Saturday, July 25, 2009

WRAHW Interview: Tyler Johnson and his Yeti obsession

Photo by Jake Ricker

For all those out there who don’t know, what’s your name and how long have you been riding freestyle fixed?

Tyler Johnson and I got a track bike in Febuary of 08.


I remember seeing that first edit of you, on Tracko, riding in downtown Tacoma. I knew at that point that you were going to be one of the kids that would proceed to shred from then on out. Your style was super fluid, even in that edit. What are your thoughts on style (in terms of riding), and do you feel that your style outside of riding has to do with the way you move on your bike?

I think my style has a lot to do with my personality. I have skated a lot and was at one point pretty good at riding skateparks. I think that my "flow" comes from knowing how to use transition etc to speed you up. I try to just smoothly link tricks together.

I did race bmx at a young age, but never truly got into doing tricks and stuff. I started skating about the time I quit riding bikes. I think a lot of my comfort on a bike comes from racing. It's weird though because I am far better at riding a track bike doing tricks than I am at riding a bmx bike doing tricks. BMX is the shit though. I want to ride more of it.

You are still riding that Trek T1 from way back then, right? Others are breaking frames left and right while not doing tricks nearly as sick as you usually do. Some people say that you have the grace of a feather, haha, riding super hard but never breaking that aluminum frame. What are your thoughts on this?

Well the frame finally has cracked, but it lasted well over a year. I will embarrassingly admit that I have done a 5ft ledge drop on it and it was fine after. I am still riding it broken and its great. I think I just land a little softer than most people. Aluminum is not nearly as weak as people seem to think it is. I plan on always riding an aluminum frame and carbon fork, mainly because I love the look and geometry of new track bikes.

 I do need to get a new frame at some point though. I have been checking out the new Felt TK2. It is super awesome. Pista Concpets are always good, but I may just get another T1... they rule.

 On your myspace you have the statement, “I ride track bikes not 700CMX”. Do you think that the term 700CMX is odd? What would you name all of this, which we do, if you had the choice?

 No that is just my little joke. I am not into the look of 700cmx bikes at all. I think that it is great that companies are taking an interest into our riding etc, but for me I do not want to ride a mtn bike that is fixed.. I think by now I have proven the extra beefiness is not truly needed. I ride an aluminum frame and carbon fork and I love it.

As for the term 700cmx I think it is ingenious. I also like the term fixed freestyle. It fits and makes sense.

Do you think that this “sport” has a decent future?

 I personally just see this getting bigger and bigger. I am not sure if it will always be tricks, but I am just happy to see people out riding bikes. I love bikes in all forms: bmx, cyclocross, track, fixed, and road.

Your clips in the new Revival trailer are completely sick. I wasn’t that stoked on much else that was coming out at the time, until I saw that trailer. You are definitely bringing some newness to the scene. Have you been filming for your part recently, or are you pretty much finished?

Thanks. Wayne and I have filmed a ton of footage so far, but we are nowhere near being done. Both of us are taking this DVD seriously as a chance to kind of showcase what we can do. Him with film, me with my riding. Wayne is a great person and he has really helped me out through out this process, and it has been great getting to know him.

I believe he will be heading back down here to film the 31st of this month.

 How is it filming for a video part, in your eyes? Do you get super frustrated at times when you try things numerous times, or are you a more laid back dude?

 Filming with Wayne has been amazing. We both click really great, so for this project filming has not been a problem. He is always down to try different angles, and very welcoming of my suggestions.

A lot of the tricks I have been doing recently are newly thought of at the spot, so some times it does take a while to land something. When that happens, I more so feel bad for making Wayne sit there and film crashes. As long as he doesn't mind, I will keep trying. I also like that he is down to film all types of riding not just tricks. We have the craziest mashing line on footage of my chain dropping at 40mph which was pretty crazy. It's fun he just lets me run with ideas I have and if they work out it's great.

 I am pretty laid back, but we all get mad sometimes. I recently pulled a dick move and through my bike at Future Tense, and bent my steerer. Learned my lesson about doing that!


Photo by Adam 21eme Arrondissement?

 What are your interests outside of riding?

I am currently going to school full time for fashion design. So that is a huge part of my life. I play the drums and piano as well, but I am not in a band or anything. I mainly just focus on school and work.

Who are those in which you usually shred with?

 Honestly, I have rarely been riding my track bike. I typically will ride my cyclocross bike for commuting to work and back. Maybe once a week I may ride my Trek with Jake, Noah, or Chris Black. I mainly just ride it when I am filming for The Revival, although I am trying to get out on it more now that I finally have new parts and it's working good.

 Where has Justin Ave been?

Where is waldo?

 How is Seattle? Do you feel that the fixed gear community is really close, or sort of divided up in a way, only coming together when larger events (future tense et cetera) arrive?

 I think the scene is pretty good. As I mentioned before I don't get out to many events, however there is always something going on. People are super friendly around Seattle, so that helps with us hosting events.

Photo by Volare_ism

What other projects are you going to be involved with?

As many as possible. There are not to many other plans in the works right now, but if anyone is interested I am down.

When are you coming to NYC!?


Just kidding. Ummm I have no plans to head out there as of now, but I am sure one day I will end up there.

Do you have a favorite food?

I eat really greasy pizza and burgers. It's great food for riding long distance!

 I was talking to you recently about your overall setup. How is that working for you? Things seem to be coming together in your favor…

Yea finally getting some new parts on the bike. I am running 165 Profile race cranks with a 46 tooth Imperial chainring. I just got a new Alpina carbon track fork, which rules. I think I will finally be getting a new rear wheel later this month. Nothing special just another velocity to formula, but new is great!! I do still need to get a new saddle for riding though, the Kashimax doesn't cut it in the comfort department.

My setup has not changed much at all since I got the bike. Same wheels, stem, bars, frame, and grips. I have an obsession with YETI grips. They are made by ODI, and I used to run them when I raced BMX. They are the only grip I will run on my bike.

On that note, who are your current supporters, or sponsors?

Coal Headwear

Profile Racing


Sizemore Bicycles

Wayne Morehart and Redbull

Old Town Bicycle

I may have some big things in the works, but who knows....

Photo by Jake Ricker

 Would you like to thank anyone?

 I would like to thank Brad and Joe at Coal Headwear; they are great guys who make great products. Dustin from Cadence, he is always turning out amazing products. I just got the new doublestraps and they rule. Wayne Morehart and Taylor Sizemore for loaning me parts etc. They are always down to help me out anyway they can. Jake Ricker, Chris Black, and Noah Trescott for being the rad cats that I roll with. Christian @ Profile Racing for coming in with the hook up. Zach from Zloggyland. Anyone who has ridden with me or loaned me a tube. Adam Sinding for making me ride road and push my limits in a different aspect of cycling. Tony and Drew at Old Town for putting up with me. And my Mom for getting me parts for XMAS two years ago.

Thanks  a lot Tyler.


  1. Super sick interview
    Thanks for the photo cred buddy!

  2. Heyyy Ducati SportClassic 1000 Biposto...

  3. Its actually an S2r 800 dark. But with cafe bars...

  4. Blog looks good, keep it up. Thanks for the photo credit as well.

  5. That would have been obvious if I had looked at the frame and tank. Thanks for the correction!