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Shrimp, my Crust Lightning Bolt

Black Crust Lightning Bolt sits in the doorway at Scenic RoutesImage Credit: Emily Horsman

This is my first new bike. I got the Crust Lightning Bolt frame for free because it was dented and we didn’t want to sell it. It’s 52cm, and black with rainbow sparkles, it’s awesome. This is the first new-frame bike I’ve owned, my other bikes, my Mt Fuji and my Trek 1100 are both older used frames that didn’t come to me new. It was shocking how easy things went together, and reminded me that in the year-ish since I built my Fuji, I actually have learned a lot! The build took about 6 hours, down from a week last year!

The wheels are some 650bs we had laying around the shop, and the stem and bars are from our used parts, though I’m probably going to swap to wider bars.

The drivetrain is a mostly new mix of stuff. I’m running a 9 speed Shimano Altus RD-M370-SGS rear derailleur and an older used Shimano derailleur1 up front. I’m running a CN-HG53 chain over a 9 speed 11-34 microSHIFT H09 cassette and a 42-26t New Albion crankset. I’m running that all in friction with downtube Dia Compe shifters, having only one piece of 4mm housing is glorious.2

I built this bike right before storm season hit the Bay Area, and it’s been a rainy one. I’m running VO Zeppelin fenders, which I love the look of. Those limit me to 38mm tires, which is fine, as I’ve still got my Fuji with 2.1s. I’m running GravelKing slicks.


Cockpit action shot

I have reason to believe that I’ve perfected the cockpit, at least in layout. I’d like to get some wider bars (only by a couple cm), I feel like I’m missing a little bit of leverage compared to Blueberry, but switching bars isn’t a big deal since I’ve got rewrappable Grepp tape, in pink of course. I love my Outershell drawcord bar bag (made in San Francisco!), and the draw cord normally wouldn’t work will with a quill stem, but it works perfectly with my Peak Design Out-Front Bike Mount, mounted upside down. This way I can access my phone3 and still open the bag. The bag comfortably fits my Cleverhood, some snacks, my phone, AirPods, keys and whatever else I have in my pockets. I’ve got a Spurcycle bell snuggled in there too. I’m saving up for a dynamo, but in the mean time I run a battery light strapped to a fork blade or on the bars.

4/16: I’m thinking about eventually moving to bar ends for more comfort and chill riding.

I’m using Tektro RL520 levers, I dont love them, but my options are very limited by my awesome and cheap brakes, Shimano BR-T4000 V brakes. They’re cheap, they have insane stopping power (I can lock out my rear wheel with two fingers with stock pads). The only downside is that being long-pull severly limits drop bar options.

Another reason I want to go a little wider with my bars is a basket. I love basket life, and a Wald 137 wont it between my current bars. My aim for this bike is for it to be my everyday bike, and it needs to be able to carry stuff. Once I’ve got a basket on it, Blueberry can fully become my carry nothing ride fast goof around bike.

Contact points

I swear by Diety Deftraps. They’re my favorite pedals I’ve ever ridden, and I think they look awesome. I’m running a WTB Speed saddle right now, but I might swap it for their Comfort saddle, or try out an Ergon.

Biking in Docs, it can be done

Biking in Doc Martens, it can be done (though my usual shoes are Vans)!

So far

In the headlands

This bike has already taken me on some awesome adventures, and been a joy to ride. It’s a great middleground between the confidence and the speed of my other two bikes, despite a lot of rain, I’ve already put a couple hundred miles on it.

Reading while patching

Reading makes the vulcanizing compound set faster.

Bike on BART!

Would it really be me if I didn’t include a BART shot? Squeezy Bean of course in use.

Hope you enjoyed this at least 10% as much as I enjoy this bike! I’ll write about my other bikes soon, thanks for reading :)

Backlit bike shot at Scenic RoutesImage Credit: Emily Horsman

  1. I couldn’t find a part number on it. ↩︎

  2. Though I cut it too long, sigh. ↩︎

  3. Though on capital R Rides it goes in the bar bag! ↩︎