This week’s Reader’s Rig comes from Daren Beenen of Woodpecker Cycle Co. in Washington, who shares his personal Billy Boy hardtail and some of his story of getting into building frames himself. Learn more about Darren and his beautiful do-it-all rig here…

Words by Daren Beenen (@woodpeckercycleco), photos by Miles Arbour

Howdy, I am Daren. I live in Washington State, and I am a part-time amateur frame builder. Before moving to Washington, I lived in Florida and did a lot of bikepacking there. I ordered a custom bikepacking-specific full suspension from DaamBuilt (@daambuilt) while there, and I loved the process of working with Peter Daam and ordering a custom frame so much that I decided to start making frames of my own!

Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy

As far as riding style, I really love long and remote singletrack riding. Whether that’s a day out on the bike or a week out with camping gear, I’m there for it! The best route I have ridden so far was the Tahoe Twirl. That route provides amazing views all while being close enough to town to get snacks every few hours.

  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy

The Billy Boy was the first adult frame I made. The intent was modern, do-it-all hardtail, capable of carrying all my camping gear or running occasional shuttle laps. I think my favorite part of the build is the GX AXS Eagle drivetrain with a Garbaruk Cassette. The GX AXS just shifts so wonderfully, and the battery stays charged for much longer than you would expect. I just toss a spare battery in my pack in case I forget to charge it. The Garbaruk cassette is a work of art. It’s light, pretty, affordable-ish, and doesn’t require a special freehub body.

  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Frame Woodpecker Cycle Co Billy Boy
  • Fork MRP Ribbon Air 140
  • Rims Santa Cruz Reserve
  • Hubs DT350
  • Tires Maxxis Minion (front) / Dissector (rear)
  • Handlebars Woodpecker Cycle Co chromo bar
  • Headset Wolf Tooth Components
  • Crankset Praxis Cadet
  • Pedals OneUp Components
  • Cassette Garbaruk 11-50
  • Derailleur SRAM GX AXS
  • Brakes TRP Quadiem
  • Shifter(s) SRAM GX AXS
  • Saddle WTB Volt
  • Seatpost PNW Ridge
  • Stem DMR Defy
  • Front bags Revelate Sweetroll (not pictured)
  • Frame bags Rockgeist Rolltop (not pictured)
  • Rear bags Porcelain Rocket Albert (not pictured)

So far, the bike has been an absolute blast to ride, and I have no complaints about geo or components! I am excited to get some bikepacking miles on it this year.

Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy
  • Woodpecker Cycle Co. Billy Boy

If you’re thinking about getting into frame building, I suggest you look up the Cobra frame building podcast or watch some of Paul Broadie’s videos on YouTube. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to frame builders on Instagram! The frame building community is one of the most helpful ones I have ever been a part of.

You can see more from Darren and Woodpecker Cycle Co. on Instagram @woodpeckercycleco.

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