Artistic Cycle wanted

Hey - I’m posting this in RSU instead of the trading post or something because I never look there, and I check this forum daily. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m looking for an artistic bicycle - and I know the chances are slim that someone might have one - but it is worth a try. From what I’ve seen of unicycling and artistic cycling, there’s a lot of carryover, and I’d really like to give it a go. If I can’t find one, I’ll probably have to build one, as they’re like 3600$ new :astonished:

If anyone could give me a hand with this, or has any information, that’d be like awesome.

Here’s a few links in case you’re curious:
wikipedia on the sport
Cool youtube video - bmx flatland vs artistic cycling

Great video clip! Flatland BMX is starting to look more and more like BC wheeling with handles. The tricks are amazing in both sports; this is a great example if you haven’t seen one or the other.

Yes, there’s always someone trying to get their hands on an artistic bike here in North America, and still no import channel that’s known to me. If anyone has a used one, or information about ordering newer ones we’d love to hear about it.

Is it really a special kind of bike? It looks like a normal fixed-wheel bike with a very small chainring, straight forks and the handlebars turned upside-down. I suppose the frame geometry of a normal road frame may not allow straight forks without the wheel touching the downtube when it is swivelled right round… is that the problem?
If it’s just a case of frame geometry you ought to be able to get a framebuilder to make you a frame like that for nowhere near the sort of money you’re quoting.
Or am I missing something? Nice riding though - reminds me of the Swedish Cycle Act clip somebody posted on here some time ago.


this one (from the wiki link above) does look quite a bit different from a normal road bike…

looks like a 1:1 ratio drive, both tires are very close to the tubes, it is very tall, etc.

I didn’t watch the video to see what other ones look like.

The back end is just like a normal road frame (racing frames do have the wheel close to the seat tube). The drive ratio is just a case of using a small chainring. As for very tall… I suppose modern road frames do tend to be “compact” design, but what I consider a “normal” road frame looks just like that. The difference is the front fork (straight, with no rake) and the stem with no reach. It’s got quite a short top tube as well to give it that very short wheelbase. But a normal framebuilder should be able to build one like that without any problems - and it would cost a few hundred dollars, not thousands - that seems ridiculously expensive.


Yeah, that was my next avenue to pursue should I be unable to find a proper one. I’ve got a few contacts in montreal (where it is practiced as a performance art) as well, I’m just exploring every avenue to try and find one, they’re really quite rare machines.

the only part that seems specialized is the frame. aside from that you just need a 1-1 fixed gear drivetrain.

Actually, it looks just like the bike that they paint on to cycle paths here;

Except maybe the forks are a bit straiter than the first image I found on google.

Maybe you should try asking road workers where to get them, as they must see loads of them to be able to draw them so good!


As stated above, the main feature of the frame is a super-short wheelbase. The front tire will hit your toes; barely misses the pedals. Then you need an absolutely straight fork, otherwise the wheel won’t be able to face backward. Add some indoor pedals (rubber ends) and small pegs on the axles (also with rubber coating/ends). The handlebars are similar to a road bike handlebar turned upside down (though not quite). Lastly, you need a seat like the one on that Walther pictured above. It’s not like any other bicycle seat. The seat’s shape and location are important for lots of tricks.

John - how big are the wheels on the cycle? 700c? Would I be able to use smooth road tires for something like this, or should I look into properly specialized tires? I know about how the front fork has to be and I’m sure I could get the point about frame geometry across to anyone putting the frame together…

I didn’t notice the freaky saddle. Still, I reckon with all the specialist parts (saddle, stem, frame/fork, possibly handlebars) it shouldn’t cost anything like as much as you feared.

I got interested and had a look around… the bikes they use for cycle ball are really strange - make the artistic ones look completely normal. The seat post comes out of the back of the crossbar and the rear triangle is a weird shape (i.e. not triangular). Freaky.


Langenberg is one of the best know brands of the moment.
You can call them at +49-561-495155
…because none of their domains work properly:

Same for Walther:

So try:

I’m not John, but here are some suitable tires.
(indoor cycles have “tubes”; tires that have the inner-tube stiched in the inside, and are glued at the rim)

Further I was kind of planning on maybe visiting the worldchampionships in Chemnitz next month.

And hey, have a look at the sponsors of the Swiss championships (Erdgas was also main sponsor of unicon13)

Don’t know what event that was, but I spotted must have been there.

700c would be too big. My bike used to have old-school 26" rims with special indoor, tubular (“sew-up”) tires. Like the example in the link from Leo. Since those tires wear very poorly on concrete, mine had been “upgraded” to some regular 26" rims with cheap, narrow tires. These were too big, and tended to rub the down tube and get bent, so a few years back I had new 24" wheel laced up and used a couple of 1.75" Miyata tires on there (no floor marking). Those wheels are fatter and a little heavier than the originals, but they’re a little smaller so my toes don’t hit as much. In any case, don’t go bigger than 26x1.25" or so.

If you have a frame custom made, I highly recommend digging up a set of dimensions somewhere. There was a set in an old issue of the Unicycling Society of America Newsletter, but it was from an earlier generation of bike, with a more “normal” fork angle. It wouldn’t fit with today’s list of figures.

Would this be considered an artistic bike? I found it on one of the websites Leo posted.

that’s a cycleball (radball) bicycle. That’s pretty awesome too. just look up ‘radball’ on youtube.

edit: leo - almost forgot to add - THANK YOU so much for all those links. I just picked around all the pages, and provided I either find a german student or they speak english, when I get some funds together I might just be able to snag myself a bicycle. This is great! So appreciated.

Well, I realize artistic cycling is a closed world, like figure skating is.
And so a Google search on “buy artistic cycle” will return only 1 hit (this page).
I don’t think I’ve ever would have found those sites without know some names. Most brands don’t have a website at all.
Make sure to get in contact with Langenberg. I think he’s market leader by now, and so has a lot of experience.

If you let build something; make sure you got sizing correct. Cause if you’re spending money anyway… you might like to have it according the rules. Unless you for sure wont bother competing, then you rather take sizes you feel comfortable with.

And so one more important link: the UCI rulebook on indoor cycling.
And before you start saying the competition is much like unicycle-standard: yes, standard came kind of from these rules. Including the floor-marking. And the early IUF rulebooks had kind of simular pictograms drawn by a fanatic unicyclist.

nice to see that there are a few people in North America that are interested in Artistic Cycling… I just got the itch to get into it a month or two ago…

I was in touch with John Foss who was nice enough to email me and give me some direction…i posted a “WANTED: Artistic Bike” in the Trading Post and no one responded.

i spent close to a month on-line trying to gather info and it was fruitless trying to find anyone in Canada or the States that could get me or sell me a bike.

i emailed all 4 manufacturers of artistic bikes…Langenberg, Walther, Star & Otoupalik. Only Star & Otoupalik ever responded back. Petr Otoupalik was very helpful and very nice. I was impressed with his company and just ordered a 25" Butterfly Artistic Bike from him. His prices are reasonable. My bike is costing 1260 Euros + shipping. It would probably be smart to order a few extra tubular tires as well, like i did… it is hard to find obscure Euro sizes in stock in North America.

My bike will be here in about two weeks… can’t wait…

This is incredibly encouraging. Once I get a steady income, it’s on the list of stuff to buy, behind plane tickets and just ahead of a new laptop.

Thanks for letting me know, it’s great to hear someone managed to get one over here.

you gotta move that bike up on your list of things to buy! sadly for me my list is long… after the Artistic Bike i will probably get the itch to start riding Flatland again (did for 10 years) and pick up a BMX, plus i want a track bike, a trials uni, etc (to go along with my road bike, cyclocross bike, mtn bike, etc…)

i’ll let you know how the “Butterfly” is when i get it… i’m a good judge of quality (worked at/managed a bike shop for 4 years and been into bikes for my entire life… a good 30+ years)… obviously i will be experiencing something new with an Artistic bike but alot of my flatland tricks sort of translate across (time machines, boomerang, grip rides) so i have should have an indication of how well it rides in regards to ride quality/performance, if you are interested…

That’d be great. I was thinking I might see if one of my friends has a BMX I can borrow for a while. I think that the skills between artistic, unicycling, an flatland all really flow together. That is a large part of my wanting to try this out.

Definitely post in this thread or something when the cycle comes in, I’d love to hear about it!