David Ross’ Gunnar Hyper-X

Texas isn’t the flat, dusty desert that many believe it is. Well, some areas are exactly that, but there’s massive diversity here. Deep in the Heart of Texas, sandwiched between the Spring Breaker beaches and the deserted desert montañas, sits the Texas Hill Country. Austin perches itself right at the verge of the boundary between the stinging hills to the west and rolling farmland to the east. You’re darn tootin’, it’s one helluva place to be a cyclist. This motley of landscapes calls for a capable bike – fast, light, sturdy, comfy, and most importantly, right at home on all terrains. Enter David RossGunnar Hyper-X

I met David a few years ago, slowly getting to know him as a kind, devoted bike nerd. Right around that time, he was building the Gunnar to handle any mess Texas could throw at him. At just under 19lb, the OS2 steel Hyper-X is light enough to keep up with his roadie buds, but sturdy enough to leave them in the dust once they hit gravel. Even though he owns a dedicated commuter bike, the Gunnar is also his go-to when heading to work at The Meteor, where David is one sharp shootin’ bike mechanic. He’s known around these parts as Dr. Oss (D. Ross) because the man can fix anything on a bike. David is also our local route master; but he’s old-fashioned, remembering street names and counting the turns rather than relying on a fandangled GPS. These photos are from a few weeks ago where David and I rode a gravel route that he put together out of Palmetto State Park. The ride left me feeling covetous and ill-equipped as he skipped over the chonky gravel on his Hyper-X. I brought my camera knowing how good a fresh coat of Texas dust looks on the Garnet Red metallic paint and ivory decals. The color scheme is an homage to his first adventurer/commuter, a ’96 Bontrager Privateer, and the paint-matched Silca frame pump was a gift from his girlfriend, Natalie.

Dr. Oss performs a major operation on the Gunnar once a year by swapping groupsets. He started with 11sp Force 1, then went with 12sp Campy Chorus Hydro, ending with his current setup: 12sp Force AXS. The 44t Garbaruk ovalized chainring paired with a 10-36t cassette offers all the range and none of the gaps. You can find more Garbaruk on the rear derailleur with 12t and 14t pulleys. As a mechanic, David focused on function and quality over form (for the most part). He chose a Whisky No.9 flat-mount fork for its external cable routing which makes it easier to swap groups. Bombproof Velocity Aileron rims are laced to DT Swiss’ 240s hubs, making free hub swaps a breeze. That’s important because David is a big Campy fan, so he wants to be able to pop on some Campagnolo at any given time. Cane Creek can be found throughout, opting for a Slamset headset and a Hellbender70 bottom bracket. To keep the build svelte, he used Cane Creek’s eeNut preload assembly (10g!) and eeBarKeep bar ends. He’d also point out lightweight touches like Easton’s EC90 SLX bars, Ritchey Superlogic post, Extralite thru-axles, and my personal favorite, an 82g Extralite stem. Oh yeah, and Rotor’s Ti bolts are used everywhere. David attaches himself to all his bikes via Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals, even on the gravely ones.

Speaking of his other bikes, David recently finished building up a frame that was featured on the Radavist several years ago. We have a photoshoot in the works, stay tuned for a “Where Are They Now” piece.
Next time you’re headin’ down any road in Texas and stumble upon a grinnin’ lone rider on a red bike, be sure to slow down, tip your cap and holler, “Howdy David!”. So go on, be rootin, be tootin, and by god be shootin, but most of all, be kind out there…