Boulder Bicycle Rando Overview and Prices

Photo Courtesy of Chris Richards

Welcome To Boulder Bicycle

All Road 650b and Brevet 700c Information


Important Note

We are having a few supply chain issues at the moment with our Boulder Bicycle Program.  As a result, at this time we do not plan to take additional orders for Boulder Bicycle frames until mid-to-late January. 


Our Philospophy Notes

Please read before ordering or contacting us so we all save time.  There is a lot of mis-information out there that we spend hours correcting when talking to potential frame customers.  Let's get it out of the way early in the process. 


  • It is a myth that 42mm 650b tires make for a bike that is as fast or perky as a 700c machine with 28 or 32mm tires.  And wider 650b tires like 48's are even more sluggish on the road.  It is amazing how fast 650b x 42mm tires are, but you do give up something.   You need to decide what is best for you.  If comfort and some light off-road capability are most important, then 650b may be the ticket.  But Rene Herse and Alex Singer went to go-fast 700c rando machines many years ago for a good reason.  


  • Don't go too light on frame tubing.  We see tubing suppliers suggesting skinny 7/4/7 downtubes.  For a small-size 700c race type bike that can work, but it is a fools errand to use such tubing on most rando bikes.  For many riders a skinny 7/4/7 top tube is great.  But slightly stouter tubes often feel more stable and planted - something that is appreciated after many hours on the saddle by a tired rider.  Nearly everyone "adjusts" to frame flex a bit anyway.  There is no "magic", everything has tradeoffs.  We work with our customers to do what makes the most sense.


  • We believe that Imperial Oval forkblades (like the Kaisei), which are the flatter style, do not feel as "planted" when the rider stands.  Now we do agree that Imperial Oval blades are a tad more comfortable, but the available Kaisei blade/crown combo has not passed the EIN standard so Waterford won't use it.  We doubt that this is a real problem and we have used the Kaisei blades on the occasoinal Rene Herse.  We even suspect that we could get the Kaisei blade/crown to pass the EIN standard if we really tried.  But the last vintage Rene Herse bikes often used Continental oval blades (probably for that more planted feeling) and most of our very favorite bikes use them.  So we will continue to use them excusively on our Boulder Bicycles.


  • Don't try to turn a Boulder Bicycle into something it is not.  The Boulder Bicycle is not a "full custom"  in the sense that you can get every conceivable option.  For that, you need a frame from a smaller full-custom type shop.  With the Boulder Bicycle you get quite a bit of customization capability with respect to geometry and tube choice, a frame in a very reasonable time frame, and you get the benefit Waterford's experience.  But if you want something outside of what we offer, you are better off visiting with one of the many small builders out there.



A Boulder Bicycle frame represents the latest step in a journey to build frames that perform without compromise.  The designs of our randonneur frames are obtained through careful study of classic French geometries.  Some of the "classic" designs work better than others, and we obviously select those from the best-performing historic examples.

Over the past 15 years, French-style randonneur bicycles have enjoyed a worldwide rebirth. Mike Kone, lead designer at Boulder Bicycle, was one of the early proponents of French randonneur machines.  In fact, some of the most notable writers and modern proponents for this style of bicycle saw their first randonneur bicycles in Massachusetts when Mike Kone owned Bicycle Classics inc.

Classic geometries are juxtaposed with modern materials to create the current line of Boulder Bicycles.  Waterford Precision Cycles does the actual frame construction.  Waterford was somewhat reluctant to embrace the low trial and light tube specifications used on Boulder Bicycles, but they have come to appreciate the performance of these machines.  In addition, Waterford brings expertise to the Boulder Bicycle line which is unique to the industry.  Waterford has arguably built more custom and semi-custom high-end steel frames than perhaps any builder in the county.  Their understanding of materials combined with their access to proprietary materials is an invaluable asset.  They are unyielding in their quest for reliability.

There are many builders constructing randonneur style bicycles.  But our extensive experience yields advantages.  We know what geometries are most likely to perform well.  We know when we are pushing the envelope with extra light tubing.  And as students of bicycle history with many examples we've personally ridden, we know what is most likely to work well for a rider.

Many of our Boulder Bicycle customers think of their purchase as a stepping stone to a higher-end custom frame.  They are welcome to think that.  But in reality, there is no performance gain in going to a more costly frame.  If there was a better tube or a better geometry for performance, we would use it on the Boulder Bicycle.  But there isn't.  So please take advantage of our experience and eye for value, and let us supply you with the bicycle that will provide the ride of your dreams.   


Tubas Tara Low Rider Mounts

650b All Road and 700c Brevet models now come with fork braze-ons to accomdate a Tubas Tara front low rider rack.  The forks are light and not designed for too much load, but this lowrider feature is often requested.


 All Road 650b

A great choice for added comfort or if you do some off-road riding.  650b extraordinarily comfortable yet amazingly fast.  Designed for a front load, lighting, and fenders.  Comes in two versions - regular light oversize or superlight skinny (except large sizes).  Clearance for 42mm tires with Berthoud or Honjo 50mm fenders.



Brevet 700c

If you want a perkier feel that is very close in performance to a true racing bicycle, yet can still do some light off road on fire roads.  Designed for a front load, lighting, and fenders.  Comes in two versions - regular light oversize or superlight skinny (except large sizes).  This frame is designed to provide sufficient clearance for 30/32mm tires such as the Grand Bois Stampede Pass or the Challenge Strada Bianca.


All Road and Brevet models now include a boss for our optional battery tailight (not available on smallest size frames)


Skinny Extra Light Tubing


Stock small and middle size Tig Frames are available with skinny extra light tubing without an upcharge!  About 35%  of frames we currently build are with these tubes (1" .7/.4/.7 top tube and 1 1/8" .8/.5/.8 downtube).  These tubes are NOT for everyone, But we can discuss and help you choose if they are right for you.



The Wait Time


In general, it is about 8 weeks from the time we place the order at Waterford until they ship your frame to us.  Then we receive it, inspect it, do some prep (if needed), and send you a final invoice and receive your payment.  This part of the process usually takes about 7 to 10 days. 




A deposit of $1,000 gets the process rolling.  For lug models that will have provision for the Compass brakes/rack, the depost price is significantly higher.  You can make your deposit online or call the shop.



Sizing your bike and fit Mock-ups


It is vital that your new frame fits.  And we take lots of time with our customers to help them, and we have size info on these pages that will help guide you.  But we are not fitting experts nor can we fit you easily from a distance.  We are happy to provide mock ups of a stock geometry frame with your saddle height/reach/drop info (or provide custom drawings once you commit to a custom frame).  But this is very important - you must provide us with saddle height, reach, drop, (and the seat angle for the frame for which these numbers "work" for you) that you need your new frame to be able to achieve.  You can even give us a range around a specific central target.  But we can not "guess" for you what the optimal numbers may be or make accurate judgements if you say I have a race bike but I want to be more upright.  We urge you to test out the contact points you want for your new bike on your current bike (i.e if you want a more upright position, try that on your current bike to see if it works). 


Shop Support


Rando style bikes can be very time consuming to assemble - we are happy to provide email and phone support once you purchase a frame/fork and hopefully some parts from us so you can get it on the road.  We are also happy to chat with a local shop you may use for some of your assembly if questions arise.


Stock Colors


The stock color/decal choices are:


Light Blue with dark blue decals 

English Metallic Blue with cream decals

Black with white decals

Garnet Red with cream decals

Yellow with dark blue decals



Current Pricing Information for both 650b All Road and 700c Brevet Frames

updated November 6, 2017


Base Prices

TIG Stock $1,900

TIG Custom $2,200

Lug Oversize (incl. custom design) $2,700

Lug Skinny* (incl. custom design) $ 3,000


* All skinny tube lug frames feature a special lugset with decorative holes and other treatment.  The skinny tube lug option also includes sidetack seatstay attachment which is very spiffy looking on the seatlug we use.


Popular Add-Ons

Threaded Steerer  $75

Contrasting headtube paint panel  $125

Handpainted lettering   $200

Box striping in the French style $200


Stock Paint Choices - no extra cost

Light blue with dark blue decals

Medium metalic blue with cream decals

Black with white decals

Garnet red with cream decals

Yellow with dark blue decals



TIG or Lug?

Lug Fans May Not Like This


We love lugged frames, but all the love in the world doesn't enable them to actually ride better or faster.  So the reality is that a $1,900 Tig Boulder Bicycle frame (if the fit is correct) will perform just as well on the road as one of our  Rene Herse frames.  Tig frames are reliable and provide the steel-is-real ride just as well as their lugged bretheren.  Of course, lugged frames have a special elegance.  But which to purchase depends on your priorities.  


Boulder Bicycle All Road 650b and Brevet 700c Geometry Table

(road Sport Geometries are different)

Size and wheel/tire size Top tube length - theoretical due to sloping top tube Seatube length - Actual to top, but less than theoretical due to slope for most sizes models to enhance standover clearance Seatube Angle Headtube Angle
Size A - optimized for 650b 32mm 51.5 cm 47 cm 75 degrees 71.5 degrees
Size B - 650b or 700c 53 cm 52 cm 74.5 degrees 72 degrees 650b, 71.5 degrees 700c
Size C - 650b or 700c 54.5 cm 54.5 cm 74 degrees 72 degrees 700c, 72.5 degrees 650b
Size D - 650b or 700c 56 cm 56.5 cm 73.5 degrees 72.5 degrees
Size E - 650b or 700c 57.5 cm 59 cm 73 degrees 73 degrees
Size F - 650b or 700c 59 cm 62cm 72.5 degrees 73 degrees
Size G - 650b or 700c 61 cm 66cm 72.5 degrees 73 degrees



Some Stock Frame Sizing mock-ups for 700c and 650b Rando Frames


Note - The Road Sport mock-ups are DIfferent than those shown here


Frame size Center of crank to top of saddle Stem length Headset Spacers Reach Saddle over Bars

(Saddle height minus bar height)

C-54.5 top tube 690mm 73 deg 10cm 35mm 653mm 22mm
C-54.5 top tube 690mm 84 deg 9cm 35mm 641mm 11mm
C-54.5 top tube 690mm 96 deg 8cm 40mm 626mm bar over saddle 3mm
C-54.5 top tube 705mm 96 deg 8cm 40mm 630mm 11mm
D-56 top tube 705mm 73 deg 10cm 39mm 667 16mm
D - 56 top tube 720mm 73 deg 10cm 35mm 672mm 34mm
D - 56 top tube 720mm 84 deg 9cm 35mm 662mm 21mm
D - 56 top tube 720mm 96 deg 8cm 47mm 645mm level
D-56 top tube 735mm 96 deg 8cm 45mm 649mm 16mm
E-57.5 top tube 735mm 73 deg 10cm 40mm 684mm 16mm
E-57.5 top tube 750mm 73 deg 10cm 36mm 690mm 34mm
E-57.5 top tube 750mm 84 deg 9cm 36mm 679mm 21mm
E-57.5 top tube 750mm 96 deg 9cm 43mm 673mm level
E-57.5 top tube 765mm 96 deg 9cm 42mm 678mm 16mm
F-59 top tube 765mm 73 deg 11cm 40mm 711mm 16mm
F-59 top tube 785mm 73 deg 11cm 41mm 717mm 34mm
F-59 top tube 785mm 84 deg 10cm 39mm 706mm 21mm
F-59 top tube 785mm 96 deg 10cm 44mm 700mm level
G-61 top tube 825mm 73 deg 11cm 41mm 737 34mm
G-61 top tube 825mm 84 deg 10cm 39mm 727 21mm
G-61 top tube 825mm 96 deg 10cm 44mm 720mm level