Fixed Gear Freestyle’s Top 10 Photos of 2009 Dec 21, 2009

Photo by John Hargraft

Well, 2009 is almost over and in the past year, we’ve seen people grinding handrails on fixed gears, doing bunnyhop barspins, wallrides, 1080 triple taps and numerous other tricks that have shaped the sport of this so-called “fixed gear freestyle” movement. Here are my Top Fixed Gear Freestyle Photos of 2009, in no particular order and in as least-biased of a position as I can possibly present.

Above: Tom LaMarche’s record-setting fixed gear nose manual at the Brooklyn Banks lead to many close-calls and near misses. Eventually he landed a buttery-smooth manual, across the entire box at the Banks. Be on the watch for this video clip in Bootleg Sessions 4.

Photo by Andrew Gruhn

Jesse Hilliard and Mike Carney were the first two people to feeble a handrail on a fixed gear. They did so without pegs. Later, other riders added pegs to their bikes and experimented with more grinds.

Photo by Brandon Means

Gus “Big Boy” getting some over-vert in a Satanic pool. It ain’t easy being a big guy on a fixed gear but Gus sure makes it look easy!

Photo by Sexysushi

Marco, aka “a new hope“, brought Japan on the map with some epic wallrides this year. He, along with Toku and Nasty are the heaviest hitters in Japan.

Photo by Goooove08

Teppei, aka Nasty! blasted full-cabs down stairs, fakie hops and other insane tricks in the Hamabike 2009 edit. This dude will be going big for 2010!

Photo by Brandon Means

Brandon really captures Nick in perfect light here as he blasts a hip, hair all over the place.

Photo by Max Lewis

Taylor’s another West Coast heavy hitter. Here he is nailing a hop bar out of a pool in SoCal. Moves like this gained Taylor the nickname “Slaylor”.

Photo by Andrew Temkin

Ed Wonka quickly rose to the fixed scene in 2009. Here’s just one example of the intensity he brings to the sport. From working on a 700c trick frame with Gorilla to doubling as a stunt man in electro videos, Wonka’s been around the world and back. Here he is, hitting a vert to wall transfer at the Peel spot.

Photo by Jake Ricker

Tyler Johnson is one of those guys who just keeps getting better and better each month. Even though he used to say he “doesn’t ride 700cmx“, the Seattle rider has been killing it on a 700cmx lately. Rumors have been confirmed of him bunnyhop barspinning a 5 set and he has intentions of getting a 6 on film. If you caught Tyler’s section in the Revival, you’ve seen him master this trick!

Photo by Takuya Sakamoto

This day was pretty epic and Tak caught the right moment. Wonka clearing a trash can at the Brooklyn Banks.

Well, there ya have it. I hope I didn’t piss anyone off for not including them in the list. It’s nothing personal, I promise. Hopefully this post documented the year of Fixed Gear Freestyle in pictures to your approval!

If I left you off, or your favorite photo, feel free to post it in the comments. Don’t forget to add the “width=500” tag and the photographer’s credit!

  • Narcissism aside, here are two photos that friends took of me this year that I really like. I’m no where as talented as some of the people above, but I still want to give these two artists some credit for their work.

    Photo by Ed Glazar

    Photo by Rip Zinger

  • Honorable mention? Dude, I’m not taking your photo anymore.

  • Maple

    sweet photos! I’m surprised Tom Mosher wasn’t listed.

  • Yeah, nor was Super Ted, or Sam Miller or numerous other people. I couldn’t find photos of many people and it was more about the “photographs” than the riders. There were some kids in RVA killing wall rides (looking at Mike S.) but the photos were blurry.

    It was a hard list to come up with. I have some great pictures of Tom LaMarche too, but they’ve been posted so much, that I wanted to give other riders a spot. If you can find a good pic of Mosher, post it please!

  • wilis

    It’s funny you posted two of yourself :)

  • Wilis, those aren’t in the top 10, they’re posted in the comments, so they’re not technically in the post.


  • wilis


  • Tom Briggs

    I like the list Prolly! Good choices and nice to see some names that don’t get a ton of play. In regards to Mosher photos I have a few that would easily make the list that were shot by John but those are being held for a few things to do with The Revival.

  • Maple

    Maybe the list should be top 20 photos;) haha jk.

  • jkeley

    hell yeah!! gus rips and he’s a rad dude!!

  • Shit, or even top 100! The riding has intensified 10 fold this year. So stoked for everyone who’s pushing it.

  • jnd

    the over vert is just vert my friend.
    i’m waiting for someone to loop a capsule end at a dreamland park soon. i’m pretty sure it’ll happen .

  • ladyrachel

    the quality of images has stepped up just as the quality of riders has…it’s nice to see photographers highlighted too!

  • My favorite of the year is over here.

  • sexysushi

    thanks John
    I was at the Wbase other day
    and the whole thing about
    dissing and not dissing wbase
    arguments in the comment section
    was funny, we was laughing

  • chris b.

    Lenny… what can I say… fancy camera. You’d better get some good shots next month. :P

    I’ll see you in Jackson Hole, suckah.


  • Taylor

    Great curated list. I especially like how this same exact list got picked up and reposted verbatim on a number of other blogs when I looked through my RSS this morning – without any additional commentary. C’mon bloggers. Vimeo/Youtube embeds are one thing. But be original on other blog posts. If I may, a couple shout outs – Brenton Salo, Kazuhiro Sugiyama, Kyle Johnson, Tod Seelie, Annamarie Cabarloc, Sexysushi (don’t have his name check Flickr) et al for starters. Aforementioned photographers, they have bike/trick sets but not only about bikes, great sets from all of them this year. Happy holidays.

  • Ah hem.

  • Sorry buddy! Post up your favorite shit in the comments then.

  • hell yeah awesome shots! i’m really lovin the two shots of Gus and Wonka.

  • mike b

    i used to ride flatland bmx. unfortunately my specialty was front wheel tricks so i’m not all that impressive on a track bike (ride more road/traffic/distance now) but i’m suprised i don’t see more of (what we would have called) pedaling deathtrucks, basically a verticle wheelie stradling the frame sitting in front of the bars on the head tube. i think that ines brunn (sp?) can do them, but otherwise i don’t see much of that stuff.

  • SMSimon

    It would be so great to see a few girls getting gnarly and making it into the ‘top 10’ lists like this one. Unfortunately there aren’t many pics of chics doing impressive tricks, but I think 2010 is the perfect year to make that happen!