13 years since the rebirth of bicycle trials in the world

As a trials rider from 1993 to now, there is a very clear milestone in the history and greater exposure of trials riding.

“April 2009” by Danny Mac was that moment, 13 years ago this week. Up to that point, I had ridden trials with minor recognition of the stupid stuff I was riding on a bike. After this video exploded, whenever I was on a ride in the summer of 2009 and even into 2010, I was asked frequently by onlookers if I had seen the video or knew about this “Danny Mac” guy.

This video lead to Danny’s massive growth in the public eye and his amazing talents as he got new and better opportunities. It also lead to the sales of countess trials bikes because of how great he made this riding look.

FFWD a year or so from 2009, and you found just about all of those bikes for sale when people actually realized how freaking hard it was to ride trials in any way, not to mention the unearthly ways Danny showed us.

All that said, this video made me proud to be a hack trials rider and someone who really valued the constant misses and failures it takes to get anything “clean” and nail a move or trials line.

I will forever be in awe of this film and still consider it his best work despite the later ones with real budgets and shooting teams. There is something special in the raw and pure nature of this video that is unmatched.

Just a fun trip down memory lane and I hope anyone who hasn’t already seen it can enjoy it for all it is! :smiley:


For reference, here are two vids I shot that same summer of 2009. Note my traditional “competition” bike and riding style. I learned and adopted this technique from watching all the Hans Rey and Ot Pi trials VHS videos when I started way back when.

And here is a video I shot at the peak of my skills.

I have been off the trials bike for a few seasons, but will be back on it again this year to see if I can get close to those prior abilities.


parcore on bikes!

He makes it seem SO easy…
its not… not even close…

1 Like

Yeah, Danny and all those pros make this looks way too easy. It’s that aspect that lead to LOTS of trails bike sales from that video, and the resale once people actually tried and learned how hard it was.

Not many stick with it, because it takes LOTS of practice and failing before getting to anything that is the least bit impressive :stuck_out_tongue:


Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids. :crazy_face:

Trials riders are different breed. Nothing but respect for their skills.

1 Like

“Hippity Hop, Over the Rock!” - Hans Rey :wink:

1 Like

Just re-watched this, now living in Edinburgh (wasn’t in 2009), cool to recognise all the spots I ride past on a weekly basis (a couple now gone for good though). Definite ‘skate’ aesthetic to some of the lines and filming on this one. He’s put out some incredible videos in the 10 years following this!


Nice thread. I thought no one would ever mention trials, good stuff Chad. I used to have a few bikes: Cannondale Ashton, Pashley 26mHz, an echo - all 26 inchers. This was all after riding moto trials on a beta 250, until that went bang.

@mcneese.chad are you riding 20" or 26"now?

Very tempted to get back into it too.

1 Like

Those are some great bikes! I also dabbled for a season in moto on a Sherco. Super fun and was a great way to blend my old motox skills with all my trials and even MTB riding.

My main bike now is the one in the final video. Its an Echo 24" wheel competition bike. It’s the best pure trials bike I’ve ever ridden. Such. Good blend between the snappy feel or a 20" mod and a more stable 26" stock.

I also have a super cheal Onza 20" mod i gor for a friends kid years ago. I use it as the tester and training bike when i teach people how to ride.

SUPER COOL to find another trials rider in TR land! I have been off foe 3 seasons, but fully committed to hitting it weekly once we get good weather here.

Let me know if you decide to get back and if you want to chat about bikes and skills. :smiley:

That’s so cool when you can be in spots that you’ve seen in vids like this. The riding and video style sure is a product of the times. That era in trials, BMX and skate all shared some of the techniques (fish eye in particular) and had a certain feel.

We had a US group in Fort Collins CO lead by AndyT who lead the trials scene in the late 00’s that had awesome stuff parallel to this. Some good times and one of those blooms of trials riding in the US.

Always a trip to look back at these oldies. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

The classic trials bike (in my eyes that is) would be a tiny blue and yellow Volvo Cannondale with yellow headshock boot, or a bit older Beast of the East.

Those p bone forks were used on a million trials bikes.

The riding wasn’t a patch on Danny Mac but really influenced me and my mates.

1 Like

I watch a lot of trials stuff, even though I can’t even hop on the kerb myself :frowning:
Its just cool to see what control you can have over a bike.

1 Like

Those older Beast bikes were darn cool. The extra rare birds are the 26" front x 24" rear wheel models, like the 26/24 & 24/20 ones the old Ibis brand offered long ago. Mullet before mullet was cool.


Cannondale 26/24:

Ibis 26/24:

Libor Karas ripped it up for Cannondale in the late 90’s & early 00’s. I wanted one of those so bad!!!

I have been planning to find one of these older bikes and make a new/old stock trials bike again. I had a 1997 Schwinn Moab, steel frame in 15" and it was my stock trials bike for years. I want that feel again, with a modern clutched RD, so I can have a more capable bike for rolling around town and hitting spots vs seatless and super low gear of my Echo.

Ditto, I still watch a fair bit of BMX street and park even though I have absolutely no flow or skills like that. I am totally old school trials as seen above. But riders like Danny, Chris Akrigg, Ali C and even the US’s own Pat Smage show some amazing skills and are fun to watch anytime. :smiley:

1 Like

Sigh…the Moabs were such great bikes. “Affordable Homegrowns”. Lots of attention and detail went into spec’ing those things to make them as killer as possible.


My heart swoons… that was pretty much my bike. I swapped the fork for a rigid steel in matching red, shorter stem with riser bars, swapped in a bash ring from the big ring. I lost it to my ex and it’s “the one that got away” type of bike that I wish I still had.

That steel frame was so damn good and I would be thrilled to find a used on on CL to make that bike all over again.


Lots of work went into those frames, down to the paint jobs and being able to execute the darts without masking. We developed a hybrid process between decals and paint that was literally seamless.

I had a older Waterford Paramount frame w/ a Wound Up fork repainted with the “dart” paint job (until we developed the new Paramounts)…it was gorgeous!!


Forgot my first “trials” bike was a Raleigh M-Trax, when I was 14 lol. Could not even fit on it normally, nevermind backhop it :smiley:

1 Like

I started messing around on a Schwinn Mesa MTB (size 20" frame :open_mouth: ) and my GT Mach One 20" wheeled BMX race bike. I took that BMX, added a front brake, dropped the front to a smaller sprocket and got to it. Hack bikes for sure and made some stuff hard to do, especially when learning.

Modern trials bikes are so much better for the task than that old stuff, but having started there makes appreciation of the new stuff so much more real :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Signed pashley shirt. Think it Jeff Lenosky, Ashton, Hawes, Eddie T…