The Lion's Rear

Got Marra back with a larger frame


In October I started wondering what to do with my touring bike – my 52cm Salsa Marrakesh was something that I had to "settle" on when trying to buy a bike during the height of COVID-indoors-insanity and supply chain buffoonery. I did some work to make the bike fit better, had the stem lengthened as much as I could without turning it in to a tractor. I was careful in mounting my panniers as far back as they could go. I basically never rode in the drops.

But this fall I spent some time deciding between buying a new pre-built or swapping all the components including the lovely bar-end shifters and brooks saddle on to a right-sized frame.

Well the right-sized frame was a bit of a pain to get ahold of – Salsa has pretty strict requirements for dealers to stock their equipment and it sounded from talking to the shops in my small-ish town that they just didn't turn over enough stock for it to be worthwhile. But one of the shops in town was able to order a frame through their distributor and I got it back from Paul's Bicycle Way of Life this evening, the coldest, iciest it's been all year. I'll have to wait until after Christmas to really see how it feels but the short preliminary fit-ride I took it on through the neighborhood earlier today felt lovely. They said it would take a week to do the swap but I picked it up in two days, and they were very communicative and helpful all along. I've got a bike shop I can trust now. I had a number of shops in town ghost me or tell me I was SoL, I was about to start calling up in Portland before I walked in here on a whim.

a black touring-geometry frame with fenders, bar-end shifters, colorful bar-tape and brook's saddle

Going from the "midnight blue" 52cm frame to a black frame like this was a bit nerve-making, but the pop of color from the new BTP makes it really stand out nicely, and I'm not above slapping some MASH SF stickers on it. 🚴

a close-up of the bars, the drops have a white/blue/red woven bar tape with a sort of criss/cross pattern. the brake levers are simple because the shifters are on the bar-ends. you can barely see a mirror mounted down the end of the drop too.