Welcome to the first swing at a new series entitled Klunkedelic! (insert fireworks n’stuff) Klunkers have been around since before I could ride a two-wheeler. Over the following decades, curvy tubes never really went away, even in the midst of the big mountain bike boom, paperboy bikes were always there with a small niche following. There are a few custom builders that put the klunk into their bike’s DNA like Oddity, Moonmen, Retrotec, Moots and REEB. So you can look forward to Klunkedelic stories throughout the next six months, or so, as the mood strikes!
I thought that we’d get this Klunky Carnival started with an introduction to Hank. Hank currently serves as both my singlespeed mountain bike and klunker. Asylum Cycles made a complete bike called simply Hank. Way back in two-thousand and something, I talked about the bike’s release on the Dose of Fat Podcast and almost a full year later, eventually purchased one when they were on closeout at Western Cycleworks for $315, marked down from $465. I think that being a really inexpensive or discarded bike is one of the bricks in the foundation of any good klunker project.
The top two B&W photos show Hank in the out of the box stock configuration. Singlespeed gearing and a coaster brake. Take note of the perfectly clean look of the bike with no cables and brake levers. It came stock with a delicate set of tires mounted on pretty basic 27.5″ wheels. The Hank also came stock with tabs for disc brakes. The stock gearing was a bit too manly for my liking and riding punchy singletrack with just a coaster brake was sure to send me to the emergency room, so I placed the upgrade of my Hank in the hands of Grant at Zion Cyclery.
I took Hank out on Easter for some hot laps at my local twisties. I think the only difference between the initial rally sport package upgrade that Grant set me up with and present-day are the custom Danger Gnome saddle created by Jerry JM Smith and the Bontrager tires.
The initial upgrade added roughly $800 to my initial $315 investment. I basically replaced everything except the frame, fork and handlebar. I picked out a Shadow Conspiracy stem, Profile Racing cranks, and a Thomson seatpost.
The stock wheels were upgraded with a pair of WTB 27.5 Asym hoops laced to a set of White Industries Hubs. I run them tubeless, which drove Chewey a little crazy. Hank also wears the Jen Green Headbadge that my Gnomefest Cousins gave to me for my 50th birthday. I had been running a pair of Chester platform pedals on Hank, but changed over to a set of venerable M747 SPD’s this Spring for more braaap on climbs.
White Industries also makes the freewheel on Hank. Stopping power is provided by a pair of mismatched Avid BB7’s from the spare parts bin.
I might describe the ride capacity of this bike as Handi-Capable. I’m consistently impressed by the variety of sketchy terrain that Hank can handle. It doesn’t always look pretty or provide the fastest solution but Hank gets the job done with maximum fun points. I think that Hank might just be about the most baller rig in my quiver.
So that’s our first post in our new series Klunkedelic! Do you have some of that klunky funk that you’d like to share? Drop us a line and let us know what’s up in your neck of the woods! Email your Klunkedelic questions comments and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll have the gnomes down in the mailroom send you some sweet stickers!