RTL + Giraffes?

This is probaly a real stupid question, but are you able to race RTLs with a giraffe with a HUGE wheel. I was not able to find the rules for RTL and this thought just popped in my head after seeing the giraffe sale at UDC. If you could it would allow for a wheel over 60"…
(Note: i have no intention of making a giraffe like this or racing in RTL… just a thought)

I am pretty sure I read somewhere that there is no restriction on what kind of unicycle you ride as long as it has one wheel and is human powered.

I will see if I can find a link

Race: Unicycle Type

The unicycle must have only one wheel.
Due to the distances involved, the recommended minimum wheel size is 29" but there is no maximum size.
There is no restriction on crank length.
Gearing of any type is allowed.
A brake is allowed.

If you do do it on a giraffe, let me see the 29" wheel!

thank you saskatchewanian, i just couldn’t find the rules.

@hungry4uni: I am not going to it (i probaly never will unicycle race in my life (maybe Muni but not road))… it was just a thought because that would allow a HUGE wheel… like 60"… not 29"

If anyone does decide to make one though I would love to see how it looks and how fast it goes…

if you put components from a track bike, built on a 36" wheel, that would be VERY VERY fast! and you’d probably UPD something spectacular.

if you do build a giraffe meant for speed, be sure to use clipless pedals, they let you spin faster and more efficiently. april fools

Unicycle+up high+fast+clipless pedals = the most gnarly/deadly UPD ever.

Unfortunately, AnyTerrain, you can’t use the cool unicycle in your avatar (a red motorized one). But if you were to build a giraffe, why would you want to use a huge wheel? Giraffes can gear up a little wheel as much as you want. I’ve actually ridden one with a 3:1 ratio, which I daresay I would never, ever attempt to ride fast! 1.5:1 (the Schlumpf ratio) is plenty.

The only reason to mix a chain with a big wheel is if it’s too big to reach the pedals. Then you can raise the pedals up from the axle with a chain on each side. This was done by a Japanese kid who rode across the U.S. in 1991 or so.

I was thinking the exact same thing yesterday… But alas, I will not be making one any time soon.

there are photos around the forum of an 8 footer with a 36" wheel, geared down to an effective 29"

From a technical point of view, would the Red Menace be classed as a giraffe?


I’d say not, because the pedal axle is at the wheel axle. I don’t think the chain drive alone makes it a giraffe, or even a penguin, unless the pedal axle is above the wheel axle.


i don’t quite see the need for a extremely large wheel. it seems that a smaller wheel could have all the benefits w/ greater acceleration, and better handling. am i right?? also, a smaller wheel, say 700c/29in would keep the rider lower to the ground, allow more options in parts, one could even use a fixie f/f hub to allow two possible gears. anybody have thoughts on this? i’ve been wanting to build one to test this out.

no there’s no reason to use a large wheel on a giraffe other than as a novelty, gearing ratios well beyond what you would require are easily attainable

Skippii, a guy on this forum rode a home made geared giraffe in a 2 day race. 100 miles one day 50 miles the next.

Someone on the forums is actually selling a 26" giraffe with a 1:1.75 ratio in the trading post, it’s neat.