Strengths: Durable paint, clean welds, great reputation, the best touring frame available, will last forever. I strongly recommend buying a frame, then specing it by yourself because it's like pulling teeth with Bruce to spec it the way you want and usually, he will only put what he wants to put on it.He doesnt budge on anything.
Weaknesses: Heavy guage tubing is great for touring, but unloaded, it does not make a good road bike. Not a springy frame, so climbing isn't great. Hey, it's a touring bike. when i had s and s couplings installed, bruce did not support the idea at all. He questioned why I would want to make the frame heavier and did not respect my idea at all. I gave up on him, sent it to Bilenky and they hooked it all up, no problems.
When I bought the bike, I told Bruce I did not want the handlebars, seat, and wheels, because I already had these things and had built a pair of King/Velocity wheels for the bike.
He was hesistant to sell me the bike without all of the parts. I told him I want to give him as much money as possible because I want to support him and his shop. I've wanted one of his bikes since the mid-80's and was glad to have his bike. I told him to keep the extra parts and deduct whatever he wanted from the final price. He did.
But damn, shouldn't buying a $1500 bike be easier for the customer? My transaction was quick and easy, but man, I wish he could have been more flexible as I was setting up my dream bike.
I also use 165 cranks, but he didnt have any and sold me 170's.
Very very stable, I've put 700x45 knobbies and ridden it on singletrack with 42cm drops and also mtb bars. I have cable splitters, so switching to different handlebar set-up is easy. Not as good as a real mtb, but decent.
Unloaded, it is very stable, slow climbing, stiff unflexing frame I weigh 140lbs, so climbing is not so good, long wheelbase too.
When you load it up, front (low) and rear, it feels exaclty the same, except heavier. The heavier you load it, the more stable it gets at high speeds. Every year I take it out for 6 weeks touring, mostly road, sometimes dirt road.
The s and s couplings allow airline travel without the extra fee. We bought a cordura bag for the folded bikes, then put the bikes together, roll up the bag, and ride away from the airport.
I plan on keeping this bike forever.
Favorite Ride: anywhere in hawaii, china camp-SF, ridgecrest
Purchased At: Petaluma, Bruce's sh
Similar Products Used: Trek, miyata, merlin magia, ciocc, miele, more....
Bike Setup: BG frame and fork, 38cm nitto bar and nitto stem, sugino at crank, 110bcd, king/velocity wheels, 32 tires, 45 knowbbies, 28 for road riding, BG front and rear racks, 9 speed bar end shifters, LX rear der, 12-32 cassette, 747 pedals, terry fly ti saddle, lx cartridge headset, vaude pannier front and rear, and handlebar bag (waterproof-like ortlieb)
Strengths: nearly bomb-proof and I break rear axles and strip teeth off of sprockets.
Weaknesses: Has to be pedaled
4000+ road miles and 30 plus rocky single track and only the handlebar tape has come loose. My fault, bungeed the bars to a truck pipe rack for several trips, broke tape glue. Shifting a bit wocky at first, bike had been Gordons' shop demo mountainbike. Local shop adjusted it. After 3000 miles shifting drifting again, I suppose I'd better learn how to adjust it. Just tried it in Annadale Park on miles of rocky singletrack. Worked fine but could use fatter tires than 700x38. Blew the minds of most of the full-on mountain bikes going the other way. No one caught up with me going down hill.
Similar Products Used: Miyata 1000 which I was passionate about until a volkswagen cut in front of me and the frame bent when I flipped over the car.
Bike Setup: puleeze, go to Bruces' site for that
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: February 8, 2004
Strengths: Low price for hand made quality. Cheepest real touring bike available at the time (now the Surly Long Haul Trucker looks nice....) Geared for actual touring, not geared like a road bike with an extra chain ring. None of this light touring crap, that's what road bikes are for.
Weaknesses: Some of the compoenents it comes with are crap. Saddle, was super soft and sucky. Bars were not ergo, an issue for long days on the bike. Handlebar tape was slippery, but maybe it was more waterproof the cork? Wheels were not built well, had to retension them, still several spokes failed. But if I had the option of building the bike up myself these are the only things I'd change, which is pretty good considering how picky I am.
Bruce talked me into getting a bike that was a size smaller then I thought I wanted, as it turned out I was right, and I had to buy a heavy and expensive Titus Hellbent seatpost to rectify the situation.
No choice in colors, not a big fan of maroon.
Great bike, I love it. If you want to do some REAL touring pick yourself up one.
Well set up. Plent of rooms for whatever tires you want and fenders. Cantilever brakes work well for touring. Threaded headset allows you to, you know, adjust your handlebar height without having to saw anything. LX is the perfect gear for a touring bike epsecially when coupled with the durable bar-con shifters, this stuff will last forever. I did manage to destroy the headset, but I have a tendancy to do that.
Very strong. Crashed hard enough to break my collar bone on it, bike was fine. Carried 40+ pounds of gear across a continent with narry a wimper.
Very versitle. Rode it fully loaded cross country and around Great Britian. Have done a couple group road rides with it. Handles well off road too, and has enough room for fairly large knobbies. Now use it mostly for a dirt road ride bike, sometimes as a fast commuter. Will be touring on it again in the not too distant future.
Similar Products Used: just my Miyata Road bike, wife has had Fuji Touring and now rides Koga-Miyata touring bike.
Bike Setup: Original equip with Time Z pedals, WTB SST Saddle, Titus Helbent Seatpost, some new bars with an ergo bend, Chris King headset, King cages, Conti Top Touring or knobby tires (currently WTB Mutano Raptors. SKS fenders some of the time. Also, got the Bruce Gordon front and rear racks, VERY nice, I think they're worth the money.