NYC Velo has long been a fan of the steel Humuhumu, employing them in our rental fleet for the last decade.  At some point, I came across a Humu dream build, probably the titanium version, and realized that it was based on MTB geometry, which got me thinking.  As a recovering SSXC MTB racer, I was intrigued by the idea of turning a bike that had been well suited as a casual NYC urban cruiser into its intended form, a 29’er XC shredder.  

Once the 18″ Humu was retired from rental duty last fall I went to work overhauling the headset and hub bearings, deep cleaning the frame, and re-treating the inner tube surfaces with rust-inhibitor.  A set of old-stock Cook Bros Racing cranks (and associated bottom bracket) were pulled from the private stash, as was the white perforated Selle Italia Flite saddle (I came to MTB racing during the mid-90’s heyday).  I mounted a loose-stock 36T chainring, a new chain and an 18 tooth cog along with a new set of Maxxis Ardent (29x2.25) and Ignitor (29x2.1) knobbies.  

I chose Surly’s awesome steel Cheater Bar for the handlebar, a loose Thomson silver road stem, some stock Kona grips, and leftover Brooks bar plugs.  I connected the stock brake calipers to some old stock Avid SD-3.0L levers as years of rental abuse had thoroughly destroyed the stock Avid levers.  Rounding out the bike parts are some Stolen test ride pedals, a Salsa Lip-Lock seatpost clamp, and a NYC Velo-edition Ass Saver rear fender.  Two top tubes and loads of fun, the bike turned out pretty well. 

Photos by @timmyminker

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