Falling In Love; The Brodie Drifter
Forearm surgery that made riding the cross bike uncomfortable meant I needed a new ride. There was a sample 2010 Drifter in my size sitting boxed in the warehouse so it was unpacked, wrenched into a riding state and not soon enough, I was back in the saddle. Not to mention falling in love.
Before waxing eloquent, a bit of background on the Drifter’s genesis. It takes something from the first off road bikes, blends that with a shot of courier élan and voila- a bike for all seasons. The angles are nowhere near as slack as those early mountain bikes, translating into some pretty sweet handling and the component spec is such that you get real bang for your buck and not just a life support system for an upscale rear derailleur.
Speaking of which, you can choose to enjoy that 105 rear derailleur, but then there’s those Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, the Deore hubs laced to Kore rims, a WTB SST saddle- which may have the most ass friendly profile my wrinkled cheeks have ever experienced- Deore cranks, SPDs and the list goes on.
None of that glitter would matter were the frame and fork made of something pedestrian. Steel is the material of choice for frame manufacturers worldwide, from the low end water pipe used in bicycle shaped objects to the upper end heat treated stuff of legend. The Drifter is welded of seamless 4130 Chromoly (.9/.6/.9mm butts for the tech geeks) and, allied with the chosen geometry, makes the handling something to be appreciated as well as being comfortable for those long hauls.
For those of you who want something different than just road grit adorning the paint, the rigid fork is adjusted in length to allow the frame to accommodate a 100mm suspension fork and the stays will fit a 2.1” knobby tire for when you choose the road less paved.
The bike has taken me further afield as the fitness level returns, still huffing and puffing but now going faster, each ride makes me happier to be aboard and I look forward to the road miles regardless of destination. Gearing is perfect for the city and allots a usable low range for those North Van hills or forays into the woods.
The frame is equipped with an array of attachment points, meaning adding a set of fenders- whither goeth youth? – was a no brainer. Lights make the bike an all-weather, full spectrum ride and suddenly the Drifter has become a bike unlike any I’ve ever had in my quiver. There’s never been a bike I wanted to clothe in comfort gear, never been one I desired to ride above all the others.
Some early mornings I look in mirror and see some old guy peering back and wonder where the years went. Then I get outside, throw a leg over and, feeling the years fall away, head out to chase the dawn and whatever the new day may bring. It could have been any bike, but my Drifter made riding fun again and that’s just what I needed.