--Ben Howard's experience on a Boyd Altamont Wheel Set. The "Clydesdale" experience.
My riding has had a long of growth in 2019, but I would start by calling this a before and after. The before is whatever, but the after is after I put my bike on a set of Boyd Altamonts.
This riding thing is still new to me. I started taking it seriously when switching from my Walmart Bike to my 1st Ridley in May 2017.
Let me track back a little. I started riding after needing a change from the basketball I was playing. I wasn’t playing after a while, it was more like “goto the gym and sit and wait for next up if we were not the 1st group on the floor.” We would play 2 games and win or lose, you automatically sit afterwords and have to re-up on a new team or the same team. Playing in a window from 6am tip off to 7:20 last game, we you may be up a few times, or you may get 2 games.
Now back to topic. I rode a total of 740 miles in 2017, and 1336 miles in 2018. Both were huge milestones for me. I was able to do my 1st century, and 1st event in July 2018. ALZ Ride to Remember, 252 Miles Greenville to Charleston. This ride opened me up to the Hincapie Gran Fondo as well.
2019 comes. I have wanted to be on a set of wheels for years now and I have a set of Ultegras I upgraded to in 2017 a month after purchasing my bike. Over time, these wheels have been awesome but have seen abuse. 1st getting on the bike, I was in the 280s and over time I have lost over 40lbs. The wheels have started to untrue and I am having issues with continuously retruing the wheels. I have to do it month after month now. I am on my newer 2018 Ridley Phoenix SL, and really digging into riding now. The next progression is a set of wheels.
Due to my weight and style of riding, I am not sure what I want to go with but I know I am going Boyd. I took the winter off, so I actually gained some weight back. Not too much but enough to tell myself I am not the lightest rider. I love the idea of the Altamont. The price point, the light weight, the sleek look, it all works on my bike and on my pocket. I talk to Boyd, Nicole and especially my pal Brad Reece and we come to the decision I should try a set out. Install date March 21, 2019.
Here is the combo. An Altamont front, and Altamont Lite in the rear. Paired with my GP4000 28s, they are such a sick looking wheel. Notice the color and how it matches up with my matte Ridley. Both are ceramic coated, and have amazing stopping power synced with great aesthetics. This bike just looks so good on these wheels!
Riding impressions. My 1st trip was up Altamont in drizzle. I mean, why not? I had to go enjoy and see how they climb as well as how they brake. I am not a climber per body but I’m putting that mindset to the back and continuing to work on it step by step. Going up was a snappy improvement yet work as always, but coming down is where I noticed the difference. Stopping power was unreal! Noticed the stopping power instantly. That is big for me considering I didn’t come from the best stopping on my old setup.
Fast forward to May 25, 2019, Laurapalooza. Our friend Laura Cline had a birthday ride and it was such a great outing. A few of us went and joined in on the group ride. 40 miles of climbing and conversation. At mile 20, I had a bike malfunction. The Altamont held up over a long slide. 38mph downhill to a stop, I was able to keep the bike up but the derailleur was toast along with my chain. Surprisingly, the Altamont Lite only needed 3 spokes replaced. It was still rideable as it was. At that moment, I was sold on the Boyd’s holding up to my weight and abuse.
New bike comes at 700+ miles on these wheels. S-Works Tarmac. Still running the same Boyd’s, I now look to do my 2nd Ride to Remember, 252 miles Greenville, SC to Charleston, SC. Here are a few photos from that trip. I have 0 news to report on the Boyd’s as they held flawlessly without any trues. Many potholes were hit, many spots of gravel, and quite a few bunny hops!
Now we are 1100 miles on these wheels since I added them and they have improved every detail about my riding experience. I was concerned as anyone due to my weight, but I have confidence on such a strong wheel set. I honestly couldn’t think of a better bang for the buck! Possibly the best addition to a bike I have ever done.