By Matthew Butterman
Based in rural New Hampshire, 44 Bikes are built-to-order from steel, and new for 2018, titanium tubesets. Owner Kristofer Henry welcomes conversation and collaboration about the bike of your dreams. He offers road, mountain, gravel and fat bike options, but for Henry, like his fellow New Englander, poet Robert Frost, the appeal is in the road (or path) less traveled.
“People ask me often what is my specialty and I typically state: ‘Anything with knobs that touches dirt.’ My heart is in the woods and out on the trail. That's where I gain insight and balance. The proverbial drawing board if you will. I offer a full range of bikes in mountain bikes, bikepacking rigs, fat bikes, road bikes and everything in between.
“One of my special bikes is the Huntsman which was born out of the necessity to ride roads less traveled, and it just happens to coincide with the trend towards more riders to seek out dirt roads over pavement. I've been working for the past 2 years to offer this model in titanium and I'll be using the Philly Bike Expo to formally announce the release date of this model in titanium which will be Spring/Summer of 2018. I will not be doing a general material release, but rather a model release to allow sufficient time to refine each bike so that it is consistent with its steel counterpart,” says Henry.
The Huntsman reflects the current industry trend towards “all-in-one”, go-anywhere, adventure bikes. “The Huntsman is a great example of a road bike built to handle just about anything you can throw at it. Stable at speed, with quick and responsive handling, it climbs as well as it descends, and has room for 40mm tires and options to run 1x or 2x11 drivetrains. Race on the weekend. Commute during the week. Take the bike out on group rides or head out on a Friday or Saturday after work for a nice long solo ride to unwind from the work week,” says Henry.
But for all the versatility that these adventure bikes offer, Henry’s heart is still in mountain bikes, and he’s also bringing titanium construction to his popular Marauder mountain bike model.
“I'll have a prototype titanium Marauder on hand that shares different wheel size standards (27.5 and 29 x 2.4) but also can be run as a singlespeed in either wheel size. With so many different standards in axles/wheel sizes on the mountain bike side, I'm taking my time so that the performance of my mountain bikes in titanium is equal to that of my offerings in steel, but truly enhance the qualities of titanium that riders have grown to appreciate.”
One thing is for certain: whether on the road, on single track or anywhere in between, owners of a 44 Bike are riding on a high-performance machine. It’s an attribute that Henry guarantees.
“My bike. Your size. Made to Shred™. That's guaranteed!”