Tout Terrain Boulevard review£1,340.00

Well-equipped town bike

BikeRadar score3.5/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

Tout Terrain are best known for their fully equipped expedition touring bikes, like the one being raced around the world by Julian Emre Sayarer. The Boulevard is their take on the town bike, and it's more sensible cruiser than urban bruiser.

Ride & handling: Smooth and sedate, with an upright position

The 14.5kg (32lb) weight is what you notice first. It’s not surprising – this beast is carrying a huge amount of extra equipment: lights, full mudguards, rack, adjustable stem and a kickstand which, combined with a braised-on steering stop, means the bike will balance perfectly on the stand even when heavily laden.

Once you get the 26in wheels up to pace the Boulevard rolls well, the huge volume 2in Schwalbe tyres smoothing out the roughest of surfaces.

Designed primarily as a town bike, the combination of a longer than standard fork (so it can be swapped for a suspension fork) and swept back moustache bars gives the Boulevard a very upright riding position.

This is a boon around town as you have great visibility, but when riding further afield we found it necessary to adjust the stem to give more cockpit length. It was never ideal though; a bar with less sweep and a longer stem would help.

The longer fork gave the Boulevard quite a short, snappy front end, which wanted to wash out all too easily on gravelly surfaces. It’s a trait you become accustomed to though, and a bike designed with cruising in mind is never going to be at its best being thrown around on loose ground.

We’d prefer tout terrain ditch the chainglide and give away a set of trouser clips…: we’d prefer tout terrain ditch the chainglide and give away a set of trouser clips…
We’d prefer tout terrain ditch the chainglide and give away a set of trouser clips…: we’d prefer tout terrain ditch the chainglide and give away a set of trouser clips…

Frame & equipment: Well-equipped ride – but we'd ditch the chainguard

The Boulevard shares a similar frame layout to the Silkroad we tested earlier this year, though its integral rear rack is standard chromoly steel rather than the stainless steel used on the Silk Road.

Equipment includes an eight-speed Alfine rear hub gear, dynamo front light and matching rear, and a Chainglide chainguard. Options both cheaper (with a derailleur setup) and more expensive (14-speed Rohloff hub gear) are also available.

The hub gear was enough in most conditions, if a little low in both 1 and 2; we rarely needed to use these – you could climb walls with them!

Other equipment functioned well, from the comfortable and classy Brooks saddle to the excellent Alfine disc brakes – powerful hydraulic units with plenty of progressive bite.

The leather grips, which co-ordinate neatly with the butterscotch coloured frame, have a large diameter, which is fine for big hands but anyone with smaller digits may struggle. The Basta lights work well enough around town and provided enough light on a towpath commute.

The one major irritant was the chainguard. Yes we like the idea of an enclosed drivetrain, and the Chainglide looks ideal – more minimal than most – but no matter how much we adjusted it there was a constant thrum of the chain hitting the case. We’d prefer Tout Terrain ditch the Chainglide and give away a set of trouser clips.

An adjustable stem and leather grips show that the options boxes have been well filled: an adjustable stem and leather grips show that the options boxes have been well filled
An adjustable stem and leather grips show that the options boxes have been well filled: an adjustable stem and leather grips show that the options boxes have been well filled

Warren Rossiter

Senior Technical Editor
Approaching two decades of testing bikes, Warren can be found on a daily basis riding and exploring the road and off roads of Wiltshire's Salisbury Plain in the UK. That's when he's not travelling the world to test the latest kit, components and bikes.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 188cm / 6'2''
  • Weight: 92kg / 203lb
  • Waist: 86cm / 34in
  • Chest: 112cm / 44in
  • Discipline: Road
  • Preferred Terrain: Big, fast descents and rough surfaces like cobbles or strada bianca
  • Current Bikes: Decade Tripster ATR, Dedacciai Temarario, Cannondale Synapse, BMC Granfondo Disc Di2, Genesis Day One CX, Parlee Z Zero Custom, Storck Scenario Comp Custom, DMR Trailstar, Bianchi Pista, Cube SUV 29er e-bike
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Oltre Disc, Bianchi Specialissima, Cannondale Slate, Buffalo Bike
  • Beer of Choice: Brew Dog Punk IPA
  • Location: Wiltshire, UK

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