Balance Mountain Bike

I purchased this bike on 03-28-2008, used, from the Lawrence Re-Cyclery. I’d been scouring the local CraigsList for months, but not coming up with much. Most bikes seemed to be either high end, or extreme low end. I was looking for either a quality newer mid-to-low-end bike, or an older high end bike.

What I ended up buying was a mixture of both — the frame is an older, high-quality lightweight aluminum frame made by “Balance”, and the components are mostly newer, lower-end, but quality parts.

I don’t know exactly how old the frame is, or exactly what model of bike it originally was, because a previous owner stripped all the paint and decals from the frame, leaving only the raw aluminum tubes. It looks a little odd, in its naked state, but I find that I rather like the aesthetic.

I called it the “Balance Tabula” … as in the latin phrase “tabula rasa“, meaningĀ “blank slate”.

Here are the bike’s features and components:

  • Frame: Balance AL-???, 17.5″
  • Front Tire: Specialized Team Control SL, 30-85 PSI, 26″x1.90″, Presta Valve
  • Rear Tire: Specialized Team Master SL, 30-85 PSI, 26″x1.90″, Presta Valve
  • Front Rim: Mavic X517
  • Rear Rim: WTB 23 11.3
  • Front Hub: Shimano Deore HB-M563
  • Rear Hub: Shimano Parallax EH-M18
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano LX Deore
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivo
  • Brakes: Shimano V-Brake
  • Brake Levers: Tektro
  • Shifters: Shimano Rapidfire
  • Cranks: Shimano FC-MC20, 170mm
  • Crankset: Shimano 22/32/42
  • Cassette: Hyperglide HG 11-30, 8-Speed
  • Specialized Body Geometry Saddle
  • Handlebar: Easton EA50 MonkeyBar, 1.5″ rise
  • Grips: Lizard Skin Charger
  • Stem: Dimension
  • Richey Headset
  • Fork: Rock Shox Air Judy XC
  • Platform Pedals


  • Cateye Wireless Cyclocomputer
  • Water Bottle Cage
  • Blackburn Mountain Air Pump
  • Serfas MTB-2 Medium MTB Saddle Bag

I put about 3600 miles on this bike before I sold it in 2013.