The Dream Bike?

Is this my dream bike? The one that will last me for a generation or more?

The Boulder is finished – at least for the moment – and I’ve taken her out for a short inaugural dust-off ride. Other than riding her down the street last night after I added the chain, this is the first time she’s been on the road, so naturally there are a number of adjustments that need to be made. Right off the top, the cantilever brakes need adjusted: there’s not enough grab at the moment to do more than slow her down and I need to be confident I can stop when I need to!

There are two spots on the fenders where a rattle is bothering me. Those spots are where the stays wrap around the fender and touch the edge, causing an occasional buzz over rough ground. That will drive me crazy in fairly short order, but a bit of cork between metals will act as a buffer. I’ve corrected the front fender line and there’s plenty of tire clearance… I could easily have gone with wider tires than the 28 x 700 size I mounted.

The bike feels solid and the overall fit – as it should be in this case – is pretty darned perfect. The size, the geometry, and the fit: I calculated correctly on the stem height and angle, as well as the length. There was a lot of discussion with Mike Kone at Boulder about the various tube lengths and the mock up they developed for me provided an excellent template for build decisions. Bottom line: Over five short miles it feels damn good to me. But it’s going to take a lot of road mileage before I make any final determinations.

One thing that does bother me is a mistake I made. Even though I checked my bar end shifters before installing them for eight distinct “clicks,” somehow there are only seven…which means that I don’t have access to my 28t low gear. I’m not sure how that happened and I’m not sure what I’ll do about it either. I do like the way that the brake levers feel and would like to keep bar ends. The handlebar angle is almost dead-on… almost. I need to rotate them ever so slightly.

The biggest issue for me is the 170 crank arms. I miss the leverage of 175 cranks and very well may have to replace the shorter crankset – they’re going to be a deal breaker for me.


6 thoughts on “The Dream Bike?

    • Of course, you are absolutely correct – and this will likely be my immediate solution to reach all the gears. Frankly, I rather prefer running in friction mode anyway. However, my original build plan had been to run in index and my selection of components was skewed toward that choice. After I fiddle around with some of the other more pressing issues (brakes, for instance!), I’ll switch over to friction and readjust the hi/low settings accordingly. In the meantime, I’ll have my eye out for another indexed solution… that is, unless I wind up sliding into friction mode and staying there!

  1. Congrats on taking the build this far! What a fantastic looking rig.
    The issues you address seem like small hiccups that shouldn’t get in the way of it quickly becoming your everyday go-to ride.
    The other comment I must make is about the fenders. I know how crazy those can make you with even the slightest, metallic rattle. Secure them down tight to keep your sanity!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Many bike enthusiasts (like me, for example!) sweat the little details… I get compulsive about small things sometimes. Could I live with having to needlessly trim the gears? Sure – and I do so with all of my friction shifting mechs. But it would bother me that I set out to build an indexed system and didn’t pull it off. Fenders can be diabolically difficult to adjust, considering how simple they appear to be. I’ve been fortunate in the past and had few difficulties with them, but I know some folks who’ve stooped to swearing and kicking and shouting!

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