Video: Brakeless Street Riding through the Steel City

Jul 12, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesTom Kilcoyne rolling through the steel city. Relax and enjoy.

Filmed by
Keiran Cooper, Ben Tomlinson, Fraz Hill

Edited by Tom Kilcoyne

Tom is supported by
The Rise

Song: Electric Wire Hustle - They don't want


  • 31 14
 Look it's his choice not to wear a helmet, but as someone who has had a traumatic brain injury from riding, I can't see how it's cool to promote riding without a helmet.

He's got amazing skill, but everyone crashes.

Would have thought Pinkbike would have done the right thing and not shared it as a result. If these edits don't get promoted unless the riders are wearing helmets then maybe they will adapt the very minor (yet hugely important) choice of putting on a helmet.
  • 21 16
 I am amazed you didnt go for the opportunity to say something about 3dumb and make some type of association to his helmet decision there. Different perspectives are hard to I understand why you're struggling with this. I wear a helmet, but I dont think he is being as reckless as you suggest. Hes jibbing around at low speeds, and seems to have quite a lot of control. Blanketing your own affirmation bias on this rider and type of riding doesnt seem justified to me. You could easily trip while walking down those stairs and curbs and end up with a brain injury. Real mountain biking, or park riding, that's another story. I think no helmet in those contexts is reckless and foolish.
  • 18 6
 @takeiteasyridehard: riding backwards on he front wheel and then spinning out of it is a lot more reckless that walking up a curb or stairs.

I think what larkey1 is getting at is that this being shared on pinkbine is the normalisation of riding without a lid.

I agree with him. I've got a medical back ground and have seen plenty of kids who wouldn't be here right now unless they were wearing their helmet.
  • 14 3

Do you put on your seatbelt when you get in your car? Even if you're driving around the corner to the shops? You should be.

I understand his point of view completely and I have no issue with him not wearing a helmet - it's his choice to put himself in danger if he so wishes.

The issue is that it's being promoted and kids will copy him.
  • 5 1
 The arse wiggle at the end of every trick bothers me more than no helmet. It's like the late-00's jib ski afterbang fad all over again.
  • 6 1
 I agree - his choice not to wear a helmet but when people watch his vids he instantly becomes a role model that is followed. Interestingly though helmets do not have to be worn in England, it's not a legal requirement, so probably his choice not to wear one is cultural.
  • 2 15
flag aljoburr Plus (Jul 13, 2020 at 2:35) (Below Threshold)
 @Larkey1: I ride without a helmet most of the time, if you learn to fall properly you do not need a helmet
But a lot of people that use a full face helmet use their head as brakes & that is not safe ether?
  • 1 10
flag aljoburr Plus (Jul 13, 2020 at 2:43) (Below Threshold)
 @takeiteasyridehard: Way less reckless than crashing your brains out wearing a helmet, learn to crash without hitting your head is key?
  • 6 0
 @aljoburr: I learn by my mistakes, so by the time that I've learnt to fall properly I'd probably be eating through a straw! As adults, both you and I make our own choices. But as a parent of boys that ride hard and jump big, I need all the help I can get it in getting the wearing of a lid to be automatic. Still - at least one of the lads watching had one on!
  • 6 0
 Literally Yesterday a skater from my town put in an induced coma due to traumatic brain injury at the concrete park......
  • 8 1
 @aljoburr: are you jackie chan?

I highly doubt you have the cat like reflexes to ALWAYS be able to engineer the way you fall in a completely unexpected accident to not risk hitting your head.

You sound like one of those idiots who boasts about how well they can fight. You don't impress anyone.

This isn't about you - its about keeping the "non-Jackie chans" as safe as we can.
  • 6 2
 @enduroNZ: I know that his point was the role model issue. I also think it's a cultural influence. In this case, I just dont think it's as big of a deal as Larkey is making it. I think there are much larger influences on the kids like parents.

There are far worse influences like UFC, a lot of skateboarding, football. I had a bmx buddy who was put in an induced coma and all that. He was riding a halfpipe when that injury occurred - he also had a helmet on. He commonly rode street and would not wear a helmet. I think it all depends on specific details whether it is being reckless or not. Shit happens...look at scotty cranmer. Its terrible and unfortunate.

If our children dont have the common sense to wear a helmet when they should, perhaps the parents should hold more of the blame than the kids' role models. Parents can be a big role model also.

I dunno, I always wear a helmet. But I dont get bent out of shape when I see a good edit of a rider who knows his own abilities and chooses not to wear a helmet. I also dont think pinkbike is doing anything irresponsible by sharing it. Maybe they should not share downhill, freeride, or rampage videos...many serious injuries occur there also.
  • 3 0
 @aljoburr: like most of us here I've had numerous crashes and rarely (hardly ever) take a hit to the head. After not crashing for over a year, the other day I did a warm-up lap at my local dual track and in a slight moment of complacency (often the way with lines you've ridden 100 times), landed sideways on the last jump and got catapulted onto the solid stone littered ground at around 15 mph. Left shoulder and head took the worst (wrote the helmet off). It will happen when you least expect it. Wish I'd been wearing more than a thin t shirt and shorts but glad the lid was on.
  • 9 0
 Perhaps adding a financial incentive to wearing a helmet instead of or combined with the disincentive of not sharing his video would help best. Some sponsor send this guy a helmet and send him $100 for every sick video he puts out while wearing that helmet.
  • 5 0
 @Pcurt27: that's a good solution. I wonder whether that is already a thing for helmet sponsors. They could probably have a huge influence in skateboard and bike culture if there was a grassroots helmet incentive program for social media use. I think getting the local influences participating at the lower levels would be most effective. Once the younger ones found out, they would all wear helmets hoping to be noticed and brought on to that smaller level of sponsorship. I bet after 10 years of such a program, we would begin to see a significant shift in the acceptance of helmets by the younger generations.
Brands could also be vocal about how they are trying to have a positive ethical influence on the culture. Great idea!
  • 1 2
 90% of street bmx riders wear helmets when riding for fun and the only major incident of a youtuber crashing he was riding with a helmet...
  • 4 2
I feel you are making the most valid points in this argument. Trying to guilt trip Pinkbike for promoting the video is rational equivalent of saying: *Friday Fails videos promote risky behavior and should therefore should be removed*.
  • 2 1
 Encouraging/supporting people to ride without a helmet and then acting like everyone who cares is a overreacting tosser is poor form. The people who love him or anyone who rides need to be considered.

People's lives are ruined by head injuries. We are in a game of calculated risks. Tip the odds in your and your families favor and wear a helmet.

A helmet would in no way stop him from doing the tricks he's doing. Don't be a dick.
  • 2 1
 @Larkey1: Happy to wear a helmet when I need too, but would not wear a helmet when going for a walk, for me going for a leisurely bike ride is the same thing
Get off you high horse
  • 2 1
 @Larkey1: I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying that is your perspective. There are many other perspectives out there. The wider you are able to make your own, by understanding other perspectives and understanding your own biases, the close you are to viewing true reality.
  • 3 1
 @aljoburr: Ah - I think we've got to the key bit. You "ride without a helmet most of the time", and you wouldn't ride with a helmet when on a "leisurely bike ride", so I assume most of your riding falls into that "leisurely" category. Of course, maybe you and I have differing views as to what counts as "leisurely". I'm imagining you freewheeling down a tree-lined french country lane, probably with a basket on the front of your bike filled with a couple of warm baguettes. Your feet are off the pedals held out in front of you, as you weave from side to side without a care in the world. I'm surprised you find much relevant content here on Pinkbike - the pain-au-chocolate reviews are few and far between. But it's an inclusive environment - all are welcome! Just steer clear of insulting Donald Trump - that seems to fire a few people up!!
  • 1 1
 @Thor44: Think key point is that wearing a helmet, may make a difference in a fall where you hit your head?
Tracks I ride have low branches that I have only hit my head on, while wearing a helmet, so go figure?
Hear is the Trials Trails tracks I ride may not be leisurely to every one but not extreme ether?
  • 13 0
 At least his hat doesn't fly off after every single trick.
  • 7 1
 So sick! Gutted there's no braking to measure tho...
  • 4 0
 Came here expecting Pittsburgh PA USA but my god what an epic city for street riding Sheffield is, I had no idea. Did anyone else get dizzy watching this?
  • 4 0
 Love the fakie manuals! That was a stylish little flick!
  • 4 0
 It's like Simone Barraco on a mtb.
  • 3 0
 Yes Tommy Kill !!!
  • 5 7
 Aside from his skill,ridding a bike brakeless and helmetless is simple pure dump. If your choice is to toss the brakes, then you owe to ride only into specific areas, as BMX / skate parks.
Ridding like this is the streets, for what? (I’ve seen some idiots doing this here at Athens, among cars!) What are you trying to prove?
  • 4 7
 Makes me want to build a big brakeless BMX, BUT brakeless riding is a lot harder than it looks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 1
 That's funny you say that @uncajohn because while park riders still often ride brakes (not all of them though) street riders practically never ride brakes and almost never wear a helmet. It's a fashion/style thing, a trend that became the standard.

And they also often ride in traffic. But a lot of these people seem to be used to it - check out Billy Perry's New York BMX videos. What these people do in traffic is crazy.
  • 1 0
 I ride a bmx, I ride with a helmet and I ride with a rear brake. At the local skatepark the other day I was the only one with a helmet. Including skaters, bmx riders and scooter-ers. I was also one of the only ones with a brake. I get it at skateparks, but in the street, where a random person or vehicle could come round a corner at any point I think it is downright stupid, although it is his own choice.
  • 3 0
 @asdas: clearly spoken from a person that has never rode a bmx, let alone the streets.

It isn't a cultural thing at all. In my case and most others, street riders are mostly brakeless because there are a lot less opportunities for tricks which required brakes. If you are a serous rider, i.e. not just to be cool, the only other reasons you ride brakeless is that gyros are a pain or you don't want cable wrapped around your stem.

That said helmets are different, but I would rarely wear one for a simple jib session. In some edits you see riders wearing one for bigger consequence tricks. If this article was posted on a bmx forum there would be no helmet comments. I think comments come from MTB'ers point of view, where consequences can be more if you compare a 6 stair drop to Rampage...!

TL: DR brakeless is not cultural but a choice, wearing helmets is sort of cultural, but depends on risk.
  • 1 1
Ridding brake less (brainless should say) into traffic, is plain stupid… One of the many “trends” that raise the question:
  • 2 0
 what a steezy edit!
  • 2 0
 Skills !
  • 1 0
 So great to see this riding!
  • 1 0
 That last one!
  • 1 0
 Stop it!
  • 1 0
  • 2 4
 Why not ride a bmx?
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