"The Coker Experience"

I may be making another purchase soon (it’s an illness) and I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Coker. I’m not really planning any marathon or epic rides but, I do like to hop on the uni and disappear for a while.
I’m way into the MUni scene and really dig the 26 X 3 Gazz. It’s the biggest wheel diameter-wise that I’ve ridden. But it’s on a Hunter/profile set-up with Magura’s etc…obviously very off-road specific. I’ve also got a 24" cycle with a Fireball for messing around on. But I really don’t like short cranks so, I do a lot of spinning and don’t travel very far.
I’m kind of spoiled by high end stuff and would at least get the Deluxe model with the aero rim. So, it would eat up a bit of cash.
The main point of this rambling post is to get some feedback from those who have taken the plunge.
I know from reading past posts that Jagur was not assimilated. Has anyone else been less than thrilled with the Coker experience? I’m not looking for anyone to make my mind up for me but aside from my son, I don’t even know anyone that rides a unicycle, let alone owns a Coker, so I won’t be able to ride before I buy.

I know my first response to a Coker was - gosh that’s far big to ever ride comfortably! That was before I began commuting daily on a 28" size wheel. A couple of years later I got back on a Coker and went for an ultra long group ride - pure bliss! I instantly promoted it to the top of my must buy unicycles list.

Cokers are fun to ride long distance. They’re not so much fun if you have to trundle along at a slow pace (ie if you are riding with friends on small unis or riding through heavy traffic) To get the most out of a Coker you really need to open it up to its cruising speed for a decent length of time. It is a neat sensation to be zooming along 50% faster than you’ve ever been able to ride at.

The majority of riders I know who have tried Cokers have instantly wanted one. Of course these people have all been passionately into unicycling and riding for many years. Its not exactly the first unicycle you think of buying :slight_smile:

I love cokers.
They take a bit of getting used to but they’re fast and will roll over just about anything.

I guess it feels like riding a 26X3 with much shorter cranks - ie you’ve got loads of momentum - riding one is more about being smooth with your pedaling, to just keep it going, rather than trying to ride it, you just kind of hang on and point it in the right direction.

Cokers are very fast, smooth to ride, cool to look at, lots of fun, and effective as commuters. I commute daily, 5 miles each way, in summer, spring, autumn on my Coker. I’ll be doing it on Blue Shift now, but even on the Coker, I was faster than the bus. I bought one without ever riding one. It was worth it. Mine has the stock rim and 6" cranks. I have changed the pedals and the seat. An airseat on a Coker is a must. You will be travelling long distances on it. Get one. You won’t regret it.

You will love your Coker. It is worth the high price and the annoying tinkering you will have to do to make the thing work well. When you ride it you will feel like your unicycle died and went to NASA. For more information start searching this site, might I suggest carjug and Coker, or perhaps love and Coker.
Also try hiand Coker. carjug

I have a 20, 24, 26, 28 and a Coker. I put it that way because the difference between a Coker and the others is so great that sayin, 20, 24, 26, 28 and 36 wouldn’t do it justice.

If there is such a thing as a practical sensible unicycle as a means of daily transport, I’d say the 28 has it as it’s lighter, more responsive, and approximately as fast. Mounting is easy, and idling is pretty easy, even with 110 mm cranks.

The Coker, on the other hand, is a bit of a beast. When you’re tired, mounting it can be a torture. Idling it is hard work. Accelerating and decelerating present challenges.

Perhaps the lighter aero rim would reduce some of these problems, as it’s the momentum of the wheel, rather than the size of the wheel or the crank:wheel ratio which causes the Coker experience.

But I’m not being negative about the Coker, because for all that a 28 will do the general purpose commuting job better, and the 26 will do off roading better, nothing else is like a Coker except perhaps a penny farthing (and I’ve ridden those).

Mounting it is a great feeling. Riding it at a steady but surprisingly fast pace is a lovely graceful feeling. Passers by are usually awestruck. If I had only one unicycle, it wouldn’t be a Coker, because it is so specialised, but if I could only have the 28 OR the Coker, it’d be the Coker, because nothing else is like a Coker except another Coker. It will average 110 mph, hit 15 mph, blast across quite rough terrain and scare you silly on hills. :astonished: :smiley: :sunglasses:

The typing gremlin struck. Disappointingly, the Coker will average something nearer to 10 mph than 110 mph. :o

Re: “The Coker Experience”

assimilated thats funny,the only other person that didnt flame me for selling it a mere 3 weeks after buying it was Neil.

Re: Re: “The Coker Experience”

I must’ve missed that. Did they flame you or tease you mercilessly in an ‘Are you a man or a mouse?’ sort of way?

I honestly think that the Coker is so different from ‘normal’ unicycles that you either hate it or love it. Perhaps it’s a bit like the ‘rivalry’ between owners of Honda Goldwings and other motorbikes?

Do what you enjoy.

Thanks to all for the helpful responses.
The thing that I wonder about is crank length. I ride the 26 gazz with 175’s, the 24 with 170’s.
I have ridden uni’s since I was a kid, always with the stock (short)cranks. When I started riding again a few years ago, I started using modified cranks from my mountain bikes.
I recently put some 140mm cranks on a 26 X 2.125 wheel and really didn’t like it. Yeah, I could go fast but it feels so weird to me. I’ve been a serious bike rider most of my life and I just don’t feel comfortable with the small revolution circumference and diminished leverage of the short cranks.
How does the Coker handle with 170’s or 175’s? Does it lose some of it’s magic?

Re: “The Coker Experience”

You can’t go wrong with getting a Coker, and yes you should probably get the
Deluxe since you like high-end stuff. Cokering on fireroads or easier
singletracks is a great option over your Hunter. And you will find that
riding on the road becomes a pleasure rather than a slog as with a
long-cranked Muni. It’s like owning a road bike and a mountain bike. There
is some common ground, but both are different and it’s great to have more
riding options. You’ll LOVE your Coker, but you’ll still go out and do Muni
all the time too.

—Nathan

Re: “The Coker Experience”

About crank length, I have used 125, 140, 152, 165 and 175mm on a Coker. As
the length goes up, control goes up and speed goes down. It’s pretty simple.
The 152s that it comes with are pretty good for starting out since you have
a fair amount of control with them. You’ll eventually want shorter for road
riding and possibly longer for offroad. The 175s make it feel like a normal
unicycle control-wise, but going more than about 12mph is a pain. Some might
say that you never need anything longer than 125mm (to which I say, “Bring
your 125s on a ride with me then.”)

It really depends on your terrain and on your skill/interest. The main thing
to do is to get one and get on it and enjoy riding.

—Nathan

Awsume

I got myself a coker awile back, and it has held up, provided me a fast ride, and alot of fun. I think it is a must bye!

Re: “The Coker Experience”

Frank.A.f616m@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>Thanks to all for the helpful responses.
>The thing that I wonder about is crank length. I ride the 26 gazz with
>175’s, the 24 with 170’s.
>I have ridden uni’s since I was a kid, always with the stock
>(short)cranks. When I started riding again a few years ago, I started
>using modified cranks from my mountain bikes.
>I recently put some 140mm cranks on a 26 X 2.125 wheel and really
>didn’t like it. Yeah, I could go fast but it feels so weird to me. I’ve
>been a serious bike rider most of my life and I just don’t feel
>comfortable with the small revolution circumference and diminished
>leverage of the short cranks.
>How does the Coker handle with 170’s or 175’s? Does it lose some of
>it’s magic?
Well, it’s not that it loses its magic, but your knees may lose something.
I think it may depend on your age and knee condition, but I had pain when
I rode with 175s(stock 6" cranks) for too long. I’m 36 and have a bit of
knee trouble. When I switched down to 5" cranks, there was a definite
problem at first with decelerating and even with turning. Idling became
much harder, not that I ever did much of it. As I’ve noted before, it
takes a good 50 miles at least to get completely comfortable with shorter
cranks.
And when I finally switched to 110s (4.3" cranks), it again took a week
at least for me to feel comfortable with the cranks. I still have trouble
mounting at times (esp if I am carrying extra weight, like a backpack) and
have had more UPDs than I’d care to remember. But my knees are totally
fine even tho I ride at varying speeds up and down hills and put in about
60 miles a week.
As for the speed, it definitely helps to have shorter cranks, but for me,
the main point is the knee issue. I’d give up 10% of my speed if it turned
out that longer cranks are better.
Finally, I’ll say that I could take several hundred miles for some people
(like me) to feel totally comfortable on a Coker with short cranks. But
then, I know that riding a Coker with short cranks has DEFINITELY made me
much better on my freestyle uni, and others have reported that their muni
skills have improved as a result of riding a Coker…it just sharpens your
balance in ways you don’t realize are going on.

Enjoy!

David

Frank,

We have many unicycles (19 altogether) most of which we use in our club. Just this past summer, my boys and I each bought a Coker; they bought the standard steel-rimmed Coker and I bought the upgraded Deluxe. Both the boys’ rims go out of true easily and it’s a challenge to keep them trued. The Aero rim is wonderful. My initial hub was faulty and I had to replaced it. When I had the wheel disassembled and the Aero rim laying on the floor, it laid flat and true. It does a fantastic job even when subjected to a person of my weight.

We take all three Cokers to the club meetings and the kids in the club have simply gotten used to them. They are now almost no different to the kids than any of the other unicycles buzzing around the gym. Most all of the kids who can reach the pedals take no time at all to learn to handle a Coker. I ride mine in parades and do have to ride slowly or briefly still stand at times. It doesn’t take long to learn for an established rider. We’ve got some video clips out in the gallery of the boys doing tricks on their Cokers. For inspiration, check out http://www.unicyclist.com/gallery/cokertricksters

I concur with the above, you won’t regret the purchase of a Coker.

Bruce

Back to the crank length thing…

175 = approx. 7 inches, not 6.

My Coker came with 150s (or 152s) which is about 6 inches.

I now have 125s on it and it’s perfectly mountable and rideable, but slow speed control is diminished and hills are a challenge, down as well as up. I have to say that it’s more relaxed and more of ‘The Coker Experience’ with the original 150s. For speed and serious distance I’d prefer the 28 with 110s.

The thing with the Coker is that the standard crank length to wheel radius calculations don’t hold good. It comes out of the box with a 1:3 ratio, which is the same as a 26 with 110s, or a 24 with 102s. However, the Coker is way way harder to idle than either of those, and that’s because the wheel is heavy and large, so there is a massive flywheel effect.

The good thing about this is the feel when you’re riding it. On a normal uni, you have to make each pedal stroke to keep moving. On the Coker, it’s like you have to pump a bit more energy into the flywheel, but it’ll keep going anyway. This translates into an easy ride on flattish ground at a steady/brisk pace. You can cover big distances with little effort.

Put it on difficult ground, though, and some of those factors work against you. The effort of constantly accelerating and decelerating that big heavy wheel is very demanding. I guess that the lighter rim would reduce this effect.

But most of all, Cokers are fun. The purist in me says go for the standard one and just enjoy the Coker experience. Possibly (and this is just me) the better one will be so light it loses that special charm.

Buy a Coker. You wouldn’t have asked if you didn’t want to.
:smiley:

all this talk about the new Airfoil rim being lighter may not be true.

the new Airfoil rim is has a double wall and a raised
triangular inside.all this extra material will make the rim way stiffer and stronger but i doubt its any lighter than the thin single wall steel original.

Re: “The Coker Experience”

Mikefule.f780b@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>The good thing about this is the feel when you’re riding it. On a
>normal uni, you have to make each pedal stroke to keep moving. On the
>Coker, it’s like you have to pump a bit more energy into the flywheel,
>but it’ll keep going anyway. This translates into an easy ride on
>flattish ground at a steady/brisk pace. You can cover big distances
>with little effort.
This has definitely been my experience too.
>
>Put it on difficult ground, though, and some of those factors work
>against you. The effort of constantly accelerating and decelerating
>that big heavy wheel is very demanding. I guess that the lighter
>rim would reduce this effect.
A bit.
>
>
>But most of all, Cokers are fun. The purist in me says go for the
>standard one and just enjoy the Coker experience. Possibly (and this is
>just me) the better one will be so light it loses that special charm.
No way. The difference is pretty negligible. In fact, I routinely hit
lower top speeds now than I did before. I thought I’d be able to hit
22mph, but I usually find I’ve maxed out at 18.5-19.5mph on the same hill.
I did, tho, hit my highest speed since getting the new wheel, but that was
just once (something like 21.5mph).

I’d say it makes the most sense to start with the standard 6" (150s)
cranks (thanks for correcting me about calling them 175s by accident).
Then go down to a shorter crank if you feel ready, and keep in mind my
notes about knees.

You could go 6", 5.5", 5", and then 4.3" cranks. I skipped the second size
(5.5") and it was a shock going from 6 to 5 inches, but doable.

It also depends on how much you ride and have ridden. I started riding a
Coker in my 21st year of unicycling and was obviously more comfortable on
it than some others.

David
>
>
>Buy a Coker. You wouldn’t have asked if you didn’t want to.
>:D

Re: “The Coker Experience”

Mikefule.f780b@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>The good thing about this is the feel when you’re riding it. On a
>normal uni, you have to make each pedal stroke to keep moving. On the
>Coker, it’s like you have to pump a bit more energy into the flywheel,
>but it’ll keep going anyway. This translates into an easy ride on
>flattish ground at a steady/brisk pace. You can cover big distances
>with little effort.
This has definitely been my experience too.
>
>Put it on difficult ground, though, and some of those factors work
>against you. The effort of constantly accelerating and decelerating
>that big heavy wheel is very demanding. I guess that the lighter
>rim would reduce this effect.
A bit.
>
>
>But most of all, Cokers are fun. The purist in me says go for the
>standard one and just enjoy the Coker experience. Possibly (and this is
>just me) the better one will be so light it loses that special charm.
No way. The difference is pretty negligible. In fact, I routinely hit
lower top speeds now than I did before. I thought I’d be able to hit
22mph, but I usually find I’ve maxed out at 18.5-19.5mph on the same hill.
I did, tho, hit my highest speed since getting the new wheel, but that was
just once (something like 21.5mph).

I’d say it makes the most sense to start with the standard 6" (150s)
cranks (thanks for correcting me about calling them 175s by accident).
Then go down to a shorter crank if you feel ready, and keep in mind my
notes about knees.

You could go 6", 5.5", 5", and then 4.3" cranks. I skipped the second size
(5.5") and it was a shock going from 6 to 5 inches, but doable.

It also depends on how much you ride and have ridden. I started riding a
Coker in my 21st year of unicycling and was obviously more comfortable on
it than some others.

David
>
>
>Buy a Coker. You wouldn’t have asked if you didn’t want to.
>:D

Re: “The Coker Experience”

I agree. When I got the Airfoil, I couldn’t feel any difference holding one
in each hand. I never weighed them, but they are similar. The spokes are 3
pounds per wheel though…

—Nathan

“jagur” <jagur.f7b0n@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in message
news:jagur.f7b0n@timelimit.unicyclist.com
>
> all this talk about the new Airfoil rim being lighter may not be true.
>
> the new Airfoil rim is has a double wall and a raised
> triangular inside.all this extra material will make the rim way stiffer
> and stronger but i doubt its any lighter than the thin single wall steel
> original.