44 Bikes is a small shop out of New England that builds custom steel road and mountain bikes and, in the case of the Huntsman shown here, bikes that serve a multitude of purposes.
The Huntsman is laid out to work equally well on pavement and off, for gravel or cyclocross. The build shown here is for exploring rougher stretches thanks to the splayed out bars and Retroshift brifters. The chainstays are flattened to add a bit of compliance, aided by the thinner seat tube/post spec. Once the bike is built, the headtube gets a 44 Bikes badge and the seat tube gets a special badge with your own lucky number.
UPDATE: Pricing, custom options and some prototype “fat packing” bike touring bags added to post.
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The Huntsman can even be set up to run singlespeed. Founder Kristofer Henry has some starting geometries for the bikes, but each build is completely custom for the rider, built one at a time. His order form gives you the opportunity to measure your current favorite rig to help get it dialed to fit you (you can also provide data from a pro bike fit, too). You can also pick options like rack and fender mounts, extra bottle mounts, radius seat tube, internal cable routing, singlespeed dropouts, etc. The list is extensive, your imagination even more so.
Once built, you can choose paint or powdercoat color so it’s finished to your liking. Frames start at $2,000.
The Kid Dangerous is his 29er hardtail mountain bike. The multiple bends in the seatstays serve two purposes. First, they add a bit of compliance for a more forgiving ride. They also contact the seat tube lower, which allows for a more drastic top tube slope without messing with the aesthetics like some of the old KHS hardtails. BB height is designed around east coast riding…a bit taller for better obstacle clearance without getting so tall it ruins the center of gravity.
Henry says he’s beginning to work with titanium, too, and that seatposts, handlebars and stems are in the works. Oh, and touring bags:
These are prototypes of dry bags he built this summer for the seat back and handlebar. More on these as they progress.
Thanks to Adam for leading us to 44!