What's up with Wheelie Bikes?


Can you remember the last time you just rolled out with a bunch of friends on your bikes with no real destination or purpose other than just popping wheelies, dropping skids and jumping curbs?

Not a road ride, not a mountain ride, not a commute - just riding bikes with your buddies.  

Maybe you roll through the neighborhood with your kids, and you watch with envy from your performance-optimized-Strava-machine as they carve turns and skid; wishing you had something you could goof around on?

Or possibly, your kid has been talking about “Wheelie Bikes”; leaving you confused. Because as far as you know, any bike can be a Wheelie Bike with the right pull and a little brake feathering.

Wheelie Bikes, Big BMX Bikes, 29er BMX, 26 BMX, even Cruisers...these terms are all describing the same thing in 2020: A style of bike that’s inspiring a new generation of riders to just get out, goof around on bikes and have fun. No super-technical, high-consequence X-Games trickery, no gate start practice...just good times only.

The wheelie bikes are a natural evolution of BMX bikes that we’ve seen before. In the early 80’s when BMX racing started getting a little too serious for some folks, they started focusing on the jumps and tricks that were possible on those fun little machines, and Freestyle BMX was born. Now a few decades down the road, and Freestyle itself has progressed to an incredible level where sometimes it feels like we’re watching a video game.

It can be a little intimidating if you don’t have a foam pit and a resi-ramp to dial things in. But some kids (and old skool kids at heart) just want to go out and pop some wheelies, carve some bowls at the park, and maybe put a few inches of air under the tires. This is where the bigger wheel wave is emerging from: it’s all riding bikes and it’s all good.

However, unlike so many of the bicycle trends that found momentum in California, the hub of wheelie bike culture is centered in the boroughs of New York City, more specifically, The Bronx. On any given weekend, hundreds of riders summoned through #bikelife might gather for a rideout. Rideouts look like the Critical Mass protest rides that were common in the 90s and 2000s; but rather than raging against the machine, these rideouts are a celebration of bike riding good-times. Working on wheelies, learning tricks and riding bikes with friends has become a positive outlet for a lot of the young people following #bikelife in NYC, and thats a great thing.

Wheelie Bikes have rekindled the love of BMX riding, spirit and culture for many riders who "aged-out" of the typical BMX demographic. The bigger frames fit adults better than traditional 20" bikes, and the bigger wheels cover ground much better - so wheelie bikes make great neighborhood cruisers, coffee shop/bar bikes and are well suited to some good ole' urban exploring. Go out and find those perfectly shaped curb cuts and air 'em out, lay down skids in some late night-abandoned-parking-garage shenanigans and for sure: go ride some wheelies.


The wheelies don't stop at the NYC city limits. Wheelie bikes and rideout gatherings are happening around the world - including Haro's own backyard - check out the Harbor Hot Lap


Haro has been here from the start and our roots are showing in our Legends lineups, with big wheeled bmx bikes inspired by iconic paint, logos and of course, the Haro riders and friends that pushed boundaries and helped invent the sport and BMX culture.