whats wrong with cokers?

HA HA KNEW that title would get ur attention!

hi all,

im thinking about saving up for a coker as its somthing id really like to try and i recon i cuold easily commute to wrk if i had 1! well anyway i was browsing some old theads about cokers and it seems to me that everyone’s doing crazy little mods to them

rnt cokers good enuf as they are? or am i going nuts LOL i know people do lotsa mods to regular unis but thats silly!

hope to hear from you guys soon!

hhmmmm, coker? girafffe? coker? giraffe?


Re: whats wrong with cokers?

The only real answer to the coker vs. giraffe question is “Both, but Coker first…” :slight_smile: Giraffe is gratuitous uni, but Coker is essential transportation.

To your other question, I’m sure others will jump in with more detailed responses, but here are my thoughts as someone that has made (or at least paid for) many modifications.

  1. For basic distance riding, there is nothing “wrong” with a stock Coker. I think most people with stock Cokers are perfectly happy, as was I when I had one. People are putting thousands of miles on them with no problems. BUT…there are two issues with the stock Coker that tend to drive most of the modifications.

  2. The first and most common modification is a seat and handle upgrade. Look at what the stock one comes with…a basic hard seat and no handle. Not very compatable with distance riding and long saddle time. Some type of airseat is a huge improvement here, as is at least a basic handle addition like the GB4, which not only gives you a way to get some of your weight off the seat occassionally, it also gives you leverage for climbs or descents, and a place to mount your computer.

  3. The second and less common (but more expensive) set of modifications involve upgrades to the rim, to the hub and rim, or to the hub, rim, and frame. The stock Coker rim and narrow hub, combined with the large wheel diameter, make it weak overall. Maybe Brian McK will post a link to his famous video illustrating this weakness.

In addition to overall weakness, the stock rim is flexy, which makes smooth braking a challenge. Not everyone wants or needs a brake, so not everyone cares about this. My knees are a horrorshow, and I need a brake, so the upgrade was key for me. The combination of the custom Airfoil rims and one of the new wide hubs makes the wheel much stiffer and stronger, which helps both for braking, and for rough terrain or small drops which could taco a stock rim.

As for frame upgrades, I think a lot of them are driven by the combination of the extra-wide hub, which doesn’t fit the stock Coker frame. Plus the nice custom frames like the GB4 or Hunter are stiffer and more durable. Plus they’re just eye candy…very nice to look at and very cool to own. http://gallery.unicyclist.com/GB4-36-custom/IMG_0632

I remember a post from Nathan (which I can’t find now) where he talked about all the different iterations of coker setup he had. I think his summary was that the wide hub and airfoil rim upgrade had the single biggest effect on the performance and stability of the distance machine. I can’t say from my own experience, as I did my upgrade all at once, going from a stock coker with airseat to a GB4 36 with U-Turn’s “Strongest Coker Wheel” and other bell$ and whi$tle$.

I can’t say for sure whether having the nicer setup has made the difference, but my cokering ability has improved significantly since getting the custom machine. That might just be because I’ve now put twice as many miles on it as I had on my original stock setup.

So to net that out, I’d say unless you know you’re committed to putting serious distance on the thing, and will be riding on rough terrain, and will be wanting a brake, a stock Coker with an airseat and handle upgrade should be quite sufficient.

i support what tom said. i am currently running a KH airseat, udc hardened hub, airfoil rim, rear rack, rack bag, brake, and cyclometer. i have definitely ridden my coker way more now that i have these upgrades. my stock coker was fine, and really cool, but now it is more enjoyable to ride and easier to put in the serious miles.

Re: whats wrong with cokers?

y not both? u cud do a “crazy little mod” and weld a coker fork to the bottom of yer giraffe, and make the necessary chain adjustments! that would give u a uni that is high speed, and puts u 6 feet in the air!! hooray 4 danger!!!

The GB4 frames look a lot nicer, how much does a gb4 coker frame usually cost?

Coker Questions

Two points. The stock coker frame will take the new UDC extrawide hub. I purchased a GB4 36" a couple of months ago and it was $230 with the magura hardware included. The GB4 36" is top notch.

Stock Cokers are a crapshoot. The rim is either OK or it will taco for no apparent reason. I have been lucky. I’ve had a stock Coker for three or four years with an airseat and Wellgo pedals. Those were the only two upgrades I made. The airseat I find essential. I have hopped up and ridden down curbs and some stairs. I have gone off an 18" drop. I weigh about 190 lbs. Like I say, I’ve been lucky. As for mileage, I have no cycle computer but I commute daily with it in good weather in seasons with daylight at commute times. My commute is 12 miles roundtrip so I can put 60 miles on it in a week in the spring, summer, and autumn just commuting. That said, I am ready to install my third tire.

The longest distance I have ridden a Coker at one time is 25 miles and that was an easy ride. Those who do mods like them in part because it allows them to tour more easily. I think they’re silly and like to make fun of them, the silly handlebars and huge Winnebago bags. Mostly it’s just to get a response from the people I ride with who are wise enough, unfotunately, to know not to react when their buttons are being pushed. I ride with the greatest group of people imaginable. We have had rides with a herd of nine Cokers before.

Sigmund Freud would certainly have something to say about people who use those long Coker handles. Those Winnebago bags are necessary for the extra emotional baggage caused by the excessive Coker handle.

Coker without a doubt before a giraffe. Giraffes are fun, but not very functional. Cokers are fun and big time functional.

I’m still running a stock wheel and frame with a KH saddle. I wish I had an air saddle and handlebars and will probably add them this year. Am seriously considering a wheel upgrade also. Then a new frame will be sometime in the future. Then I can post pretty pictures like Tom (nice photo album Tom) and make everyone jealous of the 36er I own. Sigh, must be patient, must earn more money.

I only did 200 miles this year, but was considering a goal of 500 OR 1,000 miles for this year, including a 50 miler. My longest ride at this point was a solo ride for 31 miles (that’s when I learned the importance of an air saddle and handlebars!). After reading this thread and especially seeing Tom’s photo album, I am definitely shooting for the 1,000 miles. I figure about 2 rides a week for a total of 25 miles will give me 100 miles a month. If I start in January, I get a 2 month buffer! Piece of cake! Oh yeah, thanks to a nice Christmas gift “unidaddy” got from his wife, I have a fellow coker rider to help me chip away at the mileage.

Thanks for the inspiration gentlemen! Happy New Year!


To quote David Crosby: “Sheer profundity…”

Re: Re: whats wrong with cokers?

On John Foss’s web site I think there is a spot that talks about how to make giraffes go super fast by replacing the Sprocket thingies.


Actually that was in a uni magazine. On one wheel i believe.

Don’t get a giraffe unless you want to perform on it. They’re dull as hell otherwise.

You can ride thousands of miles on a stock coker. However, I’d say Cokers need a seat with a handle on it as a minimum, eg. a KH seat.

Airseats, special coker handles etc. are nice but not vital. I’m still riding stock coker except for cranks (short), pedals (spiky pin pedals) and seat (normal KH one). It’s cool and has been so for over 3000 miles. I don’t like airseats because they get flats, KH seats are comfy enough that if you ride distances regularly you don’t need the air cushion so much.

If you can afford it, unicycle.com can get most of the parts for posh cokers, but they’re way way expensive.


Re: Re: whats wrong with cokers?

Click on 'A log Bridge Too Far" http://www.londonunicyclingclub.ca/galleryV.aspx