The trials and tribulations of being a giant...

Hi all…

I have been unicycling for about 6 months now… I learnt on a 20" Tawainese
unicycle which was built for someone considerably smaller than myself, currently
6’3" and a bit… Feeling somewhat addicted after being able to ride
(relatively) comfortably, I decided to buy a 24" uni of my own…

I purchased a 24" Tawainese uni which was considerably taller - that is, it had
an excellent seat post which I could extend far beyond that of anything that
seemed intuitively safe. It lasted for about 2 weeks before I welded the crank
to the axle - it had cotter pins which constantly caused me a great amount of
frustration - and consequently resulted in the demise of the axle. It snapped
just near the weld after some heavy duty riding…

My next purchase was a home made 7’ uni (some bicycle making dude from around
Brisbane) which needed a little bit of work. Man, riding that thing for the
first time was just awesome! After a couple of minutes of sitting on it resting
my arm on the roof of my parents house, I took (what I first thought was going
to be a suicidal lunge) a casual ride up the length of the driveway… After
much deliberation that week, I decided that I would launch an assault on a local
mountain - about 5km of steep winding road, with periodic bus loads of people
laughing as I strained, and wobbled my way up to the top…

Having found myself attending a conference in Singapore recently (sans
unicycle), and contemplating a three week backpacking (whirlwind) tour of
Malaysia and Thailand, I decided that I should buy a unicycle to tour around
on… To my amazement, I found a 16" uni with an insanely small seat pole - I
mean, I had to double myself up, while holding onto two counters just to sit on
the thing, let alone ride it anywhere… I even contemplated buying it
(although, touring on a 16" uni … need I say more?! :). A few days later,
being somewhat hungover after the conference banquet, I happened to chance upon
south-east asia’s only other uni - a 24" Tawainese SEM imitation for S$160… To
my dismay, it was again way TOO small :frowning: (and no chance at all of extending the
seat to a respectable height…)

On arriving home after a month of freedom, I found it hard to settle back into
the stress of working and tutoring etc… again. I did get organised though, and
a friend and I finally ordered SEMCYCLE’s - in Australia, fully expensive. They
arrived after a couple of long days; we assembled them and to my horror… yeah
you guessed it.

It all ended well though, and we just received the EXTENDED seat poles -
albeit secondhand extended seat poles… (I still have to have them on the
ultra high notch :slight_smile:

Sometime soon, I plan to build a 5’ uni with gears - from what I understand,
this may be an exercise in futility, however, I will have a uni that will fit my
long legs! … I also have a friend going to Japan in a few weeks, and I am
thinking Miyata, although this may seem a little excessive after just recently
spending a small fortune on my SEM.

Just out of interest, for those that ride a Miyata giraffe, how do they rate?

Cheers, jason

Re: The trials and tribulations of being a giant…

> Just out of interest, for those that ride a Miyata giraffe, how do they rate?
Miyata giraffes are made for Japanese size individuals and not for giants. The
ones made in the last few years are much better than the originals having
beefier frame components. Mine is about 3 years old and I bought it fully aware
of its limitations for my weight (175 lbs.) and riding style. However, aside
from a custom made giraffe from Tom Miller, it the only one available at the
height I am comfortable falling from (5 foot). If your knees are better than
mine I would recommend a SemCycle. Tom Miller’s low tech tanks are just to heavy
for my liking.

Problems I have had with the Miyata:

  • frame is starting to bend slightly, not a big problem yet
  • seat extension is soft metal and bends easily. On the other hand, this may
    be saving my frame
  • taco’ed (a local term for severly bent) rim caused by hopping on the wheel.
    Mine only has 28 spokes. I notice some have 36

With your height the supplied extension will be way too short. If you get a
longer one I would guess you would have enough leverage to snap the frame.

                              Bill Gilbertson Twin City Unicycle Club USA