Monday, December 5, 2011

Custom Lugged Frames Are Back & Ed Litton Lends a Hand

In preparation for the new year, friends of BG Cycles and myself have been discussing in great detail new offerings for 2012. Being a small company, we can't stretch ourselves too thin. But after much discussion with my dear friend Ed Litton, we have decided to join together and produce a new line of lugged and fillet brazed bikes. Why lugs and fillet brazing? It pays homage to the classic methods of frame building that we cut our teeth on, as well as makes a lugged Bruce Gordon bike more accessible to the public. Not that they weren't previously, but we understand that not everyone has $7000-$10,000 to spend on a bike.

These new Fillet Framesets will start at $2800. All will be custom sized/fit for each customer - no off the shelf sizing here. All framsets include the following standard options:
  • Custom Lugged or Fillet brazed steel frame and fork designed around your personal dimensions and riding needs. (Road, Track, Touring, Cross, etc)
  • Matching Lugged crown fork (an optional Carbon Fork is available)
  • Standard racing braze-ons included (water bottle mounts, cable mounts, etc).  Additional brazeons available as options.
  • A single color Ed Litton paint job. If you have seen any of my show bikes, you know Ed can lay down paint with the best.
  • Customer choice of the classic 1" threaded Steerer or 1 1/8" threadless.
Being a custom frame, the sky is the limit with additional options - we can discuss your specific needs. If you want a complete bike, we can do that too.  Final cost will depend on additional frame options and the components selected. We'll post some build kit examples to give you an idea of pricing on whole bikes.

Guess What - It Gets Better!

To celebrate this new collaboration between Ed and I, the first frames will be on display at the 2012 North American Hand Built Bike Show in Sacramento.  If you want one of these show bikes to call your own, please order before January 1st 2012 to ensure that we can complete them before the show. Be sure to watch our custom bike page, as the new bike options will be added soon. We are so excited about this that we needed to leak it to our ever so faithful blog followers first.

How to Order 

Being old farts (and the fact the two of us are probably the slowest typers in North America), email is not an efficient way to communicate with us.  All custom frame and bike orders will be taken over the phone. There are too many details that we feel will get lost in trying to communicate via email. Give the shop a call @ 707-762-5601 (I actually answer the phone too). Deposits are the $500 on frames or $1000 on complete bikes with the balance due upon completion.

Questions? Ask Away!

Bruce Gordon & Ed Litton

Saturday, November 26, 2011

For the Classic Tourer - Blum's Bike Touring Map from 1896

Every once and a while I'll stumble across something that is too unique to pass up. And this 1896 bicycle map of California roads definitely qualifies. Complete with the original advertisements, this is close to a must have for you touring nerds out there (myself included).

Pending your desire for this type of historical artifact, I found some reproductions on Zazzle. Though not sure that I would rely on such a map for directions now a days. Then again, I don't need a map, I always know where I'm going (at least according to the super sexy British voice on my TomTom).

Monday, November 21, 2011

A New BG Road Bike Spotted in the Wild

Contrary to popular belief, Bruce doesn't only build touring bikes. He has a road bike or two up his sleeve. And to for those in doubt (or that have missed it on Facebook), a new BG road bike was spotted in the wild. Sporting 28mm tires, full Honjo fenders and Bruce's signature canti brakes, it was a sight to be seen this morning outside of Verve Coffee Roasters.

Spotted other BG bikes in the wild? Take some pictures and drop us a line. The more BG bikes on the road the better.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Polishing Some Brakes, Living the Dream

Playing a little catch up on the technology curve can be an interesting. The BG websites are starting to transform into something worthy of 2011, SOPWAMTOS is getting off the ground and people love our shirts (hurry up and buy them, we'll make more. And maybe even some stickers. But I digress). That said, via one of my google alerts I learned of a discussion that compared an el cheapo Tektro canti brake (the 720) to a BG-designed canti brake. That seemed like comparing a Kmart Huffy from the 80's and a Mercx MX Leader. There really shouldn't be a comparison. Sure, technically they're both brakes that fit on a bike - but that's where the comparison really ends. How do I know? I put a set of OEM 720's on my commuter bike and rode it up/down Alba Road in Ben Lomond...

Why You Shouldn't Cheap Out On Crap Brakes
First off, I'm not directly calling the 720's garbage (or Tektro's in general), though in their off the shelf configuration they left a LOT to be desired. Then again, what do you really expect for $27 per set? Here is what I experienced with lack luster brakes:
  • Extreme pad wear.
  • Chunking of aluminum (from rim). This means the rim is taking the abuse, not the pad, causing premature rim wear.
  • High rim temps (due to incorrect pad compound) and very poor modulation.
  • A nasty mess all over the bike from pad dust. All. The. Time.
Am I suggesting that you need to spend $300 for a decent set of brakes? No, but considering this is a component that will help prevent you from going off the road, running intersections or generally going OTB, quality should not be taken lightly (neither should tires, but that is another post). Hard pads will wreak havoc on rim braking surfaces (Jim Langley agrees), offer poor performance and add a cost to replace the pads (and rims if you're not careful).

Where Quality and Art Meet
This is the selling point for the BG aluminum cantilever brakes - they are a beautiful blend of form and function. Machined in the USA, hand polished and come standard with Kool Stop pads, it's hard to really complain about quality. You will be hard pressed to find other bikes with the same brakes - making them quite the exclusive item (not that bikers care about that kind of stuff). Bruce has spent some time over the last few days polishing up more sets of brakes. Reward his effort by picking up a set up for your canti'd bike (cross or road, doesn't matter).  I promise they'll look hot. My new bike is even going to sport these awesome brakes - and yours can too!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Going Big Time - Google Product Search

Just a quick morning update before getting back to work on a new fendered road bike (equipped with only some of the coolest stuff made by White Industries), but we're getting cozy with Google Merchant. What does that mean for you? That means our products will now be part of Google's product search (shopping), which enables you to see what great deals some of our products (like the BLT) are against rivals like the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Not saying our competitors products are bad ('cause they're not), but we like to think ours are, well, better.

Which reminds me - tell your friends about our BLTs. We don't have too many left & the sooner they're gone, the sooner we can focus our energy on new cool stuff. Like a new (to you, but not to us) tire for the 29er/cross crowd. But the BLT's gotta go first.

Until next time...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Making a Splash at Pedalfest

First off, want to thank everyone that dropped by the custom bike area of PedalFest yesterday. We met some great people and chatted bikes with people of all walks of life. Met a couple interesting Bruce Gordon bike owners too. One gentleman had ridden his Rock 'N Road touring bike well over 100,000 miles(!) having purchased it new in 1993. Said the frame and racks are still kicking like they did on the day he bought it. Another gentleman is still rocking a custom lugged Bruce Gordon from 1978!
PedalFest also brought about the reemergence of SOPWAMTOS. The lab coats, Fez's and a Golden Toity made an appearance for the show. Bruce and Sean (Soulcraft) even had some shirts made up for the event. They are available in limited quantities, so grab them now while they're still available. Printed on very soft and very black American Apparel shirts, you can profess your love for SOPWAMTOS for $20!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hello From Pedalfest - where are you?

Hey all - we're here at Pedalfest in Oakland, representing the custom bike crew. Come on down and join us, we'll be here all day. Oh, New Belgium Beer is right next to us (even more reason to show up).

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SOPWAMTOS - We're Back!

(Or maybe we never left)
Yes - there was a bit of a leak yesterday morning that SOPWAMTOS is back. Truth of the matter is, we never really left. But now there is some actual organization to the movement. Not a lot (wouldn't be our style) - just enough to bring our fellow followers a central point to find some very cool American made bikes and parts.

There I go again, letting more things slip. Stay tuned - we're working 'round the clock to make this happen. In the meantime, the BG Cycles store has been updated with all kinds of new products (new to you, that is). Check it out when you have a chance. Feedback is (gasp) always appreciated.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road Tour on Tour

Mike Lopez (of Serotta Composites) is riding down the Oregon Coast on his Rock 'n Road Tour with his friend Leslie. WOW, one of the Carbon Fiber gurus riding a steel bike.

Anyone with pictures or stories about using Bruce Gordon products - please feel free to comment and add a photo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Store

Hey! We have a BigCartel store up now, and it is full of good stuff. We're currently working on redesigning the website, but in the meantime the new store is ready to go. The White Industries/BG stainless clips combo deal is up there, our racks are up there, and the very last remaining BLT's are on there. We hope you like the simplicity of the layout (our rude worker robots certainly do- no lousy humans to talk to on the phone). Questions or comments are welcome below.

HERE's the link:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not Going Out of Business

Things have gotten a little out of hand because of our last blog post.

Nick, who helps me on these things, put up a post on our blog announcing that we could ship TIGed frames in 3 to 4 weeks, even custom ones.

Some people misinterpreted this post to be an announcement of our demise.

There were posts on several forums with titles like "Bruce Gordon Going Under?" or "Bruce Gordon Cycles in Financial Trouble".

That is simply not the truth - we were announcing that we could deliver frames in a short period of time. Many people think that getting a US made frame from a small shop takes several months or even years.

Nick was trying to inform people who read our blog that they could still get a new frame or bike for the current riding season. In addition, we have many other parts that are made in the USA and available for immediate delivery, such as cantilever brakes, tail lights, strapless toe clips, and our famous racks.

Also, we are closing out the remaining Taiwanese BLT's. We are going back to what we have been doing for the past 35 years - Making neat stuff.

In order the combat those who seem to relish the "demise of Bruce Gordon Cycles," I urge past customers to post experiences with our stuff to their favorite blog, forum or webpage.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ready, Set, Go: Order Custom Now

We need to receive some custom orders to keep the doors open. We have been trying to keep our heads up, but we need your help to keep doing what we love to do: make beautiful, functional bicycles.

We currently have only a couple of orders on the books, so we are ready right now to design, machine, and weld your dream bike right now.

No inflated waiting list, no silly questionnaires, no B.S.

Let's make you a bike that you'll ride for the rest of your life.

If you call us now to order a handmade TIG-welded frame and fork, your new frame will be shipped in three to four weeks. You can order a touring, cross, road, or mountain bike frame/fork and it will be in your hands within 4-6 weeks.

Here is a basic list of our pricing. Please call for an exact quote based on your needs.


Rock ‘n Road Tour or Tour EX (26” frame) in a standard size = $1600 + S&H

Custom Sized Rock N’ Road
= $1850 + S&H

Road, Mountain, Cross = $1800 + S&H

Fancy tubing and/or Fork ... Call for a Quote

Complete bikes also available .... Call for a Quote


Give us a call. We can be reached Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. Thank you.

(707) 762-5601

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thank You

The ride was just perfect, and the folks who did it were great. Thanks to every one of you who participated in ABSHWD 2011. We will be hosting more group rides in the future- keep your eyes on the blog and the FB page for more info as we get our ducks in a row and dot the i's and cross the t's.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ABSHWDD: More, More, More! (and a Pre-Ride)

With all these folks coming to the Handbuilt Whoop-de-Doo, we figured we'd host a group ride before the show. There will be two courses: an 18 mile there-and-back with Bruce Gordon, and a longer (roughly 27 mi) loop with Sean Walling of Soulcraft. Both groups will ride as a big gang for the first 9 miles, then the Bruce group will head back. This will all be on old country roads, so bring a road, cross, or touring bike.

View Larger Map

The 18-miler (Bruce's group) will go from point A to point C, then back to A.
The 27-miler (Sean's group) will go from point A to point E.
Both groups will leave from Bruce Gordon Cycles

at 409 Petaluma Blvd South
We will leave at 8:00 am sharp.

In related Big Stinkin' news, both the rescheduled Annadel XC race and the Giro Bello (Steven Cozza's fundraiser ride) are happening on the 25th, the day before our big event. They're both raising money for excellent causes, so support them if you can.

I'm also very happy to let you know that BORN + RAISED will be serving good food at the Big Stinkin' Handbuilt show. Because I (Nick) am one half of B+R, I'll try not to oversell it. Just know that I'm very excited to be putting together an event at which both of the things I do can coexist in the same place and time.

In the next entry, you will find out what has been brewing in the workshop over the last week.

Until then, keep the shiny side up and the rubber side down.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The BLT: An Endangered Species

The Basic Loaded Tourer is being discontinued. Our attempt at offering an affordable, off-the-rack tourer to compete with Surly’s LHT has been in vain, and we ended up in the import business, which is not and has never been what Bruce Gordon Cycles is about. We are refocusing our efforts and restructuring everything in order to do what we do best: produce the very best bicycles and components right here in Petaluma, California.

NOW you can order one of the last BLTs from our online store, just click HERE.

We still love the bikes and we stand behind them 100%- they are the best non-custom touring frames on the market- but once the last frame is sold, then they’ll be gone forever. Or as “gone forever” as a TIG-welded steel bicycle could ever be, which means your great-great-grandchildren will be selling them on eBay or riding them on the moon.

BLTs come with Bruce Gordon front & rear racks made by hand in my shop in California. These are the very best racks you can get anywhere, and that’s a fact.

They are usually sold separately, but they are included in the BLT package. The BLT Frames are not sold without Racks.

When you order one of the last BLTs, you’ll get a frame, fork, headset, stem (all made in Taiwan to my specs), and my front & rear racks (made in California by Californians) for even less than a LHT with the same components and racks.

Check it out:


$750 + shipping & handling*.

The BLT is available in five production sizes: 39, 44, 48, 52, and 56.

I am 6’3” and I usually ride a 62cm bike, but I fit on a 56cm BLT.

Take a look at our Sizing Page to get a better idea of which size would be best for you.

Call the shop if you have any questions or to place an order:

(707) 762-5601


Parts Packages are available, chosen for their reliability, quality, and value, to build up a whole bike (except pedals):

You get a full Shimano SLX Group, handbuilt wheels with XT Hubs laced to Mavic A119 Rims or Alex Adventurer Rims:

$975 + shipping and handling*

Call the shop if you have any questions or to place an order:

(707) 762-5601

That means $750 (BLT) + $975 (Parts Package) = $1725 (+ shipping & handling*) for a complete bike!

*About Shipping & Handling: If you are ordering from outside California, you will not pay sales tax. In many places, the amount you pay for S&H will be about the same as what you'd pay in sales tax.


We have a limited supply of remaining BLTs... Below you will find the exact amount. I will be revising these numbers weekly, so check back often OR BETTER YET, order yours now.

Call the shop if you have any questions or to place an order:

(707) 762-5601
Call us. You will speak with either Bruce Gordon or Nick Haig-Arack, both of whom would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Talking on the phone is better than e-mailing at this point.

Here they are, the last BLTs (last updated June 22, 2011) :

Sold Out!
48cm...Sold Out!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


BikeMonkey Magazine is putting together a fundraising cross-country race in Annadel this weekend JUNE 25th, the day before Another Big Stinkin' Handbuilt Whoop-de-Doo!

All profits go directly to the park, which is being closed along with 70 other State Parks due to financial concerns.

If you can't make it to the race, there's a benefit shirt available here, where you can donate $10-$100 to the best park in California and get a nice, locally printed t-shirt too.

Register for the race here and help Annadel stay open and available to all of us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Big Stinkin' Info

We're getting everything in order and confirming details with exhibitors and attendees, which means that Another Big Stinkin' Handbuilt Whoop-de-Doo is really happening. For those of you who already forgot the whens and wheres, let's review.

June 26th, 2011
11 am - 5 pm

(click on "Directions" to get driving, public transit, or cycling directions)

Some of you have been asking what exactly a "Framebuilders' Garage Sale" is. I'll quote Sean Walling from the recent Soulcraft newsletter:

All the Bay Area builders will be there selling all the stuff they got for free from the big companies, which is usually pretty nice stuff and goes cheaply (since we got it for free to begin with)."

That's pretty true. Here at the shop, we have 35 years' worth of stuff (mostly really decent stuff, too- only some junk) that sits in a corner, hangs in a storage space, or lives in a dark corner upstairs, and it just collects dust and cat hair. Bruce has already started pricing these neglected treasures, so you can be sure there'll be lots and lots of
"cool old stuff that you can paw through and make really insultingly low offers on" (quoted from Paul Sadoff).

All of the exhibitors involved in the Big Stinkin' Handbuilt Show are confirmed. Here are links to their websites:


Black Cat



Inglis & Retrotec


Loyal Designs

Luce Goods

Paragon Machine Works

PAUL Components

Rock Lobster



Steve Potts

Steve Rex


White Industries

Friday, May 13, 2011

ABSHW 2011

Come one, come all, to





Come spend an afternoon with the finest framebuilders, component makers, and soft goods craftspeople in the great state of North California. There will be a handmade bicycle show and a framebuilders' garage sale, perhaps a pre-ride, plenty of good folks and lots and lots of beautiful utilitarian objects to look at, and perhaps even purchase.


Bruce Gordon Cycles

409 Petaluma Blvd South

Petaluma, N. Cal.


June 26, 2011

11 am - 5 pm

Here's the flyer, there's a download button with a cloud and an arrow on it so you can download it, print it, share it:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bike Monkey

Sean Walling of Soulcraft recently wrote an excellent article for Bike Monkey magazine.  If you haven't checked out Bike Monkey before, do it right now.  In addition to producing a great-looking and well-written magazine on bicycling, they organize some of the Bay Area's best road, cross, and mountain races, including the Gran Fondo, Dirt Crits, Monkey Cross, Boggs Eight Hour, and my personal favorite, Annadel.

The following scans are from Issue 12 of Bike Monkey, which may not be in your local shop just yet.  Thanks to Carlos and Greg at BM for letting us use these.  Click to enlarge and read, or better yet, go pick up Bike Monkey 12 at your local bike shop.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Carbon/Ti 650B Randonneur Bike: Part Deux

Here you'll find an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the build process for the second (and final) carbon-tubed, titanium-lugged randonneur bike (the first one debuted at last year's San Diego Custom Bike Show, details here and here). Bruce designed, fabricated and hand-filed the titanium lugs and dropouts, and Mike Lopez and his crew at Serotta Composites made the tubing required and assembled the thing. This one was built for Mike's personal collection and is a bit smaller than Bruce's carbon/ti rando bike.

With no further ado, we present to you: The Process.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Next Weekend!

The San Diego Custom Bicycle Show is happening next weekend, April 8, 9, and 10. Bruce will be there with a new custom-built bike which may look a little familiar to some of you. I'll put some previews up this week, as well as a new video of the build process.

Here in Sonoma County, we've had some perfect pre-spring weather for trail riding in Annadel or weekend touring to the coast. If you're planning a tour for the summer, now's the time to order some racks, new panniers, fancy cantis, strapless clips, or even a complete new bike. What better way to celebrate good weather, higher gas prices, and (hopefully) a hefty tax return?

Go outside. Go for a ride. Enjoy the wildflowers on North Burma or the California newts on Marsh Trail. Treat yourself to breakfast at Howard's after an overnight trip to the coast. Get off the computer and have a great, great weekend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

San Diego Custom Bicycle Show 2011

Bruce Gordon Cycles is proud to be a part of the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show, which will be happening this year April 8th, 9th, and 10th at the Golden Hall at the San Diego Concourse.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Ruota Libera

Sean Walling of Soulcraft (and formerly of Bruce Gordon Cycles) and Anthony Mangieri of Una Pizza Napoletana have put together an event to showcase the very best framebuilders and machine shops in the Bay Area.  Come have a pizza and a beer with us.  Give the flyer a click for more details.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Visit from Dirt Rag

Maurice from Dirt Rag stopped by the shop this week to pick up a rack and some cantilever brakes.  While he was here, Maurice showed off a few tricks he's picked up over the years.  Look at the focus, the passion, the precision and grace of this trick, called "the Maurice":

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Brief History of the Rock 'n Road

It may be a bit rough around the edges, but we're nevertheless proud to present...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Cross Review

Here's a nice ride report from Varun, who rode a Bruce Gordon Team Cyclocross bike (pictured above) in a few East Coast races over the winter:

"A while back when I was working with Bruce, he had asked me to ride and race a cross frame from his collection.  I was pleased to be asked to do so and he sent the frame to me.  All I needed to provide were a set of wheels, which worked out fine since I recently had acquired an extra wheelset for cross use. 

I quickly built the bike up as a 1x9 with Bruce's cantilever brakes.  The bike looked great put together and stood out among other cross bikes you see around today.  As Bruce kept telling me, "this is how we used to build cross bikes when tires weren't much bigger than 30mm."  The "team" Pepto-pink color drew a lot of attention from other riders and their eyes couldn't help but find the subtle gold and blue logo script and comment, "Oh, so that's what a Bruce Gordon frame looks like up close."

Surely the bike looks great as you would expect from a master builder with nearly 40 years experience.  I had been used to riding my other cross bike, also custom and also made out of steel, but designed more like a mountain bike with a short seat and head tubes and long top-tube.  That bike fits me well and surely whips around quickly, but greatly pales in comparison to the Bruce Gordon Team Cyclocross frame.  Bruce's bike is stiffer in the rear triangle and more supple up front, which is surely helped by the longer seat and head tubes respectively.  The frame measures about 60cm for the seat tube center-to-top and 58.5cm for the top tube center-to-center and works perfectly for my 6'2" frame.  I'm not exactly a heavyweight rider at a smudge under 160 pounds, but I can surely get my other cross frame to flex more than the Bruce Gordon.  I attribute most of that to the geometry.  In comparison, my Colnago Master road frame is a stiff race bike and can surely take the torque needed when putting the power down in a sprint.  However, the Colnago lacks a certain refinement that the Bruce Gordon frame has despite having a higher bottom bracket height needed for cross.  I'm not sure I can do it justice in words, but I'll try. 

The Bruce Gordon frame seems to directly translate each of my body's actions into a wonderful riding experience.  When pedaling hard, the stiffness of the frame concentrates that power directly to forward motion.  This bike feels as quick at accelerating as my Cannondale CAAD4 does and that is a stiff aluminum frame with a huge down tube.  While riding the Pittsburgh Roubaix in December, I thoroughly enjoyed climbing each hill in the cold and wet.  Some of the hills are featured on the annual Dirty Dozen race, but Canton Avenue, the argued steepest street in the world at 38% was not in the Roubaix.  A lot of the climbs and descents were on cobblestone roads and there's just no comparison to a steel frame when it comes to taking that kind of road shock.  The bike was comfortable throughout all 40 miles of the race.  Unfortunately, I lost the pack I was riding with when I slipped going up Buena Vista Avenue as the previous week's snow and ice were still lingering on the cobbles.  By losing the group I was with, I also lost my navigation as I hadn't checked the cue sheet prior to the race and worked out a route.  So, I did the last few hills I could remember before taking a nice long way to the finish at the Washington Boulevard Oval.  I hit some long descents on the route to the finish and this bike coasted like a dream at my top speed of nearly 35 mph.  And, I have to stay, the bike has Bruce's cantilever brakes on it, and those things stop better than any other brake I've used.  I find them to have very good modulation and a ton of stopping power.  They're as easy to set up as Paul Component brakes and stop just as well if not better.  I surely like them more than my TRP and Shimano brakes and the brakeset just looks so damn good!

A week later I headed across the state to Philadelphia hitching a ride with a friend's band, Secret Tombs.  They let me toss my bike in their van and we headed east.  I was going to race the Bilenky Junkyard Cross race.  This race has gained some East Coast infamy over the past five years of being hard, cold, often icy, and having some ridiculous technical sections.  Last year it snowed a lot before the race and the course was covered in inches of snow.  This year, there wasn't much snow but it was cold and windy as one would expect for December in Pennsylvania.  I woke up the morning of the race feeling pretty lousy, but I figured it was just my nervousness.  I had been told by a friend who raced in a previous year's race to watch out for slick ramps leading to high platforms.

I got to the race with my small cheering section consisting of my mom and a good friend who were wonderful sports for bearing the cold.  I rode a quick lap to get familiar with the course, and let me tell you, it was a really quick lap.  I rode the first switch back section from the start and over the hurdles to the staging area where all spectators were standing near the taco truck.  To go from this area to the single track and the rest of the course, one had to ride or run up to the top of a 15-plus-foot platform and run or ride down the other end.  I watched a lot of people run up and slip so I figured I'd just ride up it.  This wouldn't have been a bad call for me, but it wasn't executed exactly right.  I pre-selected my gear, and to be honest, I was in my lowest gear, and rode up the first ramp to the platform.  As my front wheel began to turn over the top onto the platform, I noticed I had no forward momentum and felt like I was about to start spinning.  Sure enough, my chain had dropped.  I looked down in time to see it slip off my chainring and I took a big fall as I slid down the ramp falling off.  I got up and dusted myself off and needed to stretch my legs so my shins didn't start to cramp.  It was a pretty rough fall so I wanted to make sure I wasn't really hurt. 

I waited as the junior's and women's race happened and hopped on for the B-race.  As luck would have it, my chain was problematic for the rest of the day.  It fell off a couple more times during my first lap until it finally split when a rivet popped out.  I had known before the race that I should replace it, but I guess I just thought I would be able to get a couple more rides out of it before really needing to.

I'm glad I went to the race.  As it turns out, I wasn't just feeling nervous in the morning.  I found out the hard way soon after the race that I had a stomach flu, which lasted until after the holidays were over. 

Thanks Bruce for sending me this bike!  It's honestly one of my favorite bikes and has become my go-to bike."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Introducing the BLTownie

Look!  The BLT!

As you can see, Bruce tweaked the build on this BLT to transform it into a citybike. We took it for a spin through downtown by the Petaluma River and we were both satisfied to discover just how versatile the BLT is.

It is clearly a Touring Bike, built for going long distances and carrying heavy loads.  But throw on some fenders, a more upright bar/stem combo, perhaps a fancy wooden box for a front basket*, and you have a nimble and functional grocery-getter, errand-runner, or everyday commuter.

This is a great solution for those of us who are seeking an affordable everything-bike.  Take the BLT on a day-, week-, or month-long vacation.  When you get back, take the BLT to the coffeeshop, on a country ramble, or perhaps for some light trail riding.

The BLT Deal still stands, regardless of how long your trip may be:
$750 (+ shipping & handling) for frame, fork, headset, stem, and Bruce Gordon front and rear Tubular Racks (made at our shop in California). 

The bike in the video included the Parts Package:
$975 (+ shipping & handling)  for Shimano SLX parts Group with XT Hubs, pedals and cages not included.

The BLT is made in Taiwan to our specs – tubing, drop outs, geometry and construction are
the same as the Rock ‘n Road Tour we have been making for over 23 years.  

* Thanks to Jason at Vine & Barrel for the snazzy wooden box.  His website is