Self-designed Coker/Giraffe unicycle

Here’s a photo of my home converted bicycle/unicycle. My design requires no welding to convert a regular bike into a giraffe unicycle. Right now I have it geared to near Coker specs. The gearing is the equivalent of an approximately 33” wheel. The hub is approx. 23” off the ground. The unicycle spacific part is the seat. I’ve never ridden a giraffe or a Coker unicycle before so I am not sure what to expect for a combination of the two!

Also, what do you think is the best way to UPD on this kind of “high-speed” beast? So far I have been able to bring it to a stop before dismounting…

I can post more photos/info about my project if anyone is interested…

That is very cool! How did you make it?


i am totally interested in this mostly since i have been chatting recently with a bike mechanic i know that builds recuments out of old ladies bikes requiring little to no welding.

i have a few donor bikes laying around im sure one could stand to be converted to a mini giraffe. please do share!

Yes, please post more pics.


Nice job! How did you disengage the freewheel hub? Is it difficult to keep the chain enough tensioned?

Yeah, some more pics would be good.

PS From reading the header I first thought you had done a giraffe on a Coker wheel! Imagine that …

Here is a closeup photo of the drive system…

I laced the standard bicycle rear cogs to the spokes with twisted wire strand; this effectively locked-out the gears, with minimal slop.

The tension on the chain is similar to an old BMX-style chain…there are no tensioners…I just shortened the chain, pulled it tight using the tire, and then tightened the rear axle.

There is a very slight amount of slop (1/30th of a rev) while pedalling…

BTW, the duct-tape is only to protect from sharp edges…it isn’t actually holding the frame together!!! :stuck_out_tongue:


What is the duct tape covering up? It looks like hose clamps or something similar.

If you have hose clamps holding it together, and wire holding the bottom cog in place, I would consider your giraffe a “temporary” vehicle. You’ll need something more robust for it to last any good length of time…

Thanks for the reply…

The duct tape is covering bolts (not hose clamps)…and is only there to protect from the sharp edges. I agree this is only “temporary”, since it is still in design stages.

The wires only have “strain” when I pedal backwards…and each spoke is laced to the hub. I’m not concerned with it braking, but rather just working loose over time.

Do you have any UPD tips?

as for upd tips, I would say to wear wrist gaurds and a helmet, and to always roll. I don’t coker, but I’ve had a couple of high speed upds where I rolled and wasn’t hurt at all.

what is that white tubing? awsome uni man. I was thinking if building somthing like that but leaveing the bike in tact so it would look like some one was riding a vertical bike. have a seat post comming out of the handle bars its called a bunicycle.



Drink copious amounts of alcohol then go for a ride. UPD almost guaranteed.

I actually find it easier to ride the uni than to walk after copious amounts of alcohol :smiley:

… anyhow, that’s a pretty sweet machine there dude. I have an old trash bike that’s now looking like it might be fun to convert :smiley:

And my friends just upgraded their seats, so I could probably nab theirs. project time!

Cool uni! You should design those and sell them for like $500 a pop!

I love your idea. When I find a 20" bmx bike in the trash I will use your idea with 2 changes.I will cut the downtube about a foot above the bottom bracket(pedals),fill it with sand and heat it at the bb and bend the tube down in line with the chainstays.At this point it should look like a regular giraffe uni.If you take the face off a bmx freewheel and fill it with epoxy,solder, or melted lead it will no longer freewheel.I still may have to orient the frame correctly so the fw does not screw off on its treads.Turning the bike backwards to keep the fw on may cause the pedals to unscrew however. I will post again after I put something together.

If the pedals unscrew, swap the cranks over.

Cheech: Both your additions sound great! To make it look like a regular giraffe uni will you have to weld the bent tubing back to onto the frame near to the bb or use bolts? The reason my proto is as simple as possible is that I don’t have access to any welding equipment. I saw a design on the internet to lock out a hub where the guy simply welded two beads right where the cogs met the axle on the outside. Maybe it would be less work to do that rather then going into the inside?

kington99: you’ve been riding a direct drive unicycle too long.:slight_smile: a b*ke has a chain with a chain ring on the right crank. If you swapped the cranks you would have to reverse the tire as well; that would put allot of strain on the lockout on the lower cogs.

Damn, yes you’re right, for some reason i had the image of a non-giraffe unicycle in my head, even though i’ve been riding exclusively giraffe these last few weeks, also i thought that the sprocket was on the axle, not the crank, but a quick check has confirmed i’m wrong again. In that case, locktite those pedals!

My addition to your idea requires no welding. The downtube when heated and bent in line with the chainstays(now forks) becomes the seat tube! I guess both sprockets will have to remain on the right side as someone noted.