This week’s Reader’s Rig comes courtesy of Matt Drange in California, who shares the Crust Lightning Bolt he built up into a modern randonneur for long-distance bikepacking trips on the road. See more here…

Words and photos by Matt Drange

Hello, I’m Matt in Oakland, California, and this is my Crust Lightning Bolt. I’ve set it up using tips I’ve learned from this website over the years. Think: bikepacking style/ethos, but for road riding!

Crust Lightning Bolt, Matt Drange

This lightweight setup served perfectly for a recent trip down the coast. I can carry about 40 liters (including the three 1L water bottles) and really appreciated losing bulky panniers on the steep climbs of Big Sur. Instead, I run the “Buoy Bags” by Road Runner Bags, which mount to each fork leg using the Widefoot Cargo Mount cage. Combined, these two drybags offer 15L of storage, or about the same as a single Ortlieb front pannier. Even when overstuffed with rain gear as they are here, once cinched down with Voile straps, the bags stay put! The other bags are a mix of West Coast makers (Swift Industries, Outer Shell) and a couple of my favorite Rockgeist bags in the Gondola and Cache.

The rest of the bike is what you’d consider “modern rando,” I suppose… fenders and front rack by Velo Orange, Rene Herse 650b tires, SONDelux hub, Sugino OX series wide-step double, and of course the lovely Paul Klamper brakes. I can’t say enough good things about the B&M IQ-X headlight. It’s not ideal for off-road, as you need to be rolling at ~6mph to keep the light on, but on the road the wide, dispersed beam is perfect.

  • Frame/Fork Crust Lightning Bolt v2
  • Rims Stan’s Crest
  • Hubs SONDelux (front) / White Industries (rear)
  • Tires Rene Herse 650b X 42mm
  • Handlebars Easton EA70 (wrapped in Supacaz tape)
  • Headset Chris King 1″
  • Crankset Sugino OX (46/28)
  • Pedals Shimano SPD
  • Cassette SRAM 11-32 10-speed
  • Derailleurs SRAM Force (front) / GX clutch (rear)
  • Brakes Paul Klamper w/ Shimano IceTech rotors
  • Shifter(s) SRAM RED 2×10
  • Saddle Specialized Toupe
  • Seatpost Nitto
  • Stem Ritchey
  • Front bags Swift Industries Peregrine w/ flap accessory bags, Road Runner Buoy Bags
  • Rear bags Rockgeist Gondola
  • Frame bags Outer Shell
  • Accessory bags Rockgeist Cache
  • Rack Velo Orange Flat Pack
  • Fenders Velo Orange w/ leather mud flap
  • Other accessories Spurcycle bell, Cateye computer, King Cages, B&M lights

This bike is a dream to ride. Matt from Crust really nailed the geometry and thin tubing of the BQ-style randonneuring bicycle, but in a package that’s accessible to all of us who will never be able to afford a custom bike! I like it so much that I sold my beloved Litespeed Tuscany to make room for it. As the BIKEPACKING.com crowd knows, once you go wide, supple tires you don’t go back!

  • Velo Orange Fenders
  • Paul Klamper, Crust Lightning Bolt

P.S. Yes, that’s a small Bluetooth speaker mounted to the handlebar cables. Playing your favorite tunes is the best climbing aid I’ve tried yet!

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