Giraffe Upgrade - what do i buy?

(please note - since my internet access at work has been ‘quotad’, i dont want to suck up my valuable KBs to search this forum for previous threads on raffies. i hope u can forgive me this imposition.)

i’m looking at upgrading my 5ft (no-name brand) raffie
i’m getting so many uni-gigs at the moment, and so many of them calls for the raffie, i consider this to be an investment

i’m doing pretty basic ride-around crowd work
-meet and greet
-general ride-about entertainment at shopping centers, promotional openings of filling stations and (this sunday) at a Cycle Day held at the Kyalami Racetrack
(all those guys with their training wheels still on, shame :p)
-i do quite a bit of juggling on the raffie
-some ribbon-twirling (dont knock it till u see it)
-a fair amount of idling and one foot idling
-i’m not including free-mounts in the entertainment yet as i can’t land them reliably enough, i’m working on this
(everytime i do the traditional 10-in-a-row test and fail at no3, i curse john foss’ 130 consecutive freemounts softly and under my breath;) )
-i regularly do two hour stints without dismounting so seat comfort is a consideration (my home-made air-seat, just a tube ducttapep onto the seat really, seems to do the trick for now)

i’m quite keen on staying with a 5ftr unless someone can REALLY sell me on the benefits of a 6ftr

so, fellow raffie-riders, what do i buy and how much should i be prepared to spend?


You should talk to Roger at, he’s got a new design of giraffe wheel in the pipeline, based on an disk brake MTB front hub (so the sprocket bolts on). It looks very good, and should be really strong.


DM makes a very solid giraffe. He has even made adjustable ones over the years (take out center section and change chain(s). Nice looking machines.

Semcycle giraffes are very solid and should also be considered professional machines.

Or an old Schwinn Giraffe if you can find one.

I am a big advocate of 6 footers. When you ride a 6 foot people are forced to look up at you, this gives you alot more presence in a crowd. When riding a 5 foot raffe people while sitll impressed most of the time but are less likely to have to look up inorder to see what your doing/ talk to you.

Also with a 5 footer your feet are at arround 3.5-4 feet high this makes it so you can mount by putting your foot right on the pedal and jumping to the seat. With a 6 the mount is alot cooler when people see you run up the back. Most croweds are amazed at free mounts on 6 footers.
The final decision is up to you though, I personally thing that1 foot doesnt make a big difference when your riding, but it does make a big difference in how the crowd will react to you.

You should get a Darren Bedford custom fire-engine RED giraffe frame, then build yourself an extra-strong wheelset using an alloy rim and pack the bearings yourself. add a KH saddle and Odyssey twisted PC pedals, and a thick beach cruiser chain and you’ve got one sweet machine!


1- Bedford red frame
2- Black Araya alloy rim
3- Savage Hub… (i know… it sucks…)
4- Kenda Kontact red tyre
5- Savage 140 mm cranks
6- KH saddle!

good to go!

thanx for the comments and feedback

for the promotional opening of the filling station i worked at yesterday, they printed nice glossy booklets with the specials available and some vouchers
they also outline the entertainment for the promotional period and for the first time, they included ‘Uni-Cyclist’ (sic)
first time i’ve been individually billed!

i’ll see if i can get it scanned in next week

It is cool when they get the important entertainment!

We’re doing a Fitness Carnival today for the second year. They even used our pics from last year on the promotional flyer.

Back to giraffe talk now…

i saw the QU-ax foldable giraffe at
any feedback on it’s durabillity?