Hand driven Unicycle


Does anyone know where I can purchase a hand driven unicycle.

Your feet just sit on pegs and your arms rotate two peddles that are in front of you.

Or does anyone have plans for such an item?

I’ve hurt my knee getting on a helicopter and I think my leg powered uni days have come to an end.

Any suggestions welcome!


Re: Hand driven Unicycle

I’m sorry to hear about your injury, although I hope over time you may get back to leg-powered transport.

I’ve heard of but never seen the type of uni you mention. But you can also hand-crank a standard uni. Guy Hansen of Utah is one rider who has it down. Here’s a photo of him in action, although it would be better if it was more of a side view.


But he has it down pretty well. Needs abs of steel, and doesn’t seem to be suited for distance riding.

You already have one! A regular unicycle can be ridden with the hands as can be seen here! The most important thing to remember is to turn the seat around, as this will make it far more comfortable. Given your leg injury though, this might not be practicle, so your best bet would be to convert a giraffe.

edit; tomblackwood beat me to it!

Andrew Carter has some plans to make such a unicycle. He posted some sketches of some idea he had, but I can’t find them in the forum.

I’m sure Andrew will be replying shortly with the details.

I’m not aware of any hand crank unicycles that have been built. I’m talking about a true hand crank unicycle where the rider sits upright and doesn’t hang upside down to hand pedal a traditional unicycle. It is something that needs to be done. It would be an interesting novelty unicycle.

I’ve been wanting to build a seated hand-driven unicycle for many months now. I just don’t have the money to spare yet. But I promise you all I will build it eventually.

Sorry to hear about your knee.

Here is a thread about my initial questions and ‘research’ - http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=22311&highlight=handdriven
Here is a thread about my design - http://www.unicyclist.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=23008&highlight=handdriven
Here is a quote from over a year ago! - “As for all you other Aussies out there who are going to UniNats, I’m very confident that I’ll have this made by the 4th of October [2003] (UniNats) easily. I’ll make sure I bring it along with me so you can have a ride of it.”


To me it sounds like you are describing riding a hand-cranked giraffe. Dustin Kelm does this trick on a giraffe fitted with foot-pegs. (There’s a video clip of him doing it somewhere.) I’d imagine that this would not be an easy skill as all four limbs are connected to the unicycle, leaving none for flailing/correcting of balance.


Wow - I saw your sketch as well - this is exactly what I am after, was thinking that the saddle would be over the wheel as most of your weight would be central with the hand cranking system in front of you.

I am going to have one commissioned if I can’t find one already built that I can buy.

Agree that the balance will be a big problem, since I do use my arms, perhaps I could ride one handed?

You speak about using a 26" wheel, I would rather have mine based on a 20" wheel.

Any quotes out there, UK based?



Our club’s giraffe just has BMX pegs on it, then you hand crank it while standing on the pegs. I personally have never seen it done, but a few members confirmed that another club member a while back could do it. Kinda looked like this, except it’s a standard giraffe and not a three-wheeler; (this is on johnfoss’ page, i hope he doesn’t mind me snagging it:) )

Let’s try again with that image; see below.

As in the other thread, it’s a good idea to put pegs on a giraffe and learn to ride it first, to see how you’re going to want to position your body. I’ve still only seen pictures of the one example of a seated, hand-cranked giraffe, and that was in an article in On One Wheel in the early 1980s.


Did it not work when I posted the pic? Dang. I’m still trying to get the hang of that.

well miy friend is in welding and i have a spare 24" uni with lollipop bearing. so im gonna put together a few design ideas from andrew carters idea (hope you dont mind :frowning: ) and a couple of my own and we well see what we can come up with. the only thing is with the girrafe uni. if hye has a leg injury i dont think he will be able to stand that well and it is really tall. also its almost like riding a ultimate wheel it probably is really hard to ride and if your have a seat it would help by keeping it straight. also im guessing that he is not that young (no offence or maybe you are im not sure) but i think he wants one that he can ride for lond periods of time. and well you do it over the seat by peddeling with your hands its really hard to keep your balance you cant really see where you are going and you have to have abs of steal. also it looks kinda wierd (no offence). the only thing is getting on it without using a pole or something i dont know how you would. so ya im gonna try and design one and i hope it works out. its gonna take a lot of testing though.

Any further?

Did you manage to get any design ideas written down? Or perhaps get as far as making something?

Am contemplating selling my four unicycles, <sniff>, I don’t dare use them, a damn shame.

Happy New year everyone.


Re: Hand driven Unicycle

I just noticed that the original post did not mention sitting down. So you can do it by adding pegs to a giraffe unicycle, similar to the picture I posted above.

The problem is, you’ll still have to learn to ride it, which will involve lots of catching yourself to prevent falling on face. Believe me, I know. That always seems to be the problem with unicycling if you have injuries. Riding might be fine, but sometimes you need your joints, muscles, and quick reflexes to keep you from getting scraped up.

Re: Re: Hand driven Unicycle

No I intend for it to have a seat, I like the idea of the giraffe. With a seat attached at some angle and then ones feet on some pegs, then motion generated by ones arms.

Is this actually possible?

My biggest fear would be being struck in the face by the hand mechanism!


happy i came across this thread im buildin one soon as im only 16 and weigh 60 kilos and ive got bad arm muscl development so that y i thought it will have 26 inch weel and maybe gears and brakes ive got a paint of it will send it

arm uni.bmp (996 KB)

Hawo fontiminal.

I found these 3 unicycles. :stuck_out_tongue:
1) Hand powered unicycle.
2) Monowheel.
3) Motorised Monowheel.