Jimmy's Hunqapillar

Jimmy's Hunqapillar

Will here. Jimmy had Rick, our local painter, drop his new-to-him Hunq frame off here and Antonio built it up with a ton of NOS XTR stuff that Jimmy provided. It came together really nicely, and since we don't have plan to have a gallery section for Hunqapillars (them being discontinued and all) I told Jimmy we'd put his build in a separate blog post instead. Thanks for sending some text too, Jimmy!

My favorite bike is my green 58cm Hunqapillar that the good folks at Waterford made about 12 years ago. I bought it directly from Rivendell when I was just starting to learn about the company. Only my 61cm Toyo Atlantis comes close to the fit, fun, comfort, and versatility that the Hunq gives me. I need a bike in another city, so when a Hunq in my size went up for sale last summer, it made sense to grab it.
It was a red and grey Hunq, a color scheme I love. The paint was in bad shape — it went beyond bueasage and any reasonable possibility of remediation with clear polish and touch-up paint. I saw an opportunity to have it properly repainted, so I connected with Rick at D&D. He said the red and grey was one of his favorite schemes. Plus he already had a supply of Hunqapillar decals.

It seemed negligent for me not to consider other colors, though. How often do I get to do a custom paint job? I went back and forth on colors. One day I was looking at an old hand-hammered copper saucepan and I was taken by the patina and the wide gamut of greens and blues that copper tarnishes and corrodes into. I got an idea: paint the bike to a shiny copper pot finish! And use a green from the corrosion spectrum as an accent. Rick quickly disavowed me of the shiny pot idea. No paint is going to look like that. But he said we can definitely paint it a great copper color.

Copper is tricky. I didn't want it to look too brown, red, orange, or bronzy — just unmistakably copper, with metallic or pearlescent sparkles. I shared several ideas with Rick and we agreed that one of the coppers we both saw on a specific new car would be a great color for a bike.

But which green would work as a "corrosion" accent? I glanced at my Atlantis and the answer jumped at me. I wanted the entire the head tube and all accents to be green. Rick pushed back: Sometimes less is more. How about a regular Rivendell cream head tube, cream lug windows, and some Atlantis green lug pinstripes? He was right, of course, and I deferred to his eyes and experience.

The build list was fun to put together. I decided to use some new old stock and used bits that I've been holding onto for a future special build. A freshly painted Hunqapillar certainly fit the category of special. It's a bit of a hodgepodge collection. Most of the parts are from the 8- and 9-speed era, which in some ways I consider the aesthetic and mechanical pinnacle of bicycle component design. It wasn't about being preciously retro. It was about using fine and lovely parts that are a joy to ride, look at, and experience — and importantly, that I already had in my parts bin. A Rapid Rise/low normal rear derailleur was a given, and while I'm waiting eagerly for Rivendell to produce its own low normal, "opposite movement" RD, I decided to go with the RD-M960. I like how the shiny slate grey metal changes tones depending on how the light hits it. Sometimes it appears chrome-like and other times like a polished black piano finish. Friction shifting was also a given, so I chose Dura-Ace SL-BS77s bar end shifters mounted to Paul Thumbies. In my experience there is not a smoother or more satisfying shifting setup than the BS77s and a full Shimano drivetrain.

This build is generally similar to that of my original Hunqapillar, which Rivendell pieced together with hardly any input from me besides basic info about myself (PBH, size, type of riding). I took a leap of faith then to buy it sight unseen, and it worked incredibly well for me, just as they said it would. While the specific components in this new build vary, I saw no reason to outfit this new-old Hunq fundamentally differently.

I was thrilled to work with Rick on the paint job and grateful that Rivendell made the time for the build. Will went above and beyond: he made the build possible and worked patiently with me and my cascade of questions and thoughts.

Here's the the component list in detail:

  • Rivendell/Nitto Boscomoose handlebar (58)
  • IRD RollerDrive threaded headset
  • XTR FD-M900 triple front derailleur (28.6 clamp, bottom pull)
  • XTR FC-M900 triple crankset (175, 46-36-26)
  • XT CS-M770 9-speed cassette (11–34)
  • XTR RD-M960 rear derailleur
  • IRD QB-95 bottom bracket (68, 113 spindle)
  • XTR HB-M900 hub set and Velocity Cliffhanger wheel set (36h f/r, Rich Lesnik built)
  • Nitto Nitto S83 seat post (26.8 x 250mm)
  • XTR BR-M900 cantilever brakes
  • Paul Canti Levers (short pull brake levers, polished)
  • René Herse front brake cable hanger
  • René Herse straddle cable yokes
  • Dura-Ace SL-BS77 shifters (friction mode)
  • Paul Component Thumbies shifter mounts (silver)
  • Nitto bar end plugs (silver)
  • Nitto 32F front rack
  • SKS Bluemell fenders (B65, silver)
  • Panaracer GravelKing SK+ Tire 700x50c brownwall
  • Nissen/SimWorks brake and shifter cable housing (spearmint)
  • MKS Lambda pedals
  • Brooks B68 saddle, honey
  • Newbaum's handlebar tape, twine, amber shellac

More pics:

Will again. Thank you Jimmy! It was fun to piece together an older Riv. Whenever I see a Hunqapillars it brings back memories of springtime sneezy S240s and cappuccinos at work the morning after. Good times.


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