Video: Manuel Scheidegger Sets New World Record by Wheelieing 31km in 1 hour

Sep 15, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

Swiss freerider, Manuel Scheidegger, set a new World Record on Saturday for the longest distance wheelied on a bicycle in 1 hour. On Saturday night he smashed the previous record of 25.86km (16.06 miles) to set a new mark at 30.95km (19.23 miles), an increase of over 6km.


The attempt has to be completed in one wheelie and if the front wheel drops, the rider has to start again. Manuel set the record on a 400 metre running track in Gümligen, Switzerland and completed more than 77 laps in the 60 minute time limit.


It took Manuel 2 attempts to set the record. His first attempt on Friday night lasted 45 minutes and he was on track to beat the record but a mechanical issue meant he had to drop the front wheel. The whole team met again early on Saturday morning and the conditions seemed optimal but Maunel was struggling after only getting 2 hours sleep. He apparently said, "I only came here because you are here".

After a few warm-up rounds, Manuel decided to try for another attempt and despite some wobbles made it around the track for the whole hour and set the new record at nearly 31km.

A super-steep seat angle keeps Manuel in a comfortable position when the front wheel is raised.

Manuel set the record in support of wheels4nepal. With the collected money, a bicycle workshop including rooms and tools will be built for young people in Nepal, so that they can train as bicycle mechanics. This is Manuel's second record of the summer after he set the first wheelied Everest in June.


103 Comments

  • 149 0
 I'm sure he can Manuel as well
  • 12 0
 I came here for the puns.
  • 7 1
 His brother Willy isn't bad either
  • 1 1
 dupe
  • 19 1
 just stoppie while you're ahead
  • 1 0
 It's definitely a "wheelie Manuel" accomplishment. Wow, 31km/hr on 1 wheel. Amazing.
  • 79 0
 How is this possible? He's not riding a Carrera?
  • 18 0
 Brilliant. Not sure if anyone outside the UK will get it though.
  • 19 1
 No tracksuit bottoms, no baseball cap. He's doing it all wrong.
  • 6 0
 i don't get it. do tell.
  • 1 0
 what say you ?
  • 1 0
 @gtill9000: Kids these days..
  • 8 0
 @gtill9000: I will spoil. It's a reference to teenagers wheelieing down the high street on store bought bikes. They all ride Carreras (which, joking aside, are actually fairly decent, good value starter bikes made by Halfords), and they can all wheelie much better than I (and probably the majority of 'serious' middle aged mountain bikers) can.
  • 1 0
 @gtill9000: could you do 30kph in one hour on 2 wheels , its about the speed
  • 1 0
 @tremeer023: No shoulder bag or squeaky chain. Definitely doing it wrong.
  • 1 0
 @alexhyland: True, but they are completely clueless if you take them down a tech trail for example.
  • 51 0
 I’d just like to point out that I don’t think I can do 31kmh for a whole hour whilst on 2 wheels... this is quite the record!
  • 76 1
 i was thinking the same, but it must be the bearing drag from the front wheel
  • 4 28
flag Serpentras (Sep 15, 2020 at 4:17) (Below Threshold)
 Well I guess you could do it when you also have a Road bike like this. It's really easy compared the MTB. Also how freaking flat that was..
  • 2 0
 @Serpentras: he's hardly in an aero position though! I generally struggle to get over 30kmh on my admittedly fairly hilly road rides
  • 5 0
 @Serpentras: still going 30kmh+ for a longer period of time is exhausting- especially doing a wheelie.
  • 1 0
 Haha exactly the comment I wanted to write... 31kmh for an hour, don't even know if I could do it!! looll
  • 1 0
 @NotNamed: I second your comment. If you can get past more than a few miles your forearms burn like no ones business and that’s maybe doing 16km/h.
  • 3 0
 @Serpentras: ha, I do have a road bike, I live in the flattest part of the country and average about 28kmh on a good day! Smile
  • 1 4
 @mountainsofsussex: Well I was talking about two wheels on the ground not that wheelie record but 30 is okayish. After 30 it will be hard if you are not aero.

@pimpin-gimp: I do commute with my XC , slammed roadbike stem and some 45mm wide slicks to work. If it is flat I could make 30 easy, if there is no wind. The magical barrier for me is at 35, I could hold that for maybe half an hour and then drop back to 30.
  • 4 19
flag Nmullen55 (Sep 15, 2020 at 14:14) (Below Threshold)
 I just want to point out that it was 31km distance not 31km/h...
  • 14 0
 @Nmullen55: you're in time out while you think about what you just typed. You can come out when you realize what km/h means.
  • 9 0
 @Nmullen55: if train A is travelling at 4km/h for 1 hr and you’re in a truck how fast is your dog?
  • 5 0
 @Nmullen55: yup, he did 31km of distance, in an hour... now I’m a mere engineer and not a mathematician so I can’t be sure but maybe you could (as you Americans like to say) do the math.
  • 12 0
 @Nmullen55: ---- this guy, proving the school systems in the USA are a joke.....
  • 8 0
 @Nmullen55: This comment better make it into the next Pinkbike podcast
  • 1 0
 Once you’re at this level of wheelie skills it is the only cycling record that ends when the rider gets too bored to continue...
  • 44 3
 Wyn Masters- "Hold my beer"
  • 38 2
 you must mean "howld moieh bieh"
  • 2 0
 That it
  • 21 0
 I've never been able to wheelie and this whole time it's because my seat angle was wrong.
  • 5 0
 I could only start popping wheelies when my core strength became more than that of a carrot. Helps with balance.
  • 5 0
 @brodoyouevenbike: There is a large difference between the fresh plucked carrot and the one that's been in the fridge a month. I'm more of a month-old noodle type of carrot personally, despite my nether-region hairs resembling the fresh-plucked variety.
  • 10 0
 Where's Waldo? Oh, found him...
  • 7 0
 He's having a wheelie good time
  • 1 0
 Totally Waldo
  • 8 1
 My dream was to attempt that and have some charity event or something, had some interesting bike setup ideas, but now I have cancer, probably could try before i die, but no money and motivation.
  • 8 0
 You never know what cards you will be dealt, as I recently had a tough battle with cancer myself and had a lot of screwups by the doctors. I just take it one day at a time. I sincerely wish you the best. Good luck Borke...
  • 1 0
 @RowdyAirTime: Thank You!
  • 2 0
 @Borke: No problem Borke. One thing that has helped me greatly is I use CBD oil daily for many reasons. Not only does it fight cancer, it helps keep the cancer from coming back also. I was extremely sick and down to 126lbs (5'11"), so virtually nothing left of me. I was so weak that I could not even get off my chair after all the cancer treatment, radiation, chemo, surgery, etc and many doctor screwups. After all this I decided to try CBD oil and 20min later I was off my chair doing exercices, no lie, I was amazed. After a very slow process, I was finally even able to start riding again, starting with a EMTB and finally able to ride a regular bike (on good days that is...). Unfortunately I have a lot of issues I now have to deal with everyday but am happy I was able to get some of my life back and enjoy some of the good things life can offer. I know a few people who have lived for many years fighting terminal cancer with the help of CBD oil. I have a very good friend who has his 4 year doctorate in Marijuana and makes all natural products. Send me a PM if you want any help. Life is too precious and we are only here once, so "NEVER GIVE UP" bud, as I almost did....
  • 10 0
 Cool and normal.
  • 4 2
 Nice record. It only just beat the previous record though, Markel Uriarte, Orbea rider, did 29,94km on the 8th September 2016 I think. He also did an everesting wheelie then. Great effort though and for a fantastic cause. Well done!
  • 3 1
 Is riding a wheelie harder than riding a unicycle? I ride a mountain unicycle but never bothered to learn to wheelie.

Either way, this one is slightly quicker than the unicycle one hour record:
www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/farthest-distance-travelled-on-a-unicycle-in-one-hour

Not sure what type of unicycle it was, but a 36" wheeled road unicycle without gears can easily go that quick.
  • 8 1
 Anecdotally, I've been able to wheelie a bicycle for as long as I can remember, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to ride a unicycle. That might have more to do with what was available to me during my formative years though.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • 7 1
 @gibspaulding: Learning to ride a unicycle is like learning to walk or ride a two wheeled bike (on two wheels). There is only so much instruction you can have, it is just the body that needs to wire the proper reflexes. If you want to learn it efficiently, practice one half hour a day, then stop. In two weeks, you can ride unassisted. After that you just learn to ride longer, get over bigger irregularities in the terrain etc. Practice more a day won't necessarily help you learn quicker as all your body needs is that short trigger and then the recovery time to rewire. You can skip days and it will just take longer. Eventually you'll learn but most efficient is probably one half hour a day for the first two weeks. It took my daughter a good while as she could not be motivated to try for weeks or even months. But she can ride now and is working on her distance. Which she gauges by whose frontyard she crashes into Wink .

Fair enough most of us have access to bikes. Funny hough as unicycles don't need maintenance nor do they have components that wear much (unless you tend to idle a lot, in which case some parts of the tire will wear quicker) they can easily be shared between friends, borrowed and sold without much worry about damage or loss of value.
  • 2 1
 I learnt to unicycle as a lockdown project. Can’t do it confidently still - (getting on and off without holding on is super difficult ! )
But would say that learning to unicycle is harder than learning to wheelie if your already a bike rider.
  • 4 0
 They're exactly the same when you change your seated center of gravity using a long seat pole and riding a bike with short reach; you're basically riding a uni-cycle at that point once you get the wheel up.

See how he's seated directly aligned with his rear cassette while sitting straight up - He basically turned his bike into a recumbent unicycle. It's the same sweet spot as wheelie-ing a wheel chair. Pretty cool and a ton of fun. You also look like a badass to all the neighborhood kids.
  • 1 0
 @NYShred: A bike has a freewheel, a unicycle doesn't. One way it may seem more challenging as pedaling is a motion that causes unbalance, but on the other hand you can control fore-aft balance with your acceleration and deceleration. Personally I feel the more direct connection makes it easier to control this. Especially when "braking" to keep yourself from looping out, to me it feels easier to do so by reducing the crank rotations rather than applying a separate brake. That said, I do use a hydraulic Magura rim brake on my unicycle to take it easier on the knees during longer descends. But I don't use it to avoid looping out.

@Molesdigmyjumps: Cool you picked up something new during that time!
  • 1 0
 Just starting to learn. I've been told that 10 hours is pretty much the norm for riding around the block on a uni. 3 hours in, I can go for 50m-100m at a time. My bicycle wheelies maybe go 30-50m. I found largely that the sensation of the balance point is the same and makes picking up the unicycle much easier.
  • 1 0
 @NYShred: you clearly have never unicycled. It’s nothing like it , even with the seat how he has it. Having the bars and the drive chain gives a totally different feeling to a unicycle where you are fixed directly to the wheel you are turning underneath you
  • 1 0
 Is riding a bike harder than riding a car on 2 wheels?
  • 1 0
 @gibspaulding: try out a fixed gear bike. It will teach you to feel the pedals pushing into your feet while decelerating.
I also got to try out an electric uni at the interbike demo. In 10 minutes I was proficient enough to go in big circles!
  • 1 0
 @Chonky13: Personally I'd say if you want to learn to ride a unicycle, try it on a unicycle. As mentioned, it doesn't take that long to learn and it is super low risk on both equipment as well as body. There surely is some equipment available on the used market if you don't want to shell out for a new one. For an adult I'd just recommend making sure you got one with strong axles as these take a more direct beating and a uni designed for a 30kg kid won't necessarily hold up for an 80kg adult. As for wheelsize, 20" is probably most convenient to start on. It isn't much higher than when just standing and the comfortable speed is comparable to just walking. So these are least intimidating. I learned it on a 24" muni (mountain unicycle, I've got a 2005 Kris Holm KH24) because that is what I wanted to eventually. It is a bit harder because it is slightly higher and the comfortable speed is more of a jogging pace. But it isn't impossible.

The thing that does take more conscious practice is to freemount. Initially I was happy to just hold on to something, ride away and ride as far as I could until I came off and had to find a new spot to hold onto. But at some point it got annoying because when out on the trail, the spots where I could mount were near a tree which implied that I immediately had to cross a couple of roots. Which I wasn't able to. The standard mounting techniques didn't work for me (that is, I didn't manage to master them) until I saw some video instructions of Megan Rouch on youtube. She just grabs the tire when she mounts the muni. Even though it is uncommon, it worked for me so that's how I still mount. I'm not one of those who wants to learn every single freemount (unassisted mount) out there, I just want to ride trails. The smaller wheels are probably easier to mount, but for riding trails you need at least 24". Kris Holm used this for racing the BCBR too, though he was using his (pretty expensive) geared hub. Nowadays 27.5" and 29" are also being used for trail riding (and 36" for the smoother fast stuff) but I don't know of anyone who used those sizes to learn. 26" is slowly being phased out as 24" and 27.5" will continue to exist. To give you an idea of how quick 24" is, I once rode a trail in the dunes while a trailrunner (who claimed to be pretty fit) ran it. On the first climb he was ahead of me, but on the first descend I overtook him and has been ahead of him since then. I had to carry my muni on the steeper loose sand stuff and then still, I finished a few minutes in front of him (on a 12km trail in the dunes). I'd say this is probably a good speed for most of us. Imagine how quick you'd be when you switch to overdrive (1.5x on the geared hub).

Oops, got carried away. Long story short, if you want to learn to ride a unicycle, try it on a unicycle. Easiest is to start on 20". If you want to go straight to 24" because that's the smallest for riding trails, you'll learn it too but it will just be slightly harder. I don't know of anyone who started out riding on the bigger sizes. It should work eventually but the process may be a bit more frustrating until you've finally learned to freemount.
  • 6 0
 I can wheelie 1 meter in 3.1 seconds
  • 1 0
 get below .116 seconds and you'll achieve legendary PB status
  • 1 0
 dude, seriously.. would be awesome.. lets see!!
  • 5 0
 Nearly 20mph on 1 wheel... that is mental.
  • 2 0
 On 0,287 imperial wheel
  • 5 0
 Chris Porter approved seat angle
  • 3 0
 ... and I hold exactly the opposite record!
  • 1 0
 Wheelieing for 60min in position?
  • 12 0
 One hour trackstand on front wheel only.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: while pedaling.. and sitting backwards on the bar.
  • 2 0
 I think that a Spanish guy from Orbea did a longer distance last year and he also did a wheelie everesting couple years ago
  • 3 0
 Best use of a gravel bike yet.
  • 3 0
 Found Waldo!

Wait, what I supposed to be doing?
  • 2 0
 Where's Waldo outfit would be my first choice for international monumental moment too.
  • 2 0
 How come he rode for an hour but we only get to watch for 36 sec of video... where is the entire footage.
  • 3 0
 Wheelie good effort!
  • 1 0
 Nothing special if you consider what Simone Temperato does ... But nice nonetheless
  • 3 1
 good advertising for specialized.
  • 1 0
 It's all cool until you realize that people look at slopestyle or rampage like we at this...
  • 1 0
 This should become a team sport with tours and time trials and a red/white striped jersey for the leader.
  • 2 0
 Come on, he couldn't have gone for the Manuel world record?
  • 1 0
 this would have been one of those times power meter numbers would have been interesting.
  • 1 0
 For sale: Barely used gravel bike. Worn rear tire, saddle, and 13 tooth cog in the back.
  • 1 0
 Notice the Triathlete saddle position. Surprised the UCI did not disqualify him for that.....
  • 1 0
 With that seat angle, it's basically a unicycle which makes this far less impressive.
  • 1 0
 The only way to beat this would be in a 1 hour descent! Anyone know some hill where you can hold 40 km/h while going down?
  • 1 0
 Bike Life rats would break in the track and try beat it haha
  • 2 0
 Loooooooooves back wheel
  • 1 2
 Impressive, until I read:
"Ken Looi (New Zealand) covered 29.99 km (18.63 miles) on a unicycle in a 1 hour"

Which would be harder?
  • 5 0
 29.99, SRAM unicycle?
  • 1 0
 That’s why his name is Manuel
  • 1 0
 Feeling of a unicycle is nothing like doing a wheelie.
  • 1 0
 What did Wyn Master say about it
  • 1 0
 Riding a wheelie that far must require a good deal of core strength.
  • 2 0
 Wyn Masters..STEP UP!
  • 1 0
 Big time congrats from me. Pretty astounding.
  • 1 0
 Where's Craig Strong the "Wheelie King..."
  • 1 0
 This is the new seat angle. Roadies take note.
  • 1 0
 Congrats to him
  • 1 0
 30.95, not 31
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