giraffe suggestions

I believe I am very close to securing some actual funding for the club I
recently formed at my school. A giraffe is near the top of our list for
expenses, so I am wondering what suggestions people might have to offer.

I’ve seen the Savage at UnicycleSource. I have a feeling that’s really the only
one within our budget, but I’d love to hear what people have to say about that,
and others. At the moment, I am the only of our club members to ride a giraffe,
and I only did some idling, and about a quarter mile down a track. I doubt that
this will be heavily taxed in terms of tricks, but I wonder what damage learning
in general (especially how to free mount) might
do.

We are thinking about a 6’ high version – is this much harder to learn to
freemount than a 5’? Does a 6’ look any more impressive than a 5’?

Part 2: now, depending on how happy a holiday season I have, I might be tempted
to buy a giraffe for myself (as compared to for a club). I have a feelin g that
if I learn how to freemount, and ride well, I will want to eventually try some
crazy tricks, and such. Would I be best to hold out for a Sem? (I’ve heard
absolutely nothing about Miyata giraffes – comments?) I love the idea of the
differential – is this unique to Sem, do others do this? Finally, I’ve heard a
lot of people love their Schwinns… while I doubt I’ll be able to find one, I
would just like to ask, what makes them good?

thanks, jeff lutkus
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RE: giraffe suggestions

> ride a giraffe, and I only did some idling, and about a quarter mile down
> a track. I doubt that this will be heavily taxed in terms of tricks, but I
> wonder what damage learning in general (especially how to free mount)
> might do.

Club unicycles take a lot more punishment than privately owned ones. This is
because of multiple riders, and also because of a general tendency to not care
about it as much or take note of loose parts and other maintenance until it
becomes unusable. So if the club is going to own it, a heavier duty one would be
nice if possible. I think the Savages are good, though a little lightweight,
especially for public use by college students.

> We are thinking about a 6’ high version – is this much harder to learn to
> freemount than a 5’?

Yes, if you start out on the 6’. I think if you can already freemount a 5’, the
transition to 6’ can happen fairly quickly.

> Does a 6’ look any more impressive than a 5’?

Up close. From a distance, both will be reported as being ten feet tall.

> Would I be best to hold out for a Sem?

The Sems are good, very sturdy, intended for professional use.

> (I’ve heard absolutely nothing about Miyata giraffes

Miyata is another lightweight. It is targeted at kids, and I’ve seen some
bending from heavy duty adult use. Also it’s not chrome, so it takes a visible
beating from being loaded in and out of the car.

> I love the idea of the differential – is this unique to Sem, do others
> do this?

Schwinn was about to do it when they dropped the Giraffe. You can probably buy
the sprocket from Tom Miller. I have one on mine. I don’t know if other brands
do this. The purpose is to keep the tire from getting worn out all on one spot.
And it works, as the ten year old tire on my Schwinn will attest.

> Finally, I’ve heard a lot of people love their Schwinns… while I doubt I’ll
> be able to find one, I would just like to ask, what makes them good?

Check eBay weekly. They come through fairly frequently and peole snap them up
for around $200. The Schwinns were good because they were built to the same
standard as their classic bicycles of the 70’s, super strong. All the parts were
heavy duty and easy to work on, and this unicycle became a standard for
performers.

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