question about value

I have two unicycles,
both are schwinn

first one is a 24" that I purchased when I was 8 (1975)
second one is a 6’ that I purchased when I was 13 (approx 1980)

Both of the units have been in dry storage since I was 18. The seat have the normal wear and the tires and innertubes are rotten. but there has never been any welding or wrenching on either unit.

How much are these things worth.

They could be priceless to you if you have had enough memories on them. Replace the tires and innertubes and you will add some immediate value. If you are looking to sell them the price is up to you- there is a trading post forum where you could post them and ask for offers or something. Good luck with your antiques! You’ll probably find the seats have improved on modern equivalent unicycles.

Does anybody collect vintage unicycles? That might be an interesting hobby (and good justification to amass a large unicycle collection!)

I might have an interest in the Giraffe. What is it’s serial #?

Schwinn made Giraffe’s from 1977 to 1983. The first 2 digits of the serial # represent the year it was made. Around 1979 they switched from a track hub with lock ring to a safer bolt on hub that attached to the sprocket with 3 bolts. The lock ring on the early style track hubs can come loose and cause a nasty unplanned dismount.

If yours has the bolt on style hub, please send me a PM and I’ll make you an offer.

As to your questions, a normal Schwinn uni is not paricularly valuable. Expect to get less than $100 even if it is in mint condition. That is because many new uni’s are of much better quality.

The Giraffe’s are sought after by many though. In typical condition they sell for $80 to $150 on ebay. A later style mint condition should get you over $200.

Yes. And it still remains a buyer’s market, as there are so few collectors they still basically aren’t worth anything. :slight_smile:

John Foss would know

If he says an old uni is this or that, or worth only so so, you can only appeal to Craigs list. John knows old unis better than anyone here.

For the Giraffe I recommend eBay! The local crowd is much less likely to offer a decent price for that collectors’ item. I’d make an offer myself, but I already have two. My backup giraffe, however, is in “unrestored” condition and is pretty gross. Still waiting to hear if yours has the bolt-on bottom sprocket. Post some pictures of both for best results.

I am now the proud owner of Coyotebgone’s Schwinn Giraffe. It’s a 1981 model with the bolt-on hub. I am the 2nd and probably last owner.

I bought it knowing the tire is rotten and have now learned something from Tom Miller that is worth sharing. Apparantly Schwinn made their rims and tires such that new tires needed to be purchased from Schwinn. That is because the bead only matches up properly when a Schwinn tire is mated up with the Schwinn rim. The diameter of the tire (20") is inconsequential. Tires can thus be separated into Schwinn style and non-Schwinn style. The rim on mine is rusted to the point that it probably won’t clean up to new condition so I have a choice. One is to deal with it and buy a used Schwinn tire from Tom Miller. The other is to build a new wheel by beginning with the desirable bolt-on hub, then lacing spokes onto a standard non-Schwinn 20" rim. At that point I could add any standard 20" tire.

To John Foss:

Since I’m fired up about Schwinn Giraffe’s now, I have a question about yours. What is the purpose of the pegs I see on your hub?

Secondly, I remember you saying you had your chain chromed. Was that as simple as chroming any other part or was it more involved? I wouldn’t think a chain would lend itself to chroming due to the moving parts aspect. Is there a story to it?

Lastly, I am now the owner of a Nimbus 5 footer and this Schwinn 6 footer. To anyone thinking about getting a Giraffe - do it! You’ll love it.

No need to get a used tire.

If your tire is the 20x 1 3/4 S7 size you can get it from just about any bike shop. J&B importers brings in their own line of tires under the Pyramid/Sun brand. They have tire to fit Schwinn rims for $15. Any LBS should be able to order the tire you need.

Here it is at


Thanks for the info. I was incorrect when I said I could get a used tire from Tom Miller. He still has stock of new Schwinn tires. It’s good to know that others are making them however.

So much for the “dry storage” quoted by the seller. :slight_smile:

Those Schwinn rims will clean up of rust remarkably well, unless it’s really thick. Might be worth a try. But if the rim is that far gone, I recommend looking for a 28-hole “conventional” rim so you can choose from a much wider variety of tires.

Oh, just standing around. Ha ha. That example shows the basic idea. Josue Barreto is pedaling with both hands, which I never learned. I hold the frame or seat with one hand. My big trick with the pegs is a spin. Notice in the following pictures he is “freehanding” it, using his feet to try to hold the frame up. I don’t know if he had ever tried it before that.

In the early 90s, I think it was Jose Roman (also from Puerto Rico) who climbed down from the seat to the pegs, and then later back up to the seat, without touching the ground.

Those are BMX Freestyle pegs, but they’re from the 80s so you’ll have to find your own. Also there isn’t a whole lot of thread for them to attach to, so use them carefully. I think I damaged the threads on my axle with them.

Actually it’s a chrome chain. I wouldn’t recommend trying to chrome a non-chromed one. Probably a lot of expense to watch it flake off later. That chain predates being able to find products online, so hopefully you can find one easily now. Two, actually. And a chain tool if you don’t have one. :slight_smile:

I used to buy a new chain every few years, as having one break in the middle of a show can be dangerous, not to mention messing up what is usually the end part of the show. But I do a lot less giraffing these days, so the current chain is probably at least 16 years old. I bought my Giraffe unicycle 30 years ago last Thursday. It was the first unicycle I owned.

Keep in mind that these “new” tires are almost as old as (if not more than) my Giraffe. I still have a couple of them (from Tom) hanging up in my garage. They look fine, but time and air may have done some damage to them. The tire I’m currently using has probably been on there for 20 years. With a 1-tooth difference between top and bottom sprockets, it wears evenly! Again, I’d go for finding a new rim if you can, though I see you live pretty close to Kokomo.

Thanks John. Those are good stories about the pegs. Yet another unicycling concept I didn’t know!

Now that I’m corrected about your chain, I did find one source (only one) for chrome chain:

Does anybody know of any other sources? Their comment that “some call it silver” makes me wonder if indeed it is chrome. I’ll probably call them and find out.

Good point about the “new” Schwinn tires. I may get one for the short-term but upgrade to a standard rim and tire in the long run.

One more question. I know the first 2 digits in the serial # of Schwinn Giraffe’s is the year of manufacture. Do the next 2 digits represent the month?

For John,.

Originally Posted by Super G
The rim on mine is rusted to the point that it probably won’t clean up to new condition…

So much for the “dry storage” quoted by the seller.

Hey John,

Are you insinuating that I have misled or lied to someone?

Please keep in mind that dry storage in the deep south is inclusive of some days with relative humidity greater than 90%. Furthermore, I sent pictures to the gentleman who purchased it. In additon, I did not state or imply temperature and humidity controlled workshop.

Please clarify this position.

Thank you.


I have pics of me on your new 6’ unicycle to include the newspaper article (I was featured in our local paper). I will attempt to find and scan for your records on this unicycle.


I am not John, but since there was a smiley face at the end of John’s sentence you can safely assume that his comment is not too serious and you need not take offense. Dry is a relative term and it sounds like Super G is a very proud and satisfied buyer.

Giraffes are fun!