'The Epic' 100/50km Karapoti-like race...

I found out today about ‘The Epic’ while we were out on a coker cruise. We bumped into one of the organisers - another person who knew of Tony Melton and Ken Looi. He mentioned that Ken beat him on his unicycle in the Karapoti.

The Epic is a 100km race that’s all on rough terrain like the Karapoti. The Half-Epic is just that - a 50km race for the wimps, social riders, and unicyclists who are more sane than the likes of Ken, Nathan, Tony and all those other crazy people.

At least three of us are pretty keen on doing the 50km race.

So here’s my question…
For a 50km course with lots of hills, mainly fire trails, and some more technical singletrack, which of my unicycles should I ride?

I have:

  • A standard coker (with brake and 150mm cranks and access to other lengths)
  • A bloody heavy muni (145mm cranks, with a brake…about 7.5kg)
  • A slightly less bloody heavy muni (without the brake)

What sorts of average speeds can I expect getting on each?

On a side note, I was aiming to hit 30km/hr on my coker today with 150mm cranks. I got 28.2 on my first attempt, then on my last attempt, 29km/hr…I’m not quite confident enough yet at high speeds on my coker.

On another side note, can anybody tell me the fastest speed on flat ground pedalling and not gliding?

You Kiwi’s are welcome to join us…it’s a little late notice though, the race is mid-september. :slight_smile:


Go for it Andrew!

I guess the only way you’ll know what to ride is if you pre-ride the course first with different setups. Or at least try riding part of the course. I don’t know how easy that is to do so. I know that my Karapoti time this year was about 10 minutes slower than last year; I used a Coker with 150’s, whereas last year I had a 29’er with 150’s. There was plenty of carrying- and up the really slippery bits like the devils staircase it was much harder with the heavy Coker. I found the Coker was also slightly overgeared- you want to spin fast all the time, not waste energy holding back the wheel when going down really technical sections. On the other hand, if the course is flat and rough over a long distance then the Coker is nice because it’s like riding a full suspension bike- it rolls over the bumps whereas a 29’er is like riding a hardtail mountainbike- light and fast but rattles your body much more.

Anyway, good luck!


Thanks for the tips Ken. I’m worried about using the coker as I only have a standard coker and don’t want to taco it.


Sounds like an epic race to me!

A 50km offroad ride on that sort of course (mainly fire roads) sounds like one to do on a Coker. What I have done when entering MTB races in the past is try and find bikers who’ve done the race before and grill them for as much info about the course as possible. If you’ve got the beta on the course then you’re way ahead in yr choice of uni to race on. By the sounds of it you’ve already found out that its largely on fire roads = Coker!

I did the Karapoti the first time on my 24" Muni (with ridiculously long 170mm cranks) and it was torturously slow. The 24" wheel was however nice for the Rock Garden section, but overall was not worth it. I wouldn’t ride anything smaller than a 29er on that course again.

I wouldn’t be overly worried about taco-ing yr Coker as the standard rim can take a surprising amount of abuse. An airfoil rim is not a necessary requirement for offroad cokering.

If you get the long distance race bug Andrew there are plenty coming up in NZ: the 70km ‘Highlander’ race later this month, the 24hrs of N-Duro and the 12hr Day-Night thriller in October - http://www.daynightthriller.co.nz/

Good luck Andrew!