|1969||DOB: november 15, 1969.|
Place of Birth: Denver, CO USA
|early years||Participant since 1987|
Competitor since 1988
Leif Valin bio in Go july 1991.
Mike Daily: They're there, alright. Everywhere. Don't think for a second that they don't exist, because they do... choosing to remain in the domains of their own devise just below the surface, like bacteria. Who or what am I getting at here? The generation of individuals who ride with genius, quite contentedly without attitudes, competitiveness, or sponsor support. The underground guys who ride and don't expect much of anything from anybody — but themselves. And, of course, from their riding. One such "guy" happens to be 21-year-old Expert Leif Valin of Phoenix, Arizona. Leif lives alone, works as a full-time landscaper, does his own grocery shopping and laundry, cooks his own meals, and makes up many of his own ground tricks. He's been riding for four years. "l started when I was 17 and didn't really progress that much in Colorado, then I moved to Arizona. I usually ride ground by myself, or sometimes with Ells (Watson). l usually go riding street with Fronz (Mark Gonzales) a couple times a week. That's pretty cool. I like to ride a lot of street and ground-keeps me not burned out on either one." Leif has also been known to tap into the unlimited fun of Glendale, Arizona's Thrasherland on occasion. "Burned out" pretty much describes the weather of Arizona, where it often cranks over 100 degrees in the summer. Leif compensates with a &Mac223;exible, realistic riding schedule: "l basically don‘t ride in the day. I usually work all day and I get off about two o'clock. I don't really like to ride in the heat, so I just hang out until the sun goes down and then I just ride all night, or however much l feel like riding that night. The heat isn't that bad without the sun." Commenting on his Billy Griggs-like af&Mac222;nity for &Mac222;nely-adjusted bikes, Leif said, "l try to keep it stoked." Regular tune-ups and polishings are routine. He put a small leaf (real) in the box of the GO sticker on the head tube of his bike because so many people insist on mis-pronouncing his name (correctly pronounced "lafe"). Leif runs his brake levers against the norm -rear on the left and front on the right- which gives his riding an unusual look. Tricks of Leif's personal conception include the furthering of Ceppie Maes's hopping antrider into a no-handed, two-footed, zagnutted antrider glide, and the "trouser snake", which is still under wraps while he gets it perfected. "lt's a trick I'm learning. l guess I sorta made it up. I'll be happy when l can pull it consistently. It'll be fun." Even as he speaks on the topic of lame attitudes, his own remains decent, straight-forward, and non-derogatory: “When people need the cop-out of why even try to learn a new trick, it's usually not because they don't like the trick, it's usually because they don't want to put the effort forth to learn something hard and new. It's just a cop-out." Leif retains a low-key personality and a sense of humor given to spontaneous combustion.
2nd place stuntboys flat @ 1993 BS round 2, april 17-18, 1993, Shimerville, PA.
James Shepherd, Ride BMX UK august 1993: The Jack Kerouac of the nineties, Leif Valin, recently transplanted himself to York. His riding shows it, too. If he keeps riding as well as he did here, he might shoot his underground status all to hell. Second place.
Leif Valin profile in Ride BMX US #9 february march 1994.
BS MORENO VALLEY.
2nd place stuntboys flatland @ 1994 BS round 1, february 26-27, 1994, Moreno Valley, California.
5th place stuntboys flatland @ 1994 BS round 2, may 14-15, 1994, Overland Park, Ft.Riley, Kansas.
Mike Jory, Ride BMX UK august 1994: Stuntboy standouts included Leif Valin with a no footed frame grab barspin coaster wheelie and both a cross footed circle K and a megaspin done on the pedal.
Dig #3 august 1994.
Dorkin Wheelies video. Leif Valin puts in his 2 cents worth in as well gliding an upside down wheel on both pedals! then actually pedaling in this position and still maintaining balance, along with various on the pedal tricks.
Leif Valin is riding for Hoffman Bikes.
Leif Valin profile in Freedom issue 7 winter 94/95.
Leif Valin steam roller on the cover of Props #16. Photo by Chris Hallman.
Balancing Act video. Leif Valin also holds his own with impressive pedal tricks, original scuffing work, and sublime rolling maneuvers. He's always a pleasure to watch ride.
8th place stuntmen flat @ Bicycle Stunts Series round 4 and finals, august 29-31, 1997, Seal Beach, California.
Roni, Ride BMX US december 1997: In eighth place was Leif Valin. Leif did a lot of his upside-down tricks, rolling endlessly on his pedals, taking full advantage of his transitioned surroundings.
17th place pro flatland @ 1997 X-Games
The Hoffman EP flatland bike designed by Kris Gack, Leif Valin and Matt Gibson.
Leif Valin, Looking Glass #2, 2003: The Hoffman e.p. was shorter than the previous flatland frame (rear and length) so it was aptly named e.p. like an e.p. record, shorter, fewer songs. The first headtube sticker on the e.p. was a record.
UNTIL MONKEYS FLY.
Hoffman Bikes Until Monkeys Fly video.
22nd place pro flatland @ 1998 X-Games.
Mini-interview in Street Session/BMXicos issue 2 juillet août 1998.
2000 CFB FINALS.
2000 CFB finals at Woodward, july 2000. Leif Valin pulled off the best contest runs of his life and scored a well deserved second place.
Flatlanders Kevin Jones, Chad Degroot, Trevor Meyer, Andrew Faris and Leif Valin were on site doing daily demos.
|2001||Leigh Ramsdell, www.hsacentral.com, 2001: Leif Valin is a unique individual. He has the strongest hands in the world and will crush your kneecap like a twig. Leif has a great sense of humor - very dry, but very witty. He is also a very original and creative flatlander. Leif is a good individual just trying to make it in life, being happy and riding his bike the best he can.
10th place stuntmen flatland @ 2001 BS round 3, may 18-20, 2001, Grand Prairie, Texas. Leif Valin made the cut with some nice cross-foot around the bike stuff on the front wheel and a no-handed hang 5 to one-handed whiplashes.
Leif Valin runs a BMX company called Contraption.
Dorkin 10 video.
Leif Valin has left Hoffman after seven years to ride for Eastern Bikes. Leif did a bunch of product designs for Hoffman which he was never paid royalties for. Eastern is going to pay him those royalties and let him design everything.
Leif Valin, Headtube zine, 2001: The whole Hoffman crew is like family to me so it wasn't easy leaving. I was offered a good deal working with Leigh, Jon and Mike at Eastern, I couldn't pass it up, everyone at Hoffman understood. I don't jump into something without thinking it through and through. I'm happy with my situation and haven't lost any friends.
The new Eastern flatland frame designed by Leif Valin.
Dimensions: 19" pour le top tube, de 13" à 14.25" à l'arrière.
February, Leif Valin is in Florida with Aaron Behnke escaping the harsh winter weather of York, Pennsylvania.
King of Ground round 4, november 2002, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.
Photo in TWBMX issue 71, september 2002.
7th place pro fatland @ 2002 Backyard jam round 3, october 26-27, 2002., Storm skate park in Derby, UK.
Eastern Bikes Pivot pegs and Sonderangebot fork designed by Leif Valin.
Photo in TWBMX issue 80, june 2003.
www.easternbikes.com, august 2003: Leif Valin has spent the past two weeks at Woodward (PA) and is trying to keep his tendonitis under control. He is thinking about going to Canada to get a titanium elbow and a toaster.
www.fatbmx.com, march 2004: FBM have made a flatland frame with the help of Leif Valin. Who would have ever thought that the hardcore street/dirt company would walk this way. The Leif Valin Flatland Frame named the "Equilibrium" comes in two top tube sizes and features a European BB and Internal Headset.
Leif Valin Reflections in Dig september 2004.
Props Issue #54, winter 2004, includes a Leif Valin profile.
Jim McKay, thecomeup.com, december 2012: What a breath of fresh air this is. I haven’t seen a new video part from Leif in years, and yet people still talk about him; proof that his riding has left an indelible mark on Flatland. With his trademark dead-pan humor, this video follows him through various entertaining interviews with things like: parts catalogs, handlebars, and even a back wheel. Leif’s creative and ambidextrous riding style is no joke though, and still just as impressive to me today as it was when it was filmed. Treat yourself to this rad little video of a true legend.
|2005||HALF AND HALF.|
Leif Valin flatland section in FBM Half and half video.
Learn Hang five with Leif Valin in Ride BMX US march 2005.
Leif Valin was trying a weird cross-handed steamroller switched to blender on the pedal spinning counter-clockwise.
Groundforce: the Leif Valin edition in Ride BMX UK august 2005.
Interview in Ride BMX US october 2005.
For 2006, the Equilibrium has been downsized. The available toptube lengths are 1/4" shorter this year, and now are 18.5" and 19". To save weight it comes with a new lighter externally machined headtube, and all the tubing is now .035 thick. The frame also now comes with a mid bottom bracket
|2008||BACK TO HB.
Steve Crandall, www.fbmbmx.com, july 2008: Long Standing FBM supporter, Leif Valin has accepted an Offer to Return to one of His Original sponsors, Hoffman Bikes, To help out as both a rider and an employee of some sort, It's a good opportunity for him, and we are stoked for him. We are also appreciative of his years of support as an FBM rider, and bid him A fond farewell. Thanks leif, and good luck buddy!