Self-designed Mini-Giraffe unicycle

Here’s a photo of my home converted bicycle/unicycle. My design requires one weld to convert a regular bike into a giraffe unicycle. The hub of the wheel is locked-out with a bead of weld.

It has a 12" wheel and 3.5 inch cranks. The gearing makes it ride like a 18" wheel (if there is such a thing).

The frame is a complete kid’s frame with an adult front fork bolted (two bolts) on so the wheel is centered under the cranks. Again the only unicycle specific part is the seat.

I’ve only ridden it for about half a mile. So far the design works. It We are not expert welders so the weld might not hold very long however I’ll keep riding it until the weld locking the rear sprocket out lets go… I learned how to UPD well on the last project. (the joys of testing).

I hope this and my previous project inspires other people to try similar conversions.

More photo’s available upon request if anyone is interested in trying to build one.


Any thoughts or comments?

Closeup photo of the design:

That looks really good. I might try a design like that.

Sweet, how did you get the idea?

that’s awesome!


great idea, and practically can be done for free.
i like it

im so going to do that with my dad (yay hes learning)

I wouldn’t try muni-ing on it, but it’s a fun design. Does the center of gravity feel strange on it? It would make a great prop for a parade, especially if you keep the colors the way they are.

And if you added a hinge on the crown, it would be extremely portable…

It rode normally, it was odd with the very short cranks.

It should be said that the bearing cage was destroyed after only a few miles of riding, a little kids bike rear wheel isn’t made for a 170lb rider. It was a cheap bike to begin with; a better quality bike should last longer. Also, I’m not sure I reassembled the hub correctly either so that probably didn’t help the bearings.

I’d recommend the project to someone with mechanical know-how and a spare kid’s bike. You can buy a second-hand little bike for something like $2, the 26" front fork can be off any regular bike.

Isn’t a mini giraffe kind of an oxymoron?
What exactly defines giraffe, the gears, orthe height?

Giraffe refers to chain driven, hight doesn’t matter.

Correct me if I’m wrong. :slight_smile:

I’ll just trust you on that one

I consider anything under 5 feet a penguin, at least that is what we used to call them.

Yeah it is fairly good here is a pic of one i previously made.

and here is a pic of me riding it.

I’m resurrecting this thread as I’m in the process of building a mini-giraffe as well.

Has anyone successfully idled on one of these? I’m trying to decide on a wheel size and much as the 3” solid rubber wheel could be quite amusing, I’m thinking that even with a ration that put it up around a 16” tire it would be substantially tricky to idle on. Alternatively, I could go with a 10” wheel and just keep the ratio 2 to 1.

It’s completely possible to idle a small-wheel giraffe. A geared-up 3" wheel should work fine with practice.

The downside of a hard, tiny wheel is spins. My unicycle club used to have one, like with a shopping cart wheel, and if you got into a tight turn it seemed really hard to get out of it! Great for pirouettes, lousy for anything after the pirouette. :slight_smile:

I can see that. I have a solid rubber wheel from a monkey bike that I could use. Its quite wide so I’m not expecting balance to be an issue, but I can see it being quite difficult for some applications. Idleing is the main purpose though.

Thanks for the tip. I will post a photo as it progresses.

So, I’ve been wondering if anyone has ever tried building a touring giraffe. If you had like a 20" tire and mounted the bottom bracket as close as possible to the tire, it would be short enough to be manageable for distance. You could gear up the ratio quite a bit using the sprockets. In addition, you could put this fixie 3-speed hub in, and you’ve got yourself a three speed touring uni. I want to try it so bad! You could be very fast!