Off-Road Giraffe Unicycling

I rode a five-foot giraffe unicycle for the first time yesterday and attempted to ride it on some mild off-road terrain. I had so much fun, I rode this uni for two hours or so haha. Does anyone else ride a giraffe off-road? I’m looking to try more difficult terrain someday. :laughing: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:



fair play on your first time giraffe riding :grinning: I have a 6ft giraffe that ive not ridden yet and must do.

How did you get on with mounting and dismounting it?

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Thank you!

I mounted using the gazebo you see at the end of the video (stood on the side of it, held onto the railing, then took off). When I dismount, I push the uni forward and drop to my feet. I can hopefully ride it again today :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Sounds like you have mounts and dismounts under control, would you add a video showing them? I really need to get on mine as I’ve had it over a year and not done so yet which is a very poor effort!!

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Ps sorry if I’ve gone a bit off topic.

From all those peeps that broke their feet when getting/tumbling off their giraffes, I think I will stick to my normal down-to-earth unicycles :slight_smile:

@Cedar_Dobson1 Nice tire you have on your muni-giraffe / mountain-giraffe-uni

I don’t know how many there are, but I am one of them.

I don’t know how many there are, but I am one of them.
Yes I remembered you posting that. I also have a buddy in Germany who broke his ankle from a nasty fall off his giraffe and he couldn’t ride for several months. He let me try on his, but I thought it was scary so high up.

Back to the off-roading topic, Scot Cooper brought a ~5’ giraffe to some of the early Muni Weekends, and rode it on some very big rides!

Those last two are from Mr. Toads Wild Ride, high above Lake Tahoe in 2000. :slight_smile:


WOW!!! That’s amazing!!! I’d love to see more off-road giraffe unicycling

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I do know one person who has a 24" (or possibly it’s a 26") giraffe custom made for them by UDC UK.

It’d be super interesting to see one of those ridden off-road with a modern chunky tyre on it.

I think you will have to make more videos while you ride off-road yourself. Try to make some challenging downhill rides… without falling. I will watch them safely from my chair :slight_smile:


What is your email address? I can send you a video.

Yess for sure!

Hi John

Nice photos – at the risk of going off topic, hijacking Cedar’s post and showing my ignorance – what sort of frame is that on the yellow unicycle in your Lake Tahoe photos (there is an orange one the same)? There is another yellow one which looks like it has a DM Engineering badge on it, but I’m meaning the yellow one with the two curved frame legs.

Also, why did this sort of frame design, and similar things like the Nimbus Oregon, go out of favour? Is it just a build cost/complexity issue or did they flex/twist too much or something?


In that album from the 2000 California Mountain Unicycle Weekend, you see several different Munis from the early days. The curvy frames are Telfords, made by Geoffrey Telford Faraghan, a good friend of Nathan Hoover, who was riding a yellow one. At the far left in the group photo at the beginning of the album, that’s John Drummond, the founder of, with a DM Vortex Muni.

DM Vortex: The idea of the Vortex was to use thinner, lighter tubing to make the frame less wide, while accommodating wide tires, without sacrificing rigidity. I think they did all right at that. They had enquired with me a year or two earlier for a design idea for such a thing, and my design looked basically the same; seemingly a logical way to accomplish that goal.

Telford: The Telford frame was designed, in part, to put the seatpost at an angle similar to what a mountain bike would have, This was to facilitate the use of the Thudbuster Uni-Pivot (Yes, their name included Uni!) suspension post. Those seats had a hinge and an elastomer shock absorber that made the back end of the seat go up and down, with the pivot point being closer to the front. They could work with a vertical seatpost, but the arc was better with the seat at the intended angle. I’m not sure how many Telfords were made, but if he had made more he would have sold them as well. I think at least 20; I have one hanging in my garage, which is probably the one next to John Drummond, being ridden by the late John Hooten. Geoff Faraghan is picturred with the tree of unicycles; he’s hoisting up one of the Telfords.

3730 Ivy St The second picture in the album shows the riding group for that day, minus me behind the camera. Some notable people other than the ones just mentioned:

  • Rob Bowman (the famous weekly Rob’s Ride in Santa Cruz), in the purple sweatshirt.
  • Nathan Hoover and Bruce Bundy (the Bundy Grunt) on top of the sign
  • On the right in the white shirts, John Childs and Chris Reeder (the Reeder Handle)
  • Beau Hoover, the tiny person with the 20" Muni
  • Scot Cooper, the giraffe guy, behind Beau
  • David Poznanter (also behind Beau), whose name was also used on the original unicycle hubs from Profile Racing “Profile Poznanter Hub” as sold by UDC at the time. I have one on my Wilder Muni
  • (Not in photo) Scott Bridgeman, the creator of the Wilder Munis (named for Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz, CA)

Hunter Frame: There’s a blue uni hanging from the tree in the photo with Geoff Faraghan. I believe this was a Rick Hunter frame, though the folks in England (Roger or one of his compatriots made a very similar one, which was also made in a 36" version). Again, the idea was to use high quality, bicycle tubing to make a lighter, more elegant uni frame. But they tended to be a bit flexy. On a 36" frame, even more flexy.

DM ATU: My unicycle was the upside-down one with the red, reinforced seatpost. DM was David Mariner, who hand-built unicycles since the 70s, I believe. ATU stood for All Terrain Unicycle, which was similat to what George Peck called our sport before the word Muni was “invented” (1995). The ATU was the first unicycle you could buy with a splined axle. The Vortex came later, and the Profile Poznanter hub came after that, I think.

Pashley Muni: Also on the tree you can see a uni with a red frame. The Pashley Muni was the first purpose-built mountain unicycle you could buy. Pashley, a British bike-maker, had a line of unicycles before that, but they beat the rest of the market to make one intended for rough terrain. Square taper axle though, like every other uni on the market except the two DM Muni models.

Oh darn. There’s a second group shot, with more people in it! Casey Drummond is the youngster in the white shirt with white helmet. He used to be the guy who offered support on a printed card/letter with whatever you bought from UDC. The guy with the blue shirt at the far right, I think that’s Scott Bridgeman.

Early Scott Bridgeman Aluminum Muni: The silver one with the thick frame looks like a tank, but it isn’t. Very light! Also he was one of the earliest people to put a disc brake on a uni. That may have been his first build of an aluminum uni frame, which was later followed by the his Wilder model.

That photo album continues on to the next day, which was Northstar At Tahoe, a ski resort with extensive MTB trails. And a much larger group of riders that day! :slight_smile:


Wow, excellent information! Thanks for taking the time to write that, it is very interesting.

It certainly seemed to be an innovative time and a lot of it seemed to be happening with the folks there that weekend. It didn’t occur to me that the picture of the tree has so much ‘evolution’ of design on it – exciting times.

Thanks again – I kind of regret that I just glossed over back then, there was good stuff happening :slight_smile:

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Apologies to Cedar for the tangent on her thread, I don’t want to take away from her accomplishment with the giraffe off-road, it is something I’m sure I’ll never try – the sense of self-preservation seems to get exponentially stronger with age :slight_smile: !


This reminded me of a picture in a book I had as a kid. He may have predicted the advent of Giraffe Muni by more than 30 years, but I am not sure the author was a unicyclist or he would have understood the complications of fitting a derailleur to a unicycle! (ref. The Mountain Bike Way of Knowledge by William Nealy, 1989)


If you have a freewheel then it should work :upside_down_face: