Nimbus Deluxe 5 ft. Giraffe

I had a couple questions about this giraffe for anyone that knows about them or owns one.

First is the frame. Udc says its crmo steel, which makes it stronger than other giraffes. Is it reasonably sturdy? Or will my bottom bracket start twisting like it’s done on my savage?

Second, is the bottom bracket. Anyone know what type and size it is? Most giraffe bbs seem to be lacking, so i planned to replace it, but need to know what to replace it with.

Can anyone post up pictures of one looking at the bb and chainring straight from the front? Id like to see how much clearance the chainring has.

Nimbus performer is out of the question for my needs, so the deluxe is what I’m looking at.


Bump. Someones gotta have one of these.

I don’t have one but I looked at the photo’s on UDC, and I have to agree the BB is lacking if they haven’t changed the spec.

The BB in the photo looks like a cup/cone open bearing variety with a fixed cup, and an adjustable cup w/lockring. I would be very surprised if it isn’t 68mm BSA thread. The critical measurement for this bottom bracket is the drive side spindle length. Most cartridge BB’s are symmetrical, but older cup/cone BB’s were asymmetrical to allow for different chainlines. There are cartridge bottom brackets that allow for moving the whole cartridge left to right to adjust for chainline. One that comes to mind is sold by Velo Orange. Something like that would probably work, and better quality than the OEM. If you don’t want to get something that allows you to adjust the chainline you will need to get the symmetrical BB that has the same amount of spindle sticking out on the drive side. Ideally you will have a chainline that is straight within a mm. if it’s off more than that it can be noisy, or you may drop your chain.

It’s not to say that open bearing BB’s are bad, it’s just that nobody has made a decent one in 20 years. My tandem has two Deore XT bottom brackets on it that are still in great shape, and I just replaced the bearings, and packed them with new grease.

Cool, so I will be able to upgrade that. I was mostly concerned it’d be an oddball thread or something. I should be able to take it into my LBS and they’ll know what thread and size correct? When it comes to bottom brackets, I have about zero knowledge. So many styles out there, and I don’t really have the tools to mess with them.

Now I just need to figure out if this frame is worth building from.

Does anyone have any experience with this frame?

Anyone? Surely someone can say whether this frame is decent or not.

I know now that the rest of it can either be upgraded or will work fine as is, I just need to know if this frame is semi-durable before I drop the hammer on it.


My Giraffe (capital G) is 34 years old. It’s the only bottom bracket I’ve ever taken apart, so I have no idea where it falls along the “decent” spectrum (capital G means it’s a Schwinn). Used it in 99% of every show I ever did, all over the world. No problems with the BB.

The thing to remember about giraffe riding is that the mileage is nothing like you will ever do with a bike. Wear & tear will come from mounting, idling and dropping, but not from zillions of revolutions. I imagine most BBs are overbuilt for giraffe use.

Have you tried contacting the maker? I would assume that would be Roger Davies, who is probably most easily reached via the contact links at UDC UK. Or if you have his email address. Stuff like actual specifications aren’t trade secrets, it should be stuff he would want to share.

Doesn’t the Scwhinn have a one piece Ashtabula crank? Those bottom brackets are robust even compared to the best modern ones.

You’re probably right that most BB’s are overbuilt for unicycles. But why build a nice unicycle with a substandard component? I have seen relatively new bottom brackets with cracked races, and deep pitted wear grooves. It seems like an odd place to save $5.

John, Im not exactly using this for normal giraffe stuff. Its going to be built as either a Hipo or a Penguin.

I contacted udc uk, but havent heard back yet. Im more concerned about the frame then the bb.