The reign of Coker being the BIG ONE is over, I guess.
This must be new. Has anyone bought one yet? I am guessing this would not be for speed but more for vintage-look and feel. Can’t imagine riding through street with those thin, solid tires. Ouch! Hmm, but then again maybe slap some gel seat and go? Will it beat a Coker on flat smooth road? No crank size info.
Tom Miller at The Unicycle Factory can make big wheel unicycles of any size you want. If you want a 48" wheel he can do it. If you want bigger he can do it. Semcycle also has a 43" big wheel in their catalog. I don’t know if they do bigger than that or not.
The big wheels are solid rubber tires just like standard wheelchairs use. There is no air in the tire. Makes for a harsh ride.
Before the Coker was available the only way to get a wheel bigger than your standard bicycle size wheels was to get a big wheel uni with the solid rubber tire. They were, and are, available in sizes from 36" on up.
the same site that makes the big wheel on udc sells a 58 or a 56" uni as well, howver it is meant to be what it is called - a rideable bicycle replica. This is no touring machine, it’s an uncomfy relic from the 1700s or whenever these things were ridden.
Not really a replica, but a unicycle “in the style of”. Real unicycles from that era had handlebars but no seats.
I’ve ridden a real penny farthing with something like a 56 inch wheel. It is a fantastic feeling. However, they aren’t especially responsive under acceleration. Or steering. Or braking. Never refuse an opportunity to ride one.
But worth buying? I suspect that most that are sold are seldom ridden except in parades and displays.
I actually rode a big wheel like that across MN a couple years ago with some other TCUC people. Don’t know what size it was (38?) but it was Connie Cotters and had the hard rubber tire (wore it down pretty good going 500 miles and had to replace it afterwards) with a regular schwinn seat! Ouch! Ya it was not very comfortable but I made it nonetheless. Everyone else had like 29" unicycles or so and so I cruised much faster and it was (i think) much easier for me except for the comfort factor. But after so long you go numb anyways so it’s not like it mattered a whole lot. This was before Cokers were made so it was either a 29 inch or this.
I’ve had a 45" unicycle, similar to the one pictured (not retro-looking) since 1982. Though I used to take it on long rides occasionally, I would not likely ride it to work on a regular basis. As John Childs said, the ride is “harsh.” Want to feel every nuance of the pavement? Ride something with a solid rubber tire!
That’s why the wide Coker tire, as well as the Schwalbe Big Apple, make for a great cruising ride. Though I can go faster on my big wheel, it’s not as fun. These days it gets used for the occasional show or parage, and that’s about it.
One thing you can do on a hard-tire big wheel that doesn’t work well with a Coker or similar: spins. You can spin like crazy on the hard tire. Pirouettes too. This is generally a bad idea on a Coker, where you can wear down the tire pretty fast. The downside of this spinning ability is a very skittish ride on indoor floors. Slip!
Also I can ride my old Tom Miller big wheel through fields of broken glass if I want…