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.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Definishing the Hunq

    My love for the Rivendell Hunqapiller borders upon the irrational.  It makes no sense that a well performing touring bike should be a 29er with no suspension and certainly no dick brakes.  But it provides a sense of confidence no other ride can duplicate.  The damn thing does everything, except go fast.  It's predecessor, the Bombadil fascinated me, but it was built as a 650B and, call me a tech weinee, I couldn't jump on a 650B touring bike let alone one built for remote all terrain touring.  When Riv released a 700C version I jumped all over it.
       I managed to get one of the first production and paint scheme which is no longer available and loved it.   The problem in the back of my head was that they had, for a short time, offered the Bombadil in an raw steel version with clear powdercoat.  It lasted a short time because the powdercoat didn't really bond and seal the metal.  Surface rust resulted.  People freaked.  Grant said, it's ok for him but he wouldn't sell another.   My finish was fine and I beat the crap out the bike on all kinds of week long trips, but stessed all the time about scratches, scrapes and superficial rust.  Fortunately Lowes had a common all purposed spray in a color called Cobalt Cannon, which matched perfectly, kinda, you know, the sheen from a rattle can is never quite right.  I'd built enough model cars in my day to make it work.  
   Apparently I was the only one in the world to use it because they quit making it.  When I had depleted the international stock (yeah, it's all about me) I was left in a quandary.   I couldn't just fill the scratches with nail polish and live with it.  I was still fascinated with the raw steel idea and spent some time on this inter web thing to find a solution.  I found a clear coat called Diamond Finish which was developed specifically to bond with raw metal, remain clear and plastic (so it won't crack and peel).  I wasn't about to trust their word so I tested it over last winter. 
 I took a neglected pair of channel lock pliers which had become encrusted with rust,
scrubbed both the upper and lower jaws with sandpaper and a Dremel tool,
coated the upper jaw with the Diamond Finish, and tossed them into the snow on my patio.
      Springtime came around, the lower jaw was once again encrusted with rust while the upper jaw was as pretty as a channel lock can be.  Encouraged by my little experiment, I took the frame to a local stripping company.  They warned me that the finish might be a little darker than I expected, that, in my head, would just create a better contrast with the brass brazing in the lug work.  
 An unexpected surprise was the magical appearance of a photo impression of the decals etched into the tubing.  We thought the paint protected the frame!
    Needless to say I went on with the process.  I used the brush on formula from the can.  It's a self leveling liquid, the brush formula has a higher solid content and I wanted maximum protection for Michigan weather.  This shit is toxic!  I opened the can, my cats ran under the bed and BRAIN DAMAGE screamed in my head!  I can't imagine the fumes from the spray formula.  Application is not at all like painting.  I simply tried to apply one stroke at a time on the frame with a sponge brush and fought the urge to touch it afterwards.  Applying two or three thin coats is recommended, I chose three and there are spots where I screwed up and touched it before it hardened and have few tiny runs and irregularities.  If you are a perfectionist with any form of OCD, do not use this.  You'll be on suicide watch before the end of the day.
     Rivendell provided new decals for twenty bucks and I put them over the second coat and sealed them with the third.  Above is the photo after I built it up in March.
 I took these this morning and you can see that there are no rust "plums" developing like people experienced with powder coat.  The brass brazing shows off the lug work beautifully,
 the color of the tubing has darkened a bit with exposure,
 but there is no appreciable rust developing after 3 months.
 I am really ecstatic over the appearance and this stuff is supposed 
to "resist all known solvents, including sulphuric acid."
I feel pretty confident that it will survive Michigan winters and all the crap we put on our roads.  It can be scratched but I just polished those spots with a dremel tool and brushed a little more over.  It blended in perfectly and I don't stress over the blemish in the steel like I did over the paint scratches.
It's like a fantasy come true after 7 years.  Having the original paint and an early run model was cool and all, but this is really badass lookin'.   When I saw the first raw finish on the Bombadil I imagined growing my red hair to shoulder length again and terrorizing traffic brandishing a green light saber.
I'll be fine, another martini, I'll be ok.


  1. Love it Marc. Looks better in person! Thx for documenting your journey. I’m sure Grant will be delighted to read this.

  2. Very nice...howzabout a couple more pix of the whole sh'bang all in one? ;0) Happy 4th!

  3. Impressive! Scratches can be polished and applied over without notice. Very cool. Great write up, Marc.

    Now, my question is, did you purposefully put "dick" instead of "disc"? ;)

    1. Yep, stole it direct from the Bike Snob.


    2. Hi Marc,
      Was the stripping a chemical or sand blasting? Can you share who did it and the cost?
      Thanks for sharing this!
      Tom Palmer
      Twin Lake, MI

    3. It was a chemical Stripping. Kalamazoo Stripping and Derusting did it for $65.