Chris Akrigg Brakeless Nov 15, 2009

Chris Akrigg Brakeless Part 1 from Jordan Robison on Vimeo.

I saw this back when I posted the original edit of Chris Akrigg riding fixed. At the time, It wasn’t anything that blew me away. It is really impressive, but like most people will say “it’s done better on a BMX” and it’s true. Hell, that’s true for just about any bike you’d do tricks on but it doesn’t mean you can’t wheelie your road bike, ride your MTB in a park or even do tricks on a fixed gear and if you wanted to race the TDF on your BMX, go for it! Bikes are bikes. Who really cares? The post is continued below.

As I prepare to duck and cover from that last sentence, I’ll tell you why this video is relevant. First off; use of found objects. Chris makes banks, kickers, quarters and manual pads out of industrial waste in this warehouse space; the environment is fitting. Think about all those empty buildings in your city filled with scrap building materials. A lot of people are building ghetto kickers / wedges, banks and quarters in the fixed scene as of late. BMX riders have been doing this for ages. It’s fun to do and doesn’t cost anything. Akrigg puts all these to use in some innovative ways.

Another legit point is the fact that a well-seasoned trials rider is riding brakeless. Sure, some BMX riders ride brakeless and yes, BMX riders “go bigger” and “flow better” but again, see above. Bikes are bikes. Bear with me here. This video, posted 11 months ago, was easily the precursor to Chris’ experience riding fixed. You learn to use the bike to your favor. Skids, slides and weight distribution add to the control. Basically, a talented rider can transition between any wheel size and any drivetrain and perform well above par within days or weeks.

Now with a lot of people in Tokyo riding DJ bikes with 700c wheels and slammed saddles fixed, the debates have been stirred up again and it begs for more conversation. “Fixed style” is easily branching off into a lot of segments. Park riding, parking lot riding (techy flatland) and street riding (gaps, stairs, etc). Soon I think the bikes will evolve more to fit those preferred riding. Actually, they have already. Some people prefer smaller tires, some prefer bigger tires. Just one example. Does a slammed saddle keep you from riding the bike around? Probably not. Does it keep you from riding around comfortably? Again, debatable. One thing is for sure though, Kozo almost has flat tailwhips and he 360’d a pyramid with ease on his. Is it the bike or the rider? In my opinion, both.

For me, my Bruiser still gets me around the city fast. Is it as fast as my track bike or road bike? No. Not at all. But it’s a different thing all together. I personally enjoy riding around the city a lot and my bike is set up for that.

So what do you think about all this?

Keep it constructive and polite in the comments. If you act like an asshole, I won’t publish it, so don’t bother!

Thanks for sending the video to me Andrew!

One Gear No Idea

  • jeff

    Theres so much rage and I just dont get it. People need to step back and recognize that the rest of the population that isnt into bikes groups us all together and considers us a bunch of huge nerds.

  • Alex

    Can’t we just all get along?

  • Kevin

    This has been one of my favorite web videos of all time since I stumbled upon it after seeing Chris’ fixed video. I personally LOVE watching MTB and 26″ riding. It just seems to fit the rider better than a BMX bike.

    I love watching BMX too, but I just personally think that a bigger bike looks better and more proportional. Perhaps that’s a silly reason to like it, but whatever!

  • aface1

    I personally can’t wait for my murdered out Bruiser to show up. Bikes are for fun, exercise, and transpo. BMX kinda lack the transpo part, but excel in the fun part. Fixie nicely bridge the gap of all 3 for the urban rider. I rode my Redline 24″ in NYC for 2 yrs and I wish I had switched to Fixed earlier. My knee hurts either way :(.

  • j.mik

    hey prolly, i see how people can make the claim that “it’s the bike not the rider” and it’s such a silly claim.

    i know a dude who is a seasoned bmx racer who got into serious fixed gear riding only recently on his affinity lo pro. is he fast on a track bike? yeah of course- he’s one of the top dudes of norcal aba bmx. can he thrown down fixed freestyle tricks? give him ten minutes and he’ll figure it out. we put him on a dirt jump bike and he was throwing down 360’s off 2 stairs like nothing. did the bike affect him? probably not. is he just that good. f*ck yeah he is.

    not sure what i was getting at here- but i agree when you say that the fixed gear realm is becoming somewhat divided. i find it really interesting that different geographic areas have different looking setups. think about it, all the dudes in japan who are ripping run dirt jump looking bikes. alot of west coast heads run exotic looking wheels like hed 3s and iMD’s and stuff. the west is also home to the pursuit look (which is sorta fazing out because so many people are so interested in tricks over bombing hills…kinda sad for me).

    anyway, i like the way you think dude. akrigg is talented as f*ck. alot of people dont realize that brakeless freewheel riding is just nuts in itself (think, ted shred), but to do tricks brakeless is nuts. sure fixed gears are brakeless but we have means to slow down. braklessness in fixed gear culture is different than in bmx or trials culture. i think people need to ponder on that.


  • jayjay

    During a recent trip to Savannah, GA, we spent the weekend playing polo and using a section of an abandoned racetrack as our court. There were numerous motorcycle riders cruising by (some racing and some tricking) but the thing that got me was the fact that the majority of them honked and waved. Which really put into perspective the true idea of love for anything on two wheels. Two wheel love is two wheel love. Despite what some of us want to believe, we’re all in this together. We ride bikes and do what we do for the love of it (at least I hope that’s why we all ride).

    The evolution of fixed gears over the years is what has created the sport it is today. It’s all been trial and error, at some point, putting risers or mountain bike pedals on a fixed was viewed as ridiculous; now it’s a common sight. Slammed seats might work for a few, and might even catch on eventually, but keep in mind that this same experimental view of riding is the same view that has led to the creation of bikes like the Bruiser and the countless aftermarket parts.

    So if someone personally doesn’t like a particular riding style or set up, just try and remember that these changes and ideas are the same kind that help our sport to continue to evolve and stay fun and exciting.

  • http://n/a Wally

    What Jeff said. Bikes is bikes.

  • jurij

    Prolly I really like the fact, that you do not only blog whatever is relevant in the fixed gear scene, especially the freestyle variety, but at the same time you try to make sense of this new and young culture of bike riding. I appreciate that from time to time you try to strike debates about what people think about new stuff. you try to make sense of things and even though i’m pretty sure you do have your snobbish tendencies – as, let’s face it, all of us have – you keep it fairly open.

    Now as for slammed seats and dj bikes, as we see fixed fs has evolved a lot and keeps evolving from week to week. not only the stuff done on the bikes, but the bikes themselves. To be honest to me a big part of the whole attraction has been the bikes themselves, so I’m all about 700c wheels, horizontal top tubes and size 32 tires the biggest. But it doesn’t mean I’m hating on those Japanese kids or whoever puts a 26″ in front or keep kneeing their chins. if that’s what’s best for them than go for it. obviously they are not commuting on the same bike to work and than do trick on them once 5 o’clock strikes, but does it mean they are doing something wrong? i don’t think so.

    And let’s face it for most people bikes are bikes, just like bmxs are ‘kiddie bikes’ and rode bikes are ‘race bikes’ and would never even think about riding anything else than a MTB, even though they hardly ever get off the asphalt and think that who ever invented trekking bikes was a genius as they are good for everything. Although it might just be the case here in Budapest, Hungary, where there are like 3 fixed freestyle bikes in the whole city and about 100 people riding fixed…

  • Jihad This dude is Danny Macaskill a Londoner I think, the video is ok quality and the riding is like Trials and BMX. I post this cuz Akrigg is Trials dude. Starts slow and finishes super rad w/ him riding like 12-15 feet straight up a tree and Flairing off. Checkit.
    Fat Tires Save Lives.

  • scissorneck
  • Julian M.

    I rode my Raleigh mtb today…. and had a great time! then i switched to the tarck bike and still had fun! then got on my skateboard and had tons of fun! just get out on some wheels, be active!! who cares about what you ride, just be happy, and that’s enough!

  • i love bicycles

    I think that FGFS kind of defeats the purpose of Fixed gears which is speed, simplicity and the way they’re so easy to maintain. These people are trying to be bmxers on fixed gears as it is a new scene and it’s just stupid. The tricks on these bikes don’t look fluid or impressive and I dont see the big deal of doing a 180 over a bank when people are doing bunnyhop tailwhips and other crazy shit on BMXs. I like Keos and basic tricks on fixed gears but these people should have BMXs

  • stv schnbrn

    I like it when people use the wrong tool for the job and still get it done anyway. I was hoping to see some dude had done the tdf on a bmx after I clicked that link. Real innovation happens when people tell conventional wisdom to stuff it and follow their heart.

    That being said, bike are bikes and as long as you go big and fast, I approve wholeheartedly.

  • rand0m

    I’m not a trick rider. I ride a track bike with pursuit bullhorns and my seatpost maxed out. But I still enjoy doing simple tricks from time to time. I don’t understand why people hate on fixed gear riders that do tricks. Just because people mainly do them on a BMX (ideal for tricks) doesn’t mean it’s stupid to do them on any other bike. We all ride different types of bikes for different reasons. Limiting yourself and your creative expression on one just because it’s not the norm is quite idiotic.

    I don’t think anyone is trying to be a “bmxer on fixed gears”. Riding a fixed gear and doing tricks can have a totally different feeling/experience than doing the same thing on a bmx or any other bike. This is what I believe most people are attracted to. Sure it doesn’t look as impressive in comparison, but most of these people are not trying to be stuntmen. They simply like to ride a fixed gear and have fun doing tricks on them. It was just natural for the tricks to progress and advance. These people shouldn’t have bmx bikes. They should ride what they enjoy the most.