Zach Hutlelin sets manual world record

By Peter Suciu, from Detroit, MI | Friday, January 27, 2012 5.45pm

It was an impressive ride, especially as it was done on just a single wheel. Sixteen-year old Zach Hutlelin broke the world record for a “manual,” a wheelie without pedaling, at Markham Park in Sunrise, Florida last month.

The sunshine native, who lives in nearby Plantation, FL rode his Specialized P.3 for 686.25ft/209.2m, setting the new world record for the Longest Manual on a Mountain Bike according to World Records Academy. This tops the previous Guinness world record, which was set at 334ft/101.8m by Jim DeChamp for the MTV television show Nitro Circus.

Guinness officially recognized the new mark on 12 January.

Hutlelin said he was inspired to try for the record after seeing DeChamp set the mark. Part of the preparation for Hutlelin was built making sure he didn’t have to worry about the bike, a Specialized’s P.3. “A well tuned bike is everything on a simple day or breaking a world record,” he told BikeRadar. “My attention is on the task at hand and not whether or not my bike is working properly.”

Hutlelin said that his background has mostly been on racing BMX, which honed his skill of manualing. “My dad was always yelling, ‘pedal, pedal,’” Hutelin said. “But I did it because the fast kids were doing it.”

For his record attempt, Hutelin’s father, John Hutelin, brought in a number of third-party experts to document and verify the course and the distance, including the Florida Surveying and Mapping Society and Sunrise Police Officers. “It was pretty cool,” Hutelin said of the record ride, which came after 11 attempts that day. “In practice, I had ridden almost 800 feet. But that was on a good day. The day of the record attempt we had really bad winds.”

Hutelin more than doubled the previous record mark on a windy day: hutelin more than doubled the previous record mark on a windy day

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Hutelin more than doubled the previous record — marked by the Specialized flag in the background — on a windy day

For the new year, the new record holder looks to further mix it up. “This year I am going to make the transition to downhill and dual slalom, and plans are being made to run the Gravity East series,” said Hutlelin.

The teenager knows transitioning to downhill may be an uphill challenge of sorts. “I understand this year will be a big learning curve as this is a major transition for a kid from Florida, but I am really looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

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