After taco’ing my Coker wheel for the second time in January, it’s been hanging silently in the corner of the garage. I’ve been waiting for unicycle.com to get some WIDE hubs in stock, but it just isn’t happening. So, being the cheapskate that I am, I cut my Coker hub in half and widened it up today. I wasn’t sure if I could go as wide as gbarnes’ hubs, since the Coker hub as smaller flanges than the Suzue. George’s hubs are 101mm between the flanges and mine is 83mm center to center. After welding it with “the world’s crappiest welder”, I built the hub into the stock, twice taco’d Coker rim. I was able to get it pretty true. At least as true as its ever been. The build up went fast and I took it out for its maiden voyage(beer run) around town. All is well and I’ve even hopped about a bit and rolled off some 12 inch drops. So far, so good. I can’t believe how fast and smooth the Coker felt. It’s been six months since I ridden it but it was easy to get used to it again.
I’ve been bragging up my 29er a lot lately, and I love it more than ever, but the Coker just has that “Magic Carpet Ride” feeling. Glad I got it going again. I’ll keep y’all posted on any hub failures I experiance with it.
I think you could have widened it more; I don’t think the flange diameter has anything to do with the flange-flange distance. The flange diameter primarily affects the wheel’s ability to transmit torque in the plane of the wheel (i.e., forwards and backwards), and b) the way the spokes overlap at the heads.
More important is the strength of the flange and the way it is attached to the axle.
The two primary weaknesses of the stock Coker wheel are:
The inferior design and construction of the rim;
The wheel geometry.
The major secondary weakness is the very low limit on spoke tension caused by those two weaknesses.
By widening the hub, you improved the wheel geometry.
At that angle the difference in spoke length between the two configurations (83 mm and 101mm) would be extremely small, approximately 1 mm. Since the spoke nipple threaded portion is 12-13 times that length, it is likely that the spokes would work.
I wasn’t sure how much the width would effect the needed spoke length. I think I could have gone wider, since there are no exposed threads on any of my spokes. Also, I was able to get the spokes pretty tight, considering the crappy rim. I had tried getting the spokes tight with the stock wheel once. The result was my first taco. The wheel flopped over and bounced, lightly, on a UPD and the wheel taco’d bigtime.
The wheel also feels better now. I can’t feel the wheel flex while riding.
I was going to use a Schwinn. I have one ready to lace up but it wouldn’t work well with my Coker frame. The bearing holders were rubbing on the spacers. I’d like to see how unicycl.com has their spacers. You’re right that the Schwinn hub is wide. I’m going to build up another 29er wheel with it instead since it fits my 29er frame better.