Setting Up Your Bike Adventure Rig

by Justyna Frank
Bike Adventure rig

Look familiar? Yup. These are the iconic Chicago Schwinn cruiser frames stripped down, and outfitted for bike adventure on the trails in Marin County. This is what mountain bikes were, before the category was ever created.

Don’t feel that you need to rush out and get the newest bikepacking or gravel bike if you’re just aching to indulge in some small, self-supported local adventure. There are many things you can do to modify your existing bike to make it more agile, more comfortable, more bike adventure worthy, and more fun. Then you can enjoy miles of trails instead of going on a wild goose chase from one bike shop to another (or down the internet rabbit hole!).

Assuming you’re starting with a decent quality bike, here are our favorite upgrades that will significantly enhance, or radically modify, your riding experience and enjoyment. Stop by Cosmic Bikes with your bike and ideas, for a consultation and a quote.

  • Bike Overhaul. No bike can go forever without this service. If you have a bike you love, a complete overhaul —everything taken apart, thoroughly cleaned, re-lubed and replaced or upgraded as needed— will breathe new life into it, and you may find it works even better than it did when new (more here).
  • Vintage Bike Restoration. Bikes were built to last a lifetime. Beloved older bikes will benefit from a thorough tune-up or overhaul. It’s also possible to improve their performance, tweak their personality, and lighten them up, by replacing key older components with quality modern ones (see below).
  • New Wheels.
    • Hand-built. Wheels built by hand from premium components will outlast and outperform any stock machine-built wheel. We help you source rims spokes and hubs appropriate to your style of riding and your budget. We can also build wheels with integrated generator hubs for powering lights, or electric motor wheels for e-bikes (more on hand-build wheels here).
    • Stock wheels. We can also recommend dependable, strong and lightweight replacement wheels for your bike at a reasonable price. If your bike has older steel wheels, a set of new alloy wheels will make it feel incomparably lighter without compromising strength, or changing the character of your bike. If your wheels have been pounded by seasons of commuting and the rim braking surface is degraded, talk to us about options for getting a quality, durable replacement set.
  • Riding Position & Touchpoints Update. You have a bike you like, but it’s no longer as comfortable as it once was. Maybe you used to bike off-road, but now you commute, or you’re used to ride alone, but now you carry a young passenger. Or your kids are off, and now it’s your time to try some bike touring.
    You can get many more seasons out of that bike with some key modifications. The handlebars and stem on almost any bike can be replaced to help you sit more or less upright, modify your reach and tweak your hand position. Additionally, you can select more ergonomic grips, padded bar tape or even gel inserts to increase your comfort. If you’re modifying your position on the bike, it can be a good time to replace your saddle to dial in the fit and comfort level of the bike. For more info, visit our Common Sense Bike Fit Guide, and especially the sections on modifying the handlebar position, and adding comfort-enhancing accessories.
  • Tire Upgrade & Flat Prevention. Tires may not be very glamorous, but they can vastly improve the handling of your bike, increase performance and reduce the incidence of flats. We offer a complete one-year Flat Prevention Package that gives you maximum protection against flats, and minimum inconvenience should you happen to get one.
    For off-road, adventure riding and touring, we also offer tubeless tire set-up to enhance the quality of the ride and eliminate the majority of flats altogether (your bike must have tubeless-compatible wheels).
  • Custom Bike Build. OK, this is not a repair service, but a whole new bike option. But it is something to consider, if you have the budget at your disposal (more info on bike pricing here). No bike out of the box is going to suit you and your riding needs as well as a bike thoughtfully assembled with a quality frame and hand-picked components. And bike frames may be somewhat easier to come by this season than complete bikes.
    Custom builds can take a few weeks from conception to completion, depending on component availability. This makes them a great winter project, and can really prime you for an exciting season of riding, but it is certainly possible to do any time of the year. Drop us a note to get started.
  • Carrying Capacity. Whether your bike adventure lasts just a few hours, or several days, you will need to add some carrying capacity to your bike. You can choose from a wide variety of bags —carried either on your person, on racks attached to the bike, or even bags that mount directly to the bike frame— to suit your needs and the amount of gear you wish to bring along.

Bikes are truly amazing vehicles, granting you freedom to come and go virtually on the spur of the moment. With quality care and maintenance, a bicycle will give you literally a lifetime of adventures.

We look forward to working on yours.

1 thought on “Setting Up Your Bike Adventure Rig”

Leave a Comment