Tyler Gilliard is one of the top amateur flatland riders in the U.S….Actually, if you go by the 2010 Am Flatland Circuit year-end standings, he is THE top amateur rider in the country. One of our contributors, Brett Rohlfing met up with Tyler near his hometown in Florida to see what he’s riding these days. -Fat
Name: Tyler Gilliard
Height: 5′ 11″
Weight: 180 lbs
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Sponsors: Sequence Fabrication, Oblivion Bike Co., Red Trail Racing, Bent's Schwinn Cyclery, and my parents.
Frame: 19″ Mankind Alive
Fork: KHE Tanaka
Bars: Sequence 226
Grips: Odyssey Thumbtack with Grip Gloves
Barends: Sequence Titanamighty
Headset: FSA Integrated
Seatpost: Thomson Elite
Seat: Odyssey 99er
Cranks: 2006 KHE Hindenburg with ti spindle.
Sprocket: Odyssey Vermont, 23t
Chain: KMC Hollow Pin
Brake Lever: Odyssey Monolever Medium
Front Tire: Odyssey Frequency G P-Lyte, 1.75″
Front Wheel: KHE Geisha hub laced 4x to GSport Ribcage with DT Swiss spokes.
Rear Tire: Suelo, 1.75″
Rear Wheel: KHE Geisha lite freecoaster hub laced 3x to GSport Ribcage with Primo and KHE spokes.
Pedals: KHE Stimulator, sealed.
Pegs: Sequence Pirate Peg legs, knurled, 1.5″.
Sawed off nose on seat. Bars are pushed forward to be perpendicular with the ground for more leverage, and they are cut to 24″ wide. The frame needed to be welded at the toptube and seattube junction after cracking to the point of nearly separating.
Which parts do you go through the most?
Tires, tubes, and spokes.
Describe your bike setup and how you like your bike to feel…
Light, without being too light. I just want a solid, dialed bike with my wheels true, and bearings rolling smooth.
What part are you most particular about or do you feel makes the biggest difference on your bike?
Oh wow…When it comes to my bike feel and how things are set up, I'm extremely particular about the tiniest details. There have been countless sessions where I will spend the majority of the session adjusting my seat or handlebar position half of a degree or a few millimeters. It sounds ridiculous, but if I notice even the tiniest change in feel, I'm completely thrown off and will obsess over adjusting parts to compensate. All in all, I'm a stickler about everything on my bike: if my seat is too high/low; if my bars are angled wrong constituting for strange feels in different tricks; if my the tension in my brake is off…
Do you remember your first “real” BMX bike?
Yep…It was back in 1998. I remember wanting to get a "trick bike" with pegs, so I spent that entire summer saving up money to buy a ’98 GT Vertigo from the local bike shop, Bent's Schwinn (a current sponsor of mine). Never really got into freestyle or anything until mid-2004.
You won the overall Masters class title in the Am Flatland Circuit this year…For those not familiar with the Am Flatland Circuit, tell us about it.
The Am Flatland Circuit is an amateur only, four-part, point-chase contest series. Although the individual contests may have had additional amateur classes, the circuit focused only on expert and master classes. For those unfamiliar: expert < master < pro. The point ranking system is new, and rather unique. As stated on the Am Flatland site: "Each round's results will be based on a 100 point system, descending by five points through the top 15 riders. Riders placing 16th and below will be given base points just for competing. Bonus points will be awarded also, which will be based on the amount of riders who compete at each event. For example: If 30 riders compete in an event, you will be given your base points according to final placing, plus one point for every rider you place above. Therefore, 1st place would receive 100 base pts + 29 bonus pts for a total of 129 points, 2nd place would receive 123 points, 3rd place would receive 117 points, and so on. The more riders who compete in each event, the more points each event could potentially be worth."
So next year, are you making the step up into the pro ranks?
I don't want to say just yet, or allude to anything. If it happens, it will be completely unannounced.
First off, I want to thank my mom for having supported me with everything since day one, and going out of her way to help me get to all of the events this year. Big thanks to my dad, family, and my mom's boyfriend. A huge thanks to Bent's Schwinn Cyclery for all of the help with parts. Ray at Red Trail Racing for promotion and show booking, and major thanks to all of the riders I've met throughout the years that I've hung out with, had conversations with, rode with, and introduced me to new tricks. I would also like to thank those who doubted me, for they were a major source of motivation.
Here’s a new trick Tyler just posted on Vimeo…
“Backpacker jump to hitchhiker. A 3am session the day prior inspired the trick, the next day solidified the trick.” -Tyler Gilliard