I’ve been riding the Crested Butte off and on for a couple of weeks now, so now I have a good idea what the bike is like and whether I like it or not. It’s always worrisome to invest a deal of time, energy, and cash into a bike project when you don’t know the outcome.
And the outcome? Yes, I like it!
I’m still getting used to it. And there are still tweaks to do and squeaks and rubbing noises to diagnose. (Ah, fenders.) It took a few days to figure out where the ideal seat height and positioning was, but when I got it “dialed in” it all came together. The swept back Civia Dupont bars became comfortable. As for the saddle…I’m going to have to say the Avocet Touring II doesn’t really agree with me, so I’ll swap it with the olden leather saddle I have in the stockpile. (If anyone wants to sell a Brooks B66/67/Champion Flyer or comparable saddle for a reasonable amount of money, please let me know. Trades also.)
The fit is good. Not perfect, as the frame height (20″) on the short side, and it has quite the long top tube. A frame size one bigger, like a 22″ might help, but I don’t know.
And yes, that geometry is pretty relaxed! Oh yeah, that 68 degree top tube and a fork with a lot of rake! On the test riding without the front rack/basket, I popped a couple wheelies when taking off from a stop. Now that I have weight up there, it doesn’t do that. I think it handles pretty damn well with a front load, and I’ve taken my hands off the bars and no wobble. Stay in line, she says.
The bike handles the “rough stuff” well, as I’ve seeked it out where I can. Potholes, yep. Rough road, uh huh. Love the Rubena Cityhopper tires.
The gearing is good, too. I will note that she’s not a fast bike, and going uphill can take a bit more work than my other bikes (hello, relaxed geometry.) But the gearing is now enough, so I just work it until I get to the top of the hill.
The big issue, however, is I’ve found out that the front chainring is bent in all the rings, which means a new crankset at some point. Oh, the irony. I didn’t want to replace drivetrain on the M40, which led to the purchase of the Crested Butte. And now the drivetrain of the CB has issues. Oh well. The big difference is that I really like the Crested Butte, whereas the M40 was just-ok. It is rideable right now, though.
There will be more tweaks down the road, but it’s pretty good for now. I’ve found myself a keeper.