Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from Ian Hall in British Columbia, Canada, who shares his handbuilt “trail-capable commuter” from LT Wiens Fabrications in Manitoba. Learn more about Ian and his unique steel hardtail here…

Words by Ian Hall (@ihall204), photos by Miles Arbour (@milesarbour)

Good day! My name is Ian Hall, pronouns he/him, and I am a settler on Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation territory. I’m originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, but for the last five years, I’ve been based on the lower Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

LT Wiens

I’m a lifer on the bike. I’ve dabbled in all the disciplines, am a long-time bike commuter, and have tried to give back through trail building, active transportation advocacy, leading clinics, and organizing events (shout out to Actif Epica in Manitoba). For the last 10 years, bikepacking has become my release and reset from adult life. I’m strictly an amateur and just love luxuriating in the simplicity and focus of time on the bike.

  • LT Wiens
  • LT Wiens

My bike is a custom steel fillet-brazed 27.5+/29er machine made about four years ago by Lyle Wiens of LT Wiens Fabrications in Altona, Manitoba. Lyle got into building because he’s super tall and couldn’t find bikes that fit; proper fitting frames for his customers is one of his biggest focuses. As a household-sanctioned 40th birthday gift to myself, I asked Lyle to build me a trail-capable commuter that could still do some longer hauls on gravel or pavement without feeling too slow. Perfect fit, moderately progressive geometry, and a few small touches specifically added to handle rainy winter riding like extra fender mounting points and a forward-facing seatpost bolt make for a bike that is just a nice-riding, well-mannered, ultra-reliable machine.

It has grown with me, or into me, or me into it. Climbing aboard is like putting on a favourite pair of jeans. Or maybe nicely worn Blundstones. It seems to be just as at home riding the trail to the office on Monday morning as it is for a week on the GDMBR. I often choose it over my “fancier” dual-suspension bike when I feel like I really want to savour a ride.

LT Wiens
  • LT Wiens
  • LT Wiens
  • LT Wiens
  • Frame LT Wiens custom, unfiled fillet-brazed
  • Fork Fox 34 Factory
  • Rims WTB Scraper
  • Hubs Hope (front) / Rohloff (rear)
  • Tires Very worn WTB Ranger (front) / Specialized Butcher (rear)
  • Handlebars Truvativ risers
  • Headset Cane Creek
  • Crankset Old SRAM
  • Pedals Old Candies or flats
  • Cassette Rohloff
  • Derailleur Rohloff
  • Brakes SRAM Guide
  • Shifter(s) Rohloff
  • Saddle Brooks C17
  • Seatpost No-name dropper
  • Front bags Swift Zeitgeist
  • Other accessories Reflective triangle dangler, bottle from my LBS heroes at Elphi Cycles, cut-down rear fender
  • LT Wiens
  • LT Wiens

The bike has a clear coat finish that has stood up well and seems to be a conversation starter. I appreciate it shows Lyle’s skill with the torch. Build kit is mostly “stuff that was around” (other than the fork) and includes a lot of used parts, including a second-hand Rohloff that I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time for.

Thanks to Miles Arbour for the photos; you never know who you’ll meet on the trail or what they’ll invite you to write up. Great running into you!

You can find Ian on Instagram @ihall204.

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