Tire/tube combos and Coker vs Titan

Howdy folks,
I was on here a while back asking about broken spokes on my UDC Titan and everyone was a big help - thanks!

I’ll apologize in advance for the length of this post. Might want to make some popcorn, sit back and relax.

I decided back when I was breaking spokes fairly often that it would be nice to have an extra wheel in case of unexpected flats or broken spokes - so I decided to but another rig. The price of a built wheel was about half the price of a new cycle. I decided to buy a Coker Big One since it has so many more spokes than my Titan. The mistake I made was asking for the road tire since I ride on the road. It is a flat profile tire and heavy as lead. I also was surprised at how tipsy it feels compared to the UDC Nightrider (my original Titan tire). I cannot turn worth squat on this new road tire either. That being said, I am not riding the Coker much. I use a Vee Rubber T Monster on my Titan and normally stretch a 29 inch tube over the rim and then fight the sucker to get it inside the tire and inflated. Are there any tricks for this? I normally pour dish soap mixed with water all over the tire bead and tube. It helps some but it is still a real bear getting that stretched-tight tube inside both beads.

The weight savings, reduced effort and rolling resistance is unreal with the Vee rubber tire and 29 inch tube. I switched back to a standard UDC 36 inch tube recently and couldn’t believe how much more effort it took to ride my normal circuit.
The Vee rubber tire is expensive and really squirrely when it is new but I run it at low pressure until it gets some wear and then it calms down.

My other questions concerns the handling of the Coker. I swapped the Coker cranks for straighter Venture cranks, thinking that the curved nature of the Coker cranks might be contributing to my turning problem. I also tried deflating the tire but that seemed to make cornering even worse (even though it helps with the Vee rubber tire). I think a more rounded profile tire might be better - like the Coker button or another Vee rubber tire. I’m convinced it is the tire that is the problem. I can’t imagine the geometry of the Coker being that different from the Titan. I have not tried putting the UDC wheel on the Coker but that certainly would take the flat-profile road tire out of the mix. Maybe I will try that for tomorrow’s ride.

Has anyone had a similar experience when switching between the two cycles?

It’s not like I am new at this - I’ve been riding for 6+ years.

Fire away :o

I believe the (2nd generation) Cokers have 48 spokes, which adds some more weight to the wheel. But when it comes to handling, the main factors are going to be tire pressure, and the tire itself. Some tires handle better with higher pressure, while others are better low. I find the Nightrider tire to be pretty squirrelly at high pressures, though some people have no issues with it. I remember the Coker Button tire being my favorite on road camber, but I don’t think those are available anymore.

Frame and cranks will only have a very minor effect, if at all, on how a tire handles. Some people do fine with straight cranks and a narrower profile, while others have a tendency to catch their heels on the hub area as it comes around. If your toes naturally point straight or a little inward, you’ll be much happier with straight (zero Q-factor) cranks than someone who’s toes point outward.

Hi Zenarcher how do you find the t monster it looks more of a off-road tread than road is it noisy and does it roll smooth.

The T Monster is a great road tire. The same guy that got me into uni recommended it. Not noisy and it rolls smooth on the road. I have problems turning whenever I get a new one if I put too much air in it - I ride it on very low pressure when new - around 20 to 25 - until it wears a bit and becomes friendlier. It is super reactive/responsive - just thinking about turning heads you that way. The light weight is incredible too. I do find it harder to mount than a heavier tire because it is so reactive. Take-off, slowing, dismounts and riding all take so much less effort.

Thanks for the feedback. My Coker Big One has 48 spokes. I have been doing some “research” today. Coker is no longer making unicycles. They still have the 36" bicycle (Monster Cruiser) and tires/tubes. They still have the button tread in stock for $65 but they want $31 to ship it! You also have to call them since they took the cokercycles website down. 1-866-591-3419 or 423-265-6368. I forgot to ask about replacement spokes but UDC has some they will cut and thread if needed.

I ordered a Vee Rubber tire direct and found the Vee Rubber 220g tubes at UDC. Vee Rubber doesn’t have a way to order the tubes on their site and they have not responded to an email after a week - plus you can’t get through to them by phone - weird!

The end of an era I guess. We have Coker to thank for making 36" unicycles possible. That is, with pneumatic tires of course. Before that, it was hard wheelchair rubber, or similar, on handmade rims and unicycles. Thank you Coker! It’s hard to compete in the bike (and uni) market when others are making the same or similar products, which is what happened to Coker. But if they hadn’t done it first, we wouldn’t all be out riding such long distances on unicycles!

Looks like their “unicycle tire/tube division” is maybe a part-time operation. Maybe they let UDC handle that part, if they’re still producing product. I hope they are. UDC (US) seems to have tires and tubes in stock at the moment.

It would be good if vee rubber has the production facilities to produce 36" tires a post Roger udc put up about the cost of the moulds and bath to make the tires was eye opening and at the time I think he said it was the only bath that could make 36" tires so a back up manufacturer might come in handy someday.

Hmmmmm. In an ironic twist I finally heard back from Vee Rubber. The rep who emailed me said he didn’t handle the web store and forwarded/cc’d my request to the rep who does. Still haven’t heard from that rep. Meanwhile, my tire is on the way and my light 36" tubes from UDC.

I see no one has offered any tips/tricks for getting a 29" tube on a 36" rim. Vaseline?

I also see that UDC now offers a Lite Nightrider that has a weight listed lighter than the Vee Rubber tire. The regular Nightrider was my original tire with the standard 36" tube and that combo was worlds away from my current setup in terms of weight and handling. Maybe much of it was the standard tube - I saw it referred to as the Anaconda (maybe on this forum).
1.36 lbs on UDC’s site - equates to around 620g.
The Vee Rubber tubes are 220g - so that knocks off nearly a pound.
That has got to mean quite a reduction in angular momentum.

I am questioning these tire weight figures on UDC’s site. I guess I need to buy a spring scale and measure some of this stuff!

Nightrider Lite
1.31kg +/- 100g
1.75kg +/- 100g
Vee Rubber
1625g +/- 40g

All I can say is the Vee Rubber tire with 29" tube feels like a feather and my original Nightrider with standard 36" UDC tube felt like a lead weight. The Coker with Coker street tire and Coker tube still does.

I will keep experimenting and feed back.

Getting back into unicycling myself, but the one thing I remember about swapping big wheels that I had to watch out for (I have a Coker and a KH) was hub length and bearing size, aside from from square-tapered vs. ISIS.

Don’t know anything about the frame dimensions for a UDC Titan though. Hope it’s interchangeable with Coker!

I just slightly inflated the tube and put it on. Have half the tire on there first, stick the tube in there, and lever the second half of the tire on. (I found the Nightrider tire to be a little difficult to get on, but it wasn’t that bad. The tube wasn’t that hard to put on, either. I think slightly inflating it first helped.)

Good luck! :slight_smile:

Resurrecting an old thread. Is the Vee Rubber still the best all round tire for a 36"?
And if so, where do you buy yours in the US or in Europe?

I still like Vee Rubber’s T Monster the best although I have enjoyed my Niterider Lite up until a few months ago. Super light and easy to install but a little pricier than the T Monster. I don’t ride off road much so the Niterider was worth a try. Wear/lifespan is about the same.
bicyclebuys.com has the T Monster (so did UDC last time I checked) or you can try ordering direct at veetireco.com


I’m in the US for a couple of weeks and at $100 on their website, it doesn’t sound like a bad price!
It does work good on tarmac too?
That’s pretty tempting… just wonder if they fold it for shipping, since I would have to take it on the plane with me to Europe!

I ride primarily on pavement.
You can fold it once but beyond that it’s quite difficult with the wire bead.
Might take a week to get it shipped (that’s what it was last time I ordered).

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