Last year I came across a Scott Boulder which I hoped to restore, out of a past and somewhat nostalgic tribute to Scott. Well if you read that post you’ll know that the bike was more than a small disaster. The big items like wheels, forks, seat tube and brakes were complete goners, succumbing to decades of corrosion. The drivetrain however was in pretty good shape and the frame, aside from the gaudy colors, was actually a pretty nice light chromoly Tange frame.
So, enter the Scott Boulder – Gravel Edition, because I had some wheels and stuff kicking around and it seemed like a fun thing to try. Being vintage myself, I remembered the Specialized RockCombo, that is I remembered it as a ridiculous and useless bike, in my opinion at the time, yet now here I am essentially building the RockCombo’s twin. Aside from trail riding a skinny tire 10-speed when I was a kid, I really had no experience riding a drop bar bike off pavement. Still, it sounded like fun.
So what the Boulder had was a frame, a 3×9 drivetrain, and a sketchy wheelset. What I had as far as parts lying around:
- Salsa Cowchipper drop bar that I bought from a guy I work with for $20.
- Mavic Cross wheel set that I purchased years back only to find that they were not disc compatible.
- Origin 8 saddle and seat post left over when I upgraded another bike to a Brooks saddle
- Sora 3×9 lever/shifters that I grabbed a few years back because they were cheap and I was thinking of a retro modern road bike.
- Stem, rear cluster, chrome fork, and new chain which I have no idea where they came from but I had them.
- Schwalbe Hurricane tires that I like, but had bounced around from bike to bike
Things I ended up purchasing:
- Adapter between stem and old style quill fork
- V-Brake adapter to connect road bike levers to V-brakes – there is a difference in the amount of cable that each pull.
- Schwalbe Rapid Robs – after my first ride in mud I realized that the Hurricanes wouldn’t do with this bike’s weight forward riding position. Over the past few days I’ve ridden on pavement, gravel, wet grass, muddy trails and a few root with the Rapid Robs….they are the ticket for this bike.
- New cables and bar tape because, well safety and comfort…but I also got them in greenish colors to match the bikes already gaudy colors.
I didn’t do a darn thing to the bike aside from cleaning, assembling and adjusting. I kind of like the Boulders faded retro color scheme and well, the wheels were yellow so I just went with it.
First ride was along the Nooksack out of Ferndale. The ride was fun, as I had hoped it would be, brakes were a bit funky because the V-brake adapters hadn’t arrived from China yet and the trail was slippery mud matched with my slick centered Hurricane tires so all in all the ride was just a bit on the sketchy side.
For this second ride I had both the Rapid Robs and the brake adapters installed, so this ride went much better than the first. I went riding out to the closed paved roads and a bit of the dirt/grass double track near the refineries at Cherry Point. I was impressed with how comfortable my Gravel Edition was with it’s big wide Cowchipper bars, and it was so on both dirt and pavement, even rolled nicer than I expected.
Third ride, today’s ride, was a little more ambitious. I aimed for the towers on Galbraith thinking, per my usual, that I’d have a workout on the road up and then try a few trails on the way down. I forgot about the Covid trail routing and there was a bit of logging, so I got the Gravel Edition right into some easy trail riding on Cow Belle and Lone Wolf before catching the road up to the towers. Easy or not, riding a drop bar bicycle on narrow trails, mud holes, roots, rocks, and wood bridges was all new terrain for me. Surprisingly, it’s just like riding a bike. 🙂