What should I look for, and what is fair

I am hopefully going to be in a position to purchase a used Coker “Big One” (I’m second in line to look at it), and am curious if there are any things in particular to look for, and what is a fair asking price? This uni is equipped with a brake, but no handlebar. It looks like it is still equipped with the seat from the factory, as a matter of fact, it’s probably all original. From the tiny picture, it looks like it’s in good shape. The add does not say what the material of the frame is, can I assume aluminum, or has the frame composition of this uni changed depending on the age of the uni? Any things that was a problem with this model over the years?

 Any assistance would be appreciated.


OK now I’m first in line (the first person was a no show) to purchase a used Coker 36" with brake, and I haven’t gotten any replies here from my prior thread. It’s equipped with a brake, and the owner says he had it to a shop recently, and was told it’s wheel needed truing. What is a fair price for this unicycle? The new Coker 36" is an aluminum frame, has it always been an aluminum frame? Should I really concern myself about the frame composition? Is there anything over the years that has been a weakness of the Coker 36" uni that I should look for?

Please any info would be helpful


The original Coker Big One was make with a steel frame. Just over two years ago, Coker started shipping their Big One with an aluminum frame. Judging from the traffic on this forum, there have been no major complaints with either frame.

I own an original Big One with steel frame. It has seen several 1,000s of km of use and holds up like a champ.

The biggest concern with 36" cycles in general is the wheel build. The original Coker rims were flat and single-walled, and thus were not rigid enough for abusive riding (on bumpy terrain, offroad, over obstacles, etc.). Whether or not you should be concerned depends on your style of riding.

If you’re sticking to road riding, you should be fine with the original rim. Just be sure the spokes are tight and the wheel is mostly true and you shouldn’t have problems. If you’re riding offroad, you should look for a double-walled rim and/or an extra wide hub. Plenty of examples on this forum.

As for price, I can’t help you much. Browse the Trading Post forum for some ideas?

I wouldn’t worry about the frame. I would check what rim it has; as long as it’s not the original steel Coker rim you’ll be fine. (If it is, it’s still rideable, but worth a good bit less).

Bring a magnet with you. If it’s steel, the magnet will MOST LIKELY stick. If it’s aluminum, it won’t. I’m seriously considering getting a big one though. I know I want a 36er, but there are so many choices. The coker seems very cost effective, but I’m willing to pay more if I think it will be worth the money. My biggest concerns are the fact that it’s not ISIS and the brake. I’m also considering the nimbus impulse (110/127mm cranks). Obviously the nimbus is most likely going to be better. I’ve heard of some issues with nimbus (hubs and handles) though while coker just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Please let me know how it rides or if anyone wants to try to steer me in one direction or another by all means do so. Sorry I don’t mean to hijack your thread, but I think any coker criticisms would certainly be relevant to you. =)

Good thing that the newer cokers (since 08 I think, they were out in time for RTL) all come with double walled aluminum rims and superwide hubs.

I haven’t heard any of any real problems with the newer Coker Big One. Some people don’t like that they have 48 spokes but in my books that is a positive.

36ers seem to keep their value quite well and seem to sell for relatively close to new value if they are in good shape. I would be leery though if they say that the wheel needs to be trued. It means that either the wheel was never built properly to begin with or it had been ridden really hard in which case you might want to ask if there has ever been any play in the crank/hub interface. That is where I had most of my problems with my old Nimbus 36

Hey Eric, I remember reading that a lot of people were upset about the 48 spokes. Why do you think this is a plus? I’m not exactly a weight weenie, but I realize that it does matter. Also 48 spokes would obviously have more drag. That being said, it seems like if a 48 spoke wheel is built right, it would hold up exceptionally well.

I just think that the number of spokes on a wheel should be proportional to the wheel size. I went quite a bit more in-depth with my reasoning in those threads two years ago when this was a hot topic.

My current 36" wheel is a Coker rim with the outer wall drilled and laced to a Nimbus 48h ISIS hub

edit: you said it pretty well yourself :slight_smile:

I also have an original Coker, with thousands of miles on it including Ride The Lobster. Still on its original, skinny hub, though mine came with the upgraded (not Coker) rim. Also the original Cokers did not come with a brake unless purchased from Unicycle.com or other reseller that did the upgade. That’s what mine was. Those frames are chrome, and oval near the bottom.

The new Big One is silver (not chrome), and tubular all the way down; no magnet needed. I sold one of those (used) at U Games last summer, for $300. That was a steal. It came with a brake from Coker. If it’s the new kind, $300 is probably a steal. Then take it to the bike shop to get it trued. Take it to a shop that likes the idea of truing an oversized wheel, not to one that turns their nose up at it. If it’s the older Coker, I’d consider $300 to be pretty steep.

OK, contact was made with the owner, and it looks like I will be the owner of a used Coker 36" with brake by Thanksgiving (Nov. 24th actually). The owner seems willing to wait for our availability, and we told him unless there is something seriously wrong with it, it is our intent to buy this unicycle. Thanks for all the things to look for, and I’ll let everyone here know how it rides after Thanksgiving! After learning on a terribly built 20", and then riding for the past 35 years or so on my Schwinn 24", I am thinking this will be a big step, in more ways than one!

Older Coker

I have an older Coker with a 22.2mm seat post. I am assuming the newer ones are all fitter with a bigger stronger seat post. I’m have some trouble adding a T7 handle to my Kris Holm seat since I have an older seat post. I was hoping to mount a rail seat to it but that won’t work until I can locate an old style seatpost.

Good luck with the new (used Coker).