A recovering bike fanatic for several years now, my taste in bicycles has always been quite eclectic. Left from my once quite impressive collection of bicycles are still a few unusual ballon tire bikes, a 1953 Raleigh Superbe Roadster, a 1940s Phillips tandem (the only rod brake tandem in the US), a 1960s Hetchins Vade Mecum, my titanium Merlin fixed gear (the only one in the World), and the magnificient Bianchi B.o.S.S. single speed featured here.
A single speed and fixed gear afficionado since the 1970s, I had been looking long and hard for a mountain bike frame that would have rear fork ends to accomodate a single speed setup. In the early days, that was almost unheard of, so when Bianchi introduced the revolutionary B.o.S.S. in 1998, I knew I had to have one.
Perhaps surprisingly to many, the Cal-Trans Orange, one-year-only B.o.S.S. is the--official--abbrevation for Bitchin' orange Single Speed.
Available frame sizes were 17.5 and 19.5 inches, and, being a tall guy, I opted for the larger frame. A careful measurement from the center of the bottom bracket along the seat tube to the top (where the seat post is inserted) showed 19.0 inches, precisely.
Click on any of the above images for a full-size view
Although as Italian as Ferrari, Vespa, and Cappucino, the ultralight Bianchi frame is designed in the good Ol' USA and made from truly superb EASTON "Elite" aluminum, arguably the best aluminum alloy money can buy.
As a complete bike, the B.o.S.S. sold for $799.00 plus tax with a rigid steel fork and some nice components. However, since I wanted a bike that makes people drool," I bought the frame set for $450.00 and started searching for components that would compliment the bike as perfectly as possible, money being no object.
So let's have a more detailed look at this bike now, shall we?
The handlebars are EASTON Scandium DH bars. Scandium is a very light, yet super strong alloy that a 400-pound gorilla wouldn't be able to break. Due to my tall body, I had to choose a generic stem. Headset is a FSA (Full Speed Ahead) Orbit.
Brake levers are SHIMANO XTR, still among the finest professional equipment money can buy. Brake cables are service-free-for-life Gore Tex items.
Perfectly complimenting the orange frame is a ROCK SHOX Judy Race fork, to my knowledge one of the very few suspension forks that were available with orange powdercoat from the manufacturer.
Notice that the powdercoated PAUL hub matches as well!
The O.E.M. fork, made from REYNOLDS 751 steel, I wrapped in bubble wrap and stored in my garage, just in case I ever desire to go back.
If you assume this saddle was made for this bike, you are right. It was custom built by WTB (Wilderness Trail Bikes) to match my bike's color.
Back in the late '90, the name SYNCHROS had an almost mythical sound to it. This seat post, made from 7075-T6 aluminum, is a classic SYNCHROS item.
From the same period is this RACE FACE crankset. It has a 110 mm bolt pattern and a 36-teeth chainring. A personal favorite of mine to this day are the SHIMANO DH-646 pedals, which I have on several of my bikes.
Bottom bracket is a top-of-the-line unit from PHIL.
Notice the perfectly scratch free underside!
Both brakes are top-of-the-line SHIMANO XTR items, fresh out of the box.
Single speed rear hub is the world-famous W.O.R.D. hub from PAUL Components, powdercoated in a matching orange color.
Rims are the correct-for-the-B.o.S.S.--MAVIC X-138 units, shod with mint green colored MICHELIN Wildgripper tires.
Since completed early in 2001, I have ridden this bike very sparingly, perhaps once or twice a year on average. It has never been off road, never been dirty, never been wet. Its condition is "as new" as it is humanly conceivable for a bike that has been ridden at all. I have no doubt that it is the finest and cleanest B.o.S.S. on the planet.