Should I buy a giraffe at 46 years old...or am I asking to get hurt?

A neighbor is selling a torker tx 5 footer for $75 and I am tempted to buy it. I have a 26" but mainly ride my 36". How hard and dangerous is it to learn to ride a giraffe?

I only had one for a short period of time. Other than free-mounting (I never even tried) it was quite easy to ride.

The problem with giraffes is that unless you are a performer there sin’t a whole lot you can do with them and they take up a lot of room compared to other unicycles.

Why not? Due to slow speed and short Giraffe (5ft means feet are about 2ft above floor) drops are less painfull than dropping off a 36" at full pace. And with a Giraffe you not only can perform. In my early days of unicycling I used my Giraffe (the small one, 6.5ft) for touring. It was an amzing experience. Not only for the stunning bypassers. Butbthan you should be proficient in fremounting for not getting stuck in the middle of the tour when you need to dismount.


I was older than you when my wife got me a giraffe. I usually commute to work for one week each year during the summer. I have upgraded it some. Better cranks with a chain ring to gear it equivalent to a 28" wheel. It can be a lot of fun if you actually get it out and ride it.


You must live in a cool neighborhood to have two unicyclists living next door to each other!

Buying a giraffe at any age shouldn’t cause discomfort, riding it on the other hand… :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m 52 and still learning things on the giraffe that help me on my smaller unis, cross training is very usefull.

Some things are actually easier on a giraffe. Think of balancing a yard stick on your finger versus balancing a pencil, yard sticks are easier. notice how much your hand moves but the top of the yard stick stays fairly stationary. Similarly, concentrate on keeping the wheel under you as much as possible. If you start chasing the wheel you are doomed.

I rode my 6 foot giraffe a couple of times this year. I got it when I was about 50. A 5 foot giraffe is much easier to mount. Think about how far down you have to go during an emergency dismount onto concrete. It really isn’t that far. The 6 footer bothers my knees landing on concrete but I’m 59 years old and one of my knees has no cartilage. We once went on a giraffe ride in Seattle with four riders. It was a gas. We rode about six miles on a paved bike trail. Keep in mind that a giraffe is much easier to control than a standard unicycle, it’s just harder to get onto it.

I started riding a Giraffe when I was 55 years young!

Now 57, I regularly ride my local promenade - it’s great fun.

I was lucky enough to be able try a giraffe briefly before I bought one - is that something you can do?

After the brief trial, I then bought a cheap reflex 5ft giraffe (£60 including shipping) and after a few months purchased a nimbus performer as my confidence grew.

Hope you get to try it & hope you enjoy


Why not.

Is there any concerns about how the wheel has farther to go from where you land when you dismount on a crowded sidewalk? Could the wheel slam into passers-by inadvertently during a UPD?

Since it is your neighbor maybe you can try it out somewhere safe with space before you decide?

I paid $100 recently for the same unicycle. I ride it a little. I have stored it upright against the wall in the garage and it isn’t taking a lot of space. Some folks say it is easier but I certainly feel less free up there. The height isn’t really that much, about another wheel up.

I love this site. I am going to buy it. Thanks.

Good for you - let us know how you get on


It’s been ages now mountainshooter. How did it go?

Theres not much reason not to buy it.

When you buy a 5’ giraffe remember that even though the seat might be 5’ tall your feat are only about 2 and a half feet of the ground. So if you are careful always to land on your feet, you are only jumping down a small drop. For me always landing on my feet with my giraffe has never been a problem, I may have landed on my side a couple of times trying to master freemounting, but even then I wasn’t up in the saddle so I didn’t fall very far. $75 is a pretty good deal for a giraffe, so if you decide that you don’t like it you might even be able to sell it again.

Edit: oh wait you already bought it, oh well what I said about only falling down a short drop is still true

I would get it! mixes up the fun factor some

Go for it

Go for it for 2 reasons:

  1. Riding a giraffe is cool :slight_smile:

  2. if you get hurt woman love to sign casts :wink:

its a win win situation!!! :smiley:

I bought a giraffe at around 45 I think. I haven’t been on it for years but I can say this.

The first time you freemount a giraffe is almost as thrilling as that other first time. It is just an amazing feeling of pure joy and success. And you’ll never tire of it.

Yeah, you could hurt yourself, but having had the urge, it is not something you should deny yourself even if you only ride it and never freemount.

Sebastian Hoher in his book, Unicycling: from beginner to expert says, “Anybody can unicycle but the joy of riding on a single wheel is a pleasure which only a few people allow themselves.”

To which I add, “Any unicyclist can ride a giraffe but the joy of riding on one is a pleasure which only a few people allow themselves.”

Ride on!

I agree!!!

I think there’s five on my street.