Thinking of buying a Coker....

How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?

Arnold the Aardvark

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Arnold, When I bought my Coker I weighed 255 lbs. The only problem I’ve had is
that the fork was spread out too far and resulted in the one of the bearings to
pull out (away from the hub). I corrected this by bending the forks together.
You could also extend the bearings with a shim I suppose. Perhaps this has been
corrected from the Coker end by now. ( I bought mine in July 99). Otherwise I’ve
been really happy (I’ve almost worn through my 3rd tire and logged over 4000
miles). -Mark

— “Arnold the Aardvark” <aardvark@foxholly.demon.co.uk>
> wrote: How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds
> on one wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK,
> though I popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?
>
>Arnold the Aardvark


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RE: Thinking of buying a Coker…

> already. While doing a freemount the damn thing flew out from under me and
> bounced around on the right side. A bearing popped out of the pedal and the
> crank thread got a little stripped. Didn’t seem like such a bad fall to me
> though to cause that much damage.

It’s leverage, my man. The heavy wheel falling down to the side puts a lot of
stress into the pedal and crank arm. Bent cranks are the most common ailment of
the older (Unicycle Factory) big wheels. This is not a design problem. Same as a
motorcycle, you must avoid dropping it.

But threads should not get stripped from a drop. This would mean the pedal was
already loose. I think the pedals on the Coker are fairly low-end, helping to
keep the price down. That’s always an easy upgrade.

Also keeping the price down, the unicycles are manufactured “fast & cheap”, and
many defects go straight from the factory to you. Many people on the ng have
mentioned bearing fit and alignment problems. Out of the box, you should check
the tightness of all parts, and check them again periodically. All unicycles get
a lot of stress put on them, and things like crank arms tend to come loose from
normal use.

As Tom Miller is always quick to mention these days, unicycles, like bicycles,
are meant to be assembled in bike shops by bike mechanics. Home buyers are not
aware of the tightening and checking that should be done before the cycle is
ready to ride. The cheaper the cycle, the more likely this is true.

Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone http://www.unicycling.com

“I don’t have a Coker, but I’ve been riding big wheels since 1981”

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

It has already been mentioned that you should get the wheel checked to make the
wheel as strong as it can be. It will be a shock to the bike shop to see such a
big wheel. Consider it an educational experience for them.

My problem with the Coker was with the bearings slipping from side to side
(towards the crank and towards the hub) under heavy and moderate pedaling. The
bearings are just press-fit on the axle. When the bearings slip the tire will
want to rub on the frame. The frame is already flexy as it is and the slipping
bearings just compound the problem.

I had the bearings on my Coker locked on with Loctite Sleeve Retainer. This is
not the same Loctite that is used for thread locking. The sleeve retainer is
different. The sleeve retainer is designed to fill gaps (the thread locker
hates gaps) and is designed to secure press-fit assemblies. An auto parts store
should carry it.

Both my Coker and my muni have had the bearings secured to the axle with sleeve
retainer. Bearing slippage may be the source of others reported allignment
problems with their Cokers (just guessing there). After I had the bearings
secured on my Coker the Coker was in allgnment and it stayed in allignment. No
more need for shims over the bearings to get it alligned.

The sleeve retainer is also great for securing crank arms that like to come
loose. Handy stuff to have around.

Get the Coker. Take it to a bike shop for immediate maintenance. Then ride
and enjoy.

john_childs

>From: “Arnold the Aardvark” How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about
>putting my 250 pounds on one wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is
>holding up OK, though I popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as
>it looks?
>
>Arnold the Aardvark


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Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

A very good point. Truing the Coker wheel in the frame is not an accurate way to
true the wheel especially if the bearings are not positioned exactly even on
both sides of the hub. Truing it in the frame will just compound the problem
caused by the bearings being offset and you will end up with a wheel that is not
dished the same on both sides.

If you take a Coker wheel in to be trued it would be good to ask them how
they plan on doing it. If they plan on doing it in the frame then you may be
in for problems.

So, how do you true a Coker wheel out of the frame?

Regarding the Loctite sleeve retainer: I’m not sure what flavor of Loctite
sleeve retainer was used on my unis (in fact I’m not even sure if it was Loctite
brand but it definately was something designed for sleeve retaining rather than
thread locking). In looking at the data on the Loctite web page it looks like
640 or 641 would be the one to use. 641 is not as strong but is designed for
removable bearings which would be handy if you ever wanted to change bearings.

john_childs

>From: (Maxfield D)
> >you should get the wheel checked to make the wheel as strong as it can be. It
> >will be a shock to the bike shop to see such a big wheel.
>
>Watch out for the following: The bike shop doesn’t have a truing stand that can
>accomodate the Coker wheel, so they try to true it without removing it from the
>frame. They compound the mistake by using the side of the tire to guage for
>trueness. The result is a wheel that is true on one side and scrapes on the
>other. The tire is so huge and uneven that these shortcuts to truing cause more
>problems than they cure.
>
>Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of bad
>judgment.
>
>David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA


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Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Arnold,

If you can already ride, Cokers take only about a half hour to adjust to.
They’re not that hard to ride. Mounting them is definitely more difficult, but
nonetheless doable with some practice.

As for the weight issue, I’d be interested in hearing from some Cokerheads who
have used a Coker over an extended period of time. I’ve had mine for about 2
months and have had two problems already. While doing a freemount the damn thing
flew out from under me and bounced around on the right side. A bearing popped
out of the pedal and the crank thread got a little stripped. Didn’t seem like
such a bad fall to me though to cause that much damage. Also, this past weekend
after about 9 miles of riding the left crank just up and came out. So, I’m just
curious about the long term durability of Cokers.

I’ve got two Schwinns and have all but dropped them off cliffs with no
ill effects.

I’ll just say though, that riding a Coker is quite a bit of fun and I’m hoping
mine lasts.

Raphael

Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
>
> How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
> wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
> popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?
>
> Arnold the Aardvark

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Hi Arnold, I’m weighing in around 260 these days (and falling!) and, though I’ve
only had my Coker a week, I haven’t had any problems with it. (knock on wood).
It is a different experience and a positive one. I think you’d like it. Brian
Berlin Arnold the Aardvark <aardvark@foxholly.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:3940b8c4$1@news.power.net.uk
> How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
> wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
> popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?
>
> Arnold the Aardvark
>
>
>

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Arnold the Aardvark wrote:
>
> How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
> wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
> popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?

Surprisingly, I haven’t pretzelled a coker wheel yet (and I hop all around on
the thing), so that’s got to tell you something about its strength.

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Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

“Arnold the Aardvark” <aardvark@foxholly.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
>wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
>popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?

My only concern is the relatively narrow hub (the distance from one flange of
the hub to the other flange) in relation to the wheel diameter. The wheel could
fail in a sharp turn if the center of gravity deviates too much to one side or
the other. The tension of the spokes may not be enough to keep the wheel true -
the wheel might pretzelize (change from a coin shape to a potato chip or pretzel
shape) and stop turning. A heavier rider would increase the risk of this, since
the forces involved would be proportionally larger.

Sincerely,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com>

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Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Arnold the Aardvark

I have been impressed by the ruggedness of the Coker, I ride my on and off road
and have not had any major problems (other than bearings). During the last
Polaris, Leo White ran my Coker over with his and it bent as he rode over and
sprang back almost straight!

Roger

 The UK's Unicycle Source <a href="http://www.unicycle.uk.com/">http://www.unicycle.uk.com/</a>

----- Original Message ----- From: “Arnold the Aardvark”
<aardvark@foxholly.demon.co.uk> To: <unicycling@winternet.com> Sent: Friday,
June 09, 2000 9:19 AM Subject: Thinking of buying a Coker…

> How tough is it? I’ve always been concerned about putting my 250 pounds on one
> wheel (perhaps unnecessarily). My DM Ringmaster is holding up OK, though I
> popped three spokes recently. Is the Coker as tough as it looks?
>
> Arnold the Aardvark
>
>
>

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

>you should get the wheel checked to make the wheel as strong as it can be. It
>will be a shock to the bike shop to see such a big wheel.

Watch out for the following: The bike shop doesn’t have a truing stand that can
accomodate the Coker wheel, so they try to true it without removing it from the
frame. They compound the mistake by using the side of the tire to guage for
trueness. The result is a wheel that is true on one side and scrapes on the
other. The tire is so huge and uneven that these shortcuts to truing cause more
problems than they cure.

Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of
bad judgment.

David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Just a thought: might a motorcycle shop be more likely to have a truing stand of
the necessary size than a bike shop? I don’t ride a motorcycle or a Coker, so I
have no idea about this, but it might be worth a try… If the stand must be the
right width as well as height I guess this wouldn’t work. I’ve never seen a
truing stand myself…

Luke

> Watch out for the following: The bike shop doesn’t have a truing stand that
> can accomodate the Coker wheel, so they try to true it without removing it
> from the frame. They compound the mistake by using the side of the tire to
> guage for trueness. The result is a wheel that is true on one side and scrapes
> on the other. The tire is so huge and uneven that these shortcuts to truing
> cause more problems than they cure.
>
> Good judgment is the product of experience. Experience is the product of bad
> judgment.
>
> David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

Raphael Lasar wrote:
>
> A bearing popped out of the pedal and the crank thread got a little stripped.
> Didn’t seem like such a bad fall to me though to cause that much damage. Also,
> this past weekend after about 9 miles of riding the left crank just up and
> came out. So, I’m just curious about the long term durability of Cokers.

A new Coker needs to be tuned up right out of the box, which is unfortunate.
Every new Coker I’ve seen has had loose cranks and the spokes in the wheel
weren’t as tight as they should be.

    ___________ =================================================== ___ /_/
    / / / / Kevin Gilbertson - mail@gilby.com <a href="http://gilby.com/">http://gilby.com</a> / _ '/ / /
    _'\_ / ICQ: 12611076 AIM/AOL: UnicyclingGilby \_ /_/_/,___/ / Free
    Unicyclist.com e-Mail at <a href="http://unicyclist.com/">http://unicyclist.com</a> /\/ /__________/ World
    UNICON X: <a href="http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/unicon10">http://www.unicycling.org/iuf/unicon10</a> \__/
    ========================================================

Re: Thinking of buying a Coker…

>As for the weight issue, I’d be interested in hearing from some Cokerheads who
>have used a Coker over an extended period of time. I’ve had mine for about 2
>months and have had two problems already. While doing a freemount the thing
>flew out from under me and bounced around on the right side. A bearing popped
>out of the pedal and the crank thread got a little stripped. Didn’t seem like
>such a bad fall to me though to cause that much damage. Also, this past weekend
>after about 9 miles of riding the left crank just up and came out. So, I’m just
>curious about the long term durability of Cokers.

All big wheels are prone to damage by simply falling over to either side. The
pedals get banged up, but I haven’t had a pedal bearing break. The crank arms
bend inward toward the wheel with each fall.

Concerning the crank arm falling off: That could be due to a nut that became
loose and fell out, allowing the crank arm to loosen up and fall off. Or did the
end of the axle actually break off?

The crank arms should be periodically checked for tightness with a torque wrench
to prevent the crank arm from becoming loose and eventually falling off.

Warning: The axle end could be broken or weakened by too much torque. The torque
wrench allows one to apply enough torque to keep the crank arm on, but hopefully
not enough to break or weaken the axle end.

If the unicycle is idled or ridden backwards, more torque might be required than
on a bicycle to keep the crank arms on - due to the back and forth forces on
unicycle crank arms versus the unidirectional forces on a bicycle.

Sincerely,

Ken Fuchs <kfuchs@winternet.com>

Microsoft has finally found someone it can’t bully into submission: US
Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/ms_index.htm Yahoo links