I want to buy a giraffe but don't know where to start.

I’ve been riding my Sun flat top 24inch for about 2 years now, and I want to graduate to a giraffe but I dont really know where to start. I dont know what a good brand is, or even where I can browse different models. I was hoping I could find a giraffe with a 24inch wheel, but most that I have seen are 20 inches. Maybe some of the veterans would be able to point me in the right direction, and give me some tips.

Unicycle.com and/or eBay. Watch eBay long enough, and a Schwinn Giraffe will eventually show up. They were very well made. That’s a 6’ machine; most of the less expensive ones these days are 5-footers. To me, those are for kids. But to the average bystander, they both look at least 10’ tall so don’t worry about your image. :slight_smile:

Giraffes have 20" wheels because going fast on one is generally a silly idea. there are much better machines for riding fast, especially since 36" unicycles came along. 20" wheels are great for idling, so you can juggle without going anywhere, etc. Also you can fit more pedal turns onto a small stage. When it comes to unicycles, most stages are too small.

I think it depends what sort of riding you plan to do on your giraffe. Trials? Muni? Street? What sort of drops do you expect to be doing? It is possible to grind some very high rails on a giraffe, but on the other hand, you need a very grippy tyre if you’re going to be hopping from one skinny to another. If you plan to do uni spins, choose a frame with plenty of torsional rigidity otherwise you may get significant lag between the seat spinning and the wheel following. No one wants to be riding a barleytwist giraffe, do they?

I don’t do any hardcore off road riding. It’s all on my street. Not really into doing tricks I just like riding my unicycle. I also thought 5 feet was the normal Size for giraffes but apparently not. I’m 6’2 so I do t want to get something too small for me. So you guys recommend any specific brands? I would really like to keep the total price under 200 dollars if possible.

I am tall also. i got a torker 5 foot and like it. i did bent the frame muni.

First of all, what is muni? Second of all, is the torker my only option given my budget? I vaguely recall seeing a nimbus that was black and white and it was a reasonable price. I cant, for the life of me, find that site though.

Anyone have input on this?

Muni is mountain unicycling, or off road unicycling. You could just get the 5 ft. torker, it’s strong enough I’d think, I can do rolling mounts and jump up stairs, and ride down curbs on it without the wheel bending. The 5 ft. nimbus is more pricey and I’d imagine stronger. Then there is another giraffe that i believe goes from a 5 to a 7 foot which is the most expensive. Or just watch your local craigslist. here’s a link. http://www.unicycle.com/unicycles/giraffes-tall I wouldn’t suggest the three wheeled unicycle because I can hardly ever freemount it and it is tiring on your legs because of the added friction between tires. Or you could get the two wheeled unicycle if you want a challenge. You have to pedal backwards to go for forward and isn’t horrible to freemount once you learn to ride it. It took me a few days to learn it good. They don’t mass produce one’s with 24" wheels, and they don’t manufacture much 6 foot unicycles anymore. Hope I helped

Thanks for the info! The nimbus performer is the one that goes from 5 to 7 feet, and that one is way out of my price range. I’m gonna have to look around though because the Torker is out of stock at unicycle.com. There was a schwinn giraffe on my local craigslist over the summer and I keep kicking myself for not picking it up. I do have a local bike shop that stocks unicycles, so I may be able to get something from them too.

Apparently my other reply didnt register. I appreciate the info and it was very helpful. The one you are thinking of that goes from 5 to 7 feet is the Nimbus that is like $450 which is way out of my price range. There was a schwinn giraffe on my local craigslist over the summer for $150 and I keep kicking myself for not buying that one. I’ll most likely just order the Torker from unicycle.com. Hopefully they get it in stock soon.


Hi Boz Mon,

I’m in the UK so not sure if this helps.

I bought a Reflex Giraffe, new, for less than $100 including shipping.

It was fine as a first giraffe (I’m 5’ 9" and 160 lbs.)

After using it for a few months,with no problems, I decided Giraffing was for me & went for the Nimbus performer - brilliant bit of kit.

I sold the Reflex and it is still in regular use without any issues.

If you’re on a budget & can get a Reflex one locally - it might be worth a try.

Also, I noticed on E-bay, that it wasn’t advertised as a Giraffe uni but “Circus uni” - might be worth checking out…

Thanks everyone for the input. I bought the Torker. Its been rather cold around here lately, but I still gave it a try. My first impression is that this thing is very intimidating! I have no idea how I am going to get on this thing when its warm out, but for now I am using the back of our pontoon boat to get on. I did ride a short distance several times before I fell. It almost feels like I have to re-learn how to ride. I cant wait till spring so I can really try it out.

Heres me riding the giraffe. This is my 2nd day of riding it.

I need to get comfortable riding it, because come spring, the boat will be in the water and I will be forced to learn to freemount the thing.

I found riding quite natural, even if not very stable, after one or two rides. What is still coming is freemounting :wink: I cannot imagine this at the moment, but I hope something clicks in my head as it did with regular unicycle freemounting and I would realize it is possible :slight_smile:

Good luck on your giraffing!

Freemounting is a long way away for me. I rode down my street today and fell off and I had to walk back home because I couldnt get back on.

I found freemounting intimidating, but not that hard to learn. I started on grass where the wheel wouldn’t roll too badly, and had to work up the nerve to practice. Just took it slow, stepping on the tire only until I felt comfortable. Then tire to pedal until I felt comfortable. Then all the way up.

Running mount looks cooler but you need to watch your frame. I FUBAR’d mine doing them. Once I learned them they were easier and quicker than a regular step up mount, but the stress was more than my frame could take.

I learned to freemount the giraffe in a 45 minute period. I found it easier to put the toe of your one foot in between the bar above the wheel and the wheel for stability. Then put the pedal opposite to the foot on the tire at it’s lowest point, and step up. It is much easier to get on if you don’t have a baggy shirt or pant’s because they can kind of get caught in front of the seat. I can mount a 6 foot about every other try and I’m only 5-7. Maybe it would help if you found a branch or something of that nature that you can’t reach when standing on the ground, but can easily grab after standing on the tire.

I just got my Torker TX delivered today. Put it together and raced outside to try it out. After wallering around like a drunk for a bit, I got on top. I had a death grip on the Jeep I was holding onto. I felt like I was a mile up. This is all funny since I had a Schwinn Giraffe some 40 yrs ago. (I got older and I know what pain is now.) I finally let go and after a few jerky cranks, I smoothed out. I was flying high all over again. As a kid I never perfected my freemount. I will work on that. My advice is, if you’ve never ridden a Giraffe, you owe it to your self to try it sometime. They are in a world of their own. Totally impractical and yet totally needed.

It took me a couple of tries, but I rode it for a mile or 2 last week. I still need lots more practice though.