Friday, May 19, 2017

Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross

Regular blog reader(s) may have noticed that I've mentioned the Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross frame several times in the past.  After selling my Jones (!) a month ago, my bike fund was flush enough that I finally paid down for one. In a way, the BMC is very similar to my Cross Check, a bike that I enjoyed over many years, but with a bit lighter weight tubing and what looks like better fitting geometry.

Here we go:

The color looked more classic red online, but it's really more of a brick red, slightly orangish. I like it:

Frame size is a 62cm. Mike (Varley of BMC) made a drawing of my fitting dimensions (from my Technium) onto the 62cm frame to show how I would fit:

Woohoo for long steerer tubes!

The only real issue I had during the build was the paint build up on the frame. About half the small holes needed clearing with a tap, and I had to sand down the thick paint in the dropouts in order to get my wheel in:

I need to get some clear finger nail polish on there... the other issue was my VO rack wouldn't line up to the canti mounts on the frame, since the fork length was a bit taller. That took a bit of bending to make it work:

Yes! my cheater bar is an old titanium seat post. The clamp was worthless, but it makes a fine cheater bar. Light and easy to use.

The initial build is a lot like how I ran my Cross Check:

40/36 x 16 fixed, with a WI Dos freewheel on the flip side. On the Cross Check, I could run a 40/34 front ring setup, but I couldn't quite get the extra length of chain to work on the BMC. Not a big deal:

I have my Ironweed bag up front:

And some new/used 46cm Salsa Cowchipper bars for steering:

I'm happy to be back on wider bars and a higher trail bike after playing around with low trail and kid sized bars for a spell. Though the steering here is a touch deliberate with the front bag and big tires (40mm Resist Nomads)

I found some more Dublin singletrack on my first ride, good times on a fixed gear:

I haven't put a lot of miles on the BMC yet, but I'm enjoying it so far. The fit is about as comfortable as my old Raleigh, and the ride is pretty lively. With it's 8/5/8 OS tubing, the Monstercross isn't as wonderfully flexy as that old Technium, but it is a step livelier than the CC. And, it has strong brakes and great tire clearance, something the old sport touring bikes don't typically have.

Now with fenders and bar tape:

I think this bike will be a good fit for me. With the front bag, I can do a quick run into town for small errands. The fixed gear adds a bit of challenge to my few local hills. I'm looking forwards to some more miles this summer.

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