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Custom Giraffe Gearing Suggestions

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  • Custom Giraffe Gearing Suggestions

    Hello all! Long time unicycler new to this community.

    But while off at school, I decided I wanted a Uni here as well and started a giraffe project. A friend of mine gave me an old bicycle rear wheel from his work that I have already started turning into a giraffe. Managed to get the cassette off weld the spindle to itself to fix the gear mount. Next task is to make the fork, but I am wondering about wheel sizes. Right now I'm leaning towards making it the equivalent of around a 40" wheel. (26" wheel ~1.5:1-ish gear). And was just looking for some feedback from those who have ridden larger wheels. I own and have ridden the hell out of a 22 in the mountains so the strength problem shouldn't be an issue (as I'll be using it nearly only on flat ground).

    But what do you think!
    Too big too small?

    Also not sure on how high. Original plan was to make it as long as the bike chain I bought for it is, (56" folded in half plus 13 wheel radius plus crank to seat) but that might be a little ambitious

    Also if anyone has made their own unicycles before I'm sure you could save me a couple headaches.

  • #2
    Sounds like fun. I had a similar project with a road bike found in the dumpster outside the apartment I was living in at the time. It was an extremely crude build and I can't remember what my gear ratio was but it would have been close to yours or a bit higher due to the parts available.

    I never rode it that much before it imploded but it was super fun, I just could not free-mount the thing, but I am sure it was possible.
    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

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    • #3
      Check out the Atomic Zombie book, it has a couple of 'unicycle from scrap bike' ideas.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Waka View Post
        Hello all! Long time unicycler new to this community.

        But while off at school, I decided I wanted a Uni here as well and started a giraffe project. A friend of mine gave me an old bicycle rear wheel from his work that I have already started turning into a giraffe. Managed to get the cassette off weld the spindle to itself to fix the gear mount. Next task is to make the fork, but I am wondering about wheel sizes. Right now I'm leaning towards making it the equivalent of around a 40" wheel. (26" wheel ~1.5:1-ish gear). And was just looking for some feedback from those who have ridden larger wheels. I own and have ridden the hell out of a 22 in the mountains so the strength problem shouldn't be an issue (as I'll be using it nearly only on flat ground).

        But what do you think!
        Too big too small?

        Also not sure on how high. Original plan was to make it as long as the bike chain I bought for it is, (56" folded in half plus 13 wheel radius plus crank to seat) but that might be a little ambitious

        Also if anyone has made their own unicycles before I'm sure you could save me a couple headaches.
        hello again : ) (from reddit)
        Steel is real! => I ride a Nimbus!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Waka View Post
          ...I am wondering about wheel sizes. Right now I'm leaning towards making it the equivalent of around a 40" wheel. (26" wheel ~1.5:1-ish gear). And was just looking for some feedback from those who have ridden larger wheels.
          Larger wheels are not the same as geared-up smaller wheels. Those are lighter, but act very sluggish. The higher the gearing, the more power you need to make quick corrections. You may want to consider a seat handle if you're going to be riding in crowds of people or other tight situations. 40" will be rideable, but expect it to be a good bit of work, and take getting used to.

          Once upon a time I geared up my Schwinn Giraffe to 28:48 (20" wheel). Not sure what that means in inch equivalent, but it took a lot of practice to be able to freemount it, and it was extremely sketchy riding it in parade formation with other giraffes. I don't recommend doing that bit with a geared-up giraffe...
          John Foss
          www.unicycling.com

          "Who is going to argue with a mom who can ride a unicycle?" -- Forums member "HiMo"

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