Rick Hunter Camouflage Dirt Tourer, AKA the Super Scrambler

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Standing at a distance of about six feet, I placidly gaze at the features of this bike, as in a museum.  Steve Potts approaches, now two of us standing shoulder to shoulder in appreciation.  Nothing to say in particular, although I stumble through a few words about the paint and drop bars and how this is probably my favorite bike at the show– “if I could take one bike home with me, this would be it”.  He kindly nods.  Pausing for a final moment to look, he walks away.  The bike receives the Steve Potts seal of approval, and that’s saying a lot.

Rick Hunter has been building bikes in Santa Cruz, CA for 20 years.  His featured dirt tourer at last year’s show was highly praised, complete with custom canvas framebags from Randi Jo Fabrications.  This year, he brought a showstopping custom longtail fatbike, built for Scott Felter of Porcelain Rocket.  But this drop bar 29er is the bike that stole my heart.  

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Vintage WTB Dirt Drop bars, Dura-Ace levers and Shimano XT shifters.  The bars are finished with a layer of Grab-On foam in the drops, wrapped in cotton tape.  This is still a really good way to mount shifters.  

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Custom Cunningham in-line barrel adjusters.

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Destined for Monkey Wrench Cycles in Lincoln, NE.

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Custom 6-speed cassette on a Chris King singlespeed hub, yielding a dishless rear wheel and a wide range of gears.

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Rick crafts beautiful and functional fork crowns and chainstay yokes.

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The build is completed with a NOS Avocet Touring saddle and Deore XT seatpost.

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Scott Felter says “Rick Hunter is a genius”.  I couldn’t agree more.  His bikes are highly functional, featuring a utilitarian aesthetic that is in itself, artistic.  He finds creative solutions to the specific needs of his customers, manufacturing custom racks, fork crowns and chainstay joinery.  While this bike is styled like an old Cunningham drop-bar mountain bike, painted like a Ritchey, it is designed and specced like a bike that is actually meant to ride.   

More images of the Super Scrambler and other bikes from Hunter Cycles on Rick’s photostream.

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17 thoughts on “Rick Hunter Camouflage Dirt Tourer, AKA the Super Scrambler

  1. I had lately been wondering where I first stumbled across your site, Nicholas, and when you mentioned Steve Potts I remembered that I first saw “Gypsy By Trade” at J.P.’s whimsical site. You mix with royalty, lad! As you should…

    That Hunter looks like…a hunter. It looks like it could get you out from behind enemy lines.

    It also looks like it should be yours.


    • Rick’s other bike at the show was a custom longtail fatbike for Scott Felter (of Porcelain Rocket). If that bike had been painted this way, it would have been a serious hunting bike– a Hunting Hunter.

      Yes, this drop-bar 29er should be mine. It is a close approximation of my dream bike.

      Nice to hear from you, TJ.


    • Yes, Steve had a drop-bar mountain bike on display from 1987, featuring WTB drops and a similar shifter arrangement. Very much like these greta older bikes, but with modern component selections in all the right places.

      I heard the paint was done by the same guy that painted Ritchey frames this way. Steve Potts mentioned his name, but I’ve since forgotten.

  2. There were so many bikes to like and admire at the show. This one caught my eye as well. I think everybody picked their fave based on the type of riding they enjoy the most. My favorite was the Littleford tourer that was just inside the front door.
    I was amazed by the creativity that these bike engineers put into the product they produce.

    • Jim, I was very impressed with the Littleford as well. I could tell it was built by someone with experience on the road, but with a creative mind toward making a better bike. I have a load of photos that I will be sharing in the coming week, including a thorough look at the Littleford.

      You’re right, we pick favorites based upon the kind of riding we enjoy, or the kind of riding we aspire to do. I saw a lot of fatbikes I’d like to ride, and a few mountain tandems, as well as a several dirt road drop-bar scorchers (Soulcraft, Bruce Gordon, Hunter, Potts, etc.)


  3. I like the idea of a dishless rear wheel, but a custom cassette? Does it take standard Shimano sprockets on a custom hub or something similar?

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