Giraffe Muni

Okay, just curious, after reading about Scott Cooper going Muni on a Giraffe, I’m interested to know if there is a stock giraffe that could handle this abuse? All the threads I’ve read are old and say that DM’s are good, but I thought I read that he doesn’t make uni’s anymore. I’ve heard that the Semcycles will take a 24" tire…

I’m deciding what type of MUni I’m going to be saving for, and this just caught my interest. Still not sure which direction I’m going, just looking for some newer info. All the old stuff is from 10-15 years ago.

I never in a hundred years thought you’d be able to pull off Muni with a Giraffe. If you know of any videos, I’d love to see them.


The moderate challenge of low hanging branches just got worse!

Make your own!

Take an old mountain bike.
Keep the bottom bracket attached to the bottom arms of the rear triangle

Cut everything else off

Similarly tidy up the seat post. Now weld the seatpost back onto the bottom bracket opposite to your forks. A couple of pieces of plate to reinforce.

Then put a blob of weld to disable the free wheel

Choose a reasonable gearing
Shorten the chain. And ther you have 1 home made giraffe

:astonished: Before you get all gung-ho on giraffe MUni, I recommend borrowing one and trying it out on some trails. There must be a reason why, after Scot Cooper, basically nobody does it. It’s more of a novelty thing (like riding a giraffe in general also is), and obviously not well-suited to offroad conditions. It’s hard to get the wheel out in front of you to hit the bigger bumps, for example.

But if you do decide to really pursue giraffe MUni, I recommend a strong frame, and then making it like a Trials setup. I think you’re going to be doing a lot of hopping…

Also, if you’re going to do it, go tall. 5-footers are for kids. Get the Semcycle (if they’re still available), or look for a used Schwinn on eBay. The Schwinn has a 1-piece crankset that’s pretty burly (and probably unbendable). The ones available at (USA) all use cotterless bottom brackets, so would have limited lifespans for lots of hopping. Of those, I’d get the Nimbus Performer. A better giraffe all-around.

BTW, what Scot used (seen here at the 1998 California MUni Weekend) was a modified, basic Taiwan giraffe (similar to the Torker?), where the fork had been extended to fit a 26" wheel, and beefed up in the process. Looks like he’s using one of those nasty old seats with the metal bumpers!


This is why I wanted to post a thread. Just looking for some info. I’m actually thinking now that maybe I’ll get a regular muni for now and trying this later. Did some vid searches on Youtube and it looks a little more advanced than I had anticipated.

Thanks for the info everyone!

Well tried to edit but my time expired. Oh well…

Rephrased what I was trying to say:

Yeah, I think your right John. After doing some more searches, and finding a few vids on Youtube, this is looking like more of a challenge than I thought. That’s why I posted the thread, just testing the water to see what some others thought, but whereas I’m just starting out, I think I’ll get a regular Muni for now, and try the Giraffe later down the road. Makes more sense. Man, there’s soooo many options for uni and I feel like I want to try them all… :rollseyes:

Watching some vids, and reading some more about Scott, this is waaay more than I want to bite off for right now.

I really appreciate your post, definitely helpful.

Thanks! :smiley:

Intriguing endeavor. Before I had a giraffe I thought I’d want to try muni and bmx tracks with it but now that I have one I’m not feeling it. It would only be a novelty and probably not actually fun.

Interested in other people’s experiences with this though…I could still come around.

Yeah, I think John had a good point, Scott Cooper did it, but that’s about it. Seems like if it was that cool or fun, more people would be doing it. :slight_smile:

Killian could you share some vids you’ve found?

This one was very persuasive with the guy falling right on his spine…

Some “trials” on a giraffe…

Vids are still kinda few and far between…

Holy freakin’ shiznit that man’s spine is messed up for life…

Giraffe MUni could be interesting.

On my list of cool ideas that may or may not become “projects” is giraffe frame that takes a standard unicycle wheel, has long enough legs for a 36" wheel and has an eccentric bottom bracket to tension the chain.

Use a right hand bike crank (or just the spider with the crank cut off) on the bottom to hold the “sprocket” and use bike cranks up top.

Switch chainrings to change gear ratios and throw in whatever wheel tickles your fancy.

It would be interesting to see what a 36" giraffe geared down to 26" would feel like on some easier trails (assuming I can mount the thing!)

Down hill and flat can a lot of fun/challenge if you can find a place without tree branches. Up hill over bumpy trails will wear you out and might just work best to walk up if they are steep.

Try an almost hop (one that leaves the wheel still in contact with the ground) just before you power over the bumps. That way the giraffe will have little weight on it as it climbs up each bump. Its easier, faster, and more graceful than hopping all the time.


It would feel heavy! Why use a big honkin’ 36" wheel if only to gear it down? Sure it will roll over some bumps better, but it’s not worth the bulk.

On a giraffe, you lose some of the advantage of having a massive wheel. Normally, when you press on the pedals with a heavy wheel, the resistance helps push you back into a balanced position. On a giraffe, this effect would be greatly lessened (I’ll leave it to the physics students to estimate by how much).

And of course you could learn to mount it. Giraffes aren’t hard compared to riding rough terrain. :slight_smile:

Didn’t somebody build a geared-down 36" giraffe some time ago? I’m sure I remember a video on here of somebody riding it in a gym…

My dad built one a few years ago. It ended up being about a 7 foot, and yes, it felt very heavy to ride. Nathan snapped a photo while he was up visiting:!i=58065893&k=jJ7FK

That’s the one I was thinking of Max.