Words and photos by Andy Kaucher
Hi, my name’s Andy Kaucher – a self-professed terrible tinkerer, bike rider, and middle-school language arts teacher from Reading, Pennsylvania. Growing slowly more obsessed with bicycles over the last decade, I love building up bikes from the frame, seeing the way a small mechanical change can make a big difference, and riding my bike as much as possible. After completing my first century ride and selling my truck this past summer, I have fully made the switch to bike commuting to work.
There’s an early Amazing Spider-Man villain that the current faction of comic-book movie adaptations should give some serious consideration. He’s an ambitious old fellow who spends his time scheming and – more importantly – mucking about with tools and aliens in some basement or garage. His name appears on the cover as the “Terrible Tinkerer.” Who wouldn’t want that kind of marvelous legacy?
For me, riding and tinkering have been a much-needed outlet. The stresses of the pandemic on education are pervasive. I started commuting last year to stave off burnout and get some scheduled exercise before and after teaching, and, honestly, it works pretty well. I walk into our school with a smile on my face and more energy than if I would’ve driven in.
My Raleigh Redux 1 doesn’t have some awe-inspiring, superhero origin story. Aside from two vintage frame builds I’m working on, it’s my N=1. I bought it online after too many hours of research, trying to find the perfect bike for my $400 budget. I had sold all my previous bikes (including a much-loved 2013 Kona Honzo) to pay for grad school, and at the time I was riding my wife’s bike. The Redux was – and still is – an unreal bike for what I paid for it. Years later, a few part swaps here and there, a possible warranty void with a EC44 lower headset and Surly fork, and it fits me about as perfectly as I can feel. We don’t go that fast, but most of the time fast doesn’t always mean fun!
- Frame Raleigh Redux 1 (Large)
- Fork Surly Bridge Club
- Wheels Weinmann U28
- Tires Schwalbe 27.5 x 2″ Big Bens
- Handlebars Raleigh (stock)
- Headset Stock on top, Cane Creek EC44 on bottom
- Crankset Stock with 34t Race Face chainring
- Pedals From a 1990s Trek 820 build I’m working on
- Cassette Microshift Advent 9-speed, 11-42
- Derailleur Microshift Advent 9-speed
- Brakes Promax 300 with mis-matched levers – 170 rear rotor!
- Shifter(s) Microshift Advent 9-speed
- Saddle Charge Spoon
- Seatpost Raleigh (stock)
- Stem Ritchey Comp – 80mm x 30*
- Front bags A soft cooler with a backpacking rain cover
- Frame bags Oveja Negra ½ pack
- Rear bags Sea-to-Summit dry bag and a seatpost rack
- Accessory bags Cedaero tank top, Fizik saddle bag
- Front Rack DIY with $5 basket from Targer
- Other accessories Rear light. Front light (mounted on a socket). SKS P55 fenders. Velo Orange Mojave cage.
Staying true to my comic book villain inspiration, the front rack is a DIY, way over-built prototype made from plywood, old rear rack stays, bolts that are too long, and mounting brackets from a heater.
Send Us Your Bikepacking Rig
Use the form below to submit your bikepacking rig. We’ll choose one per week to feature in a Reader’s Rig Dispatch and on Instagram. To enter, email us your best photo of the bike (preferably at a 90° angle), your Instagram username (optional), and a short description of you and your rig. If your bike is selected, we’ll need a total of five photos and a little bit more info.
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.