Thursday, July 14, 2011

CX Bike Lust: Sweetpea Boom Boom

It's July.  And raining. Although last week was nice, this has been one of the crappiest seasons for road riding in a long time.  I've been making weekly journeys east of the mountains to just to experience any kind of real summer.  Given the weather, along with the cancellation of the Cascadia Crit series this year, I'm just not really feeling road racing right now.  You know what I am excited about, though?  Cyclocross!!!!

This weekend our team will hold its first cx clinic of the year (more than a month earlier than last year, woot!), and many of my SCCA ladies have acquired or are shopping for cx bikes. I honestly cannot wait to get dirty with these ladies!  Chad is talking about trying some races too, and I can't wait to heckle him- oops, I mean cheer for him as he gets muddy. 

I also wanted to take an opportunity to share with you the current object of my bikelust.... I present to you a little teaser... a shot up the skirt, if you will, of the Sweetpea Boom Boom.


Sweetpea, a bicycle frame designer and manufacturer in Portland, is owned by an amazing woman, Natalie Ramsland, who specializes in custom bikes for ladies (she also wrote this thoughtful essay about cyclocross racing while pregnant, which makes her a hero to me and an inspiration for future baby plans).

The Boom Boom, in Sweetpea's "lust" line, is a fully custom cyclocross speed machine built out of Reynolds 853 steel, the accepted standard for modern, lightweight racing bikes that won't beat you up like aluminum, yet let you feel the terrain you're moving across a bit better than carbon.  India, my road bike, an IF, is built mostly out of this same material, and I absolutely love the way she handles on the road.  I want something just like her, but made for the mud.  I want a Boom Boom. Badly.  Painfully.  Lustfully.  I like my Redline just fine- our relationship has been steady, but, I'll be honest, a little boring, and we bicker when we go on longer rides.  I'm ready to start a new romance with  a CX bike that feels me a bit more- one that fits me better, listens better (handles a little more responsively), has a bit more energy, and is still nice to me after a long day in the saddle.  This is the bike that can give me all of that! Here are some more details I love about this frame (note:  all photos in this post are borrowed from the Sweetpea flickr photostream).

First, check out the lines of the frame.  Clean, classic, simple.

Note that the stays are strong and powerful but not too beefy, and the dropouts are clean and strong.  The welds are perfect, too- high quality craftsmanship, really important for a frame that will suffer the abuse of CX as well as the day in day out grinder of winter commuting in Seattle.

There is plenty of clearance between the wheel and the frame- even if your tires get super gloppy, there's not a chance of mud getting bound up under the frame.  Plenty of room for fenders, too.  

I love the simple, elegant lettering of the logo, as well as the floral insignias offsetting the name.  Such a pretty gal the Boom Boom is (and I love the shade of blue she is wearing). 

Note the cable routing, across the top of the frame- so that the cables don't dig into your shoulders when carrying this bicycle across your wedding threshold... er, I mean up a muddy run-up while racing....  how considerate of her. 

Then there's that beautiful sterling silver head badge.  What a classy detail- and it carries a motto to live by, too... "built for love." So sweet.

Here's a shot of her all dressed up to party.  She is really quite the head turner!

But she's not just into you for your looks, or your money- she really loves you too.

Sigh.  If I can muster the deposit in the next month or so, I may even get to race on her this year..... aaah!  Be still my beating heart. Also, did I mention that the bike is named "Sweetpea?"  Could it be any more perfect for a girl who loves bicycles and gardening?  Nope. 

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