For some randonneurs, 650B bikes are where it’s at. I’ll use my randonneur spouse (who is also my real-life) spouse as an example. He became enamoured of the notion of a 650B ride and used a 650B Rivendell Bleriot as his primary randonneuring bike for the 2007 brevets as well as Paris-Brest-Paris. For Felkerino, riding this 650B bicycle was, as he said, like riding along in a plush Cadillac.
Fellow D.C. Randonneur George M. recently acquired a lovely 650B Boulder Bicycle for his randonneuring adventures. I was intrigued by this bike, and particularly curious if it is up to all the Vintage Bicycle Quarterly hype that it has received. Thanks to George for being part of Bikes to Like so I could learn more about what makes his Boulder Bicycle tick!
1. What kind of bike do you have?
In February, I received my first custom bike, a Boulder Bike from Rene Herse and Mike Kone. It was made by Waterford to Mike Kone’s specifications. It’s an “All Road” with 650B tires designed to be ridden on both paved and dirt roads.
2. Why a Boulder Bicycle?
First, I was looking for a wide-tired randonneuring bike to take to PBP. The Boulder Bike All-Road was nerly perfect for this, and had solid reviews from Bicycle Quarterly. Second, the price for a custom frame was very reasonable. Third, fairly rapid delivery was important to me; given that I’m 62, I couldn’t wait years for a PBP bike.
3. Where do you ride it?
Since I got it, I don’t want to ride my other bikes. I use it for everything from commuting and neighborhood rides, to club rides and brevets. I can easily take it on dirt and gravel roads to explore areas I couldn’t get to before.
4. What do you like about your bike?
Beyond items mentioned already, I like comfort, aka wide tires; fit; clean lines; full fenders; cargo space up front; tradition and the way it looks.
5. If you had to describe your bike in one word, what would it be?
6. Fenders or no fenders?
Full 55 mm hammered Honjo fenders to cover the 42 mm wide Hetre tires.
7. Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?
Yes, because of The Full rando setup, I call it Monty.
8. What is your favorite accessory on your bike and why?
I really don’t have one single “accessory” that is my favorite. What I like is the way the bike is designed to integrate the parts, having them work together as a whole.
9. What did I forget to ask that you want to tell me about your bike?
I’ve been surprised at how many people really like the bike. This includes random people walking on the street who gawk even when it’s parked, other randonneurs, other riders on bike trails who pull up alongside to talk, and even bike shop mechanics.
10. If your bike could talk, what is one thing it would say to you?
Thank you, George, for sharing your Boulder Bicycle/PBP bike with us. That is one fine PBP bike!
P.S. George has a full set of photos featuring his bike that you can check out here.