Though, as I have mentioned before, much of the inspiration for our product comes from cycling history (in 130 years or so of the safety bicycle, technology has evolved and changed in fabulous ways), a lot of inspiration for our product comes from our personal fleets of and experience with bicycles.
This deep appreciation for bikes is what drives our approach to design. This is evident in everything from the ED coating, custom dropouts, and internal routing on our frames to the sealed bearings on our hubs and our robust toe straps. Every product is a compilation of what we love most. In this respect, every All-City frameset that we bring to market is a love song to cycling and bicycles.
That all said, we thought it could be cool to give you guys an idea of where we are coming from and why we do the things we do by sharing some of our personal, non-All-City bicycles.
Meet Doctor Rockso:
When not spending every possible moment bombing around on my Space Horse, my love song to classic road bicycles and current favorite in the AC line-up, I can occasionally be seen on this beautiful machine. If the Space Horse is my baby, I'm freaking married to Doctor Rockso.
After years of accumulating, building, and riding everything I could get my hands on, I felt that I had finally matured enough as a rider to understand everything I truly wanted out of a bike. Three years ago I had finally saved enough pennies and had the Good Doctor made to this specification. The frame is a custom geometry Gunnar Roadie, made at the Waterford factory in Waterford, Wisconsin.
As a leggy, tall lady with short, T-Rex arms, stock sizes rarely fit me well without silly-short stems, tons of stack, and a zero set-back seatpost. It is a reality I have lived with my entire life. This frame sports a 57.5cm seat tube and 55cm theoretical top tube as a result. Yeah, I know the headtube is long, but I finally have typical and comfortable road positioning with an appropriate 10mm of spacer stack.
The paint colors are straight out of the early nineties. From a personal standpoint, I love to celebrate all "golden eras" of cycling. The late eighties and early nineties are when I started to be cognizant of bicycles and about when I start remembering going to bike races (I was very fortunate that my parents were cyclists and huge race fans). The fast bikes of that era were bright, expressive, and fun. I have always loved bright color pallets and drip/splatter/fade/streak effects because I associate these paint styles with speed and my childhood. Every one of my custom painted bikes reflect this.
Much to Jeff's chagrin, if I had my way you would see some wicked All-City throwback paint colors and effects.
I requested that the fork be bent using massive radius tooling for a sweet, subtle effect (used several decades ago on road and track Paramounts). As the Waterford factory used to build those beautiful machines, they were delighted to bust that tooling out. I love how the resulting fork rides; to me it is much more comfortable than straight blade forks but just as fast. I loved the effect so much that this bend made its way to the Mr. Pink.
The dropouts also had an effect on me. I loved how they transitioned into the stays… and I drew from them for the stay interfaces for the Space Horse and vertical dropouts. (As the Space Horse dropout will soon be available unbranded to the public through our supplier, builders will appreciate how nicely you can fillet the seat stay interface of that dropout into the stay).
The build I chose is super fun. I know I'll get shit for it, but I love white accents. I love how stark white tires turn cream with exposure to the road and elements. I love how you can tell hand positioning for a given rider from looking at white tape. I love how you can see how a rider sits from the dye distribution on a white saddle. I also love obnoxious cable housing. Jagwire has chrome... it matches my stem and seatpost.
In a previous life I designed carbon cockpit components. As a result, I have a deep respect for carbon and ride almost nothing but carbon handlebars because of stiffness when I climb and general ride quality- carbon can do whatever you need it to. These are Zipp SLC2 bars- it doesn't get much stiffer.
Though I appreciate full carbon cockpits, I went with a Thomson seatpost and stem. The seatpost is zero offset just because, at this point, I'm accustomed to riding forward, over my bars. The stem is a little short because it is what I had available with this current build. I love Thomson not just because all of their designs are manufacturing process driven (which is so freaking cool) but because they offer such a wide variety of interface sizes- it does so much to support older frame designs. Oh, and they produce gorgeous parts. I use Thomson everywhere... to a point where I should probably get a frequent buyer card. I can't wait to see what they do with handlebars this year, I'm sure it will be amazing.
The 1x10 (38x12-36) drivetrain (chosen because I need to spin more in order to even joke about racing track this season) gave me a neat opportunity in the cockpit as well as a reason to throw on a white Apex rear derailleur. My left lever is a silver SRAM 900 lever I bought when I heard they where discontinuing them. My right shifter was a Christmas present from my brother who took Apex shifters, sanded off the paint, and re-built them with Red internals and a Red paddle.
Best baby brother in the world.
Crank: standard Sugino. I am planning to upgrade soon but I’m still mulling over the direction I would like to take. Also, I apologize for half-assed assembly. I am hoping to come up with a pimp solution for a bash guard. The old chainring is holding it together for the time being.
Wheels: brand new custom built H+Son TB14 rims with 105 hubs. Gorgeous wheels and they are an amazing ride so far. Very interesting to have such wide rims with 21c Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires.
Saddle: Terry Butterfly, which appears on all of my commuters. When I need to show it off, I have a pink and white Fizik Vitesse that I toss on. Both clean up pretty well… when I feel like cleaning them.
So there you go. This bike makes my heart flutter when I see it and ride it. It’s such a pleasure.
Next installment will be Jeff talking about somethin-somethin. He has some stunners as well.