Last week we caught up with Jahmaine and Jordan Johnson – 24 year old twins and the latest additions to the Defi Collective fixed crit team. We talked about about London life, brotherly love and their new Swift crit bikes that they’ll be racing on – check it out:
So you guys have just joined Defi – how did that come about?
Jahmaine: Well Chris from Defi got in contact earlier in the summer and said they were looking to extend the fixed gear side of the team and they’d love for us to represent Defi going forward..
Jordan: We’ve known the boys for a little while anyway, from previous races and through social events etc…
Jahmaine: Yeah it was literally a case of us just getting recognised… and it was the Defi boys that recognised us first… so when the Defi guys approached us I was like yeah, let’s do this!
So what’s the ethos behind the team? How do you guys approach racing?
The brothers lose concentration at this point and start laughing as they pose for the camera… this answers the question perfectly…
Jahmaine: Lots of teams are so into the racing thing, their so committed, their life pretty much is racing…
Jordan: We’re all adults at the end of the day… we all have full time jobs… we can’t dedicate ourselves to training 100% of the time. So we keep our aims realistic. We can’t train half as much as some of the other guys in the field.
Jahmaine: We’re up against ex-Olympians, Tour de France riders etc. We know we don’t have a chance against them but you know what we’ll still go out and do it for the fun of it, for the social side of it. Ride bikes, have fun… that’s what Defi stands for.
Jordan: For the culture!
So what’s the fixed gear scene like in London these days – has the emergence of fixed crit racing helped keep this alive?
Jahmaine: It’s brought more awareness to the fixed gear scene but it’s also taken away from the social side of it. There used to be a massive culture in London… back in the day there was an event called St Pauls Fixed Gear on a Saturday night. A massive crew would meet every week at the Cathedral… it was a social ride more than anything… hang out, drink beers and ride bikes.
Jahmaine: Ever since all the crit races started coming to London small teams started forming…
Jordan: This meant people moved away from the whole social side of things… even though it’s created more awareness
So tell us about the bikes – you’ve had these for a couple of weeks now:
Jordan: It’s not just a glamour bike that I only pull out when I’m racing, we’ve got to be realistic, it’s an everyday bike that I can not only race on but also commute on. It has to be practical… we literally have two bikes… there’s no space for more
So you’re going to ride these daily?
Jahmaine: On a day to day basis! You build a relationship with a bicycle when you use it every day, they’re gonna get chipped and scraped but that just gives them character…
That’s what we like to hear! That being said they’re looking pretty slick at the moment, I can see some Thomson and Dura-Ace going on there…
Jordan: Yeah yeah this is all the glam stuff man!
Thoughts after your first few rides?
Jahmaine: “Well I actually used to ride the original Swift a couple years ago…
Ah yeah I’d forgotten that! So that’s now come full circle and you’re now racing one of the new Swifts. Have you noticed much of a difference?
Jahmaine: Oh hell yeah… the front end… the stiffness… it just gives back. As much as you put in it just gives back. That’s what I like. And to be honest, you can’t really beat steel. Steel is real.
Jordan: “I was an Alu fan for 3 years. This is my first 700c steel bike and I’m absolutely in love with it. AND… IT… LOOKS…BANGIN’
So, when you guys are racing together, will you help each other out or is it every man for himself out there?
Jahmaine: If I see him go off at the front there is no way in hell, being my twin brother, that I’m gonna let him be faster than me! Cos’ I know he won’t let me live it down.
Jordan: In the beginning we didn’t know what racing was… so it was just a free for all… but then you go out and you train and you begin to know what each other’s like. We know how far to push each other. So yeah, over time we’ve developed a relationship on the race track, we work together now. But… If you get dropped you get dropped… I’m not gonna wait for you!
Thanks to the guys for taking their time to talk with us – head to our Build Gallery to see a full build spec for each of their bikes
Their next race is Thundertrack at the Herne Hill Velodrome.