I am a college student in Florida where it is very flat, and just learning how to ride. You may have read my previous thread where I got overwhelmingly supported advice to get the Torker LX. I ended up finding a great deal for a 24 inch off-brand for 30 bucks. I thought I wanted the 24 in to get across campus, but now that I can ride it I am contemplating getting something with a larger tire size so I can get to class MUCH faster without sweating up a storm. What do you suggest? Brand? Size? Coker? Other? Would getting short cranks make much of a difference? I do not want to spend a lot but am open to ideas. Would a 26 inch be big enough? It’s only 2 inches bigger than the 24 inch and I know they go bigger. Thanks so much for any advice that you give! Your previous advice helped so much and I am finally getting a handle on riding!
whew, 7 inch cranks are pretty long - I see why you’d be sweating up a storm.
usually, when people talk aout cranks, they use millimeters - according to google, 7 inches is 177.8mm
if you want to get around quickly, but want to spend as little as you can to do so, I recommend the Sun 28". I have one and it is very fast, not as fast as a Coker, obviously, but I can cruise at 10-12mph without much difficulty. add to that longer cranks, 150mm or so, and you’ll be hauling ass.
A 29er is cheaper than a Coker and gives you a chance to see if you like big wheels. I took the path:
20" uni with 140mm cranks (yes, that is a bit long for a non trials / muni setup)
move to 100mm cranks - quite a bit faster
get a Nimbus 29er - takes quite a long time to get used to the big wheel and feel really confident riding round town, but it is faster
get a 36er - much more expensive, since I got such niceties as alloy cranks, airfoil rim, etc to ensure I didn’t need to upgrade in future. I was sure I’d like this uni. I could freemount and ride comfortably almost immediately (the 29er practice helped lots), altohugh it took a few weeks not to do random stupid things occasionally.
I’ve now got two “road” unis, but I’m going to solve this problem by making the 29er a fast cross country uni, with a knobbly tyre and slightly longer cranks.
I was happy with this progression, as the 29er was a cheap way to test the waters, and get used to big wheels. With short cranks, a friend of mine has since reached 17mph on it - he does ride very fast, but it shows they can move quite quickly.
My philosophy for Cokers is to go all or go none; that is, if you’re going to buy a Coker, get the works. Airfoil rim, short cranks, high-end seat, etc. If you can’t afford these niceties, then the experience won’t be the same. Since you say you don’t want to pay a bundle, just go with a 29er. Nimbus 29" is something I’m hoping to get in the next couple months, and that’s only about 230 USD.