The Hooligan



Coming and going and going and coming.  I hitched from Denali back to Anchorage to buy a new laptop, a mighty MacBook Air.  I spent the week in town outfitting Lael for her European travels and sent her flying over the pole to Frankfurt and London this morning.  Accompanying her was a new bike, a sprightly 20 inch wheeled bike–a Cannondale Hooligan 8.  The 20 inch wheeled bike in question is not a folding bike, but it is super fun and features disc brakes and huge tire clearances and a 1 x 8 drivetrain.  It packs small if properly disassembled and will be able to handle country lanes, canal trails, and some light single track.  For the price, it is a fun, practical bike that ensures reliable transport.  The plan is to remove the front wheel and the fork, and avoid airline surcharges.  It’s not a folding bike, and as a result it sports a rugged, rigid aluminum frame and a steel fork.  There are no moving frame parts to be concerned about, such as on a folder.  Upscale folding bikes such as those from Bike Friday are rugged, but inexpensive folders won’t stand up to the riding that Lael will be able to do on the Hooligan.  Hopefully, as planned, it’s a fun solution for getting around Europe this summer.   With Revelate bags and the Inertia Designs frame bag she’ll have an ultralight Continental tourer, ready within a few minutes after deboarding.  If you haven’t ridden a bike with small wheels, try it.  It’s fun, and it’s not that weird.  Mostly, it rides like a bike.


We’d like to fit Schwalbe 20 x 2.15″ Big Apple tires and a handlebar with a mild sweep, such as the On-One Mary that she has enjoyed so much on her Surly LHT.  For now, some Ergon grips make things more familiar.  I packed the Hooligan into a large cotton drawstring sack sold by an outdoor outfitter, designed to carry moose and elk quarters out of the backcountry.  It fit the Hooligan and a light load of camping gear quite nicely, and cost $8.95.  Add some duct tape for extra security and some Alaskan flair.  Hopefully, the airline believes that it’s a cello or a large backpack or a “mobility aid”.

14 thoughts on “The Hooligan

  1. Oh man! Thats a rad little bike! so…. Ran in to some troubles trying to mount the anything cage I got. Initially, I wanted to mount it under the down tube… But there is absolutely no room for it. Guess the frame, and clearances are just to little. Then I was thinking of mounting it on the topside of the down tube… But I would have to make more holes in order to clear my creatine bottle cage. Oh, I’m using rivet nuts to mount by the way. So…. Any ideas? If worse comes to worse, I’ll just throw my klean bottle in the rear pocket of my pannier. However, I would like to keep the weight of my swishy cargo on the frame below me to help with stability. What do you think?

    • The Nalgene is in the vertical position on the ST and the AC is on the DT? I say make more holes. You will find more creative uses for them later. Technically, the AC is hose clamp friendly if you prefer.

      • Sorry about that last long post, I was trying to do it on my phone. Yeah, I am a little worried about putting a bunch of holes in the frame with those rivet nuts. I think I have committed to putting the anything cage on the top of the down tube, and putting regular water bottle on the seat tube. Also, I just threw some KENDA KRAD’s 26×2.30 on the Aspen. They are soooo big! I love the way they ride, and handle on dirt, as well as gravel. I think they will do great. It’s getting closer man, and the anticipation is killing me, haha. I am leaving for california in a week for “business”, then I am going to Maryland after that. Once all of that stuff is out of the way, I am off to Colorado! Oh, you going to make it out there by july 23ish? If not, I can travel north to meet you.

      • K-Rad’s are sweet. Big cushy tires, not too heavy and should hook up well, although they roll great on hardback and pavement. Should be pretty long-wearing as well.

        If the Anything Cage doesn’t fit your “system”, don’t worry about it. It’s not ideal for all bikes, as you’ve found with small frames under the DT. You could probably put a 2-3L bladder in a Jandd Framepac. I’m always curious to see what can be done with the AC, though. As you may have heard, they are not the most rugged piece of equipment, so make sure it’s not going to get knocked about. Or, two water bottles in the normal location should be just fine for most situations. An extra 1L soda bottle can always serve as overflow, and is available anywhere for free. Just fill it an stuff it in a pannier for the night.

        I still vote for more holes. I saw an 80’s custom ATB that the owner called a “hunting bike” in Jackson, WY that had more holes that I could count. Many were for water bottles, one was for an over-the-shoulder type sling, and another, near the front derailleur, was for a big knife. There was some old Campagnolo stuff mixed in with that bike as well. Campy and hunting in the same bike! The Italians never expected that.

        I’ll e-mail about dates, etc. We’ll work out something awesome. There’s tons of good riding all over the area.

    • Lael just gave word that the Hooligan, or “Hooli” as she calls it, is a “British rockstar”. If there is a bike with swagger, it might be the Hooligan.

      I saw Greg Mu in Anchorage the other day. He had a blast on the Hooligan as we rode home from a night out on the town; Lael rode three miles home on my handlebars. She’s really good as a handlebar passenger. We all scratched our heads trying to figure out the best way to pack the Hooligan into a large stuffsack at 3 AM, the night before Lael’s departure.

      And Greg will be shredding singletrack on the Stumpjumper this summer.

    • Burro and Hanebrink, are the two that come to mind. Actually, there is a retired NP ranger that lives in Denali and has a red Burro, just a few miles up the road. I rode it in a few circles several summers ago. There is a ski attachment to replace the front wheel as well. He commented that it rode like a small wheeled bike. As I’ve read elsewhere, with wide rims (40mm?) and 3″ tires it’s a “hiker”, not a runner.

      • The Hanebrink is the one that was ridden to the South Pole this past year. Excepting some of the newer lightweight fat bike rims and tires, a small wheel is the only way to keep rotational weight from becoming absurdly high. My rear rim, tire and tube probably weigh five pounds (excluding hub, cassette and spokes). It’s kind of absurd.

  2. That is a great bike. I have two of them, both 8 speeds. Rode the internal hub hooligan and was not impressed. I didn’t like the clickity hub. One has schwalbe kojaks the other some fat dirt tires. I think I will get a Carbon fork for my kojak equipped commuter to lighten it up.Little wheel bikes are rad and sooo sexy. Great bike choice.

    • Thanks Paul, Excluding the need for a real mountain bike at times, and her Pugsley over the winter in AK, this is Lael’s favorite bike for everything. She toured on it in Europe this summer, and will soon reconnect with it here in Albuquerque, where we are spending the winter. Our plans are to replace the adjustable stem with a solid hi-rise model, and to replace the bars with an On-One Mary. The tires will be replaced with something a little more volumious. It’s a fantastic bike, and more rugged and versatile than many little-wheeled machines.


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