More wheel walking observations from a Novice.

Ahhh, break through today.

First, I added more pressure to the tyre; having a nice hard tyre, despite rounding it out, seems to be much better than running it too soft.

The key revelation that led to more revolutions, though, was working to fully extend the leg on the down stroke. While it has been indicated as important by more experienced riders, I want to convey as a novice what a differance it has made, and why.

Two of my primary problems have been roll controll (side to side balance) and pitching forward with too much speed. There is a tendancey (for me, at least -a caviot that applies to everything here in) when begining the down stroke for the center of mass to pitch forward. If all your strokes are short, this will continue until you’re outfront of the cycle, racing to stay on. If you ride with your knees poking out to the side, this is a good indication that your stroke is too short.

However, when the stroke is fully extended, your body is forced back just a touch -and more upright, correcting any hunch back developing- enough to counter pitch changes introduced at the begining of the stroke.

The last bit of the extended stroke is also where I’m getting most of my roll (side to side) controll; just as the foot fully extends, you are able to pivot the hip off the planted toe tip. This was very important to extending my distance, and for the first time, feeling in controll.

Last, a word on transitioning into WW from forward riding. While developing the skill, I’v been riding up paralel to my crutch at arms length (a chain link fence); just as I reach a down stroke the top foot comes up and engages the wheel at the crown. I make a habit of starting all my WW attempt this way (as aposed to stoping, placing both feet, then begining the walk). Although you will probably come to a complete stop the first couple of times, focus on keeping a bit of forward motion and you will soon be able to do the same without the crutch with no problem. As you become more confident, ride less paralel and more perpandicular to your crutch, idealy graduating as quickly as possible to the corner of a building or fence. As with any other skill, abandon the crutch as soon as possible. Really, this is no different than when we first learned to ride, and the time scale has been about the same, with transitioning substituted for mounting.

Comment and contradictions appreciated :).


When using a “crutch”, like a fence or wall as Chris says, use one where you can switch directions and use the other hand going the other way. This prevents you from always reaching to the right when groping for support. It makes weaning yourself from it easier, too.

Once you WW with some control (by that, I mean you have learned to make some corrections to prevent falling and don’t chicken out all the time) it is of about the same difficulty to mount directly to WW, start from idle, start from one-foot idle, or start from riding. Learn the ones that you can do easily (two at least) to keep from getting into a rut. I find starting WW from one-foot idle easiest but practice all four starts, switching when I get bored or frustrated. Usually I switch to mounting directly to WW when I get frustrated because it’s faster.

This advice looks like it will really help me. I want to start doing one-footers and wheel walking.

How do you think using a wide trials tire for wheel walking will be? I don’t have a freestyle uni (although the stealth torker won’t leave me be), but I’d still like to wheel walk and such. So, are free-style tricks like wheel walking OK on a trials uni, or am I missing something?

Are you using a standard freestyle uni? How wide be your tire?


I’m WWing on everything I own except the Coker and the giraffe, now. I’ve seen Roger Davies WW and one-foot WW a Coker so it can be done. Anything will work as long as the seat is up high enough. The seat is usually up high enough already for a 20" wheel so they are naturally easier with no adjustment. I find that on the SH MUni, if I set the seat up, the big 3" Gazz tire is hard to miss with my feet so it’s pretty easy to WW. I would guess that a trials uni with a Monty should be the same kind of thing … a big target.

Peter Bier lauds the benefits of a wide tire for WW in this thread

Heh… ya, let’s call it a Shmuni. Cute little bugger.

I’m hobbling along on just about the worst tyre possible- a 24" 2.1 knobby. Sucks, for sure. I tried the Gazz a couple of days ago, and it was more stable, but I had the pressure down below 15 lbs, and kept hooking my foot on the oversized Lucifer (NimII, Yuni, blaw blaw blaw) frame as I placed it on top. I’ll try it again with more pressure and the sadle higher and report back…

Still need to mount the Fireball, or get the 24" x 2.5 Hookworm.


So the blaw blaw blaw frame could be a problem? I’ve got a 20" Yuni trials. I figured the Yuni frame would be good for one-foot, but that’ll suck if is screws me on the WW. I guess I should crank the pressure up on my Monty 20x2.5 for WW.

Well, yeah, you CAN do it on anything. And I’m not saying I’m scared of not being able to do it (I ain’t scared!) I’m just wondering if trying to learn on the wide trials tire is going to be significantly harder or easier than on a standard freestyle ride.

OK, Nick. I will condense my previous post in case it was too long or the words were too big.

Wide … tires … are … easy.

“Easy” is surely still a relative term… :slight_smile:

Actually I am getting the hang of it; I generally do between a few metres and the other side of the hall, depending on cosmic rays or something.

I find the easiest way to start is doing it from idling;when your best foot is down put the other on the wheel… and…

Phil, just me

I’m trying to learn to wheel walk but i can’t get the hang of it.
I can do one-footed really easily now and in order to try learning the feel of walk the wheel i have started by trying cycling one footed and using the non pedalling foot to walk the wheel with the other foot pedalling.
is it just a matter of getting the other foot up with confidence or is there a lot more to it than that? :thinking:

I find wheelwalking from one footed riding too difficult, I’ve not managed it yet. There’s too much of a speed difference… you’re going along quite speedily with one foot then you put the foot on the tyre and whack! over I go. I can’t wheelwalk as fast as I ride, and I can’t ride one footed as slow as I wheelwalk.

Phil, just me

I know what you mean but wheel walking is just one of those skills which eventually will come, with loads of practice. I was well chuffed today 'cos i coasted for 1 and a half pedals (then fell off) It wasn’t a great trick but it felt well good.

Well, I’v got a Gazz in the 28" frame, and I was riding with the sadle low, and had to fight to get my feet up and under- so it could just be the over tall frame poorly adjusted. We’ll see. I’m trying to conn Tim out of his 24" Lucifer…

I started by clinging to a fence for a week, just building muscle memmory for the funky leg movement, without much consideration for balance. Once my feet started placing themselves, I started focusing on staying up.