When Rick Hunter was profiled on the Rapha site after he built a bike for their Continental team, he stated that his frames were “Made with Nonchalance and Pride”. It’s a loaded remark, one that implies carelessness, but if you know anything about Rick and his construction, you’ll know that ‘careless’ doesn’t enter the equation. A rigid MTB he made fifteen years ago has just resurfaced in Japan and has been given a fresh coat of paint, ready for another fifteen years or so.
Rick fillet brazed this frame together around fifteen years ago but has since been picked up by SimWorks in Japan, purveyors of exceptional bicycle components. Inspired by a reaction against the customer’s usual need for the latest technological gewgaw, the ‘Chameleon’ is the heart and soul of all-terrain biking. Before it came on the scene, suspension wasn’t needed for a good blast along our favourite singletrail with mates — rigid bikes made us smoother riders.
Ryota Kemmochi is the film Director and designer at SimWorks who came up with the Chameleon’s colour scheme and took it to Kyutai Paint, custom bike painters and neighbours of SimWorks. It was then built up with a White Industries Dos Eno drivetrain, which allows a double selection of gears, a Chris King headset and a Surly fork. SimWorks provided their proprietary Tom Boy stem and Calsaga CrMo Bar, both made for them by NItto.
It must be inspiring for Rick Hunter to see one of his frames, built so long ago, reinvigorated by a new generation of riders. See more on the SimWorks flickr.