Giraffe Unicycle

I have been reading online that a Giraffe Unicycle is easier to ride than the standard ones. Does anybody know why? Has that been anyone’s experience?

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Harder to get on and off and further to fall but easier to maintain balance. It is easier to maintain balance because the taller the uni, the more time you have to correct your balance. Stand a short stick/pencil up and see how long it take to fall. Then stand a long pole up and see how long it takes to fall.

Or try to balance a short stick/pencil in your hand and compare that to balancing a long pole/broomstick. Same thing with a uni.


Oh! OK. That makes sense. I saw a science video with a similar principle. Thank you. :blush:

A unicycle is a form of inverted pendulum and as stated on Wikipedia

… the inverted pendulum will accelerate away from the vertical unstable equilibrium in the direction initially displaced, and the acceleration is inversely proportional to the length. Tall pendulums fall more slowly than short ones.

(emphasis mine)

In other words, you have more time to react and correct.

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Sold! I am seeing a giraffe in my future. :grin: :+1:

I think every unicyclist should try a giraffe at least once, they’re not too practical riding to places. However they stand out and really impress non unicyclists.

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How funny! :smile: That’s my main reason for wanting one.

That dude looks SO MUCH like my dad. Except he’s not skinny enough and he has too much hair. :slight_smile:
So yes, giraffes are easier to balance. But you still have the physics of harder falls potentially, so you have to pay attention. Especially around people or object that can block the path of your feet to the ground…

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I will stick with just a five foot Giraffe. Since I don’t have plans to join the Circus, I wouldn’t need to go any higher.

Is your Dad a science teacher?

Not exactly. An Automotive Engineer. But from 1962-1967 he was part of NASA, working on the Gemini and Apollo programs. He helped put those men on the moon. :slight_smile:


WOW! I am impressed! :sunglasses:

I use a 6’ Nimbus Giraffe unicycle for circus performances and I can confirm it’s easier to ride than standard ones, but I would argue it’s a marginal difference. For instance, if you can’t idle on a normal sized unicycle, you won’t be able to on a tall one, either.

You can pretty much directly transfer any riding skills over to a giraffe (backwards, forwards, idling, etc.,) but it won’t allow you to do things you can’t already do on a standard sized one.

Overall, it feels ‘smoother,’ but that’s about it.


I won’t touch one. It’s hard enough running out a fall at speed, on a downhill slope or on stairs and I don’t think my knees could take regular falls from 6’.

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I have a 6ft that I’ve not got on yet having owned it for around two years , I keep telling myself to either get on it or get rid of it.

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My giraffe sat in the garage for a few months before I got the courage to give it a try. That first pedal rotation was a thrill. Great view from up there, but I’m not sure how long I’ll keep it.

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After years of riding on a normal sized unicycle, I haven’t fallen a single time on my giraffe! It’s quite safe if you know what you’re doing.

Well if you’re ever looking to get rid of it, I’d love to add it to my collection. It’ll probably be used for circus performances, so it’s for a good cause and will get a lot of love.

If I were younger or had had no knee injuries in the past then I might consider a giraffe, but I’m in my fifties and spent a couple months limping around with a cane due to an injured knee a couple years ago. For me it’s just too big a risk to take for something I’m not that interested in.

i dont think im afraid of it but more a case of time is in short supply so when i have time i want to get out on one of my standard sized unicycles for a ride instead and im not sure where i would try it first as i dont want lots of passers by stopping to watch first time on it.