An Exchange of Cultures
Each builder comes to the show with a certain point of view in mind, and as with many builders at 2012 NAHBS, Hunter Bicycles chose to display bikes that are rideable, functional, and indicative of their base business.
“We wanted to represent our strongest genres, and also included some newer innovations and show touches to separate them from the rest of what people might see here,” explains Rick Hunter, the man behind the company. “We also wanted to build bikes that were already pre-sold for customers, both for time and for practicalit
One such example is a fire engine red Hardtail Race 29er. Though the craftsmanship alone is enough to turn heads, this bike includes Hunter touches that set it apart. An unpainted stem shows his brazing technique while also lending a raw, aggressive feel to the cockpit.
The 29er also features a new yoke style chainstay system, which according to Hunter, “provides increased tire clearance, reduces chain suck, and allows for more flexible tubing choices.”
Also a part of this bike is his new 3 month old disc brake drop out design, which allows for the brake to mount between the seat and chainstay as opposed to on the outside, and will be featured on most of his mountain and cyclocross builds. Hunter proprietary dropouts are also a mainstay of the business, as “it lets me to be more unique.”
Another striking feature on his bikes are the handlebars and tape, which he sources exclusively from his good friend Shinya Tanaka (who in turn has a bike shop in Nagaya City, Japan, and distributes many high end frames for the US market). These bars, branded under Sim Works, are built on Nitto foundations with Tanaka’s special touches and details.
Tanaka organized a tour group of Japanese merchants and consumers interested in custom bicycles made in North America to come over to this year’s NAHBS. In an exchange of cultures fostered by the common language of the bicycle, the source of Hunter’s special components is now a destination for the finished product.
In a show filled with standouts, all of the above combines to set Hunter Bicycles at a level few can match.