORLD!!! Finally, a Coker that you can ride off drops, blast over rocks, down or up any steepness - NO RUBBING! A dream come true (finally)!

The moral is that the narrow hub combined with the utterly lame spokes is the root of the problem. I bet a stock Coker frame with a Dave Stockton Super Coker wheel would be awesome - probably nicer than say a KH36 with a narrow wheel (even with the airfoil rim).


My dad just brought up another point, having an airfoil rim with stainless 14g spokes saves two points of wheel weight. (aka, quite a bit)

I am holding a set of 36 stainless 14ga Coker spokes in my hand. They weigh NOTHING - it’s amazing. I’ve never done the same with a batch of normal ones, but Bronson did and he told me they felt “heavy”. I think it’s approx 3 pounds vs 1.5 pounds.


Doesn’t it make typing hard?! :wink:

Where did you get the spokes? I’m thinking about building my own wheel?

Tom Miller makes the spokes. Tom Miller’s Unicycle Factory

You can get the whole thing put together expertly by U-Turn: see The strongest Coker wheel in the world