Strongest Coker Wheel in the World

Ah, but that’s going to be a problem because the wide hub is out of stock. Unless Mark already has a wide hub in his posession the wide hub is not an option.

I’m also getting a new Coker wheel made soon. Using stainless spokes from the unicycle factory and an airfoil rim. I’m thinking of going with a Schwinn hub since the Suzue wide hub is not available. I’m still trying to figure out what frame I’m going to use. But first I have to figure out the hub since that defines the frame width.

Any thoughts on building a wheel with the Schwinn hub? I’m guessing that the standard Coker length spokes will still work and that I’ll have to use a 4 cross pattern with the Airfoil rim. The Schwinn hub is wider than the Suzue but quite a bit less wide than the wide Suzue. Don’t know how much that will affect wheel strength.

John –

For both hubs the standard length is good for 4-cross. If you want 3-cross instead I have a first estimate of the ERD as 760mm. Please verify that for yourself before cutting spokes, though.

Certainly it is true that the wide hub will make a stronger wheel. I have not been able to find any reference that studies lateral wheel strength vs brace angle. Most references deal only with road wheels, where lateral strength is not as prominent a feature. I was looking for a curve with a knee in it to make sure to get the brace angle beyond the knee. So the only way to tell for sure at this time is to build a couple wheels of each type and to test them in a highly regulated way. That would be fun to do but I can’t afford to do that right now.

I have email to George now asking about the status of the hub. Until I know that, I can’t say anything about availability, but I’m pretty sure that, if you are not in too much of a hurry, you can get a version or variation of the wide hub. Personally, I think it would be worth the wait. When you see the wheel up close, your brain goes “Ahhhhhhhh” because it looks so much more satisfying than the the stock Coker or even the Suzue-based Coker.

To get the high tension safely (i.e., so the spoke doesn’t pull through the rim wall), be sure to get the wide flange nipples from Semcycle. There may be a way to safely use standard ones and washers, but I haven’t yet investigated that.

I got the nipples from Semcycle last week. I’m just waiting on the spokes and deciding on a hub.

What is the purpose of the washers under the spoke heads? Is it to take up space because the elbow is too long (the distance from the spoke head to the bend in the spoke).

I assume that these washers are standard things that are available and that my wheel builder will know what I’m talking about when I ask for washers under the spoke heads.

Did you use the standard length Coker spokes, or did you get them in a custom length for the wide hub?

John -

Yes basically it supports the spoke head better. This is not necessary on all spoke/hub combinations. By supporting the spoke head better, the spoke-hub interface is more solid, and thus more of the spoke motion induced by external forces is handled in the spoke body, where it should be, and where there are no fretting forces to lead to spoke failure.

In truth, the wheel demonstrated in the gallery did not have spoke head washers; but if you are investing that much trouble in the wheel, you should have them. There is a technique to installing them; see Gerd Schraner’s book. See also this photo. If that isn’t enough, email me and we’ll get it going.

I used the same spokes you are getting; those cut by Tommi from The Unicycle Factory. They are the same length as the stock Coker spokes but a smaller gauge and stainless steel. Note: as you can see from the test results, the heavier gauge is not necessary and cannot compensate for the inadequate rim and resulting inadequate tension of the stock Coker wheel.

I did not specify a hub width when I ordered the frame. I’ve got a Schwinn,Suzie & Sem hub ready for me to decide when I get the frame.

I really don’t think I nead one of those super wide hubs anyhow.
Actually, the stock Coker works ok for me now. I just want a new look and a wheel that’s more compatable with a brake & a frame that doesn’t flex so much when climbing/descending.

Thanks for the help!


At your service. bows dramatically

I just love taking quotes out of context :sunglasses:

OK We have a stopgap measure.

After quite a few emails and phone conversations here’s the deal. Tom Miller of The Unicycle Factory can do the hubs. He has actually been doing the same process for years. They are a little more expensive. If we get together three or so he can remake a hub for $75 each, which is less expensive than I thought it would be. George Barnes has graciously sent me his instructions, so that would be an additional help to Tom if possible. We have to supply the hubs, although Tom may be able to if necessary (I didn’t ask that question).

I have tried to get in touch with John Drummond from but he has been unavailable to answer my calls.

So if you are interested in building a Coker wheel with the wide hub in the next three-four months, let me know within a couple of weeks and we’ll get an order going. If you need a hub to send I can supply it or you can get it from or through your local bike shop. The Suzue are better to use than the Semcycle but the Sem is ok too.

Here is a very short excerpt from George’s lengthy email, which he has given permission to post.

That sounds great!
My only concern is that the flange size needs to be similar to the Suzue so that I could use the standard Coker length spokes. A hub with a larger flange would probably mean that I’d have to get different spokes cut and that would not be good.