Words and photos by Ben Everett (@frostedtips.at.thedisco)
I’m Ben, and this is my Black Mountain Cycles Road+ gravel/all-road/singletrack/do-everything bike. I bought it in February 2020 and had it built up over the following weeks by my good friends at Deschutes River Cyclery. It’s been my go-to bike for gravel and dirt rides all over the Pacific Northwest, including a failed attempt at the Olympic420 bikepacking extravaganza (I’m blaming the wildfires, not my abysmal quarantine fitness).
I had big plans for big rides in big summer 2020, but as soon as I took delivery of the completed bike from Deschutes, COVID-19 hit, and with it, all my plans were put on hold. They’re still on hold. It’s not all bad, though. I’ve taken the opportunity to stay close to home and learn more about my local gravel roads, singletracks, and dead-ending deer trails, and I can’t think of a better bike to do that with.
The bike is built with a full suite of ENVE Composites goodies, including their new-ish gravel-specific G27 650b rims and flared drop bars. I was never one for a loaded plate of carbonara before this build, but I’m a convert now. Combining a compliant steel frame and fork and responsive, compliant carbon wheels and cockpit makes for a figurative chef’s kiss blend of ride quality, comfort, and efficiency. Rounding out the build is a SONdelux dynamo hub powering a Sinewave Beacon headlight and Busch and Muller Secula Plus taillight, full Shimano GRX 1×11 drivetrain, Easton EA90 cranks with a 30t Wooftooth chainring, Portland Design Works 650beast fenders in the winter, and Rene Herse 650B x48mm Juniper Ridge Tires, and lots of bags.
Oh, and a dropper post. Initially, I didn’t spec the build with a dropper, but I bought a used one from a friend of mine, and holy cow, I feel like I went through a cosmic shred vortex where anything is possible and any trail is rideable. A lot of people in real life and online say drop-bar bikes don’t make good trail bikes, but I really gotta disagree. This bike does it all and makes me grin from ear to ear while doing it. Sure, I have to walk up and/or down some stuff, but that’s life, ya know? You just gotta walk sometimes. Don’t let that stop you.
- Frame/Fork Black Mountain Cycles Road+
- Rims ENVE G27
- Hubs SONdelux (front) / ENVE disc road (rear)
- Tires Rene Herse Juniper Ridge 650B x 48mm
- Handlebars ENVE Gravel Bar 48cm
- Headset Cane Creek 40
- Crankset Easton EA90 170mm
- Pedals Ancient Shimano SPD
- Cassette Shimano XT 11-42t
- Derailleur Shimano GRX RX812
- Brakes Shimano SLX
- Shifter(s) Shimano GRX RX810
- Saddle Specialized Power 143mm
- Seatpost Shimano PRO Koryak 70mm dropper post
- Stem ENVE 100mm Road Stem
- Front bags Porcelain Rocket Nigel
- Frame bags Outer Shell half frame bag
- Rear bags Outer Shell rolltop saddle bag
- Other accessories Sinewave Beacon Dynamo light
If you’re looking for a frame that feels just as at home on a paved 200k as it does bombing a gravel descent on a hot summer day, the Road+ from Black Mountain Cycles should be at the top of your list!
Follow along with Ben on Instagram @frostedtips.at.thedisco.
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