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…Paul Smith
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 filledPaul Smith
L M S XL
Shimano Alfine hydraulic discs
Extra's - lights, full mudguards, rack, adjustable stem, kickstand with a braised-on steering stop