Trick Tutorials

How to keo spin on a fixed gear bike

Keospin consists in entering a spin on your backwheel while you’re riding fakie (backwards). Technically, if you start it with one hand, that’s a keo spin, otherwise it’s just a keo.

At first, you should know how to ride fakie. I say “should” because some of you may frown: at least, you have to be able to do a full crank turn backward from a trackstand. It’s a good point not to skip steps, but you can definitely give it a try even if your fakie is not clear yet.

To proceed, you have to determine your dominant foot: it’s the foot that you’d prefer to start pedaling with, or kick a ball, or skid with… it can be harder to determine for some people, so don’t hesitate to try it one side and the other.

On this picture, you can see that Maceo is blocking his crankset with the left foot forward, which is his dominant foot.

Above, left foot forward, so spinning right, with (or without) right arm thrown away.
Conversely if your dominant foot is right.

See how @brokevirgo throws his hand to get those insane keo spins. If you zoom in the pixel marmalade, you can see that he’s looking in the direction he is spinning in.

Meanwhile, the feet position shows us that the picture was not taken at the beginning of the spin: considering he is spinning right, he should have his left foot forward to initiate the spin.
Conversely, if your dominant foot is right, you’ll spin left.

Photo Credits: Matt Reyes

Working on the backward to forward transition

Indeed, learning the spin first starts by doing a 180° on your backwheel:

  1. While riding fakie, when the dominant foot raises before the pedals are horizontal, try to block the pedal by pushing on it
  2. At the same time, give your head and shoulders half a turn to go forward.
  3. You can throw your arm in the direction your spinning at the same time, and bring your handlebar to that hand to do half the turn
    – right foot dominant → left hand
    – left foot dominant → right hand

As for all tricks, not only in fixed gear, you have to look in the direction your going/spinning in!

At first, it should NOT work :). If your weight stays front (and won’t if your fakie is good), you would have not enough force to pick the bike up. Don’t hesitate to pull out your straps so that you feel more confident and can put more weight on the back.

Keep in mind that all the energy required for the spin comes from your fakie, and what you have to do is just to canalize it into the keo spin.
This means that you have to transform that translation (fakie) into a rotation (keo spin).

Sum up

Integrating such a trick at first is not easy, but still it seems harder that it really is: keo spin feels like pinching the rear wheel with all your body weight on the seat while leading the bike to turn by twisting your body. If you like this approach of considering this trick, give it a try, you could probably make it!