This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hunqapillar test ride

    Well the floor got finished yesterday, I spent spare time hanging stuff on the new frame, the house is completely trashed, the new appliances were delivered early for a change and we are enjoying unusually springlike temps for Michigan.  I had to take the Hunqapillar out for it's ride.
I had just about everything on the bike so it only took a couple of minutes in the garage to adjust the brakes and derailleurs before taking it out for a test ride.
Rivendell always brags about the clearance they provide on their frames and there is room  galore for the fenders and tires.  Part of the decision to purchase this particular design was the supplemental use off-road.  I will be able to spend a few minutes changing to knobby tires and removing fenders and be able to enjoy some of the many forest trails in western Michigan.
    The build was simple, I had bought a Surly LHT last year to have a dedicated touring bike and it was sweet.  But I also expected to have some extra cash for a Riv frame and intended the LHT to be a doner bike when I did.  So the LHT purchase kept me from going off the deep end on components because I would have been tempted to order Phil Wood this and Paul that until I ran into a couple thousand more dollars.  The bottom line is that I got the whole build kit from the LHT for a net $650 after selling the barely used frame for $350.   The best thing about the LHT is the wheelset with Deore XT hubs.  The rest is good quality stuff but nothing unusual, Andel crank, Shimano BB, Shimano Bar-end shifters, Deore xt rear derailleur, Tiagra front and Tektro canti brakes.  After adding pedals, the VO zepplin fenders, rear rack and leather bar covers, I have about $2400 tied up in this ride.
   My first impressions after about a 5 mile ride is that it is going to be the most comfortable bike I have had on the road.  The ride feels as quick as my Trek 560 (although it's really not) but a world smoother.  The extra weight of the tubing and fork are not noticeable on the road and the handling is superb.  It is a lot easier to handle than the LHT and quicker in the turns and tighter radius moves.  I am looking forward to trying it out on some trails to see how it performs in the wild.

   Right now I'll enjoy a few days like this when they come up and even though some people have said this bike is just plain ugly,  I'll still be stressing over the possibility of the first scratch.


  1. I don't think that frame is ugly at all; it's got a beautiful paint scheme, and the lugs are pretty cool, if you like intricate lugs. Most ppl who dislike the Hunq dislike the larger sizes, with the double top-tubes.

    I'm glad you like the ride/handling over the LHT, b/c otherwise I'd wonder if, aesthetics aside, you'd made a lateral move. I have a LHT that i ride a decent amount, but i'm thinking of selling it come spring. It's nice to know you can get such a nice price for them still.


  2. Rob,
    I was surprised myself. The buyer was in Cal. and didn't mind paying the shipping to get it.

  3. Hi. I'm still thinking about this bike and I've got one more question for you if you don't mind, it's a question only a novice would ask. You wrote that "I will be able to spend a few minutes changing to knobby tires and removing fenders." As someone who is not at all, and I mean at all, mechanical (and rather intimidated by tools), how difficult is it really to swap wheels or tire sizes? I mean if I wanted to ride fat tires in snow or rain, and narrower ones or studded or whatever. How are the brakes affected when one switches widths on wheels and tires?

  4. Sorry I didn't answer right away, I've been in Boston, busy and in transit. I have a second wheelset made for wider knobby tires. The rims are different size and do require I readjust the brakes when I change them. The difference is small enough that using the barrel adjusters is usually enough to make the change, but it does take a little practice and isn't that difficult when you get the hang of it. If you are completely inexperienced, I would suggest Googling Sheldon Brown and searching his website for the complete lowdown on adjusting whatever type of brake you have chosen. It's good to know and good to get over the intimidation factor.