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Hufnagel Cycles Porteur Project

Custom bike builder Jordan Hufnagel creates his ideal city bike as a farewell to the craft

by Graham Hiemstra in Design on 06 January 2014

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Celebrated in the custom bicycle building community for his impeccable talent and classic aesthetic, Portland-based Jordan Hufnagel leads the charge in purposefully designed bicycles with Hufnagel Cycles. In recent years, however, his focus has shifted from handmade bicycles to finding freedom in outdoor experiences, and led him to found West America with longtime friend and celebrated motorcycle builder James Crowe. The duo has spent the past two years preparing for a monumental motorcycle trip to Patagonia and back. Due to this, in 2013 Hufnagel Cycles temporarily—or, perhaps permanently—ceased taking custom orders. In the months leading up to the trip however, Hufnagal created a final single-speed Porteur city bike—a last hurrah of sorts. The expertly made bicycle is now available online only, as by now the West America trip is well underway.

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"I wanted this last effort in bikes before the trip to be one that really exemplified what I thought was awesome. Awesome in relation to design, functionality and overall aesthetic," said Hufnagel. "So, in a divergence from my usual one-off custom frame building, I decided to make my perfect bike and offer it up for my final order. The result was a clean, simple-looking Porteur bicycle with all its bells and whistles nicely tucked away. One that the owner will feel its quality and appreciate its subtlety, instead of flash and gaudiness."

While the use of top-tier components from American manufacturers is a definite plus, the true highlight of the bike is the custom rack and front and rear lights. Each piece was designed and fabricated by Hufnagel in his workshop, with internal wiring running through the rack, fork and frame for a clean look. To keep things simple, the Schmidt SONdelux SL front hub transmits electricity to the lighting system through the axle, rather than external wire connectors, allowing it to be removed and serviced like a normal wheel. Additional draws include custom machined sweeping handlebars that allow for use of the new Paul reverse brake levers. All fender mounts are special Honjo cone and set screw style too, adding to the bike's overall sexy look and feel.

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The Porteur is a 56 cm seat-tube and 61 cm top-tube, and available directly from West America online for $6,650. See the slideshow for a closer look at the Porteur, and be sure to visit West America directly for details on the design and build process with anecdotes and images by Jordan Hufnagel himself.

Images courtesy Jordan Hufnagel

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