MPLS Skyline

Big Block - Summer and Winter

To say that I am proud of the Big Block is an understatement.  It was the first major proprietary undertaking from our then fledgling brand, and it is the bike that over the last three years I have spent the most amount of time on.  I love the thing.

It is/was the perfect track bike for my lifestyle. 

I understand if it isn't everyone's ideal, but for a certain type of rider or a certain type of climate, it is the absolute business. 

The key, my friends, is that it better than any other production track bike out there perfectly walks the line between traditional track and shit kicker.   

Let me illustrate its two different modes.  Walk with me.

This is my second gen proto in Jeweled White


I know, I know. Since I'm using this photo to illustrate it's inherent "trackiness" I should have a drop bar on it, but riser bars are just classic Midwest steez.

During the summer months, this is my primary around town bicycle.  It's my fun bike.  It's fast, agile, and sprints like woah.  I run it brakeless and with 25c tires.

I also use the hell out of the water bottle mounts, so don't even think of getting on my case about track bikes not having bottle bosses.  A bike that you're going to only ride at the track, sure, who needs a bottle.  But we all know that 99% of these things are also going to be ridden daily and if you ride for extended periods of time you have to drink.

Because of the fact that the Big Block is UCI track legal, not to mention that it was built with input from our local track director up at the NSC Velodrome, it rips on the boards or in the streets like you'd hope any sweet steel track bike would. 

What makes the Big Block special though is that it not only does all of the things that a traditional track bike does, but it does a whole lot more. 

My first gen proto black/white Big Block in winter trim


While I understand that West Coast heads might not find this to be a beautiful build.  To me there is nothing finer.

The bike above sports 32c cross tires, a smaller gearing, clipless pedals, clip on fenders, and front and rear brakes. 

This is the one that carries me through the long shitty winter commutes.  The combination of cross tires, two brakes, and  a fixed drivetrain provides me with highest degree of bike control possible, while still being able to move quickly.   I have ridden this bike through three winters now, and I couldn't ask for more.

Here are a couple of shots from this mornings commute to give you a sense of the conditions that this is built for.

Minneapolis city streets in winter: this is pretty much what they all turn into.  A layer of packed snow over glare ice

And a little further down the road we run into this

Your NJS frame just isn't going to cut it here. 

And just so you don't think I only use this bike in the winter, I ride it with slicks all summer and sometimes use it as my race bike


So what I'm saying is this.   
The BB is my absolute favorite track bike that I have ever swung a leg over.  If you love the ride and handling of a real track bike, but also need something that will adapt to more than just sunny weather conditions, the Big Block is the one.



December 5, 2011

I’ve only had mine for a few weeks but I couldn’t agree more, like you say it won’t appeal to everyone but it really is the bomb. I’m almost looking forward to the horrible British winter kicking in so that I can put the mudguards on it and attack the roads!



Kyle A

December 6, 2011

I can’t wait to take my Nature Boy out in the snow! I’ll get you a picture of it soon as a customer build, It has a 8 speed Alfine and Versa shifters.


Steve Jones

December 7, 2011

Now just wondering? How does da Nature Boy stack up against the Big Block in these conditions and what is the difference in the ride between the two? Why would you choose one over the other if you couldn’t have both? Just asking.



December 7, 2011

The Nature boy would arguably be a superior winter bike due to it’s fender and tire clearance capabilities.  But I prefer to ride fixed in the winter and my Nature Boy can’t do that with my current rear wheel.



December 10, 2011

We had some hardpack last year, but I felt safer on knobbly MTBs than 2 feet. Pics in my ‘artic’ post. .


dennis theis

December 10, 2011

bought a nature boy, first ride today, niceride, should i add for fixed riding.



June 2, 2012

Does the bb have barspin clearince? its between the bb and the def wish and i like the look of the bb but will go with the def wish if there are huge diffrences in the frestyle riding side of things.



January 27, 2014

Owned a Sir Elton Lavender for well over a year now, rode it for money doing delivery during a Colorado winter and it performed admirably. Done 40 miles rides on her no problem. My favorite bike I have ever owned, turned my MASI coltello into a closet classic in no time.

Nothing beats stomping around on some 32c tires, hitting jumps, curbs, dirt, offroad, while on the fixed platform and aggresive stance of a track bike.

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