Categories

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.

 

Overview

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. 

 

Deposit

 

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