Builder’s Camp in Bozeman: Horse Cycles Hell Cat Hardtails

Each year at NAHBS, a selection of builders at the show lament on how we should actually ride bikes together more, not just talk about them once a year at the show. I get it. Sitting in a convention center, under that horrible lighting, discussing how a bike rides is worlds apart from actually riding out on the trails. This year, Adam Sklar took the initiative to plan a weekend and then some of fun times in Bozeman and sent out an open invite to numerous builders. His idea was to expose people to the culture here, the town’s local builders, eats, drinks, and shops, in an event playfully dubbed the “Builder’s Camp.” Squid, Breadwinner, Retrotec, Falconer, Horse, Alliance, and Strong, along with a few other locals, all prepared for 5 days of non-stop riding and relaxing in this beautiful mountain town.

Horse Cycles Hell Cat Hardtails

I’ve always loved the aesthetic of what Thomas Callahan at Horse Cycles produces in his Brooklyn-based workshop. Over the past few years, he and his team have pulled together some beautiful frames. For the Builder’s Camp, Thomas and his friend Nik came out to Bozeman with these two Hell Cat hardtails. These bikes are 27.5+ “East Coast Rippers.” With a 66.5º head angle, designed for 130-150mm forks, and room for 3” tires. Each there are options for the seatstays, downtube, and paint colors. For the stays, a wishbone with scalloped ends is an option. No matter what the tubing selection or details you end up choosing, the work of Ben Falcon Paint will give your bike a unique look with empeccable detailing.

The Hell Cat hardtails start at $2,100 for a frame, plus a fork of your choosing. Head to Horse for more details.


Follow Horse Brand on Instagram and follow along with the #BuildersCamp hashtag.

  • Kirsten Geer Wilcox

    I was thinking recently *why don’t I see segmented seat stays like the forks* – is anyone else doing them?

    • boomforeal

      they’re a dekerf signature. sycip too. i’m sure there are others

      • Daniel Powell

        Sycip caps the the stays with pennies. Such a sweet detail.

      • AngryBikeWrench

        Dekerf’s are a little different though – I don’t want to say the first descriptor that comes to mind, because it’s crude and offensive, but the vertical and horizontal tubes each go all the way through… Never seen anybody else do it exactly like that.

        • boomforeal

          i think he refers to his version as a pierced monostay

          • AngryBikeWrench

            Yes, you got it. Could not think of that last night.

    • Jared Jerome

      Dark Moon in LA does them too.

    • Firefly, Sycip, IF, there are a lot that still do them.

    • Simon

      On One did them on the inbred too!

      • boomforeal

        yup: i bought a 14″ 456 evo frame to build a hardtail for my son and was shocked to see them even on an itty bitty frame like that; sharp detail for sure

    • Kirsten Geer Wilcox

      Neat, thanks – not sure why I didn’t notice them more.

    • Dario

      I think they’re aesthetically amazing, but some say the frame gets more lateral flexion as a result. Minor nitpick, but maybe a reason to go with regular stays.

      • I’ve never noticed that and I have two bikes with wishbone stays. I think with thru-axles, that solved the “flexiness.” From a production standpoint they’re easier too…

        • Dario

          I’m a huge fan of the feel of my Mikkelsen, which features a lovely wishbone, mostly just bringing it up to catch others’ opinions on the matter / playing devil’s advocate.

  • Will Tabor

    That saddle on the green one looks really comfy and unique, but I cant really tell you why it looks different. Maybe thats what good design is supposed to do.

  • mark rothschild

    “I’m…Stoked…it looks like 10,000 other Bikes…WOW”!!!

    • It does have two wheels and cranks.

    • Rick

      Not sure if this is sarcasm, buuuut to my eye the blue Hell Cat has just the right angles/curves/dimensions/subtleties to make it something pretty special amongst the 10,000 other bikes…

  • Matt Karwoski

    Approximately how much dosh would these complete builds run someone?