Then I struck out on a "get by" plan, and ended up with the BMC #42 Monster Cross model I dubbed "Orange Crush"
|It's a good un!|
I think the fit and some other major considerations are really close with this bike. The handling is very close. Ol' Orange Crush does a lot of things very, very well for me.
Then there are a couple of things I am wanting to tweak, and one thing I really want to do that I've started to notice more and more of on smartly built gravel specific rigs.
- First, I want to slacken the head angle about a half degree with a similar fork off set to the BMC. This should provide the skosch more stability I am craving. The BMC is oh-so-close.
- I want to lower the bottom bracket a bit. Not a lot, but definitely I want more bottom bracket drop than the BMC has. This will also lend a more stable feel. It also will have the effect of setting me a hair more "into" the bike.
- The big thing, which I am starting to notice guys doing, is to have a track end type drop out with a derailleur hangar, like this. I might not need that much throw, but to be able to single speed the bike in an emergency seems to be an important thing in gravel grinding, and I don't need "swift rear wheel changes", so if it is a bit fiddly, I wouldn't mind. Truth is, I've had a bicycle with similar drop outs in a Klein Attitude, circa 1992.
A casual conversation at the shop one day led to a connection I had in the past which has developed into a verbal agreement to have a local builder help put this dream into reality. In fact, I may end up actually doing some of the work!
Scary, I know!
So, stay tuned later this year for little updates to what I hope will become my gravel grinder project.