- Balance is integral to becoming a better rider.
- And no single 'trick' is more valuable to boosting confidence and creating a greater awareness of bike balance than the wheelie.
- One of the world’s great wheelie and trick riding athletes has created a new edit to celebrate those with the 'wheelie gene'.
Great bike riding is part fitness, part skill. And the most foundational skill is using your body to balance and counterbalance the bike.
You can ride around cones and practice your figure-of-eight
steering skills, but there will be a time when those wheels need to leave the ground.
And that’s where most riders discover the limits of the skillset.
Although the wheelie is often classified as a BMX skill, it has real benefits for all riders.
It is all about the 'balance point'
Mastering the wheelie entails mastery of the cycling's 'balance point' theory – that momentum shift where you control a wheel lifting and remaining off the ground.
'Great for showing-off, but what is the point of a wheelie to my mountain biking or road riding?' In South African cycling, road debris and potholes, can’t always be steered around. Wheelie skills can help you avoid tyre and rim damage.
The same logic applies to mountain biking. Having the confidence to lift that front wheel over rocks and roots, make you a faster and safer mountain biker.
Best to start off, on a lawn
Acquiring wheelie skills can be risky.
Most riders immediately grab a handful of rear brake, as they are tipping the bike towards its balance point, defeating that impending wheelie. Being too ambitious can trigger a loop-out, usually followed by a painful instance of being winded.
But the wheelie is a gateway to true bike skills mastery.
When every day is #wheeliewednesday
Scottish trials rider and mountain biker, Danny MacAskill, is a true master of the wheelie.
A year ago Danny sent a request to his significant social media audience of 3.5m followers, to #WheelieWithDanny. The result is a new Danny MacAskill video, celebrating the diversity of skilled wheelie riders worldwide.
They say there is a wheelie gene, and some competent riders never master it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this stellar new Danny MacAskill edit.