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In the 1980’s, Japanese bike brands made a slew of relatively affordable touring bikes. They were elegant, barely stiff enough to tour on, and later found second lives as ‘Rando bikes’ and ‘Gravel bikes’ whatever those are. The main thing about those bikes that was cool and different compared to what's on offer these days: they had long forged drop outs, so you could set them up as singlespeeds or fixed gears, and they had rim brakes and quill stems. All of that stuff isn’t for everyone, but for some folks those features make a bunch of sense. Rim brakes are easy as pie to work on. Quill stems let you easily get your bars high without looking like a bozo, and singlespeeds are cool. So are gears. Why be forced to choose?
The Bassi Le Montreal is made in the spirit of those old touring bikes. Two big differences: 1. It’s Tig welded, which keeps cost reasonable (lugged fork though, which is nice!) and 2. It has way stiffer tubing. People go on about planing, which is a term from the nautical world with no bearing on bikes, and flex being a good thing. It’s BS, you want stiffness in a bike. Stiffness makes a bike track better, and you don’t want your bike not to track good on rough stuff with a load on board. Imagine if someone told you that your car would go faster if you just put some really soft springs and underdamped struts on there. Everytime you hit a bump, the car would veer wildly around. Not good. Cars and bikes need to track well. Suspension comes from your tires and body on a bike, not your (non-suspension) frame.
Tubing has come a long way since 1985. It’s bigger, thinner, stiffer, stronger. Steel bikes today ride markedly better than old steel bikes. Saying old bikes ride better is like saying 8 tracks sound better than CDs. If you are blinded by nostalgia, sure, go right ahead with your historical reenactment.
Back to this Bassi Le Montreal. It’s a simple bike, good for lots of non-racing things. Touring, gravel bike packing, commuting, bumming around with a six pack and skipping stones at the rail road trestle, centuries, s24o camping trips, fire roads where the rocks are smaller than baseballs, slow poke singletrack rides, all that kinda stuff. It’s not a FAST road bike, and it’s not a mountain bike. It’s an all arounder, in a good, fine, simple way.
Clears 45mm tires on all sizes with a fender. That means you can squeeze a 2” tire with no fenders on, if you have a normal width rim.
- Reduced toe overlap by using three wheel sizes across the range, also making the bicycles more proportional to the rider for more pleasant handling
- 46cm and 49cm for small riders use 26" wheels
- 52cm and 55cm for average riders use 650B (27.5") wheels
- 58cm and 61cm (our largest frame yet!) use 700C (28") wheels
- Tube Type: Oversized 4130 CrMo steel (double butted top and down tubes and triple butted seat tube)
- Bottom Bracket: 68mm wide, British Threaded
- Seat Tube inner diameter: 27.2mm
- M5 eyelets at mid-fork, on seat stays and drop-outs for rack and fenders
- Three bottle cage mounts
Eyelets on seat tube and top tube for shoulder strap
- Cantilever brake bosses on fork and seat stays
- Chain hanger inside right seat stay
- Forged diagonal rear drop-out, 132.5mm spacing to fit most current hubs.