Words by Brock Dehler, photos by John McCaig
I’m Brock Dehler and I’m from Asheville, North Carolina. I’m an ex-welder who is currently back in university completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental science. In the afternoons and evenings when I’m not at school, I work at my university’s bike shop and sling beers at a bottle shop downtown.
My biking history is actually pretty short. I’ve always had mountain bikes around and always enjoyed mountain biking and being able to fix my own bikes. When I made the move to Asheville, I bought my first non-mountain bike to get around town since I was living so close to downtown and things to do. That’s where the story took off. I just wanted to make that bike (a mid 2000s Scott Speedster I got for $125) my own, so I started buying parts slowly and surely to make the bike cool in my eyes.
Now, way too deep into the hobby (I currently own 10+ bikes), I really enjoy the aspect of getting around town on a bicycle, being out in nature, and hanging out with my bike friends. I’m also thankful every day to live in such a beautiful part of North Carolina with some of the best trails in the country in my backyard and such a great bike scene here.
Another reason I love this town is the bicycle co-op (The Asheville Recyclery) and the bike thrift shop (The Bicycle Thrift Shop). I was making my weekly rounds at the two stores and this Hardrock was just donated to the Recyclery, where one of the volunteers was working on it. I’ve been lusting after one of these crazy-colored Hardrocks, Stumpjumpers, or Rock Combos for a while, so I had to ask the guy if he would sell it. He said sure, for $40. Obviously it did not look quite like this then, but over the course of a few months I got it to where it is now.
- Frame/Fork Specialized Hardrock
- Rims WTB Dual Duty (26”)
- Tires Continental Mountain King 26×2.2
- Handlebars Salsa Woodchipper
- Headset Specialized
- Crankset Race Face Deus
- Cassette Shimano 9-speed 11-34T
- Derailleur Shimano Deore 9-speed
- Brakes Tektro CR720
- Shifter(s) Shimano 105
- Saddle Vintage Brooks
- Seatpost Specialzied
- Stem Homemade fabricated LD stem
- Accessories Ayinger Celebrator goat charm dangle
Almost 100% of the bike and all the parts (even the Brooks saddle and baller CNC’d Raceface cranks) you see on it now are from either The Bicycle Thrift Shop or The Asheville Recyclery. I am a broke college kid and can barely afford rent here, so I definitely can’t afford new parts. I wanted one of those LD stems that Crust made to put on the Hardrock, but they were out of stock and not going to do any more runs. So, I took matters into my own hands and fabricated my own.
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