The Cyr wheel (also known as the roue Cyr, mono wheel, or simple wheel) is an acrobatic device popularized in the early 21st century. It consists of a single large, metal hoop and is similar in some ways to a German wheel, with the acrobat spinning inside the wheel while maneuvering around the stage.
There are records of people using a similar apparatus as sports equipment during the 19th and 20th centuries. The cyr wheel was further popularized as a circus skill by numerous acrobats and circus artists during the 1990's and later by Daniel Cyr in 2003, who presented the first cyr wheel circus act at the 2003 Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. He won the Silver Medal for his performance. Cyr claims he created it without any awareness of previous similar devices, although there is no evidence for this claim.
Since its recent re-popularization as a circus apparatus, hundreds of circus artists from around the world have performed in the wheel. The USA Wheel Gymnastics Federation and the International Rhoenradturnen Verband, with significant assistance from coaches and athletes from the École Nationale de Cirque de Montréal, developed rules for cyr wheel competition. The first such competition was held in Chicago in October 2011 and the first world championships in cyr wheel competition will be held during the 10th World Championships in Wheel Gymnastics, July 7-14th, 2013 in Chicago, IL.
Cyr wheels are typically made of aluminum tubing. Usually a 1.5” diameter tubing with 1/8” sidewall 6061 aluminum is used. Generally they are made in 3 or 5 individual pieces, and connect with inserts. The inserts can be made out of solid aluminum or steel (either tubing or solid). They are then painted, and covered with a plastic PVC covering to add friction, and protect the metal.
Smaller wheels spin faster, work better for smaller spaces, and make "no hand" tricks easier than larger wheels. Larger wheels are more graceful and there is more room for suspensions.
Some Cyr wheels are made of stainless steel covered in a flexible PVC coating.
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- Corbin Dunn. "Making a roue cyr".
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- http://rhoenradbau.de/home.html. Missing or empty
- "Cyr Wheel". European Federation of Professional Circus Schools (FEDEC). 2011.