All City Cycles 2015

All City Cycles 2015

While checking out the steel wares being displayed at NAHBS 2015, a friend of mine mentioned seeing some nice new stuff coming from All City Cycles, a company that I’ve been watching for some time. Apparently, though, I haven’t been watching them closely enough.

All City seems to be one of the very few companies that fill the niche-gap between inexpensive Tange steel frames and expensive custom 853-type frames. At the bottom, you have companies like Surly with cheap (about $500), mass-produced, no frills steel frames. I’ve never been a fan of Surly because their frames are no better than any entry-level steel production bike from any big-name manufacturer, yet by the time you build a full bike, you’ll be paying way more than an off-the-shelf Trek, Marin, etc. Next, you have companies like Soma Fabrications, that offer much better products at moderate prices (roughly $500-$1000), which actually are nice enough to justify an inexpensive bike build. After that, nowadays you pretty much jump up to about $2000 for a semi- or full-custom Columbus or Reynolds tubed frameset. Every once in a blue moon, a big company like Raleigh might offer a quality steel frameset for around $1500, but generally this is an under-served market.

That’s why All City’s bikes and frames are pretty exciting. The Mr. Pink road frame uses Columbus Zona tubes, custom stainless odropouts, internal top cable routing, a tapered steel fork, and has an MSRP of about $1100. Plus, All City designed enough clearance for bigger tires and/or fenders. Nice. (And if you don’t get the Mr. Pink reference, then you can’t own this bike.)

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above: All City Mr. Pink frameset (allcitycycles.com)

My personal favorite, though, is All City’s Macho King frameset, a cross rig fabricated from Reynolds 853 tubes and a Whiskey 7 carbon fork. It boasts similar frame specs as the Mr. Pink, but is disc ready.

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above: All City Macho King frameset (allcitycycles.com)

All City also makes a single-sped version, the Nature Boy 853 – apparently available as a frameset (also $1200) but mostly seen as a complete bike.

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above: All City Nature Boy 853 (allcitycycles.com)

Greg Lemond Washoe

Greg Lemond Washoe

Many cyclists from the 90’s cringe at the memory of Trek’s nefarious destruction of so many classic, high-end brands, as one by one they first gobbled up the Gary Fisher, Klein, Bontrager and LeMond brands, neutered them and eventually killed them off, leaving ruin and nothing but cookie-cutter OCLV products in their wake. Money, money, money.

For a short time, it seemed like the Trek LeMond bikes would escape that fate, as a clean product line was briefly maintained by the Trek overlords, which included some decent Reynolds 853 frames. Despite their amazing popularity, the hand-welded frames likely didn’t make enough profit for Trek compared to mass-produced molded frames, so LeMond eventually disappeared, too.

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image from Greg LeMond Bicycles

Last year, Greg LeMond himself re-entered the cycling industry, bought Time USA and is now selling two bikes carrying his name – his full name this time. One of those bikes is the Greg LeMond Washoe, an ultralight Reynolds 853 road racing machine. Luckily, it’s available as a frameset with a color-matched Enve carbon fork. As others have noted, the frame isn’t a classic remake – it carries updated, modern geometries, on oversized headtube and PressFit30 bottom bracket shell. It’s also set up to accept either mechanical or electronic components. Plus, it’s made in the US and hand-painted in Minnesota without the use of decals! The result is a frame priced like a full-custom frameset, but in 7 stock sizes. So if you ride, say, a 58cm frame like I do, then you’re out of luck.

Cycling caps for large heads

Everybody knows about Walz cycling caps – racers like to make fun of them, because they don’t sport a logo and the skinny jean singlespeedies like them because they come in fabrics that compliment their wardrobes.

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I like them because their L/XL size is actually bigger than most “XL” hats. I don’t know my hat size, but my head is ridiculously ginormous. Virtually no hats fit me, and if they do, they have bills the size of sombreros.

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And, yes, Walz caps come in dozens of different styles, fabrics, colors, etc. and they can be custom embroidered for you Pashley owners.

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Purely Custom bike accessories

I promise that I don’t work for these guys. A couple years ago, I went searching for some high quality, metal bar end caps for my Alchemy road bike. I found Purely Custom, and ordered some custom-engraved end caps and headset spacers. Later, I went back and ordered some of their very cool Presta valve stem caps and a custom engraved headset cap. A year later, I ordered a whole other set for my wife’s bike.

These are from my Alchemy project bike:

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Although they offer all kinds of stuff in a wide range of anodized colors, everything I’ve ordered from them has been in either silver or black! So don’t be turned off by all the goofy colored examples here and on their website!

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