Calling In Sick Adam’s Bombora Bike Check!

Adam aka the mind behind Calling in Sick Mag cooked up this bike check video of his Bommie as well as a couple of well written, funny paragraphs to go with it. Check out the video, then scope what he had to say for a bit more insight. Or vice-versa. Whatever the hell you want to do.

Here’s what Adam had to say!:

“Hello and thanks for watching my goofy video. The following is a little background for this build.  

Covid lockdown was a golden age for riding in my world. None of my friends had kids yet and we had nothing else to do so we rode. We rode Twin Peaks in San Francisco almost every week day and we did some lofty all-day mountain ride in Marin or the Peninsula every Saturday. It was the same six or seven nuclear fools who would show up for all of ‘em. It was real “Stand by Me” friends-bonding-in-nature-hours shit. But after a few years of harmony the group splintered: some got into stereotypical roadie stuff. Others kept the original style of long, slow rides with a million chill stops. And some of us had kids thus becoming temporarily unable to ride, especially not for some eight-hour-long fifty miler. I was a double whammy both having had a kid and gotten into road riding, a suitable combo actually—punchy road rides are great when you only have 45 minutes between naps and diapers. But I no longer did soulful rides containing all variation of surface, pitch, climate, and personality. The kind of ride that has you fearful you’re going to fall off the face of the earth because the trail is so twisty, long, and steep, your bike doesn’t have suspension, and maybe you ate a mushroom or drank an IPA tall can or two along the way. Through Covid, this type of ride had been my bread and butter, but more recently I’d become estranged from it, albeit with good reason. However, it was still debilitating and confusing because these rides are canonical to my magazine, Calling in Sick. I was feeling a bit lost, and I made some early attempts at getting back into these extreme alternative cycling rides, but they didn’t take because I was stressed about time and my focus was not there yet. 

After some time passed, my baby grew up a little, and I quit my day job to be a professional magazine papa and regular papa. These life changes allowed me to get back to some of my normal shit. I really missed the long, goofy rides and my nuclear daddy crew, and it was fun to come back to the chill side of riding bikes. I needed a new bike to commemorate getting back on my bullshit because in my roadie phase I had sold some of my Rivendells for one reason or another. My carbon gravel bike wasn’t what I wanted to ride for spiritual rides of the deep-woods, fall-off-the-face-of-the-earth, “Stand by Me” variety. Crust came into focus since they’ve got quirky but soulful frameset options aplenty and I deeply appreciate their support of Calling in Sick. I had an early Bombora back in 2018 or 2019 or whenever they first came out, the one with post mount on the rear and ISO on the front (or vice versa?). I didn’t love that bike. In hindsight I had built it like a tank with components all on the heavy and stiff side and stiff tires lending to a plank-like ride feel that was not the frame’s fault. Ruminating on the fact that I didn’t really know what I was doing with that build, I felt like another attempt at a Bombora was due since the higher trail, gravel geo, tire clearance, and the axle, brake, and headset standards would be perfect for my current rides and spare parts I had chilling. Also appealing was that the Bombora had been around a few years and was not a new option, reducing the likelihood that a frame’s hype bubble or newness could inflate my attraction to it, something I’m admittedly not immune to. 

With the help of some trustworthy components like these clapped-the-fuck-out Claris cranks my friend gave me (shoutout @spaceagebags) and some crispy-ass Paul Klampers (shoutout @californiatravis), the bike has been absolutely smashing for the three months I’ve owned it. I’ve already run it on quite a few dope rides: two Calling in Sick-branded group rides, a ride thrown by fellow magazine Low Pressure (shoutout @lowpressurezine), and about a dozen more mixed surface ordeals, each of which has been effortlessly and sublimely pleasurable due in large part to the Bombora. Nothing beats a compliant steel frame and radiused fork with skinny tubes for riding offroad. I’ve got a state of the art carbon gravel bike that’s great in its own way (54cm Enve Mog HMU for best price), but it simply does not harmonize with dirt, rocks, and roots the way the Bombora does. I attribute some of my Bombora’s enjoyability to the build which is a mix of fancy and basic parts. It has beat up, low end Shimano cranks with an elliptical chainring, stickers everywhere, and a Sram trigger shifter mounted to drop bars. Preciousness is the joy killer. Nothing pains me more than to see an overly perfect build with matching everything and not a spot of any black, mismatched colors, or let alone any dirt caked on—indication of an owner afraid to ride their magnum opus. I could write a whole thing on this. Bikes that look kinda dumb are in my opinion more enjoyable and relaxing to look at online, and I’ve made an attempt at cultivating some tasteful dumbness here that hopefully balances with the upscale wheels, brakes, seat post and ancillary accoutrements. Oh and it’s gonna get Microshift Sword next week. Look out for a potential “Bombora Rebuild Sword Edition” video on youtube. 

Thank you Garrett, Cheech, and Matt for both the support for the mag and help with the build. 


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