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Artistic Cycling anyone?

Old 09-07-19, 02:36 PM
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bedtime
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Artistic Cycling anyone?

For those that don't know what artistic cycling is, here is a video:


About a month ago, I discovered the sport and was drawn to it. I like its grace, gymnastic-like moves (called figures), and ability to be done anywhere there is some flat ground. I also love the sleek and simplistic look of the bike.

Here is what a typical artistic cycling bike looks like. Note the extremely steep head tube angle, the 3 bolt reinforced seat post, the curved seat, the road cycle type handlebars, which are balanced, the 1/3 size pegs, and the tires that are very close to each other. This bike is the biggest example of twitchy I've ever seen:



As far as I know, only two companies in the world make them—one in is located in Germany, and I'm thinking the other is Germany or a neighboring country, as the sport is only really done in Europe (and a small part of Asia). The bikes typically run for about $2500 USD., which is well beyond my means.

I built the monstrosity below to be able to do some of the same tricks. The bike is a 2013 BMX Diamondback Grind 20". The brake is there only to avoid the $480 'no brakes' fine. I replaced the freewheel cog with a fixie cog and had it welded in place.




The 45 degree stem will be replaced with an adjustable stem riser that is able to go straight up (90 deg.), thus keeping the handlebars more vertically in line with the tire, as an artistic cycling bike should be. The new stem (which is currently being shipped to me) is below. It was extremely difficult to find one that fit my needs (90 deg., 25.4mm handlebars, ability to insert a curved bar...):



Anyone have an artistic cycling bike? Any ideas or suggestions?

Last edited by bedtime; 09-07-19 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Changed a word
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Old 09-17-19, 05:56 PM
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I have been intrigued with artistic cycling for quite a while. The key to become any good at it is to first become really, really really proficient on a unicycle first. Since I am a framebuilder, I could build a artistic cycling bike myself. A few problems that I see: A) how does the stem work??? Does not appear to be a quill stem, or an a-head stem. B. Regulation bikes are suppose to use a 1 to1 gear ratio. I don't know how to do that on a fixed gear bike. Maybe use an ATB crank, and use a 22t chainring, to a 22 tooth track/ fixed gear thread on cog?? I don't know if you have studied the geometry, but the bottom bracket/ crank height is really, really high (even with the wheel axles) I mean 13" plus, I would feel as though it would much safer to have the cranks lower. (<11").
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Old 09-17-19, 06:00 PM
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Oh, I read your post again. The reason that the artistic cyclists use a non offset stem, is that when they spin the handlebars, they are the same regardless to which way they are when they stop spinning, and need to grab them again.
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Old 09-21-19, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian25 View Post
I have been intrigued with artistic cycling for quite a while. The key to become any good at it is to first become really, really really proficient on a unicycle first.
Actually, I know where I can get a decent condition unicycle for $50 used, so that could be a start.

Since I am a framebuilder, I could build a artistic cycling bike myself. A few problems that I see: A) how does the stem work??? Does not appear to be a quill stem, or an a-head stem.
Yep, this has been an ongoing issue for me. The stem is an unthreaded stem.

B. Regulation bikes are suppose to use a 1 to1 gear ratio. I don't know how to do that on a fixed gear bike. Maybe use an ATB crank, and use a 22t chainring, to a 22 tooth track/ fixed gear thread on cog??
One thing to consider is that the tire size of the BMX is smaller, so the crank sprocket need not be so small to create that 1:1 ratio.

I don't know if you have studied the geometry, but the bottom bracket/ crank height is really, really high (even with the wheel axles) I mean 13" plus, I would feel as though it would much safer to have the cranks lower. (<11")
Good call. I had seen this, but really hadn't given it that much weight. I would definitely prefer to be lower to the ground if possible.

That aside, I won't be getting a true artistic cycling bike anytime soon, but I will be getting a bike that is as close to it as possible. Below is a bike that would cost me $200. It's not perfect, but it is as close as I've seen to matching such a bike.



Pros:

- close tires
- single speed fixie
- road tires
- head angle looks quite steep (though not as steep as a true artistic cycle); it's definitely not slack, at least
- peddles low to ground
- back tire close to saddle tube

Cons:

- unthreaded stem. As you mentioned, it will be more difficult to find a zero reach stem to use with this bike
- aluminum frame. Not sure how well it'll live up to crashes
- I'm quite sure that the tires are bottom of the barrel and will need to be replaced

Some other possibilities (all cost around $200 CDN.):

Damco:



Critical:

Has threaded stem at least, aside from that, it's a garbage bike.


This bike below was made in England (likely the best quality of the bunch?):


So, I'm looking for ideas as to which would be the best choice. I'm liking the look and frame of the orange bike the best so far.
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Old 09-27-19, 01:59 AM
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Getting a 1:1 gearing is pretty important as far as I know. Good luck!
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Old 10-03-19, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Destruktoren View Post
Getting a 1:1 gearing is pretty important as far as I know. Good luck!
I've got the bike, and it's at a 1:2 gearing. Good enough for many tricks but will need to be lower as you said. The bike has a vertical dropout, so it's not easy finding a chain link with the perfect tension.
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