(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

Name: Kevin Thomas Porter
Age: 28
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 170 lbs.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Sponsors: Flybikes, Duffs shoes, Empire, Intelligentsia coffee, Vinylbmx.com, shakespearesaustin.com

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Photos: Jeff Zielinski

Frame: 20.6 Flybikes Tierra V3
Fork: Flybikes Agua
Bars: Tierra
Stem: Flybikes Alta
Grips: Fino gum
Barends: Flybikes push-in gum
Headset: Flybikes
Clamp: integrated
Seatpost: Flybikes
Seat: Flybikes Fino
Cranks: Flybikes 175mm
Sprocket: Flybikes Circulo 29-tooth
Chain: KMC mid
Front Tire: Flybikes Ruben Capillera foldable 2.25″
Front Wheel: Flybikes rim with Flybikes hub
Rear Tire: Flybikes Ruben Ligera foldable 1.90″
Rear Wheel: Flybikes rim with a customized Profile hub
Pedals: Flybikes Ruben graphite
Chain Tensioner: integrated

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360 table.


You seam to really enjoy working on your bike, is that true?
I do. Working on it is just as important to me as riding it. When I start building a new bike I spend all day building it—I take my sweet time.

I have to admit, you’re one of the last riders I’d imagine going brakeless, what was the deciding factor? How do you like it?
I rode without brakes years ago, for almost five years as well. Riding without brakes in the mid-90s was pretty shitty because places like scrap didn’t allow you to ride there without them. Then I spent a great deal of time with brakes. After the trend settled in recently with half of BMX world riding brakeless, I started thinking about it again. Trends come and go but sometimes when there is a great deal of people doing it, it gets your clock ticking. When I took them off I realized that brakes were holding me back. I do still have them for huge trails, not so much to regulate my speed more so that I don’t go barreling into a tree in the woods. It sounds crazy, but I think riding brakeless after time gives you more control. I love it!

Do you think just because you live in Chicago you need to live up to it—why did you move your bars so forward?
First of all, I designed the Tierra to have a lower stack height to give me more space up top. Then I rode a 21″ Tierra and it gave me more space, but the wheelbase was too far. In the end, I went back to a 20.6″ and moved the bars forward. Now it feels amazing—even though I get sh-t for it. Plus racers and vert riders have been doing it for years-mostly because there is more control and leverage when pedaling. It is a Chicago original style—it just looks silly that’s all, but it feels much different then it looks.

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360 turndown.

Do you have only one grip flange on purpose?
That’s because I never let go of the bars when I do barspins. [Laughs] I’ve done so many barspins lately it ripped the flange off on one side. Now I just think it’s funny!

What is custom about your Profile hub?
I was bored so I took my Profile hub to a lathe machine and took off some of the material. I have been riding Profile stuff so long that I just wanted to try something different out. Turns out that Profile ended up putting out a hub that looks just like it. [Laughs]

How was it having a bunch of the Fly team staying at your house?
It was a dream of mine to have the team here, I had so much fun. Of course it was stressful and annoying at times. But all trips are like that. I enjoy the pressure, I think. It’s hard work trying to keep everyone happy, but I think that is what my life is all about.

How is filming for the next Fly DVD coming along, anyway?
It was pretty slow for me up until this trip. I feel like I got a really good base so far for my part. Lee Tuner, the filmer, is coming back to Chicago in two weeks. I should be able to get my part completed by the time he leaves.

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(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

Name: Dylan Smith
Age: 22
Height: 5′ 6″
Weight: 150 lbs.
Location: Austin, Texas
Sponsors: Fly bikes, Empire BMX, Vclub, and Vans

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Photos: Jeff Zielinski

Frame: Fly Luna 20.4″
Fork: Fly Agua 2011 prototype
Bars: Fly Luna
Stem: Fly Alta top load
Grips: Fly Fino
Barends: Fly aluminum bolt on
Headset: Fly
Clamp: Fly
Seatpost: Fly Uno
Seat: Fly Uno
Cranks: Fly 175mm
Sprocket: Fly Circulo 28-tooth
Chain: KMC 510h (the gold box!)
Front Tire: Fly Ruben dirt 2.15″
Front Wheel: Fly hub with Fly rim
Rear Tire: Ruben street 2.0″
Rear Wheel: Profile LHD cassette 9-tooth driver with Fly rim
Pedals: Fly Ruben plastic
Chain Tensioner: none
Pegs: Kink Lite

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After spraining his wrist on the first day, Dylan was on the injured list for the whole trip. But he still powered through this wallride to turndown into the street with wrist taped and teeth clenched on the last day just so he could get at least one photo.

Photos: Jeff Zielinski

Your signature frame from Flybikes is called the Luna. What’s the story behind that name?
Well, I submitted a few different names for the frame to David, and he wasn’t really feeling any of them. He had this one in mind to form some kind of theme with the Fly frames, and it sounded good to me, so it stuck.

How long has the Luna been available?
It’s in the second version now, but it’s been available a little over two years now.

From my understanding you were the first person to come up with the idea of the removable mounts (a.k.a. Dylan mounts). Can you explain how you came up with this idea?
Well I think companies outside of BMX may have been using the idea, but I don’t think anyone in the BMX industry had put it on a frame before. It was right when I started riding brakeless, and I hated the idea of grinding off the mounts. I thought it looked ugly, and also there was no going back if you decided you wanted your brakes back on again. I sketched out a few ideas that would look good when the brakes were off and that work well when being used. Finally, we took the threaded screw system, and David called them Dylan mounts.

Your brother Ryan is a professional rider, as well, do you think that is because you push each other?
Yeah definitely! Whenever I first started getting recognition and getting sponsors, my brother of course wanted the same thing. Riding together all the time also made us more motivated to go faster, or go a little higher.

Austin, Texas, is a huge BMX city with countless talent. Do you feel like living in Austin you have to be on top of your game?
Well you don’t really have to, but living in Austin makes you want to ride better for sure. When you show up to a spot, and you’re dropping in with guys like Chase [Hawk], Aaron [Ross], Joe [Rich], or any of the other badass locals, it definitely has an effect on your riding.

Speaking of Austin, you just graduated from UT, so what’s next, a full-time job or some serious BMXin’?
Right now some serious BMXin’! It’s been on the back burner for a little bit, since I’ve been sucked into finishing school. Now I’m hoping to travel and ride a lot more before I have to get a real job. I’ve already gone on twice the amount of riding trips I usually do, and it’s only halfway through the year—I think it’s going pretty well so far!

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(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)


Name: Kevin Kalkoff
Age: 23
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 165 lbs.
Location: Annecy, France
Sponsors: Flybikes, Vans, Eastpak, Sunex, and Marie Jade.

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Frame: Flybikes Lago 21″
Fork: Flybikes Agua
Bars: Flybikes Lago 8.5″
Stem: Flybikes Potencia
Grips: Flybikes Ruben 175mm
Barends: Flybikes
Headset: Flybikes
Clamp: integrated
Seatpost: Flybikes
Seat: Flybikes Fino
Cranks: Flybikes 175mm
Sprocket: Fly Circulo 29-tooth
Chain: KMC
Front Tire: Fly Ruben 2.25″
Front Wheel: Fly hub with Fly rim
Rear Tire: Fly Ruben 2.15″
Rear Wheel: Profile hub with Fly rim
Pedals: Ruben plastic
Chain Tensioner: removable (they come with the frame)
Pegs: Flybikes Cromo

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No-hander personified.

How long have you been a part of the Flybikes team?
I’ve been a part of the Flybikes team for six years.

Your signature frame from Flybikes is called the Lago, what does that mean?
I wanted to find something in common from where I come from and I live by a lake where I go often during the summer. It’s always a good time. And it’s famous here in Europe. So I remember myself looking for the translation of “lake” and it’s “lago”— that word sounds good to me, I like it. [Laughs]

How long did it take you to design your signature frame? Was it a lot of work?
I don’t remember exactly how long it took. I told David [Quesada] what specs I wanted and all the different shapes and then he made a drawing. Then I got the first prototype where I changed some stuff… I think it took like six month or so to have the frame ready.

You’ve been brakeless a long time, I overheard you say that you would like to put brakes back on, what’s the reasoning for that?
I’ve always been riding with brakes since I started. It feel really good brakeless in a bowl, just going fast is fun. But I’m looking to ride more trails in the future and this is one of the reasons. So not yet, but I know I will put them back on one day.

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Kevin makes good use of a sweet set-up while hoping over from a double peg.

I feel like your teammate Stefan Lantschner drives you crazy sometimes, is that true? If so, why?
[Laughs] I wouldn’t say that he drives me crazy, but this is true that sometimes-he is hard to deal with! He likes to do his own thing in his own way. Which is good because he does what he wants. He also likes to say what he thinks. [Laughs] But of course sometimes we don’t agree with each other-I lived five months with him this winter, so I wouldn’t have said that if not. But Stefan is my friend and everything is cool!

While on your recent tip to Chicago you got stuck in Canada and had to sleep in the airport, what happened?
I landed in Toronto and I have gone through the Canadian customs without any problems twice before and when I was at the U.S. customs, they wouldn’t let me go in because they thought it wasn’t me on my passport picture. This was my seventh time in the States in the last three years and I never had problems, but what could I say? When you know that the guy in the front of you has the power and can pretty much do what he wants, so they told me to go to a room with only Pakistani and Indian people where they asked more questions. After an hour they called me and asked me for my French I.D. (which I left at home because it never works in the U.S.). I had to prove to them who I was and I still can’t believe that five different cops looked at my passport and said that the photos wasn’t me and that I even had an earring (I never had one in my all life). Finally I told them to go on the Fly Web site where they could find my name that matched with a picture, then they let me go, but I had already miss my flight. They told me that I wouldn’t have any problems to change my ticket, but when I was at the desk, they said that I had to go back to the Canadian parts to change the flight, but the U.S. customs wouldn’t let me go back, so I had to go with somebody. I eventually changed it and had a sh-tty night in the airport. The day after I was ready to board like three hours before the departures. And at the boarding they announced that the plane got a flat, so we waited one hour. Then we finally boarded and then again announced that the back door was maybe not working right—at that point I didn’t give a f-ck anymore, but I made it safely to Chicago where I spent a handsome time.

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Caution: Kevin's style is contagious.

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(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)

Name: Stefan Lantschner
Age: 25
Height: 5′ 7″
Weight: 159 lbs.
Location: Bolzano, Italy
Sponsors: Flybikes, Nike 6.0, Carhartt, Eastpak, Frontocean distro, Fakieshop

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Photos: Jeff Zielinski

Frame: Flybikes Montaña
Fork: Fly Aqua
Bars: Fly Montaña
Stem: Fly Potencia
Grips: Fly Ruben short
Barends: Fly plastic
Headset: Fly headset high
Clamp: Fly seatclamp
Seatpost: Fly
Seat: Fly Fino
Cranks: Fly 180mm
Sprocket: Fly Circulo 30-tooth
Chain: KMC
Front Tire: Flybikes Ruben original 2.25″
Front Wheel: Fly rim with Fly hub
Rear Tire: Flybikes Ruben original 2.15″
Rear Wheel: Fly rim with Flybikes prototype 10-tooth cassette
Pedals: Flybikes Ruben plastic
Chain Tensioner: integrated

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It seems that you analyze a BMX bike quit a bit, why do you think you do that? Was it something from growing up?
My bike is very important to me, it’s a part of me and that’s why I take care of it a lot. I hate if something is loose or makes noise, I can’t ride hearing my chain hitting on my frame or with my headset creaking—it just drives my crazy.

Your bike comes brakeless, do you do that because you’re a diehard no braker?
No, I just thought it looks cleaner that way and it’s also cheaper to produce so we thought we would go for it. I will have brake mounts on my next frame, though.

Tell us more about that new Fly cassette hub. Don’t you get a lot of kids asking you about it?
Yes, many kids do ask me about the hub. We just had problems with the production in Taiwan; the system is a little complicated. I hope it’s gonna work soon because I could not imagine to ride another hub anymore.

So what did you think of Chicago, and how was the trip?
The Chicago trip was fun; I was a bit worried when we rode all around the first few days and I didn’t find the right spots, but at the end it turned out good. I really liked the city, as well, with the river and the lake.

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(*Click through the pages of the article to see the other bike checks: Page 1 – Kevin Porter, Page 2 – Dylan Smith, Page 3 – Kevin Kalkoff, Page 4 – Stefan Lantchner)