Jill Kintner has a long history of podiums when it comes to mountain biking. Whether it's downhill, Air DH, slalom, or pump track, Kintner has stood on top of the podium nearly countless times. With 40 gold medals over the years at Crankworx alone, the five-time "Queen of Crankworx" is undoubtedly one of the best riders out there.
It's not all that uncommon to see custom bikes for top riders at high profile events like Crankworx or World Championships, but Jill's "Queen of Hearts" bike takes things to a new level. The bike was designed and painted by Tony Baumann of Bellingham, Washington. Jill also had a lot of input in the creation of the bike, as an artist herself. I sat down with Tony to hear how he came up with the wild design and also spoke with Jill to get a few more details on the truly one-of-a-kind bike.
If the name Tony Baumann sounds familiar, it's because you've likely seen or heard of some of his incredible designs before. Last year, he painted Bryn Atkinson's "Snake Bike"
for Crankworx. Tony has done numerous other high profile bikes such as Ken Block
and Troy Brosnan's
Baumann's frames are hand painted start to finish. As he says, "Wraps are for presents."
As intricate and involved as some of the past creations Tony has made have been, he says that Jill's bike was the most stressful he's made. Jill came to Tony a while back looking for a "Queen of Hearts" bike. With a few different card styles in mind, Jill gave some ideas to Tony and at first it seemed somewhat straightforward, but once ideas started going back and forth it became difficult to nail down an exact design, especially given Jill and Tony's busy schedules.
The inspiration for the bike.
Time became tight leading up to Crankworx, and Jill told Tony, "Do whatever you want. I haven't seen a bad bike from you and I'm sure it'll be great." As anyone who has heard a similar phrase knows, that takes away stress in some ways and adds in others. After a little more contemplation and walking the dog around the block, Tony settled on an idea and then the labor started.
Some of the challenges of the design were making the entire bike seamless. Everything flows continuously and there are no seams to be seen. The amount of planning that it took to get everything to perfectly line up, along with the order of painting different colors was beyond complicated.
Unmasking the Queen of Hearts
Jill was concerned with weight so the frame was stripped down to the bare aluminum to start, a painstaking and time consuming process in itself. Then the frame was sprayed black, the black was masked off, then it was sprayed white, masked, yellow, masked, and finally red. After that, it was a matter of pulling off all of the vinyl and hoping everything worked.
All in, just
the painting process took over 30 hours. That doesn't include any of the design, prep, or the clear coat.
2019 Norco Rampage Custom Details
Size: Custom, 5mm shorter than a large
Fork: Fox 36 - 120 psi 9 tokens
Tires: Maxxis Ikon 2.2 - 50psi F/ 55psi R Tubeless
Wheels: Stans Arch CB7 carbon wheels, 26”
Cranks: Shimano XT - 170mm
Brakes: Shimano XT
Seat: Fabric Line - Custom gold
Bars: Renthal Fatbars Lite Alloy 30mm rise, 740mm width
Stem: Renthal Duo 50mm stem
Grips: Renthal Ultra tacky traction grips
Check out more of Tony's work at maderad.com