Hi it’s MAX, let me write about my Mod.Zero from Black Mountain Cycles.

I got it because I wanted a bike I can go for camp touring, trails riding as well as commuting 18km a day and Black Mountain Cycle’s Mod.Zero was the one.

Mike, the founder of BMC is basically a pioneer of monster cross (cross bikes can fit MTB like fat tires), his neo-monster cross is a fun bike rides sharp even with fat tires.

I chose a low rise bars + bar-end bars for handles while it supposed be drop bars because I want to enjoy both gravel and camp ride since I found a fun trail next to my favorite camp site. I wasn’t planning to carry stuff on its rear so I chose the riser bar for better steering when the front is heavy. The bar-end  bars are for position change and climbing up. Well, I can tell that the more I ride the bike the more I want to use drop bars but let’s use the riser bars for now. 

The handling is kinda neutral with 650B×2.3″. It’s great that I don’t feel the fork gets twisted when the handle bar bag and pannier are on it so that it handles very smooth. I thank the segmental fork and 44mm head for your durability.

Mod.Zero also features eyelets for fenders and racks, dynamo light cord routing, dropper seat post mount and 3 eyelets both on the fork and down tube. Basically everything “I wonder if there are” is equipped, it’s even 27.5″ and 29er compatible. I can hear Mike-san is telling us that “Just ride it as you like”.

Apart from the spec I listed, there are more factors made me want to ride it.

Black Mountain Cycles has a lot of my favorite makers such as Soulcraft, Salsa, Charlie Cunningham and such as their back ground. I can tell the friendship and respect between them from BMC bike’s geometries. Knowing that kind of stories are the most reason why I wanted to ride Mike’s bike.

That said, you can tell how their bikes are great even without knowing their friendship.

By the way, coloring and sizing convinced me to buy the frame as well. Usually Mike announces the colors for his bikes on BMC’s blog or Instagram using PANTONE’s color scheme. When he posted the yellow and green I was like “Yellow is ok but what kind of green will it be?”. While I wasn’t sure about it, I got so impressed by the “Go Green” when I saw the frame in person.

According to Mike, he randomly chose the green color but it made sense to me as I know that he likes VWs and Porsches in the 60’s. Personally, I guess this will be one-time-only color because it’s quite distinctive but if he used it again, we should just follow his mood anyway.

The sizing. I was secretly excited when we started to sell BMC’s frames but there was no size I could ride for Monstercross or MCD. After few years, I was stoked that they made under 49 sizes from this batch so that I had almost decided to get one even before the frames stocked. It only took 3 seconds to actually decide to get mine when I saw the frame. I was so glad that I got the frame.

Lastly, riding BMC was like revisiting a (short) history of my bikes. When I was into track bikes, I was thinking to get a MTB for my next one as I used to like them when I was a kid. After I started to research about MTBs, I found myself in the ocean of US hand mades. Back then, seeing a photo of Vicious Cycle’s drop bar bike features MTB tires was a shock to me. It’s embarrassing to say that I didn’t know the term “Monster cross” but I just loved the look of it. That’s how I built my SURLY’s 1×1 to make it like the Vicious one.

By the way, now I remember that we couldn’t sell Salsa’s Fargo frames while that was my ideal frame back then. Also, after few years since I got the 1×1, I got a Cielo’s 29er by Chris King as my next MTB. It was too big for me but rode so great. Because of the size, I used to wonder “If I could convert it to 650B…” and now I can do it with the Mod.Zero.

I’m glad that all my histories and curiosity for off-road and touring are connected to myself riding Black Mountain Cycles right now.

That’s a wrap for today!