I think this depends alot on the urban hills. I rode up six blocks in downtown Seattle yesterday on a 24" MUni with 175mm cranks and it was HARD. I was with John Childs (who is 35, not 50) who was on a KH 24" MUni with comparable length Profile cranks and he didn’t seem to mind but he got to rest as he waited for me.
Nathan goes up some steep stuff on his commute to work on a Coker. I think he has stock 150mm cranks on his but I could be wrong. On mine, I have a couple of 9 degree (16%) grades that I go up with 150mm cranks on a Coker. I have done one of them with 140mm cranks on Blue Shift in 43.5" mode but that’s really tough. This is in Seattle. Places in San Fransisco would be harder.
My guess is that urban hills in Iowa are not going to be so severe. Also, George is 21 years old and a great rider. However, when I was at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, the campus was extremely hilly with some long, steep stretches. Kansas, like Iowa, is not noted for being particularly mountainous. Maybe George has to negotiate some big ones.
Ken Looi (GizmoDuck) (I apologize if I butchered your name) of New Zealand holds the record for the urban hill climb.
I have a pair of 3" cranks. These were hand-shortened by Chris Reeder. Are they on my Coker? No way.
But you apparently are looking for a useful short size, not whoever has the stupid-shortest cranks. My Coker has 125’s on it, but I think they’re a little too short for me at the moment. I’m going to try it with 140s for a while and see how those feel. When going at Coker speeds, around cars, pedestrians, and other cycles, I want a little more control.
Iowa State’s campus is anything but hilly. I have the long cranks on my campus cruiser for better control while riding through herds of students. I could negotiate the campus with short cranks, but it just doesn’t seem responsible.
Iowa is moderately hilly in places. The county I trained in for my cross state ride was more hilly than most. The RAGBRAI route that we followed this summer was one of RAGBRAI’s flatter routes, though it wasn’t flat by any means (10,851 feet of climbing over 500 miles):
Additionally, I think I climb pretty well on my road bike and on my unicycles. I’m 6’7", built like a rail (170-180 lbs), and after RAGBRAI I had so little body fat it was painful for me to sit on my butt at work. When I was doing RAGBRAI on my bike it was a very rare event for me to get passed on a hill. On this last RAGBRAI I rode past people pushing their bikes up hills that were to steep for them to ride (with gears?!).
I should mention that on the last day of RAGBRAI I switched to 127 mm cranks about half way through the day because the combination of exhaustion and very steep downhills was feeling increasingly dangerous.
I run 125mm cranks on my coker and have decided that they are probably not suitable for inner city riding through mass pedestrian traffic. I think traffic conditions have more of an affect on crank lengths than the terrain.
Hills are manageable no problem but I don’t feel I have the precision necessary to weave between pedestrian traffic, cross multiple roads etc. Cokers don’t accelerate/decelerate quickly and with multiple stops and starts longer cranks spell safer and more controlled rides.
> In message “Re: Who has the shortest Coker Cranks?”,
> phil wrote…
> >Monsieur Mikefule seems to have shrinking cranks. He probably doesn’t
> >use cranks any more, just has the pedals attached slightly offset
> >directly onto the axle.
> If I am not mistaken Yuichiro Kato rode a coker with 3" cr 3.5" cranks.
> >phil - don’t ask…
> >Whoa… Crease!
> >phil’s Profile: http://www.unicyclist.com/profile/915
> >View this thread: http://www.unicyclist.com/thread/22925
> >rec.sport.unicycling mailing list - www.unicycling.org/mailman/listinfo/rsu
> Regards, Jack Halpern
> President, The CJK Dictionary Institute, Inc.
> http://www.cjk.org Phone: +81-48-473-3508
I have not tried the 79mm ones yet but will some time I guess. I have been
on the 110 cranks since the Minnesota ride and find them perfectly
controllable, even in traffic. For longer rides I am tempted to try the
102’s but have not got around to that yet.
I see my name was taken in vain earlier on this thread.:o
I’m down to 89mm on my 24, and 110 on the 28. I can idle both with reasonable confidence.
The Coker came with 150s as standard. I replaced those with 125s. I found some improvements in speed on the flat, and I was able to go up and down hills with care. However, what I lost was that confidence that goes with being able to stop and start again without dismounting - a momentary pause at an obstacle.
I’m now back on 150s on the Coker, and I’m likely to stay there for the time being.
I believe that the fastest cranks for any unicycle are the shortest cranks which allow you to idle it. Any shorter, and what you gain on the straight ‘n’ flat, you lose when the going gets more challenging. All the time you’re slowing down ‘just in case’, you’re suffering for your short cranks, not benefiting from them.
I’m sure I could achieve the feat of riding a Coker on 110s, but I wouldn’t be safe in crowds or near traffic.
SOFA… A comment you made earlier on this thread about getting some short cranks made. Remember: the shorter the cranks get, the more difference 10mm makes. 10mm is 10% of 100 mm, but only 6% of 170mm. The difference between 102s and 89s is enormous.