geared up mini-giraffe speed machine?

Discussion in '' started by unisteve, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. unisteve

    unisteve Guest

    All this talk about geared unicycles had put it into my head that I need
    a super fast unicycle. I want something that can keep up to those
    people who ride bikes. I'm tired of having to ask them to slow down
    because I can't keep up, but I'm not willing to switch over to the
    other team, if you know what I mean.

    I don't like the idea of Cokers because the huge wheel limits some of
    the take-it-with-you-everywhere-a-bility that I've come to love in my

    So, I've got a proposal for a wicked sick geared mini-giraffe.

    Think of it:
    -a 24x3 slick cruiser bike tire for pavement pwnage
    -geared up about 1:2 (or 2:1, whichever one makes the wheel a 48"

    The idea would be to have the pedals just above the wheel, to keep the
    size down. The only reason I'm thinking giraffe is because these
    unicycles with geared hubs are not that cheap. I think I could do a
    mini-giraffe for cheaper that would give me the same kind of speed.

    Does this make any sense?

    I've attached a quick little Paint diagram.

    (I believe this kind of thing has been done before, but I haven't seen
    too many of them... That's why I'm asking for feedback.)

    |Filename: gearaffe.GIF |
    |Download: |


    -\"i live on the edge. sometimes i fall off.\"-

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  2. Skippii made a really awesome one that I rode maybe 10 miles or so. He
    definately made a thread about it. I'd search it for you, but I want
    to go unicycling.


    On the other hand, you have different fingers. - Steven Wright
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  3. unijesse

    unijesse Guest

    you would want twice as many teeth on the top sprocket than the bottom.

    i have a design in my head for making a geared uni with chains and
    everything, but it sits at the same hight as a normal on, ill try to do
    a diagram of it one of these days



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  4. maestro8

    maestro8 Guest

    Abram Clark made just what you're talking about...

    'Abram's blog - der uber giraffe'

    'Pictures in Harper's gallery' (

    I've got an old 6' Savage that I'm hoping to do the same thing with...
    it looks wicked cool!


    Those are my principles. If you don't like those, I have others. --
    Groucho Marx
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  5. GizmoDuck

    GizmoDuck Guest

    Been done before.

    It isn't much more compact than a Coker when you are extending the
    crankset over the wheel. In fact, I think it will take up even more
    space than a Coker if you are trying to transport it. The alternative
    is to have the cranks just slightly above the axle (like Pete Perons
    Purple Phaze)

    Also less stable as your centre of gravity is higher, and hence slower
    than a internally hub geared unicycle. You can gear it up as high as
    you like, but the higher the gear, the more unstable it will be. I
    don't think you'd go as fast as on a standard direct drive Coker simply
    because you wouldn't have the confidence to, no matter how high you
    gear it up.

    Also drivetrain issues- if the chain slips it can result in a nasty
    UPD. But same potential problem with any sort of geared hub. If you
    go for a geared system- make sure it is robust.



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  6. trials_uni

    trials_uni Guest

  7. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    A 2:1 ratio on a 24" wheel will still leave you struggling to keep up
    with the bikes. On flat ground. Not to mention the mess to be cleaned
    up each time you UPD at high speed. Falling from a giraffe at 15+ mph
    is not pretty. Been there, on an almost-2:1 Schwinn Giraffe. Sure,
    you're going real fast, but the smaller your wheel the less well it
    rolls over bumps. And being higher up, your angle of landing is just
    not good.

    By the time you build a giraffe with gearing the way you want, you'll
    find it's about the same height, or more, than a Coker. It will still
    fit in a smaller space, but the Coker (or Schlumph) will have the
    advantage. Yours may be cheaper to make though, if you have a giraffe
    to start with.


    John Foss
    "jfoss" at "" --

    "The worst thing you can do on a unicycle when you land is stop dead."
    -- Kris Holm, world's expert on high-consequence unicycling
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  8. kington99

    kington99 Guest

    I believe George Barnes (GB4 engineering) made one with a 26" wheel but
    the drive on each side was seperate so the axle didn't need to be above
    the top of the wheel. This is much more complicated to do. there are
    videos on here somewhere of him going very fast down the side of a
    road, try searching for them and photos of how he did it.



    - what a thoroughly post-modern subversion of the cycling genre -
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  9. Naomi

    Naomi Guest

    maestro8 wrote:
    > Abram Clark made just what you're talking about...
    > 'Abram's blog - der uber giraffe'
    > (
    > 'Pictures in Harper's gallery' (
    > I've got an old 6' Savage that I'm hoping to do the same thing with...
    > it looks wicked cool!

    The videos suggest this is a very practical and cost effective beast.
    I wonder whether these were the first few rides on the thing? I note
    the cranks are just about as low down as feasible whilst still clearing
    the tyre. I think I want one.



    They may largely have abandoned religion, but the modern teenagers do
    not lack for Gods. The collection plates are just much bigger, and
    they get to pay in advance. (Naomi 2005)

    Every breath you take, every move you make... contributes towards
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  10. James_Potter

    James_Potter Guest

    Someone I know once made a giraffe geared to 1:8 but I don't think he
    could ride it...anyhoo, you should try it!


    i still believe that all you need is love...john
    mikael atkinson
    jonny peacock is my main man.
    *President of the 'MRIS' (*
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