Roue Cyr

Circus/Cyr Wheel

I saw a roue cyr wheel in a performance and thought, hey that looks cool! I bet I could make one, despite knowing nothing about them and not ever have touched one. Anyone who knows me probably wouldn’t be surprised by that :).

Here’s the finished wheel in my garage:


And me trying it for the first time (yesterday!)

I got a bender…partially for this project, and partially because I have needed one for several other things. I then ordered material from — they are cheaper than by far. I spent about $170 in metal (actually a bit more to have a backup piece), and $120 in PVC tubing from I purchased 4 74″ pieces of 1.5″ outer diameter, 1/8″ thick 6061 aluminum tubing and a 50′ roll of 1/8″ thick, 1.5″ inner diameter Kearon PVC vinyl tubing. There is enough tubing to make at least two cyrs, and I may eventually make another for Aaron.

I used a 1.5″ 26″ die on a Hossfeld bender. A 29″ die would be better, but it was on back order…and I figured I could just stop the bend early. It turns out that is hard to do, and my diameter is a little flat where each piece meets. Oh well, it was a learning experience!

Here’s the bender with the tube. Eventually I used an outfeed table to keep it all level:


Back side of the bender. I greased it up to help with the bends. Bending the aluminum was no problem.


Bending the steel inserts was next to impossible. In the end, I made the steel inserts 5″ long (way too short) and a little loose so I could fit them in. They are bent a little..but not much. You can see the insert below on the table:


Covering with PVC tubing was a nightmare! At first I tried just muscling it over.


Then I heated it in my oven at 200 F for 3 minutes; that helped, but I still had to work really hard to get the covering over the tube. It took hours to get it done..


The other two were much faster; I heated the tube, and also used soapy water as a lubricant; they slid on fairly easily (~15 minutes or so each section).

Previous Post
Next Post

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kenneth Adelman

There is a trick to sliding tubing onto something like that. You need to make a set of fittings that clamp securely onto one end of the tube and hook to compressed air, and have a way of modulating the air supply. You’ll need a few sets of hands. You’ll need a way of capping the inner tube on one end. Basically, you get it started and then have someone start the air flowing. The tube will slide on cushioned by the air escaping between the inner and outer tube. The guy modulating the air needs to know to back off slightly if you start to loose control of the tube and it backslides. One set of hangs works the leading edge of the outer tubing, another feeds it over the leading edge of the aluminum, and one works the air. Should take 10 seconds or so to slide on like this.


awesome ken! i will give that a try next time!


Ken, thanks for that description. This clears up a mystery that’s been rattling around in my head for 17 years or so. I was in the DubĂ© Juggling shop and wanted a couple devil stick handsticks (dowel with silicone tubing cover). The guy ducked into the back, I heard some odd gassy noises, and then he came back with the goods. I was too stupid to ask about it at the time, but I always wondered what had transpired back there.




I don’t get the layering?

vinyl on pvc on aluminum?


Ah, no! It is just vinyl PVC tubing over aluminum tubing. The outer layer provides friction, and protects the metal.



I typed “Roue Cyr” into Google Translate and it said “smashed fingers”. True story.


roue cyr

Subscribe to new posts:

You'll get an email whenever a I publish a new post to my blog and nothing more. -- Corbin

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

(c) 2008-2024 Corbin Dunn

Privacy Policy

Subscribe to RSS feeds for entries.

75 queries. 0.164 seconds.

Log in