A) Up to 6 foot tall giraffe unicycles:
Many unicyclists can free mount (in the open) a six foot unicycle
WITHOUT any special wheel locking devices. Here are two web pages
that might help:
This describes only the standard giraffe. There are many other
mounts that can be done on a giraffe such as the catapult mount, side
mount, etc. However, they are not the focus of this post.
B) 7-10 foot and even taller giraffe unicycles:
Giraffe unicycles taller than six feet usually have one or possibly
more built in steps welded to the frame that are used to free mount.
These steps do NOT prevent the wheel from moving. Tom Miller of The
Unicycle Factory makes these as well as many others. He is also an
extremely experienced giraffe unicycle rider and can probably tell us
about many giraffe unicycles and how to free mount them. Here’s his
His custom giraffe and other custom unicycles can be found here:
You can call him at (765) 452-2692. (He doesn’t have e-mail and
doesn’t have time to respond to postal mail.) He has also build
giraffe unicycles with step activated brakes and can describe them
and their use much better than I can.
C) Giraffe unicycles with step activated brakes used for free mounting:
The spring loaded step activates a standard bicycle brake via a brake
cable. Unicycles with these are usually at least eight tall and
often much taller. They are rare and expensive to build.
These steps are at the back of the frame, hinged at the frame and
have a rather long lever extending in the front of the frame attached
to the brake cable. A spring is also attached to this lever pulling
down to keep the brake from engaging when there is no weight on any
of the steps. Of course weight on any of the steps causes the step
to go down about 15-20 degrees where a fixed stop prevents further
downward movement of the step. The lever of course goes up 15-20
degrees and pulls a brake cable up enough to fully engage the brake.
The brake should be adjusted so the brake pads are about 1/8" from
the rim when not engaged to ensure that they don’t drag or engage
themselves due solely to mis-calibration (adjustment) of the brakes.
D) Extremely unusual hopping method of free mounting very tall giraffes:
Here’s a thing NOT to do (or to do extremely carefully): A pedal grab
up to the first step of a tall giraffe being ridden by someone else. DO
NOT do this to a giraffe with a step activated brake! The giraffe rider
will not be happy with your free loading on his brake!
Ken Fuchs <firstname.lastname@example.org>