How long did you take to freemount your giraffe

Thanks, that’s very helpful. I remember the first time I tried doing one of those mounts where you jump from the ground onto both pedals at once (with pedals level). I stood there frozen for at 15 minutes before I finally went for it. :slight_smile:

When I first got a giraffe I practiced both static and rolling mounts (and have videos of each). To me rolling mounts take less effort but require more coordination and distance. They are also harder on the unicycle and not suitable for wet or sandy conditions. I find them more subject to stage fright (like in a parade) so now I almost always do static mounts. I’ve been practicing static mounts of my double wheel lately and my method is to get a very solid mount to the saddle before I even consider pedaling. If you want to practice static mounts practice getting to the saddle without pedaling. If you’re dead set on rolling mounts make sure to jump up and land down on the pedal; don’t jump to the pedal.

Thanks, Waalrus & Killian, for the helpful feedback. I rolled a tetherball pole over to my back steps to give me something to grab on to in case I didn’t jump straight or didn’t jump far enough to get up. The first couple attempts I grabbed the pole for security, but after that I only grabbed it when I didn’t jump straight. It really helped me break through the psychological barrier. I tried it a step lower, but I couldn’t jump high enough. This may have something to do with the fact that I’m only 5’9" and weigh 220 lbs. After practicing, I watch Zach’s tutorial video again and realized that he takes one step before jumping from the steps. I was just jumping from standing still, so I wasn’t get as much forward momentum as I would if I was moving before the jump.

Good news on the climbing mount. I managed to plant solidly into the seat and onto both pedals – my best attempt so far – and it only took a few tries. I think I just need to go with the natural progression of learning this and not be so impatient. Once I can consistently get on, I’ll move off the grass and try it on the driveway.

I haven’t read all replies yet, but I happen to do that opposite!
Never really researched that big, but I may be odd, there’s many other things where I use my non/dominant leg switched compare to most others.
A 5’ I mount straight with my (dominant) foot on the (lower) pedal.
A 6’ I mount opposite as your list above, with my leg going around the seat (passing the front), while I stand kind of on my toes of my dominant leg.

So I’d say go for what you feel is most comfortable. But after many weeks without satisfieng result; try maybe something else for a while. In the worst case you may learn anyway.

Maybe we (all unicyclists in general) focus sometimes too much on dominant and dominant legs i.c.w. what’s normal for others.

One more hint to the OP:
do you happen to fall always in a certain direction? Adapt your crank-position!
Just like a kick-up mount on a direct driven unicycle never can succeed if you don’t pre-calculate where you unicycle will end. With a talll unicycle it’s kind of the same. With the two-step method I like it if my unicycle comes closer towards me, while I put my mass on the first pedal.

Thanks for your input, Leo. I’ve always put my non-dominant foot on the wheel, then dominant foot on the first pedal, just because I felt most comfortable with that. I wish I was tall enough to comfortably put my foot directly on the first pedal, since that would be one less variable in the equation.

It may also be beneficial to break up the steps and practice each one 10-50 times.

  1. Practice standing on the tire and balancing.
  2. Practice standing up on the crank and balancing there for a moment.
  3. Practice getting your foot around to the other crank and sitting on the seat for a moment.

Like Leo says pay attention where your crank is and see what works best for you (straight down or slightly forward or backward). Also pay attention to the angle of your frame. I like mine a little forward and to the left because I pull it back. See what works best for you and be consistent. With more practice everything doesn’t have to be perfect but it definitely helps at the beginning.

I thought of one more tip when I was practicing free mounting my double wheel. This is true of mounting in general but be careful with the position of your head. It’s easy to get caught looking down at the pedal. If you do that make sure you don’t have your head down and just look with your eyes. It may not be as important with a regular giraffe but it throws off my balance on my double wheel.

I bought a Giraffe back in 1982 or so, a Schwinn 6’er. It mostly sat in my mom’s storage space until I started the NYUC back in 2001. Then one day in around 2004 or 2005, some men rode down from uptown; they were all on 6’ Giraffes. I was astounded to see that they did a rolling jump-mount, and two of them were my height (about 5’10"). They were so fluid!

I spent the better part of that afternoon learning the mount, but I never got it as smooth and effortless as they did. But at least my 20-year-old Giraffe was strong enough to withstand my attempts.

That’s a great story! I wish my Giraffe was stronger. My daughter was riding it the other day and bent the frame in an UPD.

That’s good advice that I believe also carries over to chain giraffes, at least I’ve found a difference when I look up. I found that out by trial and error. On my 3rd or 4th practice, I remembered that when I was first learning, it helped to look further out rather than right down in front of the wheel. So I tried it in the free mounting practice and it made a big difference, so I’ve done it ever since.

Seems like when I was first learning to ride a regular uni, I came across a post here on the forums where somebody compared riding uni to walking. Just as you use your overall peripheral vision to stay balanced while walking, you also can do the same with uni. I was thinking about that yesterday on a hike in the mountains. There were a lot of loose rocks on the uneven trail and I had to keep looking down where I stepped to make sure I didn’t trip over them. It make me grateful that I don’t have to look down at my feet all the time when I walk around.

Because the rolling mount takes space and timing, the static mount is more convenient.

It was the hardest, longest skill I’ve learned but, now that I’ve trained many riders I’ve found the missing component to having the proper technique. Use this forum, the more of the physics u know prior, the faster you’ll learn.


After 30yrs if 70% success rate, I tested the static mount in super speed, not hesitating for balance(at all) prior to hitting the seat like we all do. It works now at 99%.

It was an immediate game changer. Never again nervous to free mountin front of anyone!!!

Wow, thanks for the tip. I like the sound of 99%!