A few months ago, I pondered riding an FGFS bike again. Then, after a month or so, I got one, sort of. I bought a Radio Ceptor, which is seemingly a Bombtrack Zion that has been repurposed and turned into a 26″ wheeled BMX cruiser. Its 120mm spacing at the rear makes the idea that it is a fixed gear freestyle frame seem legitimate, especially as it looks like the Zion and is released through Bombtrack’s sister company.
The FGFS bike
The Radio, as I said, looks like a Bombtrack Zion.
The most glaring difference is the brake mounts, which are not on the Zion but welded on the Ceptor. They do look similar, despite this. I decided to find a geometry table to compare both bikes. This subsequently led me to the Bombtrack Dash, which according to Amazon, is a Zion, and who am I to argue with Jeff Bezos? After all, he is an FGFS legend.
Firstly, we can see that the head tube angle, seat tube angle and bottom bracket are identical. The top tube has a difference of either 1mm or 0.5″, which shows the lovely tolerances of the bike trade. The chainstays are 393mm on the Dash, which is 15.5″, and 15.7″ on the Ceptor, which could be a difference on where the axle position in the dropout is measured. Is it the front, centre, or rear? All are an answer for different brands. Both bikes also list a standover, but the Dash/Zion is from the floor, and the Ceptor is from the bottom bracket, confusing things. The Ceptor is in the Zion ballpark, and be happy with that.
The Radio Ceptor as an FGFS bike
I like the Ceptor and have started making changes to make it the FGFS bike I would love. I could always have left it as a cruiser and not made the bike fixed gear. The tracklocross rider in me, though, wanted another fixed gear bike. As a cruiser, I found the Ceptor was a bit uninspired to ride, but it came to life when I made it fixed gear.
So, I’ve changed a few things on the Ceptor. The stock pedals and saddle have gone. I’ve added a camo Federal saddle and green BSD pedals, on which I popped some Gusset straps on there to give me some foot retention. Most importantly, I changed the rear wheel. It is now a Halo FixG hub laced to a Halo T2 rim. I went with a FixG hub, allowing me to run a 12-tooth cog. There were a few issues getting a micro driver hub; this was a workaround I felt could work. Finally, I fitted a 30t Tall Order sprocket to make the gearing work. Thankfully, it cleared the frame and left me with a good chainline. I am also not planning on pegs, so no worries about sprocket size there.
After changing those parts, I took it for a spin. I felt slightly like a passenger and tried a smaller rise bar. A change to the set of Fairdale MX-4 bars and BSD Denim Cox grips. The difference was great, and I felt the bike was ready. Well, that is to say, until I fit spline drive cranks.
I’ve now been taking it to my local pump track as I try and figure out jumping an FGFS bike.
Then behaved like a child.
Honestly, it is way too much fun.
What is FGFS?
Like tracklocross, where we grab a track bike and ride it in inappropriate places, FGFS is where we take a track bike and do inappropriate tricks with it. You do, though, get proper FGFS bikes, many of which look like a BMX with 26″ wheels. Early FGFS riding was all done on 700cc wheels. Early makes it sound like aeons ago, but we are talking 2006/07ish.
At that time, there was one person who reigned supreme, Keo Curry; possibly, he was named after the Look pedals.
That was the beginning, and we have ended up here.
If you want to know more, you should really go read the Suck My Cog blog; it rules.
I probably haven’t answered my own question of what FGFS is clearly, but hopefully, the videos will have filled you in. Perhaps I can leave you with one more response; basically, it is like a large BMX with a fixed gear rear hub.
Come see me at the Bellshill Wheeled Sports Area on a Thursday evening and join in the sesh.