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Huntsman Headed across the Pacific

This one’s headed to Japan. The client owns a bike shop there and specializes in distributing hand made bicycles from across the globe. Sounds like there’s going to be a bunch of 44′s headed over there in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled Tokyo…

Koh's Huntsman

Koh's Huntsman

Koh's Huntsman

Huntsman Headed to Japan

Huntsman Headed to Japan

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David’s Huntsman

David's Bike

Both Ron’s and David’s Huntsman builds are very similar. Both Force 22. Both Stan’s wheelsets and King and Thomson bits. Both sport racks and fenders. But Ron’s has a rear rack, David’s will have a front rack with a matching bag/tote. As I was waiting on fenders for both builds, I couldn’t finish up Ron’s until those came. The way fenders work, at least the ones I rely on, HONJO (IMO, these are THE best money can buy) they come un-drilled. So you can set them exactly where you want. But this also takes some care to make sure that the bridges are in the right locations balancing both tire clearance and fender balance visually. Form and function as they say.

With fenders in hand, I can then determine exactly where the chainstay bridge should be (I determine the seat stay bridge first on tire clearance, with an eye for room for the fender too). But fenders were on their way when I was completing Ron’s build, so chainstay bridge had to wait along with his rear rack. Rather than wait over a week, I decided to move ahead with the next in the list, David’s Huntsman. This is good because it allowed me to keep things moving, have no down time but also allowed me to do a little double duty on fenders and brazing when parts arrived for both of these builds. I have a handful of fatbikes come up next and even more 135mm spaced thru axle fat forks, so I’ll do the same here and maximize some time with setups. So here’s David’s build coming together, beginning with welding his bottom bracket sub-assembly:

Back in the Saddle

Tacking the hidden spot on the seat tube / bottom bracket junction. Weld the 4 points of the compass, then wrap that weld where the Down Tube overlaps the Seat Tube :


All tacked :

David's Huntsman all Tacked

Holding those seat stays :

Seat Stay Tacking Jig

Welding those Seat Stays

Just a few of the tools and equipment to ensure proper weld integrity. Heat syncs and purge fittings. To give you an idea, that’s over $400 worth of tooling…

Purge fittings

And then stitching it all together (my favorite part, albeit the shortest of the process in terms of time investment) :

Let's get in close...


Every start/stop of a weld requires a clean tip of the filler to be cut. No exceptions. The ends once finished, and cooled are contaminated (or can be). Thus a clean tip is snipped. Noticed they were lined up. Gives you an idea of time investment :

Ducks in a row

The work and the results :

Not too shabby...


Head Tube Weldery

Chuggin' Along...

Bottom Bracket Welds

Bottom Bracket Welds

David's Huntsman All Welded

A little brazing and wheel checks :

Brazing on all the small fussy bits

Room for 40mm tires in "attack" mode

David's Huntsman

And then of course, when the work is done and the torch has cooled, we need to suit up and head out to the trails for additional inspiration and a much need refresh of the soul.

Casalis State Forest Sweetness

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Ron’s Huntsman

A while back I received an enthusiastic email from Ron out in Portland, Oregon. Details were decided. Hands were shook. Specifications specified. His turn recently came up, so it was go time. Time to make some chips and build him his Huntsman. Room for 40mm tires if the desire should ever hit, it will live life mostly though with 32mm tires, fenders bobbed for a little flair when things get wet, a rear rack to carry heavy loads to and from work (or maybe for that beer run), Force 22 throughout with some Whisky No.7 up front for fork duties along with Thomson and King playing together nicely to round out this parts mix. Stan’s Iron Cross wheelset for the round bits to keep him running smooth. All flat black with gloss black decals. Fenders and rack painted to match. This is going to be one tough, versatile build. I shit you not. This is what the Huntsman’s all about: hard working, roads less traveled, get’s you outta any fix.. doesn’t talk back. Just does what she’s supposed to do: Shred’s. (There is no Z in Shreds by the way.)

Ron's Huntsman Ready to be Tacked

Down Tube Tacking

Huntsman Tacked

Welding those Seat Stays

Ron's Huntsman all Tacked


Not too shabby for this guy...

Head Tube Welds


Ron's Huntsman

And his rack came together nicely too…

That felt epic..

Ron's Rack + Fender Combo

Parting shot of the whole kit. Check out those transitions from front to back of the fender lines? They form a triangle. That’s negative space talking to us. That gives the form stance, feel and develops the form. These are some of the things that go into the build. It’s not just the build, but how it interacts with the space around it. That’s what industrial design is all about. Gotta play with the positive and negative shapes people. Till next time, enjoy!

Ron's Huntsman Ready for Powder

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Swear to Shred…

I Promise...

44 Bikes Poster series 3 of 3. Available soon. I’m currently selecting paper and we’re deciding on quantities. Jason at Brainstorm has been a great help with this project. French Paper Co. will be providing the goods. Pop-Tone Whip Cream in a 100lb stock. Stoke levels are approaching critical mass on this project… More soon. Lot’s more soon. So don’t turn that dial kids. 44 Bikes is about to deliver. Big time.

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Long Travel 650b

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Client came across the pond to pick it up. I couldn’t NOT take him out for a ride to break in his new custom 44 Bikes Long Travel 650b. I strung together a bunch of singletrack and made sure we hit some of the best DH runs local to the shop (saved a few for his next visit…). Here’s the finished product all spit shined. Enjoy.

Hamilton's Long Travel 650b

Hamilton's Long Travel 650b


Hamilton's Long Travel 650b

Sort of a mix of components: XTR Trail Brakes, XTR Cranks but built around Sram’s XD driver on Industry 9 hubs to mate up with Sram’s XX1 11 speed cassette, XX1 Shifter and XX1 rear derailleur. I9′s were laced by your truly to Stan’s ARCH EX 650b rims, 32 hole of course with DT Swiss Double Butted spokes and alloy nips. Schwalbe’s venerable Hans Dampf up front and Nobby Nic out back handled traction duties. Set up tubeless no doubt. Fox Float 140mm travel suspension fork up front with a Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper post for when things get hairy. Trusty Shimano XT Pedals, ODI grips, Raceface stem, ENVE Mtn. Risers (740mm wide…) and a Wolftooth Dropstop 32t chainring for a true guideless 1×11 setup. Triger Drylac’s Sparkle Granny Smith Dormant Powder applied by Big Jim over at Rev Limit Auto in Merrimack, NH provides for a little pop and flash out on the trail.

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Paul Components

Paul Components : 25th Anniversary Logo

I had the luck of “coming of age” during the 90′s and with that enjoyed the rise of the Mountain Bike with all of it’s anodized glory. My first mountain bike was a Trek 850 Antelope. My Dad took me over to T-Town Cycles in Trexlertown, PA. Popped in the door and I knew I had found my religion. The place oozed awesome. New bike smell and rubber poured from the depths. Of course this put the hurt on the want. You thrash your bike, you’re going to need to learn how to wrench it. I slowly began assembling a handful of tools. Trips back to T-Town and they invited me in the back for their head mechanic to show me some tips. I recall being a deer in the headlights at this point. “Me? Come around the desk and speak with the mechanic?” The hook was totally set by this point. Behind their glass counter of course were all the trick stuff. All the anodized yummy good stuff. All the stuff that you poured over. “Upgrades”…

Amongst the Machine Tech’s, Gorilla Billet’s, Caramba Cranks, Kooka’s, Cook Brothers and many mores… there was Paul Components. I distinctly remember getting this thick catalog… BikePro. It came in the mail I think on a Saturday. I had just gotten back in from a ride and looked through the mail and that sucker was waiting for me. Back when you called or wrote to a company to send you a catalog and some stickers. None of this online form B.S. (Albeit a touch more convenient I’ll add now). But deep within the pages of normal stuff, there were all the anodized goodies. And of course mixed in there were the “rebuildable derailleurs”. Now for the life of me, I knew the most you’d ever do would be to replace the pulleys on a rear derailleur. But hell, you could rebuild the entire thing on a Paul… Why? Why not? And by now I had been reading the backlash against Shimano in the mag’s. Long story short: if you were any kind of man, you needed one of these things. Me? There was no way i could afford one. But I still wanted one.

I spotted this article in the latest issue of Bike Mag. Again. Same scenario: Came home from a ride, got the mail, new issue of Bike Mag in the mail.. But aside from the great article speaking of the history behind the derailleur and why it came to be so, Paul sum’s everything up nicely I think in this one quote:

“And then one day I began riding my bike again and everything got better. I ride almost every day now. You get on the bike and you sweat and you think about what you’re doing and the good ideas just come to you…it’s a great thing.”

I’ve since met Paul when I was at Nahbs this past spring in Charlotte, NC. It really didn’t sink in of course until a few days later. All these “hero’s” of the sport and here I am talking with them and many of them are my trusted OEM accounts. So it’s a bit unreal when you then are asked “Hey, who did your graphic design” and your answer is “I did…” Followed by “Do you do design work for others?” So it’s with a lot of pride that I was asked to come up with Paul Component’s 25th Anniversary logo… That’s what’s going on up there. Super proud of that little circle of black and white. Thanks to Paul and the rest of the gang at Paul Components for not only being an OEM, but putting their trust in me to put together a tight little logo to celebrate 25 Years of Nice Components.

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A good spot…

Good way to end a day...

Been ending my rides as of late in this field which overlooks Mt. Monadnock. The locals call it “the Wagonwheel” as the field acts like the hub as many trails “spoke” off in different directions from it. So you can pretty much start and end here depending on which trails and links / loops you ride. But ending in the field seems to be a favorite of mine where you crest a hill in the woods, this field hidden from view to your right. Climb up and out of a small valley in the woods and make a right hand turn which faces this field and you head out of the tree line which is bordered by a large rock wall.

Basically if you time it right, the woods are aglow with late evening light with a cool breeze rolling off the top of the field. The owners are kind enough to mow a few paths that link the trails together so as the grass gets higher, you can still ride over this field and enjoy the view. My pup kaya likes to romp around looking for critters in the high grass. It’s fun to end a ride and watch her bee-bop around.

It’s just a good spot and I’m lucky to have it within a short a ride from the shop doors.