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Author Topic: Coker Cycles is bringing back the Wheelman 36" Ordinary!  (Read 5730 times)
Johnny Payphone
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« on: February 23, 2012, 09:23:04 pm »

After many years Coker is bringing back their "Wheelman" 36" Ordinary:

http://www.cokercycles.com/wheelman

This is probably the most accessible and easy-to-ride pennyfarthing out there.  The short height means no deadly falls.  Their new version will have a freewheel (previous versions had a three speed internal coaster hub!) which means no fixie-based falling or loss of brakes.  I'm guessing the price will be in excess of $300 but less than $600 which puts it way below the cost of an Ordinary.



A great platform for your steampunk bike project!
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2012, 09:38:27 pm »

I love those big 36" tires..if only they were easier to get a hold of.. would make for a killer cargo bike..
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2012, 12:32:21 am »

If you're willing to put in a little elbow grease, you can order a 36" rim, tire, tube, and strip from Nimbus Unicycles, then order 36 spokes, then build the wheel to a hub of your choice.   You may have to use a spoke cutter if the hub's flange is too long.
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Captain Lyerly
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2012, 04:14:02 am »

I love those big 36" tires..if only they were easier to get a hold of.. would make for a killer cargo bike..

Oh, they are easy to find!  All I have to do is hop in the car, turn right on McCallie Avenue, turn off at Chestnut Street, and park.  They are right there in the showroom.

I am sorry, that wasn't fair.  But my little home town isn't famous for a lot, so I have to jump on board when something comes along.

Does anybody have anything they want me to ask Mr. Coker when I am downtown tomorrow?


Cheers!

Chas.
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2012, 12:24:27 pm »

Uhhmm.. you could ask him if he wanted to donate some wheels to charity? Grin
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2012, 12:54:02 pm »

I love the monster cruiser. I rode one one time and they ride pretty good. You feel the difference bitween normal size and 36". Smooth ride, gyroscopic force of bigger wheels makes it easy to ride no-hander.

About the Wheelman, what kind of hub do they use? Is is made for this bike or do they use standard material?
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2012, 09:54:35 pm »

Uhhmm.. you could ask him if he wanted to donate some wheels to charity? Grin

Yes please. I'll take one too.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 10:13:02 pm »

I'll take four please. It's for a good cause. Steampunk steampowered go-cart.
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 10:59:23 pm »


About the Wheelman, what kind of hub do they use? Is is made for this bike or do they use standard material?

I have not been able to get them to tell me much about the two hubs... the original was a three-speed internal hub FIXED to unicycle cranks somehow.  Wish I could get a look at one.  I bought a pair of the Monster Cruiser wheels and they came with the Sturmey-Archer internal 3-speed coaster hub with the heavy-gauge "cycle truck" spoke holes.  The new Wheelman will be a single speed freewheel hub with unicycle cranks and is expected in June.
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Professor J. Cogsworthy
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 05:43:03 pm »

now I'm REALLY jealous.....

http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=43304
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 07:17:34 pm »

Copy/pasted from the ratrodbikes forum:

It doesn't seem to be a stock bicycle hub. It could be a 3 peice crank with a made hub. I have heard of 3 gear internal hub crank sets. Perhaps they use something like that?
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 05:53:51 pm »

The thing that's baffling me is that most bicycles have a "dead" axle that doesn't move, it's bolted to the fork.  Then the chainring, be it a fixie, freewheel, or internal hub, revolves around the axle.  On a unicycle, the axle is "live" and attached to the crankarms, this is how the power is transmitted to the wheel.  So even if you bought the extremely rare internal three-speed fixed gear hub, the holy grail of hilltop hipsters, you would still have a dead axle.

On the outer, inside of the hub, you have a ring gear, and the inside of the hub drives that ring gear.  The inside section is the planet of a planetary assembly, connected to the chainring.  The shifter changes the relationship of the inner assembly to the outer ring gear and thereby affects the ratio.  But here's what I don't get- the planetary system requires that the sun gear be stationary as the planets revolve around it.  How, then can the sun be fixed to the revolving axle?  I'm guessing that there's a graceful, simple solution that I'm missing.  I'm also guessing that they stopped production of the bike- then rereleased it five years later with a single-speed hub- because of troubles with this hub.
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 05:54:59 pm »

Also, you can see why it's a lot easier to build something if you have another one to smash open with a hammer and look at the guts.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 09:20:07 am »

If it was a continuesly variable gear it could be something like a NuVinci: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NuVinci

The picture I posted earlier is a single speed coaster, no gears.

I think we have to look for something that isn't a bicycle part. Perhaps something from a car, quad or machinery. Making the gear from scratch doesn't seem to be profitable. I see they are currently out of stock.  Sad
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Narsil
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2012, 09:50:11 am »

The thing that's baffling me is that most bicycles have a "dead" axle that doesn't move, it's bolted to the fork.  Then the chainring, be it a fixie, freewheel, or internal hub, revolves around the axle.  On a unicycle, the axle is "live" and attached to the crankarms, this is how the power is transmitted to the wheel.  So even if you bought the extremely rare internal three-speed fixed gear hub, the holy grail of hilltop hipsters, you would still have a dead axle.

On the outer, inside of the hub, you have a ring gear, and the inside of the hub drives that ring gear.  The inside section is the planet of a planetary assembly, connected to the chainring.  The shifter changes the relationship of the inner assembly to the outer ring gear and thereby affects the ratio.  But here's what I don't get- the planetary system requires that the sun gear be stationary as the planets revolve around it.  How, then can the sun be fixed to the revolving axle?  I'm guessing that there's a graceful, simple solution that I'm missing.  I'm also guessing that they stopped production of the bike- then rereleased it five years later with a single-speed hub- because of troubles with this hub.

I think that a 3 speed bike hub works like this.... The ring gear and planet carrier are mounted on an assembly which can be slid along the axis of the hub by the gear change lever. As it slides in and out different parts engage with stepped splines on both the sprocket and the hub.

So both the planet carrier and the ring gear can be locked to either the hub or the sprocket depending on how far the assembly slides in or out.

So you can have :

-Planet carrier driven by the sprocket and ring gear driving the hub.

-Sprocket locked directly to the hub (1:1, direct drive)

-Ring gear driven by the sprocket and planet carrier driving the hub.



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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2012, 10:18:52 am »


I just found a picture of a regular 3 gear hub. Let me see if I got what Narsil is saying:
Instead of the frame holding on to the ends of the axle, it holds on to the sprocket. The ends of the axle will have the cranks and pedals. That leaves the little chain that changes the gears to be placed somewhere else.
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Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2012, 06:52:53 pm »

By jove I think the old boy is onto something!
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2012, 11:12:12 pm »

The monster cruiser looks mighty fine. I want one. Better yet, give me just the wheels. Three of them. Heavy load cargo trike that just needs to be made. Need to brush up my welding skills anyway.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2012, 08:47:39 pm »


I just found a picture of a regular 3 gear hub. Let me see if I got what Narsil is saying:
Instead of the frame holding on to the ends of the axle, it holds on to the sprocket. The ends of the axle will have the cranks and pedals. That leaves the little chain that changes the gears to be placed somewhere else.


This doesn't work. I have a hub laying around and I just held on to the sprocket, while turning the axle. The wheel would turn the other way around. The gearing part what Narsil said worked, but like I said, the other way around. So either you need a completely different custom hub or you need some small ajustments to a standard hub. The quest continues...
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elShoggotho
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« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 07:22:48 am »

Of course it would turn the other way. Basic logic dictates that it has to. The wheel turns into the same direction as the sprocket. Seems to me that you'd have to use another pair of gears to get it right.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 08:45:48 am »

Of course it would turn the other way. Basic logic dictates that it has to. The wheel turns into the same direction as the sprocket. Seems to me that you'd have to use another pair of gears to get it right.
So a second pair of planet pinons. That's a completely different hub, not a simple modification. You'd still have the problem with the little chain that changes the gears. You're going to have to make a way to change the gears, without interfearing with the wheel or the crank or the pedals. Back to the drawing board. I think we have to look for something that isn't a bicycle part. Perhaps some gearing from a machine or vehicle.

#Edited to avoid double post#
I explained the problem to the guys and girls from Chopaderos. Some of them build custom bicycles (E.g. hubbless wheeled bicycles, bikes with automatic gearing, bikes with continuously variable transmission) Perhaps someone over there knows how it's made.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2012, 01:46:03 pm by bicyclebuilder » Logged
Johnny Payphone
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2015, 08:38:52 am »

Just an update, you can get the single-speed, unicycle-wheeled Wheelman from Coker now for a cool $900:

http://www.cokercycles.com/wheelman-free-wheel/
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pakled
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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2015, 06:15:13 pm »

So is this a penny-farthing, or...variable pence? not sure on the sizes...

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markf
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2015, 05:23:42 pm »

With my old joints, a pennyfarthing looks like a disaster waiting to happen.  Give me a high wheel trike any day thank you.  markf

http://www.hiwheel.com/antique_replicas/adult_tricycle.htm
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Captain Lyerly
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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2015, 08:49:45 pm »

Sadly, my old home town of Chattanooga has become more famous for the wrong reasons recently, but we are still plugging along.

If anyone needs me to ask Corky anything about the Wheelman or any of his other products, I can stop by the shop almost any time.

Last time I was down there they had a just-finished reproduction of the Leslie Special from the Great Race on the floor.  Beautiful thing.  They also had an engineless American LaFrance ladder truck for a very reasonable price.  Was tempted to buy it, put a modern engine in it (until I could source an appropriate one, they are rare) and make it into a speedster.  Supposedly ALF made some "Chief's Special" roadsters that way, but I haven't seen anything official on that.

But yes, it is nice to have somebody making an Ordinary, even if 36" is rather small for a pennyfarthing.



Cheers!

Chas.
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