Bike Check: Matt Miller

No brakes, no pegs, and cassette driven—this is Matt Miller‘s Kink/Animal build of a bike.

Age: 23
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 165 lbs.
Location: Levittown, Pennsylvania
Sponsors: Kink, Animal Bikes, Chocolate Truck

Frame: Kink Issue III 20.85”
Fork: Kink Foundation 32 mm Offset
Bars: Kink Badger
Stem: Animal MR Frontload
Grips: ODI Longnecks
Barends: None
Headset: Kink Integrated
Seatpost: Animal Stump Post
Seat: Animal Broadway
Pedals: Animal BPE
Cranks: Kink Pillar 175 mm
Sprocket: Kink Bedlam 28-tooth
Chain: Mission Halflink
Front Tire: Animal GLH 2.25”
Front Wheel: Javelin Hub with Animal RS Rim
Rear Tire: Animal GLH 2.1”
Rear Wheel: Javelin Hub 9-tooth with Animal RS Rim

On a scale of one to ten, ten meaning you love it, how much do you like working on your bike?
5. I never work on my bike unless I get a flat or something breaks. I just like to let it be. When I try and fix something I’ll end up making it worse.

How long do you typically ride a bike before building a new one? Do you switch out parts as they go? Or just build a whole fresh kit?
I usually ride a bike for a year or—sometimes more. I typically switch parts out as they go, but this bike was the first time I ever got to build one from scratch, which was cool.

What parts do you change out the most often?
Left pedals. I do a lot of pedal grinds on my back foot so I have to swap ’em out every couple months. I have a lot of perfectly good right ones laying around.

What are you most particular about on your bike?
Probably grips or tires. I like them worn-in, whenever I put on new ones my bike doesn’t feel right for the first week or two.

Overall, how do you like your bike to feel— chain tension, crank tightness, grips—thick, thin, new, or worn-out, tire pressure, et cetera?
I like my chain a little loose, my tires and grips worn-in. My tire pressure is usually around 50psi or so. Bars parallel with my forks. I just like it to be as simple as possible.

Are you concerned with how much your bike weighs? How much does this bike weigh?
I’m not really concerned with weight, but since I don’t run pegs or anything my bike ends up being pretty light. It’s probably around 25 lbs. or so.

Are you willing to experiment with new parts and mix things up, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true?
I’ve ridden the same dimensions for as long as I can remember. Every time I get a new part I make sure it’s the same as the old one. The only thing I’ve tried new is the bearingless pedals from Kink and Animal. They last a lot longer then standard pedals if you do a lot of grinds.

What’s the deal with the tags on your stem?
I got a brand new Animal stem and as soon as I put it on Tom [White] wrote his name on it real big. I tried to black it out with a sharpie, but it just made it worse [laughs]. So I had to get the RK on the other side to balance it out. You see that tag everywhere in Philly.

How are those chain stay grinds working out for you?
When I do pedal grinds sometimes I don’t put enough pressure on my pedal and the chainstay just grinds on the ledge more then anything else, I guess. This frame is holding up well, it’s just scratched up, but it hasn’t dented at all. When I was younger I would flatten them out so much that it would look like a triangle.

Cool, any thanks…
Thanks to Jay Roe, Darryl and everyone else at Kink, Jay Dyer, Ralph Sinisi, Animal Bikes and all the Chocolate Truck homies.