• Ok so since a lot of people know about the bike I used to ride, and the kind of riding I do, I regularly get a lot of PM's about advice on building a really strong fixed gear freestyle bike (or fixed trick bike etc etc), so I thought I would post a sticky to help people make their minds up when it comes to what parts, frames, wheels and so on are up to the job.

    Essentially what you are building when you put together one of these bikes is a big bmx, so it makes sense to use a lot of bmx parts (as many as possible IMO) when choosing your part selection, as most are tried tested and able to stand up to the kind of abuse you are planning to put your bike through.


    4130 Steel is the best material to go for here, any kind of aluminium alloy really should be a no no for street riding, as often when these alloys fail, they will do so catastrophically which usually ends pretty badly for the rider involved, especially if you just landed at speed off of a decent size stair set....
    I personally like anything with a 3 inch rise and a nice medium backsweep, as the decent rise allows for a nice little bit of flex off of heavy drops making harsh landings that little bit easier on the wrists, and the backsweep makes for a more comfortable riding position.
    Handlebar width is a very personal thing, however if you are planning on throwing the bike around in the air, and leaving the ground regularly, then wider bars offer the benefit of giving you much more leverage over the bike, making all of these things a lot easier, they also give you a more stable base to land on off of big drops etc, my recommendation, try them really wide at first, and you can always cut them down bit by bit to what you find suits you best, but give yourself at least 1-2 weeks riding on each chosen width as it can take you a while to adjust to the new feel of the bike, especially if you have been rocking hipster width bars for a while, the only downside I ever found to wider bars was that you can't go through super narrow gaps in traffic...but we're building a bike for tricks here not for commuting, although after a couple of weeks of adjusting I had no issues commuting and bombing through traffic on my ol mega wide bars.

    My favourite Handlebars: Gusset Open Prison in 3 inch rise, light and strong.


    Stems are a much more simpler affair than handlebars, the easiest thing to do is get bars that are 22.2mm diameter, then pick your favourite bmx stem!
    You can't go wrong with most, go for something beefy though not one intended for racing, anything meant for street/park etc will be more than tough enough for what we are going to use it for.

    My favourite stems: Profile HIP, and Odyssey Elementary...since they are both light and have rounded backs, which means they don't hurt too bad, when you inevitably whack your knee on it!


    Again...pretty straight forward, more and more frames seem to be going the integrated route these days, any generic FSA or bmx brand will do the job here, they are all around the £20 price point, all pretty much just as strong as each other.
    Non-integrated anything strong and intended for street bmx/mtb use ECHO or Chris King get good reviews.

    My favourite headsets: FSA orbit integrated headset for mtb/bmx use, and Chris King Steel No threadset for non-integrated frames


    There seem to be more and more forks emerging at the moment to cope with the rising popularity of fixed-gear freestyle, where possible I would recommend getting a fork which has been designed to match whatever frame you end up purchasing, however if there is no matching fork existing for your chosen frame, or you are looking for a good aftermarket fork, I highly recommend the following:

    Identiti rebate park 425mm A2C (will require adapters for standard axle though)
    NS RNS 2 forks 420mm A2C
    Brooklyn Cluster fork 410mm A2C
    Charge Scissor fork 415mm? unable to find info.
    Milwaukee Bruiser forks 400mm A2C (these also have the ability to take a u-brake with through the steerer cable routing allowing you to still be able to barspin)


    Where to start with this one......

    Volume cutter Great frame beefy construction however will not clear anything over a 32C unless you sit the axle right at the ends of the dropout, not good!

    Volume Thrasher...as yet unreleased beefed up freestyle frame, looks like a burlier cutter with much improved tyre clearance, teaser shots indicate a 45-47C tyre up back will be no problem, Mid BB as standard, apparently the latest cutters are able to clear 35-38C tyres now.

    Charge Scissor, All new trick frame from charge (and fork to match available seperately), this has undergone extensive R & D by some of the burliest riders out there, namely SuperTed and Tom La Marche, great geometry, plenty of barspin clearance, and can take a 47C tyre up back without breaking a sweat.

    Brooklyn Bikes Launch Pad, Beefed up Gangsta track with slightly revised geometry, expect it to ride a lot like the gangster with a tighter front end for nose tricks and super low A2C on the forks, barspin clearance does not look great on this bike however geometry suggests it will be very flickable and be very agile on the front wheel for nose pivot/manual style tricks, this and the ESB are the two best fixed freestyle frame/fork set-ups you can get out there at the moment IMO.

    14 bike co ESB
    Full Fillet Brazed construction, CNC machined EN24T bb shell, CNC machined EN24T Integrated headtube, Laser cut SuperTed designed dropouts.
    Forks are made from Reynolds 853 tubing, frame is made from 631 tubing (with 853 as an option available at extra cost.
    EN24T is a super tough aerospace grade Steel alloy, up there with the likes of T45 steel etc.
    Clears a 42C tyre at the rear with.
    Ridiculously tough, you wanna see the stuff that Oscar/Ted etc are putting this bike through.....
    Mid or Euro BB option, integrated headset, 2-3 frame sizes, I can't remember what the final decision was on that.
    Handmade by Mr SuperTed himself, a lot of prototyping R&D and testing to destruction went into the design of this frame, the geometry is awesome, feels like a big boys bmx, super snappy back end, and plenty of barspin clearance with huge tyres up front, I think i'll be getting mine Jan/Feb.
    In case you couldn't guess, i'm a big fan I think they rock :)

    Milwaukee Bruiser
    A lot of good things being said about this frame fork set, beefy as hell and lots of cool options which mean it would run great as well as a single-speed, you can fit a gyro, U-brakes, I really like this as well, but....availability in the UK is difficult, has to be shipped, and not quite as compact as the ESB or Brooklyn so may be slightly less responsive, however this frame is very versatile which means it has a lot more applications in addition to being a good choice for fixed freestyle, still a very good option, but for an out and out trick machine would fall into 3rd place behind my two favourites at the moment.


    BMX or traditional track cranks?

    If you're more of a go big or go home kinda guy, or you want something pretty much unbreakable, then you shouldn't be looking for anything less than some burly bmx cranks, profile are tried and tested, Odyssey wombolts get a lot of respect as well, and I don't think you could go wrong with profiles and a ti BB axle, they should last you a longgggg time.
    If you absolutely must have track cranks, then I think SRAM omniums would be your best bet, they look to be the only set of track cranks that can stand up to long-term abused on a fixed-freestyle bike, anything less than this and expect a 2-3 month lifespan before they go to shit, most track cranks don't tolerate landings off of 6 sets or wallrides for too long!


    This is where things get a little tough when running bmx cranks on fixed, if you go with the standard crankarm bolt, you need to get a different one with a hex-head, create your own shim, get busy loctiting it all in place, and even then the shim will probably fall apart after a few months and you'll have to remove the crank-arm and do the whole lot again, a real pain in the arse!
    The best route these days seems to be to go with a splined interface between the chainring and BB axle, or a spider which mounts onto the BB axle via a similar/identical interface, Volume/Demolition parts offer a splined spider, as do profile along with a selection of chainrings in sweet colours!
    If either of these ideas don't appeal and you would prefer a more simplistic design, then the tree bike company bmx sprocket is the way to go, its a one piece design typical of normal bmx chain rings and has the splined interface integrated into the design therefore making it a one piece design, as opposed to the two piece design of the Volume/Profile offerings.... However due to their popularity availability with these chainrings is scarce to say the least, Tree seem to be struggling to keep up with demand currently, although they say this is due to change soon!

    Pedals/Foot retention

    Pedal choice is mostly reflected by what type of foot retention you are using/prefer, I have found from past experience that anything less than a really good bmx/mtb pedal seems to be far too weak to stand up to regular abuse,
    Odyssey PC pedals fit double straps and heavy duty plastic clips with ease, these are not as durable as a metal pedal and horizontal strap set-up though, which is my preferred choice after trying all the alternatives, and deciding that I hate power-straps with a passion!
    The following Pedals all take Horizontal straps with little or no modification whatsoever:
    DMR V12 pedals
    Atilla Wah wah pedals
    Fly bikes ruben pedals
    Macneil F A C E pedals
    Primo super tenderizer pedals
    Salt rookie pedals (cheap and cheerful option)
    Profile Gas pedals
    I'm sure plenty of others can take Horizontal straps to, however these are pedals that I recommend and know are awesome.
    Horizontal foot retention:
    Hold Fast straps or JOL straps, NUFF SAID!
    Everyone else just imitated these guys, if you want something more like a power-grip then maybe look at Archies grobags new straps that are coming out, I wouldn't trust anything else out there other than these 3 strap brands because I know the quality of all them is superb.

    For seatposts its best to look to the tried and tested bmx brands, they're cheap, they're tough, and they get the job done, Macneil Pivotals...Demolition Johnson post, are all excellent, however if you need a lenghthier post that is strong and still pretty sexy, then you can't go wrong with a Thompson.
    Seats....standard track bike seats do not seem to last long, for me the toughest seat I owned that was still comfortable over any kind of distance was a charge spoon, if you are not planning on doing anything more than 5 miles then a bmx seat will be fine, however if your trick bike is your only bike and you need to be able to do 10/15 miles plus in comfort then a tough mtb seat may be a good idea, as this is a good compromise between comfort and durability, something along the lines of a Dual slalow or dirt jump mtb seat.

    A real Hot topic in Fixed Gear Freestyle, an area where a lot of development has taken place, with trick/polo specific hubs and rims, there are a lot of choices too:
    Wide tyres, wide rims?
    Deep Section or Touring rims...or even one of the newer breed of trick specific wheels?
    The first thing you have to ask yourself is what kind of riding are you doing, do you just want to pop the occasional wheelie, rolling barspin, keo's etc etc, if so then deep V's and a set of 28C tyres will more than cut the mustard and still give you a speedy durable ride to bomb around town on.
    However.....if you want to start dropping stairs, hitting wallrides, busting 180's etc, then you want to look at something a lot tougher, built to take a lot more punishment, you want to generally avoid deep section rims like the B43 and standard deep V's etc as they don't allow larger tyres to spread out and seat well enough in comparison to a rim designed to accomadate wider tyres, and generally speaking, the taller the rim the worse it is at coping with lateral stress such as wallrides and 180's etc, this is also why you should go with 48H wherever possible.

    Rigida Sputniks
    Velocity Chukka
    Halo Aerowarrior
    Charge Dish

    I'm sure there are other rims out there, but these are the only rims I know of that are being ridden regularly by other freestyle riders and holding up to the abuse, plus they are all capable of running 32C+ tyres with no issues

    Hubs, there are not many fixed-gear specific hubs that are durable enough for trick use, these are what I would go with/have had personal experience of:

    Halo Track hubs, cheap/cheerful, but very strong, I think Oscar is still on his original set and that kid rips it up.
    Goldtec Track hubs, awesomeness, tough and can fit the super-tough profile lockring on which is probably one of if not the best lock-ring out there, also available in 48H through Shop14
    Phil Woods, the classics, never intended for trick use, but more than capable, excellent build quality also available in 48H, however I don't personally know anyone that has used and abused these that heavily.
    Profile Fixed hubs, very tough! based on a bmx design, that problems with some people who go really big snapping axles at the rear, however this has been rectified and they have now come out with a much stronger toughened steel axle that all the hubs will now come with as standard, and has been made available as an upgrade to previous hub designs.
    Shop14 FGFS hubset, Coming soon....! I've had a little preview of these hubs, and they are going to be THE hubs to have along with Profiles if you're of the "go big or go home persuasion", great materials, great design, but then again SuperTed himself was involved, so what do you expect eh ;)
    Will be available in 36 or 48H drillings IIRC.

    Tyre choice is simple, for every day bashing around anything up to a 28C will be fine, however for the "go big or go home" people, you want to be going with 32+c tyres for maximum cushioning on those harsh impacts, bigger tyres will also help preserve your wheels and your wrists!
    You can't go wrong with most touring tyres, Randonneurs are great because they are super-tough, Marathon plus's also work well, and Hutchinson Urban Tours are getting rave reviews (as used by Wonka!), there is a lot of choice.
    My advice go for the toughest sidewalls you can find, don't worry if it has a little bit of off-road/semi off-road tread, as that'll soon wear down around town.
    I used to run 38C up front and 35C up back, and I started off on 32c front and rear, bigger is better when it comes to tyres, i'll be rolling on 47c front and 42/45 rear on my next ride.

    I think i've covered pretty much all the bases now, if anyone has anything they feel is important to add though, feel free to chime in :)


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