Best Giraffe for a Penguin Build and Adding Gussets

I’ve got an idea for building a Penquin that I’m tossing around but had a question. (Hoping John Foss might chime in).

I’ve seen Abram Clarks Penquin, and ever since, I’ve wanted one. I’m just not sure what frame he used, and how he shortened it.

I have a Savage that I hate, and refuse to use it. So I’m wondering what Giraffe out there would be the best to cut down? I was considering the Nimbus Deluxe since it’s on sale right now, and seems reasonably strong.

I’d be taking it to a fabrication place to do the cutting and welding. Would you need to remove the bottom bracket?

I’ve only found one picture of a strengthened Giraffe, and it didn’t look all that attractive. What’s the best way to add strength?


Here’s a link to the thread on Abram’s penguin. You may have already seen the thread. Abram answers some questions but the photos in the gallery are (still) inaccessible and Abram’s own web page has unfortunately long since been taken down.

I only have a few photos from that ride. One is a pretty good view of the giraffe. I have none of the videos for some reason.

Thanks Harper.

Yep, that’s the thread. That thing is awesome. I just wish he’d have posted a bit more about how he modified the frame, that’s going to be my biggest obstacle.


Here’s Abram, if you tweet.

Also, Bruce Dawson (on the forum) currently has Abram’s penguin. Maybe he knows how to contact him.

Meh, I’m not a Twat.

I’ll try to contact Bruce. Thanks for the contacts!

Okay, so I talked to Walt from Waltworks (Todd tire guy), and he said he could drop the BB no problem.

So I guess the only question I really have now, is whether or not any strengthening of the frame is necessary? Since the chain stays will be shortened considerably, I can’t see bending at the BB being as big of an issue.

Still here

Funny, I was just thinking about my old penguin giraffe. I really liked that beast. I never actually managed to get it back after loaning it out in Seattle (I live in San Francisco now). I’d love to take it out to the streets again, but honestly I don’t even know who has it anymore.

As for the build, I just chopped up this old giraffe that had been kicking around not being ridden since I was 12 or so. I have no idea what brand it was, it was pretty generic. My friend did the actual welding, but it was ridiculously simple. We chopped off the bottom bracket, and ground the bottom legs off until it was smooth and round, then we cut down the legs attached to the bearing housings as much as we thought we could get away with and still fit a 20" tire in (simply eyeballed it, marked it with a nail), and welded the suckers back on.

I used the original chain wheel, and a standard fixed gear cog on the hub. We went with an exact 2x1 ratio, which was brutal, but I could keep up with casual bicyclists.

Then there was a bunch of grinding, and that was it. Never even painted it. I did end up having to buy a new bottom bracket (you need crank pullers, and a bottom bracket removal tool).

Please feel free to email me! Same username at gmail.

By far the hardest thing you’ll have to deal with is having a nice chain-line. We futzed with it for quite a while before committing to our welds, and it still ended up being pretty non-ideal. The chain would always make a little grinding noise about once a pedal rotation or two; it was visibly off if you looked closely. Really it was an aesthetic issue, with the very minor noise, and the slight grind in the riding feel, that had no noticeable performance impact.

Who has it anyway?

Whoever in the unicycling community who has this machine at this point I’d be more than happy to pay for shipping to San Francisco so I could ride it on the East Bay bike parties, and show it off down Market St and around Lake Merit :-}.

(If I dug around for long enough on old hard drives, I could probably find the pictures I posted of the original build.)

Ahah, I just read the rest of this thread, and I see Bruce has it. BTW, I’m going to be visiting Seattle from the 11th to 18th this August. It’d be great to meet up with some of you, perhaps :).