Should I get Airfoil Rim for my new Bedford Coker

I just ordered a new 36" Coker from Bedford Unicycles. It has an “alloy” rim and a KH Fusion saddle. I have a couple of questions for you:

    I’ve been reading some posts where some Coker riders are not too happy with their stock rims (although others seem very happy). The choice seems to be between the stock steel rim and the airfoil rim. So is the new Bedford alloy rim the same as an Airfoil? Anyone have experience with the new alloy rim?

    I’ve asked Darren to weld the brake bosses onto the new frame. But should I bother with the brakes? I don’t plan on Muni-ing with it, but I commute 4-8 miles per day on rolling hills, and I plan on future long distance “adventure” expeditions.

    Are handles a good investment? What kind do you recommend? Should I spec a different seat so the GB4 handles will mount and not break the seat base? Or is there a stiffener and adapter for the GB4 Handles that will fit on the KH seat?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, but SOON as the Coker has already been ordered and I’ll need to change the order before Darren builds it! He’s out of town for a few days, so I have a bit of time to change the specs.

(Thanks PDC for the help you have already provided)

Here’s my opinion, for what it’s worth:

Choice of rim: If you’re not doing any Muni, plan on going up stairs or other realtively large or blunt objects, and you don’t weigh over say 180 lbs or so, the stock rim will be just fine and can withstand a lot of abuse. Try to keep the spokes tensioned properly (not too loose or too tight) and the rim trued every so often and you shouldn’t have any problems at all. I would also avoid doing much hopping on the stock rim.

Brakes: Never used them. Tried them on some club members Cokers. I don’t think you really need them. John Foss and others would probably tell you that they are good to have if you’re going down a long muni type descent (which I’m sure is very true… I haven’t done much of that kind of riding) or a really long and/or steep descending road… so, I guess it depends on how long the descents are on those rolling hills of yours… and how much of a leg workout you want.

Seat and Handles: I can only ride with an air seat. Don’t care what kind… but it has to be an airseat. The handles that come stock with the airseat are good enough for me, though I have broken them a few times and I’d rather have a Stockton extra-comfortable, extra durable airseat & handles if I had the extra cash. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the GB4 handles, but I don’t know anything about them… sorry. I’m kind of a purist anyway… I like minimal handles (the kind that are attached to the seat) and no brakes… fewer things to break and more of the minimalism that drew me to the sport in the first place.

AFAIK there is no such thing as a stock alloy Coker rim. The newer rims are steel but with a brushed finish that made people think they were aluminium. I think UDC have changed their description now, but perhaps Bedford haven’t.


    Definitely worth extra

    Never used brakes. Just look ahead, relax and let the wheel roll under you. Helps to use shorter cranks to minimise wobble also.

    Are handles a good investment? What kind do you recommend? Should I spec a different seat so the GB4 handles will mount and not break the seat base? Or is there a stiffener and adapter for the GB4 Handles that will fit on the KH seat?

I did a 160km ride and also a 500km unitour on a standard KH saddle with the plastic KH handle. Worked fine. But a GB4 is better as you can put more weight on it, but it also has less leverage than the standard plastic handle which makes it harder when yanking hard on the downhill.


the gb4 handle is very worth it. it allows both hands/arms to get involved and support some of your body weight, saving your naughty bits a lot of wear and tear.

My advice would be to not bother with the brakes for now. If you notice that it hurts going down long steep descents then pick up some hydraulic brakes for it. Since you already thought ahead and put the brake mounts on it shouldnt be a difficult process. It really depends on where you live or where you plan on riding it. I was even considering brakes for my 29er because I was riding it on mountainous roads and those long descents really start to hurt your knees after a while!

as far as the seat goes:
I do not believe that you can fit the GB4 handles on a KH seat. The handles follow the miyata seat base setup.

I like my current set up for mild rides, which is a miyata seat base, gb4 stiffener plate, and handles. I would say that handles are worth it, it is nice having somewhere to place your hands and it relieves a little bit of pressure. Something else you can consider is a rail adapter so you can tilt the seat back a little bit.

You can use a KH with a rail adapter reinforcement. I recommend a rail adapter anyway as tilting the seat back improves the comfort. I really like the GB4 handles it helps you to center yourself (both arms tucked in) and isolate your legs. Also great for getting your weight off the seat when necessary.

Christmas Coker is on its way!

Thanks, Unicyclist Community, for all your input on my new Coker. It’ll be here on Monday 12Dec05, and I’m coked, er, stoked.

So after carefully listening to all you Cokeurs, I decided to purchase a UDC Coker as follows:

  • Coker Deluxe with Airfoil Rim
  • Kris Holm Fusion saddle
  • V Brakes (just in case)
  • Odyssey Cielencki pinned platform pedals
  • GB4 handle
  • GB4's last KH seat stiffener
  • "Training Wheel Not Required" video (I loved Brian's 2 Coker videos, so expect to love this one too)
  • KH Wrist Support Gloves

Unfortunately, my wife will not allow me to see my new Coker until Christmas, but I’ll post a picture asap (I know, you’ve seen Cokers before, but this one is MINE and I want to share it with you!).

Thanks for your input!

Good thing you went for the GB handles - they’re gold. Merry Cokering.