Comparing Giraffes

I’m pretty sure this is not a new question to this forum, but Search seems to be broken so I’ll ask.

I’m in the market for a giraffe…probably just a 5’ model because I want to share it with my 9-year-old.

In looking at the basic models stocks, I’m wondering what the core differences are between the Miyata Skycycle and the Savage costing $200 less. The Miyata looks cooler in my view, but that wouldn’t get me to pay the extra. The Sem is even more, but I’m considering that one out of range.

Is it strength of frame? Durability? Rideability? Or is it just an unsupportable price difference?

Thanks for opinions…


I hope I can help you out. You are in the same situation as me.
The Miyata Skycycle Sounds cool to me as I love them Uni’s due to their construction are made of. The Savage is probably be the best of for a Starter. Stayed away that dreaded saddle and go for the Viscount at $169. The Semcycle is by far my Favorite.
(I dunno why Tom but I love mine since it arrive last week)
If your budget is a bit tight. I’d go for the Savage with a Viscount Saddle. Don’t forget that other bike shops will have their own brands on it as I found out Here in Australia. Like one I found in a
bike shop in Newcastle that looks like a Savage 5’ Giraffe Unicycle.
The Guy said to me it’s comes from South Australia and I don’t believe him because He doesn’t know his Unicycles as much as I do. Here’s some links from to look at.

Miyata Skycycle.


Savage with Viscount Saddle.


D: is the Semcycle you just bought a giraffe? I’m wondering if I can take from your comment above that the Miyata is better constructed than the Savage. Would still love community input on this one…

If I go for the Savage instead of Miyata, I may skip the saddle entirely and re-purpose one of the Miyata saddles I already have…I’m partial to them.

I think the cranks and chainrings are higher quality on the miyata than the savage, but that probably wont affect riding qualty… the adjustable built in extention thing on the miyatas are nice, but a long seatpost will do the same thing. the pedals are different, but that’s also a cheap fix. and the seat of course… but in actual riding it’s likely that you wont see a difference.

Edit: much of a difference.


Yes my Semcycle is a Giraffe. See that link from
The Miyata skycycle is Better construction than the Savage Unicycle. Same for the Semcycle too. DM’s is also know for better
Construction too. My penny is on the Miyata skycycle.
If I didn’t bought the Semcycle 5’/6’ Giraffe Unicycle, I’d go for the Miyata skycycle. I agree what Max have said about the cranks and chainrings are higher quality on the Miyata than the Savage.
Thanks Max for that Info too. Hope you found what you looking for Tom and Cheers.


I have heard this comment from several people recently. Google groups is the best way to search, and it is not broken. The only drawback is it can’t search posts from a few minutes ago, apart from that I think it is better. You go to google, and click groups, rec, sport, unicycling, and set it to Search only in Here is a link to get you there. Once you find a post you are interested in, you can click View this thread, and it will take you to the forum layout you are familiar with.

I have a 5’ giraffe which I got while my 24" was temporarily out of action. I would not want anything taller after having several falls. I like having a lower center of gravity for offroad riding, and being tall makes it difficult when there are overhanging branches. Mine did not have a chain tensioner, and when I was getting the bottom bracket thing replaced and loctited, the local bike store added chain tensioners as a bonus.


My Semcycle Giraffe can take apart. Here’s how…

The beauty of this Semcycle is the Top section is easily take apart for easy transportation. There is a quick release lever at the crankcasing just slightly above. You take that seatpost/tubing case out and put the lower section and the Top section/ saddle part in your Boot of your car. (Trunk in the U.S.) If you drive a small car say a Ford KA or a Nissan Pulsar, it should fit nicely in. If you got 60/40 split fold rear seats that will fit easily. I drive a Subaru Liberty Sedan (Legacy U.S.) and it fitted very well without dropping the 60/40 split fold rear seats. I’m Getting a station wagon one day. Greg Harper got one he told me about it and he might help you out for some info.
This is my link for that info on the
Semcycle Giraffe Uni. A bargin.
Very sorry I forgot to put that in the first place Tom. Cheers.


Re: Comparing Giraffes

On Thu, 19 Jun 2003 01:24:23 -0500, Rowan
<> wrote:

>The only drawback is it
>can’t search posts from a few minutes ago
Another drawback is that it only searches, the
other fora such as Just Conversation, Unicycle Product Reviews etc are
not on Usenet.

>You go to google, and click groups, rec, sport, unicycling
After clicking Groups, you’d best click Advanced Groups Search. For
one thing you can restrict to by typing that name
in a box, but also you have other useful options such as restricting
to a specific author, or a date range.

>you can click View this thread, and it will take you to
>the forum layout you are familiar with.
The layout is different than on the forum but not worse or better

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“No two crotches are alike. If they are, I don’t want to know about it. - John Foss, on seat comfort.”

The Savage is a decent giraffe for the price, except for the seat. But cheap enough if you buy that one to also invest in a better seat. Viscount if you like them, but I’d go for a KH or Miyata.

The Miyata Skycycle is expensive because (as far as I know) it is still being manufactured in Japan. The Miyata manufacturing is very high quality, and the Skycycle has the expected Miyata fit & finish.

There is a weakness in both the Savage and the Miyata however. Where the seatpost (or extension) goes into the frame, there is only about 1 or 1.5" of tubing of the same size as the tube being inserted. This makes that area a place of high stress. If your riders are heavy (big kids or adults), or if they do tricks like running mounts or other things to stress the seat post area, you could have problems.

If you’re looking for a long-term cycle and can afford it, go for the Semcycle (or DM). The Semcycle is today’s equivalent of the old classic Schwinn Giraffe. The take-apart top is an added bonus, making the Semcycle even more worth the price. This giraffe will last virtually forever under professional use, where the Savage and Miyata probably would not.

You can also sometimes find old Schwinn Giraffes on eBay, though they don’t seem to show up too often. Those are real tough too, but avoid the older ones with the threaded-on lower sprocket. Later models had the sprocket held on with three bolts.

I totally agree with John Foss on his advice. Thanks John.


Great. I appreciate all the advice. I’m down to either the Miyata or the Sem, and leaning toward the Sem if the “inseam” factor works out right. I want my boy to be able to ride it too…the Miyata claims minimum inseam of 21" is required, and the Savage says 28". My son’s is about 24". I’ll call u.c and see what they say.

In the meantime, the Summit fire sale caught my eye (and wallet), so the giraffe plans are pushed out, although I hope only slightly. Time to hold a spring Garage Sale I think.

Best, TB


I have a 6’ SemCycle that you and Miles may try out next time we meet. Well, Miles may try it out…I trust him.

One thing to keep in mind, my inseam is 35" and the giraffe is 6’ when adjusted for me. If Miles’ inseam is 24", the giraffe will be 11" shorter when adjusted for him. This will be just over 5’ then.

Thanks (on behalf of Miles) for the offer…he’ll definitely take you up on it. Also, my apologies for breaking trust by leaving the seat down last time you lent me your uni. But it was an honest mistake…I just got confused. Normally I’m penalized for leaving the seat up… :stuck_out_tongue: