All-City Cycles road and gravel bikes: which model is right for you

With its roots in bikes for battling the urban jungle, Minneapolis-based All-City Cycles has a full range of road, cyclocross, gravel, and commuter bikes to choose from

Promoting a mission to “bring beauty back to production bicycles”, Minneapolis based All-City Cycles is an in-house brand of US bicycle and component distributor Quality Bicycle Products (QBP).

Its roots are entrenched in singlespeed, fixed-gear and urban markets, but the brand – which has been around since 2007 – has branched out and now stocks a large range of road, cyclocross, gravel and track bikes suited to every rider.

As would be expected, art is central to their product, and paintwork and finishing details are closer to what you’d expect to see from a bespoke builder, rather than an off-the-shelf frame. According to All-City, the company selects color schemes based on color theory, and draws inspiration from vintage motorcycles, hotrods, classic cycling catalogs, and even ski and snowboard magazines. 

Before a frame and fork are sprayed, each piece is prepared in a phosphorus bath to ensure the entire surface is wholly uncontaminated. Then, they dip the metal into a liquid full of suspended paint particles and introduce an electric current that drives the particles to adhere to the metal, creating a uniform thickness for the base coat. Finally, the master painters are called in to create the fades and splatter paint All-City is known for. 

The brand deals exclusively in metal bikes, using only aluminum and two proprietary steel blends: ACE and 612 Select. 

All-City started using what it calls ACE (ir-hardened, customed extruded steel tubing) to build its performance-oriented bikes in 2016. The brand says this tubing allows its engineers to create custom butting profiles and wall diameters for every tube in the bike. The result is a lighter, stronger tubing that can be tuned for stiffness or compliance.

612 Select is an homage to the area code All-City calls home and is a proprietary blend of double-butted 4130 Chromoly steel used for its commuter and all-road bikes. Not quite as techy as the ACE steel, the 612 Select tubeset see size specific wall thickness, butting profiles, and diameters to create a consistent ride quality throughout the size range.

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All-City bike range

Zig Zag

All-City Cycles ZigZag

All-City calls the Zig Zag an all-weather endurance roadie bike. It was the first bike from the Minneapolis based outfit to have disc brakes (which are flat-mount) and is an evolution of the brand’s Mr. Pink endurance roadie, which has since been discontinued. 

With a 533mm stack and 389mm reach in size 55, and 72-degree head angle, and 1019.35mm wheelbase, the handling will be lively, but not laser-guided as you’d expect to find on a race bike. 

The frame sees 12mm thru-axels front and rear, a tapered headtube, Whisky No.9 carbon fork with a tapered steerer, and bosses for three bottle cages — so it’s ready for big adventures. Between the stays, there is room for a 35mm tire (or 32mm with fenders), and the frame is made from the All-City’s ACE steel tubing. While the bike is thoroughly modern, the tig welded construction, brazed seat collar, pump peg offers a retro aesthetic.

All-City offers the ZigZag as a frameset for $1,299, in a Shimano 105 spec for $2,499, and an Ultegra build for $3,999.

Buy Now: Zig Zag Ultegra now from Tree Fork Bikes for $3,999 or Zig Zag 105 from Tree Fork Bikes for $2,499 

Want to build your own? Buy a Zig Zag frameset at Tree Fort Bikes from $1,299

Space Horse

All-City Cycles Space Horse

Revamped for 2020, the Space Horse is All-City’s touring platform that is just as at home loaded up with luggage as it is commuting, gravel racing, or simply road riding.

The geometry is a cross between a road bike and touring bike, with a compact rear end (440mm chainstays, size 52) and low bottom bracket keeping the handling precise with no luggage, yet remaining stable when weighed down with a week’s worth of camping gear. 

The frame is made from All City’s 612 Select tubes, the non-compact geometry and lugged fork, with curved blades, giving the bike a retro look and feel. With the Space Horse intended for big adventures, there are mounts for three bottles, stealth dynamo routing, four-point fork mounts to accept various front racks, and all the cable routing is external for easy serviceability. 

The bike sees 12mm thru-axels front and rear, flat mount disc brakes and there is clearance for up to 700x45mm or 650bx47mm rubber. 

The Space Horse is available in a Shimano GRX RX 400 2×10 ($2,099) build or a Tiagra 2×10 spec ($1,599), or a frameset ($850) for the shop rats who’d prefer to build their own. 

Buy now: All City Space Horse Tiagra at Tree Fort Bikes from $1,499

Gorilla Monsoon

All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon

All-City Gorilla Monsoon

With clearance for up to 700c x 42mm or 650b x 2.4in rubber, the Gorilla Monsoon is a monster cross bike through and through. The geometry isn’t that far off of the brand’s CX focused bikes, All-City has made minor adjustments to the head angle, stack, BB height, and chainstays to add a bit of stability for when things get spicy.

Made from the brand’s 612 Select steel tubing, the Gorilla Monsoon sees a bi-plane lugged fork, with 12mm thru-axle dropouts, a straight steerer tube, and flat mount disc brakes at both ends. The vast majority of All-City’s drop bar bikes are based around a 68-mm BB shell; however, the Gorilla Monsoon sees a 73mm English threaded BB, meaning you can slot in MTB cranks and drivetrain parts if that tips your fancy.

The majority of the cables aren’t run in the inside of the tubes except for the stealth dropper post routing, and All-City offers the Gorilla Monsoon in a Shimano GRX 1×11 ($2,499) or SRAM Apex ($2,099) build, or a frameset ($850).

Buy Now: Gorilla Monsoon Apex at Tree Fort Bikes from $2,099

Cosmic Stallion

All-City Cycles Cosmic Stallion

For those who’d like to pin on a number and test their mettle (get it?), the Cosmic Stallion slots in as All-City’s gravel racer. Made from the brand’s ACE tubing, a Columbus Futura Cross carbon fork manages the front wheel and sees provisions for a 12mm thru-axle and flat mount disc brakes. 

The frame is outfitted with Di2 Routing, which guides the shift wires inside the frame; however, should analog gear changes be more your style, the cables, and full-length housing runs outside the tubing to aid with maintenance. 

The frame’s more aggressive character becomes apparent with a glance at the geometry chart, revealing a 71.5-degree head angle, 560mm stack, and 382mm reach in size 52. 

There is room for 700x47mm (43mm with fenders) or 650x42mm rubber, and even though this is one of All-City’s more performance-oriented frames, this doesn’t come at the cost of practicality, and the frame is still outfitted with rack and bag mounts. 

For 2020, the Cosmic Stallion comes in a Force 1×11 ($3,999) build, and a GRX 2×11 ($2,699) options, and as with the rest of the All-City range, a frameset too ($1,2990).

Buy Now: All-City Cosmic Stallion GRX at Tree Fort Bikes from $2,699

Nature Cross

All-City Nature Cross

Seemingly sporting the paintwork job of a mud-pitted champion of Luxembourg or any faded red, white and light blue nation, the Nature Cross is All-City’s CX racing platform, and the brand offers the bike in a geared version for the I-can-taste-blood-in-my-mouth racers, as well as a single-speed Nature Cross build for the “keep ‘cross weird” folks.

Both have the same 12mm thru-axle dropouts, so the real difference is only in the derailleur hanger, which is available for purchase. At the front, you’ll find a Columbus Future Cross carbon fork, and the bike sees flat mount disc brakes at both ends.

With a fairly traditional cross geometry and an ovalized top tube for comfortable shouldering, the frame itself is made from the brand’s ACE tubing. While the UCI only allows for 33mm rubber for racing between the tape, the Nature Cross has room for 42mm tires. 

The single-speed build ($1,999) comes with TRP RRL Black brake levers, a SRAM Apex crankset with a 40t ring, and an 18t cog at the back. The geared version ($2,399) sees the same cranks but with a Rival 1×11 groupset build around it. All-City also offers framesets both with and without the derailleur hanger for $1,299.

Buy now: All-City Nature Cross Geared from Tree Fort Bikes for $2,399 or Nature Cross single speed bike for $1,999

Thunderdome

All-City Cycles Thunderdome

As Aunty Entity said “Welcome to the Thunderdome” in the 1985 Mad Max threequel, it’s almost as though she was speaking directly to All-City’s UCI approved track racer. The only bike in All-City’s range made from Aluminium, the round profile 7000-series tubing is paired with a Whisky Number 9 Carbon fork, complete with a tapered steerer. 

With a sliding rear dropout and stainless steel axel pads, the Thunderdome is designed to last, and the 49t chainring and 17t cassette are ready to light up the boards at your local velodrome. All-City has provided mounts for front and rear brakes should you be after a fixed gear commuter.

It’s available as a complete build with a polished All-City crank and Whisky No.7 bars and Alex AT505 hoops for $1,599, or a frame and fork for $750.

Buy now: All-City Thunderdome Frameset from Tree Fork Bikes for $650

Big Block

All-City Cycles Big Block

All-City Big Block

With an eye-catching paint job, the Big Block is a flat bar fixed gear designed to do battle with the big city, and is based around a track geometry. The 612 Select steel frame sees provision for BYO front and rear brakes to make it street legal, and has room for up to 32c tires so that poorly maintained roads won’t rattle your fillings lose.

At the back, you’ll find sliding stainless steel track dropouts, with the silhouette of the Hennepin Bridge machined into the tubing just above the axle pads. 

Available as a frameset for $550, the complete bikes come with All-City’s polished crank paired with a 46t ring and 17t cog at the back. 

Buy Now: All-City Big Block Frameset from Tree Fort Bikes for $550

Super Professional

All-City Cycles Super Professional

Based around All City’s ‘cross geometry, the Super Professional is a commuter bike that’s ready to be raced on the weekend. With All-City’s sliding Master Dropout, the bike can be readily converted between single speed and geared at your heart’s content, but still uses a 12mm thru-axel to secure the wheel. 

There are provisions for racks, fenders, and two bottle cages; the bike is built to accommodate 700cx45mm or 650bx47mm rubber and even has stealth dropper post routing so you can take the fun way home from work. 

There are flat mount disc brakes at both ends, and All-City has slotted in its signature lugged fork — complete with four-point rack mounts. 

The geared build will set you back $1,599 and comes with a Sram Apex 1x 11build with an 11-42t cassette, FSA Omega crankset with a 44t ring, and WTB STi23 hoops. The single-speed version is equipped with the same crank and wheels and an 18t cog on the back and costs $1,299. As always, there is a frameset available that is priced at $850.

Buy now: All-City Super Professional geared from Tree Fort Bikes for $1,599 

 

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