For the professional craftsperson spending an insubordinate amount of time within their workshop, a cat or dog provides companionship and, in the case of New York’s Thomas Callahan of Horse Cycles, inspiration — for a rowdy plus-sized hardtail.
Thomas’ cat Charles, a bobcat-like domestic shorthaired tabby, may not be colored sea mist green but, in the best possible way, does look like he has a long and slack geometry. And those of us who are cat people, know that does not necessarily mean slow.
On the contrary, when it comes to riding trails, the Horse Cycles Hellcat, like the beast it was inspired by, would undoubtedly blast through them like a fast-flowing river. With this frame, Thomas has very obviously nailed form and function.
The latest frame from Horse Cycles is a summary of modern geometry, built around a slacked head tube, long top tube, and a short, custom-anodized Paul Components Boxcar stem, mounted above a custom-turned, tapered head tube.
A fully-tucked rear wheel is hugged by a curved seat tube, which will find it’s home deep inside berms and twists of the trail, while a 130-150mm travel front Fox fork at the front end is the perfect specification for point-and-shoot descending.
Thomas proves his mettle with highly-crafted wishbone seat stays, artfully capped either side of the top tube, whose lines continue past the seat tube. Both axles are boosted, with a 110x15mm through axle in the front and a 148x12mm in the rear.
Both the top and down tubes were curved — the down tube allowing more suspension clearance as well as triple internal cable routing. Thomas spec’d a SRAM 1×12 Eagle drivetrain with a 10-50 tooth rear cassette, Hydro brakes, and a Fox dropper seatpost.
Horse Cycles’ in-house painter, Ben Falcon, did an amazing job, emblazoning the Hellcat insignia on the head and seat tubes, and the best-crafted logotype we’ve seen on a down tube since the Land Boys work for Jordan Hufnagel.
Thomas will be presenting the Hellcat at Adam Sklar’s upcoming Builders Camp in Bozeman, Montana, so expect to see more coverage of this beautiful machine in your feeds — hopefully in a dustier state.
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