Inside / Out at Hunter Cycles

Kit builds aren’t Rick Hunter’s thing. You won’t find derailleur hangers ordered from a catalog in drawers, or your every day, run of the mill 44mm head tube waiting en queue for assemblage. Not at Hunter Cycles.

Rick Hunter is one of those builders that makes what I like to call utilitarian art. Utilitarian because each of his bikes are made to tackle one or many jobs efficiently and with a dash of fun. Or the other way around. Art because each bike is unique. Or rather, each run of production frames are unique. Be it a WoodRat, a Cyclo-Cross disc bike or a road frame. Rick will design, fabricate and finish his own cable stops, derailleur hangers and head tubes. There are a lotta hours put into each bike. More recently he’s been working on some feats of engineering and reverse practicality however with his completely insane Bushmaster bikes…

Personal stable. Rick notes that he never rides his road bike anymore. We all need to get away from cars... and into the woods.

Let’s roll back on the track a bit. Rick Hunter began his love of cycling through racing. He raced and raced and raced. In that time, he developed a few opinions about how a bike should function and ultimately look. He began building in 1993 and his frame pedigree spread through NorCal like poison oak. Everyone got the Hunter itch. From the infamous DFL race team to bike messengers and XC MTB racers.

Inside and Out of Hunter Cycles

You can’t go for an afternoon spin in Santa Cruz without seeing a Hunter or meeting someone who has a Hunter with a unique story. Even our bartender at a local pizza shop, Bantam has “one of Rick’s first frames…” Next time I’ll have to track that down.


Over the years, Rick has occupied a number of spaces. From Santa Cruz to Watsonville and now, he’s escaped to the quiet, nestled community of Bonny Doon where his perimeter hedge-lines grow tall to offer him a bit of seclusion. That and privacy while he shreds (or gets shredded on) his pump track. While sanders, welders, mills and music blasts from his modest, yet wonderfully organized workshop.


Take a look inside and out of what I would consider a Bay Area legend’s workshop…

Follow with Rick and his life at his Instagram @CondorCazador

  • Great set of photographs John, love the ones of the rear-ends hanging from the rafters.

  • I hope I’m as cool as Rick some day.

  • Garrett Kautz

    Rad bikes, even radder dude…

  • awesome set John, cool to get a peek behind the curtain of one of the best in the biz.

  • Tony Clifton

    “What would Sacha do?” Indeed…

  • Matt Reeve

    I never want this gallery to end…

  • Brett

    it’s been asked 1000x, but what brand slingshot is that?

    • James

      That doesn’t really look like a legitimate slingshot. I think it’s a makeshift slingshot out of a cut bike fork. And judging by the H I think the Hunter cycles guy makes them himself.

  • Dustin Roth

    YES!!! Love the Hunters, and the legend himself rocks a shirt from some of the most legit guys in the business, Monkey Wrench Cycles! check them and their amazing MTB collection out.

  • Praphol Krajitboribun

    want it

  • ChrisDefiance

    Cool seeing the Sub 11.0 dropouts on a Hunter. What even is that thing?

    • rick hunter

      ha, good eye.. Sub 11’s were pre-Surly or before Surly started stamping Surly in the drops.. I used to do a lot of SS retro-fits with the Sub 11’s, that bike is just an old retro fitted 26″ MTB in for a repaint..

  • Slc29er

    Ha, I’m still rocking an old pair of cuff clips. People always ask where I got them. My answer is usually 1992.

  • reteptterrab

    oh man, seeing a garage full of tools – the right tools – and an imagination at work give me hope.
    Awesome photo set!