Trick Bike? Apr 16, 2009


This is a radball, or bikeball bike. Everything about the design of this bike denotes its use. It’s got a relaxed headtube angle, a 1:1 gear ratio, a tight rear end with the saddle cantilevered over the wheel, platform pedals and high bars. This bike is meant to whack a soccer ball with the front wheel into a goal while other opponents play defense.


This is an artistic cycling bike. It looks very much like a track bike, sans the 0 degree stem and large back-swept handle bars. Like the radball bike, this bike also supports a 1:1 gear ratio. They look very similar in geometry in fact, except for the seat tube angle and saddle, which is traditionally inserted into the seat tube, versus the top tube. This bike is meant to be ridden in auditoriums where one or more rider performs synchronized, ballet-like manuevers.


This is the Starfuckers Zenon frame. What makes this different than other Starfucker builds is the use of a 26″ wheelset. The rider now, along with the slack head tube able, has 0 overlap for barspins like the previous two bikes. In fact, if the rear wheel were to be tighter to the bottom-bracket, this bike would wheelie like a Schwinn Stingray. Note the same flat pedals but a different saddle and a more traditional track bike gearing. Now, this bike is most likely ridden around a city like Tokyo where the rider engages in the new ‘trick’ movement called ‘fixed gear freestyle’. We’re all aware of this, so I’ll spare everyone further explanation.

There are a few variations on what these freestyle fixed gear trick bikes look like. You’ve seen the Charge Scissor, the Milwaukee Bruiser, the Volume Cutter, the BMW Gangsta tracks and others. What differentiates these bikes from a radball or artistic cycling bikes is their ability to cover great distances in a short time. I’ve seen a lot of set ups that make tricks easier; BMX race bars, low gearing and platform pedals are a few. But what about the one thing that separates these fixed gear trick bikes from the rest?

I’m not saying I oppose the set ups people are riding. In the end, people are riding their bikes, which is all that matters. I’m just wondering what these bikes will end up looking like in 2 years. Will people be merging into artistic cycling styled bikes? Or will the BMX approach take over?

What’s your opinion on the subject? What kind of riding do you do and what kind of set up do you have on your bike?

I’m interested in your opinion, so link pics to your ‘trick’ bike and explain yourself!

  • chris

    after taking a few days off from riding and finally getting back on my bike yesterday, i realized how slow my gearing is. i need a smaller cog!

  • zach

    I think it just comes down to a balance of what your gonna use your bike for. I ride my bike at least 10 miles a day, its my only form of transportation. I want it to be fast yet at the same time be able to jump stuff and barspin. This is my fuji track. Its nice cause the headtube is 1 1/8 so i was able to put an infiniti mtb jumping fork and funn mtb stem which allows me to easily barspin a 700c wheel (still with overlap though). Wellgo mini platforms pedals, cristophe plastic cages and toshi doubles. I cut the studs off the inside of the pedal so i can pull my foot out but still got them on the back. 42×15 gear ratio seems to serve me well for portland and doin tricks. I also got 2 inch answer risers. I did have 4 inch rise which was fun for tricks but way harder to get speed, especially from a standstill. Ive always had deep v’s which i previously have broken and dented but don’t know what else to get. Their new ones look pretty sick and i think it would be nice to run a slightly bigger tire on the back. So for ridin this thing every day plus jumping stuff and pretty much doing what i do on my skateboard this is the balance ive come to and am pretty stoked with

  • space-cliff

    I’d like to push that what keeps our fun different is that there’s no need to throw your bike in the car to get to the trick spot, and the same bike will get you to work and back. The “fixed-gear-freestyle” bike should have utility (the ability to get places, haul stuff if needed, etc.) and fun (tricks!) in the same street-approved package. Doing tricks in a car is illegal (and you might get kicked out of places on a skateboard or bmx), and getting places on a bmx or skateboard is slow. 700c gives us the best of both worlds.

  • SlantyEyed

    I think ‘fixed gear freestyle’ will have its two different set-up variations, like BMX, for street and flatland.

    There will be those tarcksters that could spend all day session-ing at one flat spot doing keos, fakies, etc. Then, there will be those tarcksters that spend the day riding around, searching for gaps, drops, ledges, etc.

    It just depends on the type of riding you’re into. But I see fixed-gear frames and track frames splitting further and further apart (as it’s already happening with BMX companies entering into the market) and the market/companies constructing trick frames that cater to tricks; as opposed to a few years ago when it was the rider who was building a track frame for tricks.

  • ColumbusOhio

    right now i am riding a 2nd gen cutter, my last bike was a Raleigh conversion, i am continually amazed and try not to take for granted the difference the geometry on the cutter makes

    700cmx riding hasnt got a huge following in columbus, polo and the social aspects of cycling definitely prevail in the city which is fine,yet our little crew of 700cmx riders are continually following the blogs and changing our bikes in turn with wider tires, platform pedals and wider bars. but with a long commute i really dont want to get to far away from the fact that i am riding a track bike and the progression is a bit scary, like tom lamarche said in that charge video it was something like i started riding fixed because i needed a bike that i could commute on but i also wanted to dick around and have fun, do you think the trick track movement is going to jepoardize what i feel the core of my bike is, a commuter?

  • chris

    i think it’s interesting that lately i’ve been hearing people say things like, “i’d get a bruiser/ scissor etc, but i want a bike that can go fast.” regardless of adding features and tweaked geometries to facilitate tricks, these bikes were first and foremost meant to be ridden (this means beyond parking lots). certainly having some wonky ass 6 inch risers, or other extreme set ups might hinder this a little bit, but the bikes themselves will not. i ride my bruiser with 32c front and rear around 10 miles a day commuting as well and i love it. i can hit bumps, cobblestone, and take it off curbs and drops or whatever and not have to worry about it getting fucked up, it also doesn’t look like some fancy track bike, so i’m a lot less worried locking it up and having things being stolen. i think that you’re only as limited as you think you are, the bike isn’t fast, the rider is.

  • a.

    it is frustrating to me when i see track bikes and trick bikes becoming so different. being that i can only afford one bike, i find myself constantly looking for a bike that is the best of both worlds (steel track bike that can barspin a 700c but also wouldnt look ridiculous with track drops if i feel like throwing some on)

  • Scott

    I commute by bike year round, and I ride bmx. Every bike I have every ridden and owned I want to be able to launch a curb or if I see some sweet new bank I want to be able to ride it. I rode a SS mtn. bike for awhile but it was slow on the road. But it could also take a beating. I like the idea of a semi-beefed up fixed bike that I can do curb cuts and launch on.

    I think there’s a medium that can work, and its starting to unfold with the MKE, Subrosa, Volume and others.

  • Jon

    best of both worlds? flip flop fixed fixed hub.
    one ratio for tricks one ratio for riding. I don’t want to see 700cmx bikes turn in bikes only meant for tricks. The direction i want to go in with my riding is more about being able to conquer terrain than doing technical tricks. I also think that what tom lamarche said about offroad riding is really on point. I take my surly steamroller into the woods all the time with the same setup that I would ride on the street and it handles quite nicely. I just think we have to find ourselves the middle ground between bikes that make good transportation and bikes that facilate tricks.

  • Garrett

    The reason I ride fixed is because I can get places quick, but still have fun when I want. It’s versatile. BMX bikes are uncomfortable to ride long distances, and you sure as hell can’t do many tricks on a road bike (especially without something breaking). You can’t go fast on a bike with a zero degree head tube angle and 1:1 gear ratio. The setups a lot of trick riders have now seem to be a really good mix between all the different bike types. Medium gearing, beefy frames, comfortable geometry, and for the most part, normal bars. I like where the bikes are at now, and I really hope they don’t change too much.

  • gabrielamadeus

    Nice post, I’m curious as well. The evolution is far from over.


    we are moving way to far away from the origins of fixed gears. these guys are evolving it so more tricks can be done and easier. i cant trick for shit. but maybe they should try harder at doing these tricks. why do we need to advance and make it easier.

    Tony Hawk didnt pull the 900 in a few years. It took him ages.

    i think progression is due to the advancement of technology around us. 20GB ipod was huge is 2000 not in 2009 we got 120gb ones. we need to chill the fuk out and ride the real stuff not this im-bred shit. i am all for fixed gears, i love it that volume and fbm had a go at fixed gears. they still are the same sorta shape as traditional frames (yes, geo is relaxed a lil). Then MKE fed there track bike protein shakes and boom out came the bruiser. chillout folks. ride track bikes that feel/handle and look like and are track bikes. not beefed up genetically modified version. ride a real traack bike til it breaks. and if it breaks. get a new one.



    Towards BMX for some and towards the artsy styles for others. the evolution is compeltely dependant on the user. Its such a versitile medium for people to have self expression and still keep functionality.

  • Evan Bacon

    I’ve been using my track bike for offroad riding for a couple of years. I had a Surly Crosscheck that I built up with parts off my beat up 07 langster and Specialized CX tires. Then I got a steamroller and built it up with every kind of bars that exist. Now I’m riding risers with a mountain stem/bars and the white vittoria cx tires Burd has on his cream city. Am I going to try a MTB for or a trick specific fork? I don’t know. I imagine that they would work pretty good for off road brakeless riding. Maybe I’ll even build a disc wheel for the front. Maybe Paul will make standard reach racer brakes? All I know is that I’m going to keep riding fixed in new places where ever I find them. Maybe we will see more highland style grass track races popping up while people wait for new velodromes to be built. Or maybe cycle speedway races.

  • Allen

    Anybody know where I can pick up a 0 reach stem like that one?