Saturday, May 19, 2012

Make Mine Steel: Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross"

Since I started out on this "steel for frames" deal Monday, and asked "why steel?", I thought I'd show you all where I put my money and why. Each of the bicycles I will be featuring will be bicycles I bought and paid for. Yes- I like steel framed bicycles!

Post 3GR Friday Night
Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross"

You regulars knew this one was coming, didn't you? My "Orange Crush" rig is one of my favorite bicycles. Of course, it is a steel frame and fork.

Black Mountain Cycles   is primarily a bicycle shop which is run by industry icon, retro-geek, and regular cool guy, Mike Varley. Mike may not be known by a lot of you by his name, but you've heard of his work. Masi? Haro Mountain Bikes? Yeah, Mike Varley had a hand in those company's bicycle designs.

So, after Mike cut outta the grind of being an industry dude for those companies, he set his sights on being the sole proprietor and mechanic/salesman at Black Mountain Cycles. He then decided he'd do a modest line of cross and road frame/forks. Steel of course! Mike drew from a deep well of vintage knowledge, modern steel road/cross geometry design, and his own design details he liked and brewed up a nice mix of all of that which is what you see here. The Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross".

Well, I checked his design out and it ticked a lot of my boxes, so I bought into it last year, and I am glad I did every time I ride this bike. I've written reams already about this bike, so I will not cover old ground here, but suffice it to say- I like this bicycle a lot!

Now the bike isn't perfect in my eyes, but it is darn close. I would tweak a few items, but really, it is such "fine line" stuff, I won't even mention it. By the way, I am super happy I ditched the carbon fork and returned to the original steel fork. Astute readers will also note that I have recently swapped out chain rings. 46T/36T FSA rings are making my knees waaay happy!

Special Note: The Clement Pneumatics X'Plor MSO tires on this bike will be available at QBP Monday!!  I expect they will sell out the first batch very quickly, so get on the horn to your LBS and have them get you these Monday. I highly recommend them. Awesome tires.


blackmountaincycles said...

Many thanks, G-T!

And thanks for the tip on the Clement tires. They've been in my item watch for a long time.


Ari said...

My favorite go to bike that I have.
Still messing around with tires. The fresh gravel needs more meat and air.
Thanks Mike!

Unknown said...

Wow, I'd like to know more about those shifter mounts! Kelly Take-offs? They look trick.

Guitar Ted said...

@Brian Rand:Those are "Retroshift" mounts for Shimano bar end shifters. You can learn more at