upgrade your Coker at local bike shop?

Not too long ago John Childs said,“The trick is finding a good local wheel builder.”
I understand most shops don’t have the necessary equipments.
I know several local bike shops; would it be wise for me to even approach them if they can handle such big wheel?
Has anyone found a local bike shop guy who can actually build/upgrade/fix your Coker?

I am also thinking about finding a wheelbuilder, but I don’t expect much.

A guy at my LBS built my coker wheel. I gathered from some remarks made that it was a long annoying process, but it was done

How long?

Re: upgrade your Coker at local bike shop?

Ask around to find out where the local freeriders go to get their wheels built. There’s should be a couple bike shops around that are known for their wheel building. Those are the ones you want to ask. Then ask if they’d be willing to build a big wheel. Some will be excited about doing something new and others will say no way. Generally it will probably be the smaller shops that will be more open to building an unusual wheel.

The two local shops that I liked for wheel building have both closed in the last year or two. Bad luck for me. I’m now on my third bike shop. I hope I don’t jinx them too.

I may be getting my Coker wheel built at my LBS. I mentioned that I wanted to get my spokes from the unicycle factory, but they said to get it from Phil Wood instead. Do any of you have experience with Phil’s spokes? Also, what price is reasonable for a build? The shop wants to charge me $50.

$50 for 36 incredibly long spokes? sounds more than fair.

I got my 24" Muni built at the LBS, it wouldnt fit in their stand because of the width of the KH hub so they built it by eye then put it in my frame to spin it and check it ran true, you might be able to use this approach, and normally it’s £25 over here so $50 seems reasonable, especialy as it’s far from a normal build.

I took a 20" rim/hub to a bike shop and the guy took 3 weeks to do it with me phoning him every other day to check on progress. When it was finally done he said he would never have started it had he known what was involved and also said that I couldn’t bring it back to him cos he wouldn’t fix it again.

It broke, I took it to the bmx shop, they have a wheelbuilder who comes in once a week, he saw the uni wheel sitting waiting, got all excited saying “I’ve been dying to do one of those!” and put it to the top of his list and did it in 3 days! And it’s still like new!!

I guess it just depends on the shop/staff.


PM or email me if you want for a quote; I do this stuff all the time and have special tools for it. If no custom parts are necessary, the turn-around time is not bad at all.

I’ve been waiting for a Coker wheel and frame for pretty long while now. I can vouch that getting parts appears to be a real problem. Dave is a great technician, but he still has to acquire the inventory after you order. DarkTom’s 3 weeks sounds like a pretty good turn-around to me, but presumably he brought in the parts. The thing is, you need custom parts for a custom wheel; otherwise, just buy a stock coker wheel from UDC. (They also have a custom wheel builder, I believe.)

If you can find an LBS that is responsive to you, and where your interaction with them is welcomed, then you could oversee the process. If it started going south, you’d know earlier rather than later. if they didn’t deliver after a certain period of time, you could just pull out and go somewhere else. But make sure you have some form of leverage.

the U-Turn time is not bad at all.:smiley:


Well, just got off the phone with a LBS owner who carries Coker Cruisers and have worked on Coker wheels! They have been in business for over decade so this sounds promising. I will take in my Coker in few days and see what they can do for my wheels.
I do like the idea of overseeing the progress of wheel building.
Municsycho, you mentioned I need to have leverage and know when it’s time to ‘move on’ if things go south. Can you tell me how?

Build a man a wheel; he will ride again today. Learn to build a wheel; and he will build, repair and true his own (and probably friends, relatives, neighbors…)

Nicely put OoO.

What kind of tools does it take?

(I’m guessing someone is going to tell me to use the search button about now.)

If you start with the following items, you would have most of what you need except for the actual wheel components. Hub, spokes, rim.

From Amazon.com - “The Art Of Wheelbuilding” book by Gerd Schraner

Spoke wrench

Something to true the wheel on. A unicycle frame that the wheel will eventually go on works very well.

it takes very few tools just a spoke wrench and a spoke threder (if your using coustom spokes) you may also need a spoke tensher and a tool for reading dish (the left to rite relanship of the hub to the rim)

edit -darn ooo beat me

The unicycle frame works terrific for (dishing) centering of the wheel. Spoke tensioner would be a good tool to have. Park makes one for around $65.00.

The proper adult reply to that is…
Nya, nya, nya, nya, nya, nya!

How hard was this to build, and did it take you long? Did you have any custom parts? What was the wait time for them? How strong would you say your wheel is? Is there anything you would do different knowing what you know now?

I’ve never built a wheel before, but I ordered a hub/cranks, spokes, and rim anyway. With Sheldon Brown’s helpful website, I got the wheel built in one night, only to find out the spokes UDC sent me were too short! I am still waiting for the replacements. :angry: