Saturday, November 5, 2022

Getting to Know the Bassi Rachel

CL Cycles is a Montreal shop and develops their own brand of Bassi steel frames and complete bikes.

CL Cycles' Bassi Rachel frame caught my eye a couple years ago. It was their 2021 model updates, however: ability to accommodate wider tires, a second water bottle cage mount, and V-brake compatibility, that made me take a second look.

I test rode two sizes to determine which fit best.

What I initially liked about the Rachel was its shorter wheelbase and sparkly Beaujolais paint color. I could start from scratch and pay attention to overall bike weight. Our bike mechanic son built wheels, set them up tubeless for starters, working after hours to help keep my costs down. I checked in periodically to watch the build progress. I specified 2 X Low Gearing (love that about the Clem), easy shifting, and it was fine to go with used parts if it made sense. I am picky about handlebars though, so I bought Nitto's Dove bar, a comparable equivalent to the much loved but out-of-stock Soma Oxford's that graced the Clem. 

I vacillated over the housing color - too many choices - and my son suggested grey because it was classy.

Components include Nitto's Dove handle bar, a new Light & Motion coordinated headlight, and used, grimy Ergon Cork Grips, a Velo Orange stem (though I asked for removable faceplate style), SRAM drivetrain and Shimano silver and black click shifters (used?), which are brilliant for my arthritic hands! 

One day, Simple Green and I attacked the grips and I whittled corks for bar end plugs. 

Riding the the Rachel is like night and day from it's predecessor! 

Simply put, it's fast. Our son explained that lightweight wheels, set up tubeless, make a big difference, so I'm glad I sprang for whatever he suggested. I am leery of touring with this setup because it's foreign, and as much as I love 1980's bikes, new bicycle technology has advantages. At any rate, the rims and Rene Herse tires can accommodate tubes, should I wish to go that route in the future.

I have always loved this simply styled English-made steel rack. It graced my husband's 1970's Peugeot when we rode across the country, then I adopted it on my skinny-tired Peugeot, and now with an extension (refitted by Old Spokes Home) it's a perfect complement on Rachel.

Rachel's 55cm frame has 700c wheels.

With a rear rack, I've gained some functionality - something I require of all my bikes. A kickstand is next, along with a setback seat post. Since Rachel (pronounced Ra-CHEL in Canada) is my touring bicycle, fenders and a front rack are on the agenda. I'd like to explore Velo Orange or PDW black fenders, and investigate Jack the Bike Rack as a removable front rack option - made available to the public soon.

Anything I'm missing?


  1. Congrats on the new bike. Very nice. Hope it brings you many years of service and enjoyment.

  2. That's a really lovely bike, Annie! I hope it lives up to your expectations. I don't get notifications of your posts any more so came here for a good old catch up! I am hoping to get back into blogging - at least now and then. I have bike news (and sewing machine news!) so feel a bit more inclined to blog, but I need to be disciplined and write short posts!

    1. Hi Lizzie! Happy to hear from you. Shorter posts work for me too. You can also find me on Instagram if that works, but that's better for photos and short messages. @annie.bikes


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