Some things just need to change.
The black Brooks Professional and cotton wrap I’d used on my 80’s Katakura Silk really looked classy, but something was amiss. Something was bothering me about those finishing touches. For some reason, the British saddle just felt out of place on this bike and (unusual for me with a Brooks) I just couldn’t dial in the fit: I needed it to set back a bit further than the geometry allowed me to do. Solution? The brown Selle Regal I used to have on my Boulder Brevet.
So the fit was better, but the aesthetics worse. Brown saddle and black bar wrap? Unthinkable!
As always, one small change demands another small change, which, in turn, demands yet another small change. Pretty soon, you’ve got an entirely new build.
I like the feel and (relative) longevity of Salsa wrap. I have this same stuff on my Boulder and with over two years and around ten thousand miles of gripping it, this wrap has far outlasted anything I’ve ever used except for cotton tape coated with shellac. I sure wish that dumb little pepper logo wasn’t on there, but I can live with it I guess. For a bit of added diameter I simply wrapped over the black cotton Tressostar. This is a bit of an experiment that accomplishes two things: (1) It adds some cushion and (2) if I grow weary of the current look, I can simply unwind the tape and voila! Perfectly wrapped black cotton!
Normally I don’t concern myself with the added cushion. Fact of the matter is that I actually prefer the narrower and more tactile grip of cotton wrapped Cinelli bars.
I swapped out tires a month or so back for these Vittoria tires that are 700 x 25, and which I really like. I had also installed my Carradice Super C bar bag for a while, but I find it too distracting having the bag attached to the bars themselves. I also don’t like that the bar bag is positioned so much higher than the front bag of the rack-and-decaleur-mounted Swift I have on my Boulder. I’m actively looking to trade the Super C for a similar quality Carradice saddle bag instead.
My first inclinations were to pair the chrome of this bike up with either black or red: brown never entered into the equation. In my mind, brown seemed a bit wishy-washy. Non-commital. Milquetoast. But for the moment I’m rather liking the laid back look of earth tones over the chrome. And because we’ve a forecast for sunny skies and 55 degrees, I believe I’ll not dwell too much on aesthetics.