For nearly 20-years, Rick Hunter has been building custom bicycles in Watsonville, California. His philosophy still remains as it started—make meticulous bikes that perform beautifully, and do it for a fair price. 2-9r’s, road, cross or even the occasional unicycle, Rick has a point of view on how a bike should work with the rider.
It’s what I know.
I am thirty-six years old, a Californian my whole life. Married to sweet Mary-Anne for three years. I’ve been working on bikes since grade school and have never stopped, I know nothing else. Building bikes, completing a bike and knowing that it’s right, and that it is going to be ridden, that’s a satisfaction that’s hard to replace.
Your own sense of best.
There is nothing else I’ve found that delivers that sense of accomplishment and the thrill of covering the distance between two points under your own power, especially an all-day affair with a good mixture of weather, terrain and some unpredictable conditions. And always having choice, making up the route according to your own sense of the best way. Solo is fine but group-style is good too.
Connected through bikes.
I just keep the bikes simple and durable, fun to ride and fun to look at. Nothing over the top ornamental—just solid, sleek workhorses. I make a mix of cargo, mountain, road and cross (always cross) bikes. I don’t have any big plans, I’m just always refining my process. Lately, a lot of bikes are going out of the country and that’s exciting, having a connection with people all over the world through bikes.
My favorite part of the building process is the getting started: Cutting tubes, mitering, getting a bucket of machined tubes and parts together and ready to rock. Frame building is a combination of a lot of different skills with the end result being a hunk of metal. That hunk of metal better be well made, unique, and a direct expression of the combination of your individual talents. I’m not much of a salesman, but I believe my bikes have earned a place in the world.
Intended use is everything when it comes to custom frame building. With “custom” the rider defines their own experience on the bike. Both the customer and I have a responsibility to express ourselves technically and artistically, to build something together, something unique. The Rapha Riders are lucky in that they ride all these long, hard rides — which I’m jealous about for sure — all over the country. On long rides the bike should be the surest thing out there, it’s okay to worry about your legs but not your bike.
“Made with nonchalance and pride.”
Pride in building for sure. Nonchalance maybe, I may seem casual on the surface but below is a different story, anger and frustration is a part of any creative business.
For more information visit: huntercycles.com