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.