Monday, June 11, 2018

It's Gonna Be Very Pink

Could one of those be mine?
In 2011 I found out that Black Mountain Cycles owner, Mike Varley, was selling frames. Not just any ol' frames, but a drop bar frame that could handle pretty good sized tires. I was very interested. 

I had been bitten by the gravel road riding bug. I had been using mountain bike frames and forks, for the most part, for all my gravel travel. It was good, and that works fine, but I did not have a "real" drop bar bike that would take decent sized tires that wasn't built so heavy duty. My Gen I Fargo was, and still is, an awesome rig on gravel, but I was looking for something a bit sleeker. Not so over-built, and something that maybe had a bit better position for cutting through the wind. The first candidate was a Surly Cross Check.

Cross Checks were the gravel bike back in the day. You still see them out there, but nothing like the early days of gravel grinding. The thing about that bike was that it has a really Euro-short head tube. I was about getting lower, but I'd still have a stack-o-spacers if I got a Cross Check, and I wasn't digging that look. Vanity, I understand, but if I'm buying a bike, it has to suit my aesthetic tastes.

Then I checked out the Monster Cross bike from Black Mountain Cycles. It ticked a lot of the boxes. Not all, but without going custom in 2011, you weren't going to get all my boxes ticked. So, I pulled the trigger and I got one of the first Monster Cross frames in existence. Of course, long time blog readers here have seen that bike ad nauseum since 2011. It's still one of my favorites.

Now I have cleared the way in my stable by selling off one of my bikes for the imminent arrival of my second Black Mountain Cycles frame and fork. This time it will be the new Monster Cross Disc. A frame and fork Mike Varley, owner of BMC,  has promised would be coming for quite some time now. What's more, the frame and fork I am getting will be pink! 

All images today courtesy of Mike Varley/Black Mountain Cycles
 Of course, the new frames have disc brake only compatibility. However, they vary from my "Orange Crush" BMC in that the the top tube is sloped, and the fork is a segmented design. There are a few more minor variances, but essentially, I am expecting that these frames and forks will ride really well.

One of the big improvements since the 2011 frame and forks is that through axles are now standard. I think this will improve handling since through axles have the effect of "tying" the frame and fork together. The wheels should track better, and wheel ejection issues will be impossible due to the captured axles.

Another minor detail, but one I think is rad, is the down tube will have two water bottle mounts, the seat tube one, and underneath the down tube will be another. This is an old school, early mtb arrangement that I've always thought was cool. My Gen I Fargo has this arrangement, but it was kind of ignored by the industry, until now. I've noted at least three new gravel bikes coming out soon which will also feature this double bottle on the down tube style. That said, Mike's was the first I've noted since the Gen I Fargo.

If you don't want it painted, ya gotta stick something in there, or tape it off.
I've got almost everything I need to set this rig up. I've got to get a head set, and I think I'm going with a Wolf Tooth head set. I just got one a while back for test and review on , and I really like it so far. The big question is, what color do I get? Black? Conservative choice, looks fine. Blue? Good contrast, but......I don't know. Purple? Hmm...... Might be the one here.

Then I have a wheel set in mind, but the colors are predetermined there if I go with the one I have in mind. Carbon rims though. Pretty dang sweet. There is another way to go that would be super-bling and that option is on the table as well. I have to decide how outlandish I want this bike to be. I mean, it is already pink. What more do you have to do to make it stick out!

So, anyway, a forewarning that another Black Mountain Cycles rig will be grabbing the blog pages here in a short while. It should be fun and I'll be really curious to see how this one rides. Stay tuned.....


Scott said...

Hi GT! Given that you've seemed to enjoy experimenting with a few 650b wheel and tire setups recently, were you at all tempted to get Mikes new Road+ frameset instead of the the new MCD? What are your thoughts on the geometry differences between the two?

BluesDawg said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your bike and reading about how it rides. I followed your lead by buying a 2012 Monster Cross frame from Mike and it turned out to be a wonderful bike that took me on many great rides. My only regret is that I sold it. If the new disc frame turns out to be as good as I think it will, I could be following again. But as before, I won't copy your color choice. ;)

Greg D said...

What carbon rims and hubs are you going with for this build?

Tim said...

Hi GT, I was wondering what size you went with on the new MCD since the geometry is a little different than the non-disc version. For reference what size is your Orange Crush? Thanks!

Skidmark said...

Careful GT, you could cause a SPACER stampede.

Guitar Ted said...

@Scott- Why limit myself to just 650B wheels when I can have ALL THE WHEELS? ;>)

@Greg D- I just purchased a set of Irwin Aon GX Carbon 35's

@Tim- Mike Varley recommended a 53cm, (sounds WAY small!) and said that this size was the analogue to my 58cm.

Rainier Wolfcastle said...

Pink White Industries stuff is another option. From pics and memory these are similar pinks.

jkruse said...

Wish I had a reason and excess funds to buy one of these frames. Looks like an excellent bike and excited to hear your impressions.

BluesDawg said...

Purple Klampers sure would look right on that pink frame. Maybe a purple Paul stem and/or seat post as well. ;)