Fijate Warm Up Party!

For those of you who may not know, the Puerto Rican Fixed Gear Festival is this weekend, and All-City is making an appearance.
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Austin, Heather, SK, Saisha, and myself will all be in attendance, and we're getting things started with a party at Ciclo Canibal on Thursday evening. If you live down there, you better show up. #partybrand

The Greatest Space Horse Photo Ever!!!

And here for your enjoyment is what we believe to be the single greatest photo ever taken of a Space Horse.  It was shot by our friend Tom Robertson of his buddy  Dave.

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*Disclaimer: despite the name, the Space Horse is intended for road riding on planetary surfaces, not suborbital flight.

If the image looks familiar, it's because it's a recreation of the greatest  photo of a Macho Man that we've ever seen, only this time done with full panniers and in the dark.

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Hellgate Cyclery

L.A. Trip Wrap Up

To finish off coverage of my trip to L.A. here are few more photos and memories.

The first thing I did after hitting town was head to my buddy Omar's barber shop for a much needed hair cut.

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Omar is an old school barber of the highest order, a rockabilly dude, and the owner of a Mr. Pink. In fact three of his barbers all ride Mr. Pinks. I've been waiting to get my haircut and see his shop forever. So stoked to finally get there.

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The shop is called Vinny's, not sure why.

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me and Alex, thanks for the great cut dude!

 

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While they had a fine liquor selection, the best part was when they throw you a cold can of Tecate as you sit down and settle in.

Thanks to the whole Vinny's crew. The shop was amazing.

A few randoms from inside GSC
 

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check that Van Damme bottle

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party fridge

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Stella stands guard

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Thomas from Angry Catfish

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Nick from Angry Catfish

Out on Monday ride with Moi.
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The amount and quality of the dirt trails in the area is staggering. This was somewhere on our quest to ride "Dirt Mulholland" and Sullivan Ridge

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Moi getting it

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on top of Sullivan Ridge

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Kyle's kitty Sicily

And there you have it. As always, Los Angeles was a heck of a time and I can't wait to get back.

Minneapolis NACCC Promo

This year's North American Cycle Courier Championships is taking place right here in Minneapolis, and All-City is proud to be the title sponsor. Get here.

Mudfoot Dirty Hundo Video

The video is up from the ride and it's pretty dang sweet. Give it a gander.

Mudfoot Presents: The Dirty Hundo from Golden Saddle Cyclery on Vimeo.

Chevron Bibs

AB4730 Chevron Bibs SM

AB4733 Chevron Bibs XL

AB4732 Chevron Bibs LG

AB4734 Chevron Bibs 2XL

AB4731 Chevron Bibs MD

JT4771 Chevron Jersey Men’s MD

JT4770 Chevron Jersey Men’s SM

JT4773 Chevron Jersey Men’s XL

JT4772 Chevron Jersey Men’s LG

JT4774 Chevron Jersey Men’s 2XL

Jt4780 Chevron Women’s SM

Jt4783 Chevron Women’s XL

Jt4783 Chevron Women’s MD

Jt4782 Chevron Women’s Large

Chevron Jersey

Chevron Socks

SK1211 - Chevron Sock Large / XL

SK1210 - Chevron Sock SM/MD

Chevron Cap

CL2054 Chevron Cap Blue

CL2056 Nice Cap Black / Green

CL2055 Hennepin Bridge Cap Pink/Red

Chasing the Sun Ride

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The day after the Dirty Hundo we met at Golden Saddle for a nice jaunt up to the "blacktop" in Griffith Park to watch the sunset and chill out with a few beers. With heavy legs we made the climb and let the cool breezes and party attitudes take over.

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there was no way I could pass up shooting this Nature Boy locked up next to a Nagasawa

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and the headtubes

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cool early 1X1

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party people: I rode next to this lady for a huge chunk of the Hundo, didn't catch a name but she killed it

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Lyle, a new buddy from S.F.

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youngsters are the future, teach them well

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the view as we rolled up

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Nathan: great smile, great attitude. He told me "you guys make the only bike I haven't broke" in reference to his Space Horse. We take that as a compliment, hope he doesn't take it as a challenge.

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modeling the reissue of the Nice Cap

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our host

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loved the color on this old Atala turned townie

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Scotty: commercial fisherman, knower of lots of stuff

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Liz

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Moi: million dollar smile, but don't follow his line ever
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modeling the new pink/red Hennepin Bridge cap

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Skate Vid

Because we over at All-City are well rounded individuals with a multitude of interests and pursuits, today instead of some bike thing, we suggest you take some time and check out this skateboarding insanity.

Bloodied

Blaine

Macho Disc

Tire pile

Starting line

DJ Kopish

Hennepin Bridge Winter

SK and Nick

Mudfoot Dirty Hundo

Last weekend I headed to Los Angeles to meetup with the crew from Golden Saddle Cyclery and Mudfoot for the second running of Mudfoot's spring century ride. This time called the Mudfoot Dirty Hundo. Joining on this trip were the crew from Angry Catfish here in Minneapolis, and my teammates for the ride, Garrett Davis and Joe Meiser, two of my homies from QBP.

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Our host for the weekend and my dear friend, Kyle Kelley of GSC. Myself and the Angry Catfish dudes packed his 300 square foot apartment vagabond style.

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Josh from ACF crashed out at Kyle's

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clearly GSC is doing something right

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selfie in front of the now famous GSC flag

I arrived on Friday to build up my bike and get ready for tomorrow's long day in the Saddle starting at 7am. As the start of the event was at the shop, our host had to get up at 5 to make coffee and setup, which in an apartment that small, meant we all had to get up. Luckily we were still on Midwest time which meant it was a more reasonable 7am for us.

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Patch kits that were handed out to the riders, they saved not only my team's day, but many others. Best race swag ever, and as always, spectacular branding. Note the deflated legs on the coyote.

The route was to be 90 miles, 30 miles of road to get to the dirt section, then 40 miles of fire roads scattered with talus that had been washed down from the cliffs above during recent storms, and 20 miles of pavement back to the shop. The tough thing was that once you entered the dirt there was no place to go, you were absolutely committed to finishing it. Almost all of the total 10,000* or so feet of climbing would come on that crucial dirt section.

*I've heard 9,10,11, and 12,000 feet claimed for the total for the ride, but we'll just stick with 10.

Still considering a century to be a big deal, my Midwest was showing as I was one of the only riders to show up with a backpack or framebag much less a backpack and a framebag. Though I'm very glad I did as I was able to constantly eat, had no worries of running out of water, and got to play good guy giving out food to bonking racers. 90 miles doesn't sound like much, but when three hours can easily be eaten up climbing 5 miles or so, it gets to be a very long day on the bike. I think I finished somewhere around 7 or so at night. In any case, it was starting to get dark.

It's absolutely wild to me that the majority of racers only carried two bottles and whatever they could stuff in their pockets. I meanwhile had two tubes, sunscreen, a peanut butter and jelly, three bars, four packages of Cliff Bloks, jerky, fig newtons, a bannana, full tool kit and a bottle full of Skratch.

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supplies

Scenes from registration
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my teammate, Joe

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possibly the best cycling jacket ever

After a 20 minute neutral cruise to the outskirts of town, and the Angeles National Forest, we were off. My teammates and I were one of the first groups to scoot down the road and very quickly, Joe was up the road with the leaders. Garrett and I hung back conserving our energy, and Joe dropped back to check in. Knowing that he relishes every opportunity to waggle his dick, we sent him up the road free and clear to go chase his dreams of California glory.  This left Garrett and myself to rely on each other to get through.

I should mention, the three man team format is not just for fun, but rather a necessity that the organizers used to make sure that no one was on their own in the backcountry and to ensure safety.

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Above is my teammate Garrett, note that he is on a roadbike with road tires, this will play a major role in how the day unfolded.

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racers on the runup to the dirt section, this was the Mash team down from S.F.

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here you can see the type of terrain we were climbing through, simply gorgeous

As we began the epic ascent of the first mountain, things fairly quickly went ary as the recently deposited talus was razor sharp and did a number on Garrett's sidewall and he endured the first of what would eventually be, 12 or so punctures.

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Fixing the first flat which caused the blowout of the sidewall that would plague us the rest of the day.

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My rig for the race, just prior I fitted an 11-32 cassette to the bike and was damn glad to have it. I can't tell you how much I love this bike. The Macho King is going to be a great one. So stoked to be able to make it available to you. Unlike my compatriots I rode the right equimpment and received no flats on the Michelin Jets I was riding.

While stopped we were passed by Kyle who was out filming the race aboard his Space Horse
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Proably the most famous Space Horse in the world at this point. It's a good bike.

Stopping was a bummer, but not so bad when the scenery looks like this:
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Shortly after that flat fix, came a pinch to the front tire, then shortly after, another rear blow out. We just couldn't win. Every half hour or so we'd be stopping to fix another hole, and the train of folks passing us kept increasing. It started to get worrisome, not because we weren't "winning" but because every person who passed us was one less person behind us who could potentially help if we needed it.  Garrett ended up using my spare tube, and borrowing one from a passing rider after retiring a tube after 6 or so patches to it. We even tried to encase a new tube in an older one in order to get one more layer of protection, but even that didn't stem the tide of misfortune.

The only thing we could do was try to keep a positive attitude and soldier on.

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A rider scopes out the scenery while we change another flat

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deep in hill country

After finally topping out, Garrett softpedaled the descent into a remote wilderness campground. We then had a five mile climb out to "Red Box" where the option of finishing the route or heading back on pavement loomed ahead of us. As G was reduced to a crawl so as not to inflict any more damage to his tires, I went ahead a bit to suffer through the slog in solitude.  All day we had been speculating as to Joe's fate, since he was riding the same bike and tires as Garrett, we figured with his luck and speed he was long gone, probably not having any of the issues we suffered through.

Around a switchback up the canyon I noticed a blue jersey walking. Couldn't be Joe right? That had to be Mudfoot blue, not the new AC kit. Well I rounded a bend and almost fell off my bike giggling (things are hillarious when you're exhausted), here was Captain Stud plodding along in defeat.  I rolled up and said "You look like you could use a friend." to which he eagerly replied, "Will you be my friend?" Dude had six boots in his front tire alone. Well shit yeah, of course homes, so I threw him my last tube, tucked into a bar and we waited for Garrett to catch up. 

After slapping each other on the back, and with these two unfortunate souls now able to help each other out, I went up the road to finish this thing. My teammates were definitely road bound so after stopping at the picnic at Redbox for a popsicle, I dragged my tired ass up the final two miles of climb to the top of Mt. Lowe and the final 20 miles back to town.

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stopped to get my picture taken at the top of the final climb

From there it was a super fun and sketchy descent of well maintained fire road and pavement back to GSC and eventually one of the top five showers of my life.

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After my teammates rolled safely back, it was time to party. On winter legs I had completed the hardest ride of my life and was ecstatic and inspired. I've always considered a century to be a pretty big undertaking basically only doing them during the gravel races in the Spring and only one or two a year. After this though, I can't wait for the weather to cooperate and spend every weekend out there on 8,9,10 hour rides as far as my legs will carry. I want to spend every Saturday night hunkered down in my hammock in the woods sleeping off the miles and prepping for the ride home tomorrow. 

Mileage, elevation, ain't none of it shit if you've got all day and a healthy attitude. 

This was only the first of the mind blowing rides we would undertake on this trip, and I am so grateful to GSC, Mudfoot, my teammates, the crew from Angry Catfish and all the other riders for making it happen.  I cannot wait to test myself next year on whatever terrain the Mudfoot crew puts together. This is one that won't soon be forgotten.

Hey LA, Join us on Sunday

If you're around, please join us in Los Angeles this Sunday at Golden Saddle Cyclery at 5pm for a lovely ride to go watch the sunset and down some beverages in good company.

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Hope to see you there.

Crows Feet Commons

718 Cyclery

Elevation Cycles

Macho King and Nature Boy Disc Information *updated

Most of you are aware of the existence of the Macho King and Nature Boy Disc cross bikes that we launched last month at Frostbike. So far the reaction we've recieved has been amazing, even though until now we haven't really done a formal announcement on our site. So let's fix that.

First up is the Macho King
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The Macho King is a natural extension of the Macho Man Disc and follows with our desire to keep making ever nicer stuff. The key additions to the formula are a Reynolds 853 tubeset, which we feel is pretty much the best steel the bike industry has ever produced, and a 44mm headtube which allows for the use of a modern carbon disc cross fork. 

Beyond that the details are similar to the Macho Man disc in terms of braze ons and features.

We are selling the Macho King as a frameset and in the standard and LTD. build packages.

Macho King LTD.
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The Macho King LTD. is limited to only 50 complete bikes.  It features the blue/white paint scheme and a Whisky No 9, thru axle cross fork. The spec is SRAM Force 11 speed with hydraulic disc brakes and a Thomson cockpit.  The bike you see here weighs in at 20lbs 12oz. As we had to get ready for a tradeshow not all parts are to spec. The Macho King webpage will be up shortly with full spec, but in the meantime know that the saddle, brakes (to hyrdo), and hubs will change for actual production.

The price is $3500 MSRP and these are currently being booked quickly, if you think you'd like to own one don't wait. Let your shop know now.

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Macho King 
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Our standard build on the Macho King platform will feature SRAM's newest 11 speed group, which currently remains "that which shall not be named." Trust us, it's going to be sweet and way sexier than the 10 speed Rival you see in the above photo.  It notably also features, Stan's Rims, a Zipp cockpit, a Salsa Cowbell 2 bar, and a Fizik saddle. 

One of these babies will set you back $2700 for a badass 11 speed group and a very nice frameset.

Macho King Frameset
FM1397
The frameset is available in the luxurious silver/silver fade with a Whisky No. 7 fork. We chose the No 7. for our frameset because we feel it provides a smoother ride for everyday use than it's mega stiff No 9. brother.

The price for a frameset is $1200 MSRP. 

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why yes, that is our new seat collar!

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Next we have the Nature Boy Disc
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This is the bike that everyone and their sister knew was coming. I mean, why the heck wouldn't we?

It's everything you know and love about the Nature Boy but with disc brakes and our ultra trick new dropout system. I won't address why we think the dropouts are so cool here, instead I'll refer you to Anna's series on them here,  here, here, and here.

The price is $1250 MSRP.

*The frameset is $650 MSRP

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Now the biggie: when the heck are you going to be able to purchase these things?  The answer is July, probably late July. 

We're working on the webpages with further spec and details now and should have them up shortly. In the meantime I hope this address' many of your questions about the product. We are super exctied to bring you the next generation of All-City cross bikes. We feel that this is some of the best work we've ever done and are proud to make them available to you for your riding and ripping pleasure.

cheers,

Nature Boy Disc Dropout:  The Finale

This is the final installation of this four part series on the Nature Boy Disc dropout system.  

While the form of the dropout was being resolved, I was screwing around with the adapter. 

Last time we visited the adapter, it looked like this… blocky and 140mm rotor-compatible:

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Confession time:  I have a difficult time designing in Aluminum… on the order of Derek Zoolander Turning Left-difficult time.  I can sketch up pretty and cool stuff in carbon or steel all day long because they are intuitive materials to me.  But stuff in aluminum always initially comes out as blocks tacked together.  So that’s why the early adapter concepts look this way.

ANYway.

Throughout the system design process, I worked off of a list of requirements (that I could check myself against anytime I moved anything around) that basically sounded like this:

The rotor must not interfere with the adapter.
The rotor must not interfere with the dropout.
The caliper must not interfere with the slots across the range of adjustment.
The caliper and adapter must not interfere with the function of the adjustment screw.
The system must not be a pain in the ass to install or adjust.

Essentially:  Everything has to work... and it has to work the way it looks like it’s supposed to. 

It sounds super simplistic.  Like: yeah, idiot, of course everything has to work... it's your freaking job.  Gotta tell you, though, it’s really easy for something obvious to fall off the radar when you’re focusing in on fixing something else (if you want to hear stories about that stuff, you’ll have to talk to me in person.  I’m not allowed to sound fallible on the blog).  And this is just the list for the dropout system... there are a myriad of things to be terrified of screwing up on a production bike design.

When we went to 160mm rotor compatibility and decided to forge our adapter (which would mean we could work to optimize a more complex design), he grew to this guy.  He's bigger and more dramatically arched to in order to give more clearance around the tensioning screw head, and to allow the dropout footprint to be smaller.  This particular prototype is covered in coffee stains because, well, I have a coffee spilling problem.  Anyone who has ever worked with me or, heck, seen me hold a cup of coffee knows this to be true.

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This is my desk top right now, actually.  And I cleaned it this morning.

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You’ll notice that the adjustment screw interface on this version is a hole through a block that’s kind of tacked on the surface (see: Zoolander analogy above).  After assembling the system a few times, it was quickly apparent that the hole in the block interface was less than ideal. 

For one, the hole limited the number of ways you could assemble the system because, at some point, you would have to balance the adapter on the adjustment screw while you were installing it… and it takes something like 15 turns of the M4x0.7 adjustment screw*** to get the end of the screw to the forward-most position of the adapter range.  It was evident that this was challenging with a caliper pre-assembled.  Installing the adapter first, THEN the spring and washer, was its own bag of bananas because the system is designed so that the spring is preloaded in the forward-most position… so there was the fun, added risk of all the tiny parts of the assembly shooting off into space if the installer’s fingers weren’t fabulously nimble.  This violated “the system must not be a pain in the ass to install or adjust” requirement.

*** We utilize M4x0.7 adjustment screws rather than M3 (or something similar) because 1) the pitch is more robust/durable and 2) the threading is maintained in the ED coating process.

For another thing, I was nervous that the tolerances on the dropout adjustment screw hole location, post-machined tab surface (after the dropout is welded and brazed to the frame, the inner adapter interfaces and axle pad is machined to ensure alignment), and adapter adjustment screw interface would stack up in any number of non-functional ways.  The hole itself was problematic because it would need to be machined into the part after forging… and extra processes require more tooling and more money to accomplish.  And the size of the hole was a problem because if it was too small, the tolerance stack could cause alignment issues with the tensioning bolt but it would work with the spring without a washer... but if we made it large enough to avoid tolerance stack the spring would easily bind between the hole circumference and the screw without the washer.

So, I killed the hole and turned the interface into a cradle.  With an appropriate sized washer, which I designed a special little pocket for on the rear of the cradle, binding was not an issue.  Tolerance stack up between all those things I mentioned earlier ceased to be an issue.  The part would be cheaper to make because it wouldn’t require additional tooling or machining. 

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Most importantly, however, the cradle opened up all sorts of possibilities for installation.  In my favorite scenario, I install the washer and spring on the adjustment screw, turn in the screw until the end hits the axle interface...

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... then I loosely pre-assemble the caliper to the adapter, pull back the washer...

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...and pop the adapter onto the adjustment screw.  The spring helps to hold the system in place while you install the adapter bolts to secure the system. 

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Bing.  Bang.  Boom. 

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So, over the course of the project, we went from here:

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To here (with the final tooled pieces):

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And now the system is being built into bikes to be available in June.

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You stoked?  I hope so. We dig ours, so we think/hope you'll dig yours too.

The end.

Nature Boy Disc Dropout:  Finessing the Form

Sorry for the massive delay between posts.  I wrote this post, accidentally deleted it, and then a big pile of design deadlines got in the way.  Had to work on Koochella team stuff.  Excuses, excuses.

But I think you'll find that this installment is well worth the wait because of:  New Sales Guy Adam-Enhanced Photography!

Since Frostbike, we’ve picked up a new team member (I’m sure he’ll be formally introduced any minute now... on a blog or something).  

His name is Adam.  He races track, drives a pick up truck, and is, for all I know, an excellent breakdancer.

Having a formal education in Photography, Adam watched with a pained look in his eye as I juggled prototypes while trying to take pictures for this entry.

“Do you want some help?”

I responded, totally maturely, by muttering about being an engineer, not a photographer... and some stuff about how it was important to have consistent shitty photography across all my blog entries.

“Those would look better in natural light.”

After two or three extraordinarily crappy shots on my phone, I grunted, gathered up the prototypes, and went to the window.

Before:

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After:

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Adam was right.  Thanks, Adam, for being better than me.

Back to Our Story:  The Dropout Body

The first concept, seen below, was the “blended” concept I discussed in the last installment.  It was flat like the Hennepin Bridge rear facing dropout, but it had the same three-dimensional interfaces as our other dropouts. 

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It was also super long and tall.  It was initially compatible for 140mm minimum rotors.  I sketched in random pockets on the inside of the dropout to try to save weight, but the pockets didn’t save a ton and when I started to optimize them, they didn’t look clean.

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You’ll also notice pen marks on the dropout.  When people give me design feedback, they like to draw on my prototypes without asking.  Which makes them not perfect and clean… and drives me crazy.

Anyway… to improve the stiffness of the dropout, I hollowed-out the body.  I also killed the flat spot at the front of the axle pad where the tensioning spring interfaces.  Why?  Well… it improves the strength of the dropout pretty substantially.  Also, after making some prototypes and checking, we found that the spring operated effectively even when compressed against a non-flat surface.

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Oh, and we put the chainstay drainage hole on the bottom of the dropout.  Why?  YOLO.

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Just kidding.  With the hollow body there wasn’t really a logical spot to place the drainage hole on the inward-facing side of the dropout (where I typically like to put them).  Anywhere on the inside of the stay that seemed visually appropriate wasn’t functionally appropriate.  I aim to place drainage holes in the lowest point of chainstay when the bike is hanging so that the water doesn’t pool anywhere weird and that wasn’t going to happen on the inside of the dropout.  The deepest part of the pocket, unless I decided to fill it in, was on the bottom.  It made sense.  I couldn't think of a reason not to do it.

The dropout remained pretty large until late in the process when two critical decisions happened: 

1) We increased the minimum rotor size from 140mm to 160mm.
2) We decided to invest more time in the design of our post mount adapter due to this feature we were adding.  A forged adapter can be more complex in shape than a simple laser cut one.  This opens the door for formal optimization.  Also, forged adapters are stronger due to the nature of the process.

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When you increase the minimum rotor size, you move the physical caliper away from the rear axle.  This reduced clearance issues between the caliper and adapter mounting slots and allowed us to shrink the height of the dropout (less wrench clearance is needed).  Then, when we invested in the development of the adapter, we were able to increase the size of the aluminum adapter while shrinking the steel dropout… which helped reduce weight.

This is where I'm leaving this entry.  I originally had it paired up with the next entry but I was even glazing over reading my own discussion about the post mount adapter development after this stuff.  

Anyway, the next/last entry is all about the custom post mount adapter.  It really ties the room together.  

Johnny Sprockets

Petries Cycle and Sports

Natural Cycle Worker CO-OP

the community bicyclist

Klunk! Bicycles & Repair

Apostle Bikeworks

Seven Corners

Gone Sledding

Sometimes it's about the bike, but other times you leave the bike at home. This past weekend's excursion to my buddy Josh's cabin for our annual sledding trip was one of those times. We had a limited amount of time to get snockered, play with dogs, and get loose on the hills above his family's land. Bikes were unnecessary.

Here are some favorite photos of the hijinx that ensue when city punks go country.

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my breakfast: yes that's eggs, leftover bratwurst, and string cheese on a tortilla

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Cycleast

Adventure By Hike: Apostle Island Sea Caves

SeaCaves-22

As you may have noticed, after Frostbike John Watson and Kyle Kelley stayed on for a few days to play in the ice and snow. On one of the days we took a trek up to the shores of Lake Superior to visit the Apostle Islands National Lake Shore Sea Caves.  I took my own photos and posted them on Bike Jerks, but check out John's amazing shots below.

And in case  you were wondering about that hat. Those were our Made in Minnesota Sledding Hats, and we only made a run of 60 and they're long gone. With limited stuff like that, stay tuned to our Facebook or Instagram for the deets. They typically don't last long enough in stock to warrant a blog post. If you missed it, we'll have more next year. 

SeaCaves-1SeaCaves-2SeaCaves-4SeaCaves-15SeaCaves-16SeaCaves-17SeaCaves-25SeaCaves-29SeaCaves-35SeaCaves-45SeaCaves-46SeaCaves-51SeaCaves-61SeaCaves-68SeaCaves-72SeaCaves-85 Here is John's full post if you want to see them all.

Bicycle Store

Kyle’s Space Horse

Our buddy John Watson, of Prolly is Not Probably, recently shot these photos of Kyle Kelley's, owner of Golden Saddle Cyclery, Space Horse camping setup.  Check it out.

Beautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt TourerBeautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt TourerBeautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt TourerBeautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt TourerBeautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt TourerBeautiful Bicycle: Kyle’s All-City Space Horse Dirt Tourer

*These tires that Kyle's using are larger than the bike was designed around, so he has to pull the wheel back in the dropouts to fit it in the rear end.  It works, but we wouldn't recommend it.

All-City Snow Ball Party Video

Here's a quick look at what went down during our annual Frostbike Cross Launch Dealer Party. Showcasing some spectacularly bad dancing.

Get into it!

All-City Snow Ball from Quality Bicycle Products on Vimeo.

Nature Boy Disc Dropout: Formative Days

(Continued from the Prologue)

Who has two thumbs and dreams about dropout design out of a crippling fear of public failure? 

This girl. 

It was driving me nuts that we didn’t have a better solution than forcing the user to randomly place the post mount adapter in the slots. 

I was trying solutions like placing indexing lines on the adapter so you could kind of see where the adapter was supposed to sit with respect to the rotor… but rotors have all sorts of weirdo outer profiles and we weren’t planning on post machining the adapter because we were trying to keep costs down because we weren’t intending to have to produce our own adapter at the outset of the project so the indexing line would have to be in the graphic treatment which meant the graphics would have to placed precisely and even if everything were executed perfectly (which it never could be in production) it felt like a poor solution because placement would be interpreted by the person setting up the bike and would still be subjective.

^There’s a nice run-on sentence for you. 

And then I was battling this screw in the middle of everything… and tool clearance with respect to the tensioning bolt.  It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t figure this out. 

So one night I sprang awake.  Why didn’t we use the tensioning bolt to index the adapter with respect to the rear axle?  It would mean having a more sophisticated post mount adapter… but man, this was a good reason to make it more sophisticated.

So I came into work and sketched out these informative diagrams for the team:

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Forward Cutaway

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(As you’ll see in the second diagram, I removed the tensioning deadspace I discussed in the “Prologue” from the front of the dropout for tensioning.  I did this figuring that someone working with this mechanism would want clear evidence that brake indexing was functional throughout the range of rear wheel adjustment… otherwise it wouldn’t appear to work well.  That’s the last thing you want people to think when you’re introducing a new system like this.  Everything about it should seem clever and well-thought out.)

So we had a meeting.  I sketched for them how the spring would work in the assembly.  I was all: let’s spend more money on a part we didn’t think we would need to spend money on in the first place because I think this is neat.

As seen below from the notebook page I was sketching on, Jeff was all “The only thing I care about is having the raddest shit possible, basically.”

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So while this was all going on, I was trying out concepts on what the overall dropout should look like.  This was the very first direction (illustrated with some emotional Instagram filters). 

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As you can see in this diagram, thematically, it made sense… but it kind of felt like we put everything we had done so far in a blender.  Lots of refinement would need to take place... on everything.  (see the next installment).

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This is the system first assembled for evaluation. 

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Neato, huh?  Stay tuned, it gets neato-er.

Macho King 853 Frameset Instructions

Nature Boy 612 Disc Frameset Instructions

Nature Boy Disc Dropout:  The Prologue

Hey nerds.  

(I’m just going to assume you’re a nerd if you’re reading this.)

It’s been almost a year to the day I started sketching on this project.  I thought I would bust out those sketches.

Some background:

The Nature Boy was inevitably coming in disc format.  You people were asking for it.  We wanted it for ourselves.

My goal in designing the product was to keep it as close in functionality to the original Nature Boy as possible.  This meant designing a deliberately single-speed dropout/brake dropout system, fender compatibility, and keeping styling cues (the bridge… everyone loves that bridge). 

We also wanted the disc brake to be a positive addition, not a hindrance to the rider.  “How can that be?”  You’re asking yourself as a disc brake fanatic.  “Disc brakes are never a hindrance!” 

When starting this project, we had two scenarios in mind where this would be the case.  Disc brakes on a single speed are a hindrance when you have to remove them to change a tire.  They are also a hindrance when you can’t set them up properly.

“But… but… but… you could solve that with some sort of rocker or sliding dropout!” You’re exclaiming.  Sure we could, but then later you would be asking for a derailleur option on that rocker or sliding dropout.  And then that dropout system wouldn’t be single-speed specific, would it be? 

We like to design scalpels here at All-City, not Swiss Army Knives.  Rocker and sliding dropouts were out the window.

This is the first sketch of this dropout in my notebook with my first notes/concerns:

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The disc mounts are on the inside of the rear triangle to allow the rider to remove the rear wheel without screwing with the brake. 

You can see pretty clearly that I wasn’t a fan of a tensioning screw on the non-drive side.  It was messing up my day.  Ultimately, you have to get a pile of different tools and/or your fingertips in there to tighten the screw.  We figured that out later.  Thrilling conclusion coming.

You will also see that I originally had a dead space in the front several millimeters of the dropout.  This is done because we understand that the first few millimeters of a dropout of this style aren’t utilized, so it is important to have enough adjustability without having to remove a full link considering that dead space.

Here are sketches from when I started looking at what the drive side would look like:

Sketch 01

The drive side was going to be shorter than the non-drive side (which would be long to support the lower brake slot). 

Also, it was clear from the space available that we would have to design our own post mount adapter standard.  I kept dropping different available adapters into the model, but I couldn’t arrive at an artful configuration that gave us the chain adjustment range we needed AND a reasonably small dropout.

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You'll notice that at every point in my computer model, I have allen wrenches drawn in.  You have to be able to get your tools in there.  Have to.  So it is something we consider right off the bat.

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Generally, though, I found myself unsatisfied with the direction the dropout was going. 

And then, one night while dreaming about dropouts, I figured it out. 

To be continued…

We’re Unveiling New Things This Weekend!!!

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As some of you may know, this weekend is Frostbike, QBP's annual open house and tradeshow. It's also when we unveil our latest cross creations to the world. Here are a few teaser pics, but tune in tomorrow to Prolly Is Not Probably for the whole reveal.

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Party: Happy Belated Stupor Bowl Weekend Pictures

Frostbike Week is here- just in time for me to have recovered from Stupor Bowl. 

Which reminds me:  I haven’t posted any pictures from Stupor Bowl Weekend.

Here have a bunch without any kind of context.

Pre party

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Race Day Faces

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The actual race was a bust… I rolled up without my wallet… which had all of the cash in it for the race.  Also, Supertough Margeaux was hurting enough from the ribs she broke the previous weekend that she was admitting to being in pain when we rolled up to the start.

The after party was superfun.  And the joint was classy... just look at that tile.

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Erin got his Aerospokes.

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Sunday was all about drinks and breakfast at my house…

… and then Puppy Bowl at The Hex…

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… and then karaoke… where everything proceeded to get blurry/ridiculous.  Of course.

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… The end.

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Laguna Beach Cyclery

Anna Writes A Bio

I’ve been kicking around All-City for three years and some months now.  Jeff wrote my initial profile for the website:

Yeah, Anna Schwinn.
She's a native 'Sconnie, races track, runs her mouth, loves beer and karaoke.

It was succinct and insightful… it pretty much said what needed to be said. 

Recently, though, it was brought to my attention that people may not know what I do around here.  And that I should talk about that stuff.  In my profile.  Like A Professional.

The new profile is posted, but I added more background here because, well, we’re all friends.  You might be interested.  Or not.  Whatever.  Look at this as the director’s cut.

Here goes.

I’m the Lead Engineer for All-City. 

I’m also the only Engineer for All-City.  So that’s fun.

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I grew up with family in the industry.  This meant that I spent a lot of time sweeping floors, cleaning bathrooms, dumping out pop cans full of chew, scrubbing and preparing bikes for paint, and cutting tubes at the factory my parents worked at.  I had a lot of exposure to the process of frame building.  I spent hours digging through boxes of investment cast lugs and tubes of paint color and effect samples after quitting time.

I also had a lot of exposure to historically significant and interesting bikes as a little person (my first personal fast bike was a Phydeaux).  I went to a lot of bike races.  I loved bike industry trade shows… and trick or treated CABDA one year because it fell over Halloween. 

My formal education is in Mechanical Engineering.  In my nearly six years in the bike industry I have designed frames, frame parts, and components (drive-train and cockpit) in carbon, aluminum, and steel for Tri, TT, Road, Track, Cyclocross, and Mountain.  In addition to my work with All-City, I’ve designed product for Whisky Parts Co., Zipp Speed Weaponry, Foundry Cycles, and Civia Cycles.  I get around.

I’ve been with All-City since December, 2010.  I design the parts and frameparts (dropouts, seat collar, etc) and frames you see here.  I sketch them up.  I model them.  I do the math.  I make sure they work.  I make sure they’re pretty.  I figure out how to test and evaluate them… and then test and evaluate them.  And then, after everything goes into the world and people ride them, I figure out how to improve them or put them to bed for something better.

And sometimes I blog about that process.

I dig designing for All-City because I feel like we have our priorities straight.  While we draw a lot from tradition, tradition doesn’t limit us in terms of how we define or approach product.  Each bike is designed to serve our rider, not to serve a category with some pre-conceived notion of what a certain type of bike should be.  We invest in the details that I personally nerd-out on.  We invest in solving problems in the way we feel is most appropriate. 

Everything has to be clever.  Everything has to be beautiful. 

I love the products we bring to market because they are the products that I genuinely want for myself and for my friends. 

While I love screwing around on trails, I get my kicks bombing around on pavement and at the track.  My major extracurricular activities these days revolve around getting together a women’s track team, Koochella, and growing the women’s field at the NSC Velodrome.  I love watching bike races. 

I’m a native ‘Sconnie.  I race track, run my mouth. I love beer and karaoke.

The End.

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FM1333 Mr. Pink Frameset 61cm Blue

FM1331 Mr. Pink Frameset 55cm Blue

FM1332 Mr. Pink Frameset 58cm Blue

FM1330 Mr. Pink Frameset 52cm Blue

FM1329 Mr. Pink Frameset 49cm Blue

FM1328 Mr. Pink Frameset 46cm Blue

BK1332 Mr. Pink Complete 58cm Blue

BK1333 Mr. Pink Complete 61cm Blue

BK1331 Mr. Pink Complete 55cm Blue

BK1330 Mr. Pink Complete 52cm Blue

BK1329 Mr. Pink Compoete 49cm Blue

BK1328 Mr. Pink Compoete 46cm Blue

WB2901 FIF purist bottle

NSC Velodrome Swap Meet

Yesterday I was up in Blaine, wheeling and dealing at the annual NSC Velodrome Swap Meet. The largest swap in the Twin Cities area. Here are a few click clicks from the day.

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I love bicycle commerce!

Together A- Together A- Together Again

The Bikes of Stupor Bowl!!

You've seen the portraits, now here are some favorite bike shots from last weekend. Of course it's heavy on All-Citys because why wouldn't we take pictures of them. They're our babies, and seeing them out in the world does our hearts good.

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Frostbike Preview:  The Unsung Hero

We got some nice feedback on my last Design Process blog entry on the upcoming All-City seat collar, a part that I said “most people will never think twice about.”   

Let’s see how cool you think this next one is- a part we developed that I guarantee most people will never even think once about because it was specifically designed to be as minimal and as forgettable as possible:

The Double-Guide.

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The part was created for the Macho Man Disc, a model designed for a fully enclosed housing system.  We chose top tube cable routing for the front derailleur of that model to keep the derailleur-end housing opening out of the mud… and because it has a seat tube barrel adjuster.  

That left two fully housed cables travelling down the bottom of the downtube.  We couldn’t find a double-housing guide available.  While it would have worked for us, we did not want to use a triple-housing guide for only two cables because, well, it’s sloppy and not as design-specific as we like to roll.

Our other option was to braze single-housing guides in pairs onto the frame.  That option really bummed me out.  The single guides we have been using are bigger than I like already. 

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Grouping couples of those together seemed like a really sloppy, slapped-on approach for a product that I had just developed a gorgeous dropout system for. 

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Plus, every time you add a brazed-on piece, you add a heat-affected zone on your tube… and more weight.

So, I asked the team super nicely if it would be cool for me to design a double guide... and they said "sure."

This guy is specifically designed to be brazed only, so the material can stay super thin (it actually weighs as much as one of our single guides). 

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It’s also designed to be low profile, so you only see the cable housing, not the guide.

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The final product:

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Where is it?  

Exactly.

So there you have it.  It's pretty and minimal.  And completely forgettable.  But it's there because we thought it was really important to design it and make it for this model

The End.

Stupor Bowl Portraits

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Some close ups that we're real keen on, featuring some of our favorite people.

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48 X 17 Cycles

Stupor Bowl 17 Photos Are Up!

Hey there, if you were anywhere else this past weekend besides Minneapolis, you missed out on another amazing edition of the Stupor Bowl (now in it's 17th year). But fear not, you can catch up on the action all week via the AC blog. Here then is an opening salvo of images for you to tuck into.

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For those wanting to skip ahead, check the whole set on our Flickr, or tune in all this week as we post our favorites.

Frostbike Preview:  When Frame Candy Takes Too Long

One of the hardest aspects of being a Rockstar Bike Design Engineer, aside from the non-stop parties and the hoards of superfans recognizing me everywhere I go, is showing off new product.  By the time we drop new stuff on the public, like at Frostbike in a few weeks, I've been looking at it for a really, really long time.  

Sometimes, a project goes on for way too long.  This can happen because of performance issues, or tooling issues.  Sometimes, though, it takes too long because the All-City team, a passionate and opinionated group of people, agonizes over how pretty it is.  And sometimes, this agony is over a part of a frame that most people will never think twice about.

Enter:  The All-City Seat Collar

It was a blustery day in July, 2011, when we embarked on The Seat Collar Project.  We were so young... Jeff didn’t even qualify for Masters Category Cyclocross yet.

I was fresh off of designing the Space Horse dropout as a stand-alone piece.

See:

http://allcitycycles.com/blog/space_horse_dropout_development_part_1

http://allcitycycles.com/blog/space_horse_dropout_development_part_2_the_reckoning

http://allcitycycles.com/blog/space_horse_dropout_development_part_3_return_of_the_dropout)

… we didn’t really understand that we would want it to kick off a family of All-City frame parts when I was working on it.  Suddenly, I had a vertical dropout system and a seat collar on the docket. 

The dropout was a piece of cake.  We narrowed in on what we wanted pretty quickly… the one you see on the Mr. Pink and Macho Man Canti. 

(Though, it came pretty close to looking like this:)

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The seat collar quickly became a pain in the ass.  Originally, we just wanted pretty frame candy that we could braze on all our models.   

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But then we shifted direction because we thought it could be cool to have something that we could sell aftermarket (that people could just stick on their collar-less frames).  We split the back of the dropout and started moving in a new direction.

And, for some reason, the concepts kept coming out looking like championship belts:

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Or Viking Helmets:

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We arrived at this theme:

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So we went to tooling.  We decided that we would debut it on this sweet model I was working on at the time, The Macho King Canti (see: http://allcitycycles.com/blog/product_development_when_things_dont_make_it).  

When that model stalled in testing (a crying shame... I love that thing) we had a moment to reflect on the collar design.  It didn't feel right... it was too big on the frame.

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I redesigned the little guy.  Shrunk him down, balanced him out, made him lighter.

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We ended up with this cutie:

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D'awwwwww

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Look for him at Frostbike where he'll be debuting on several models.  

What Are You Paying For?

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It's that season when we begin to ready ourselves for the next model year, which for us begins at the end of June. As I am the acting Sales Manager, one of my duties is to set the pricing for the upcoming year, an excercise which always causes me to ask one simple question:

What the heck are people paying for, and why is it worth it to buy an All-City when there are cheaper options around?

In the case of our frames and bikes, let me lay it out for you.

Besides the fact that we use high quality 612 Select tubing, or Columbus Zona, or ......(coming soon), the principle driver of cost is the detailing of the frameset and method with which the details are executed.

-braze ons
Our frames have all sorts of little doo dads and details such as internal cable routing, hidden fender bosses, integrated seat collars, and reinforcement stars on the bottle bosses. These things, which had become something of a lost art in the production frame world, take siginificantly more time for the builder and add a higher raw cost for the brazed on piece. That's why other companies don't do them. We on the other hand feel that they are worth it because those are the details we adore in classic steel frames, and differentiate our product from others.

Many companies also get around the cost of brazing by simply welding on things such as cable guides and whatnot, and that's fine. We just prefer the cleanliness of a traditional brazed on piece. Here the choice of fabrication methods add cost.

Additionally there are details in the braze ons that no one but ourselves ever sees. For example on some of our disc models we use more expensive silver soldering on select cable guides on the downtube because silver soldering uses lower heat than brass soldering and this lower heat in key areas of stress leads to a stronger frame. More costly, yes, but ultimately we feel that doing so is in the best interest of the rider.

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-dropouts
All of our frames are made with custom All-City designed dropouts. Ever notice that other companies tend to not create their own dropout systems? This is because it's design intensive and requires fairly expensive tooling to execute. Why do we feel that it's worth it? The functionality of our dropouts is awesome, for example the Hennepin Bridge dropout system allows a user to safely and conveniently use a quick release on a bike such as the Nature Boy. Besides that, it's important for our frames to tell a cohesive story and when paired with our braze on details form a distinctive package.

We love the idea that if you took one of our frames and stripped it down to bare metal, it would still be readily identifiable as an AC.

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-phosphorous bath
Prior to the E.D. coating our frames and forks are dipped in a phosphorous bath to clean the metal so that we get maximum adhesion on the E.D. and paint. This is a step that many companies forego, but we feel that the only way to get a top notch finish is to start with an optimum surface.

-ED Coating
The much talked about E.D. coat is the best base coat we could come up with in terms of durability (you may scratch the paint, but it's exceptionally rare that you'll take off the E.D., ask anyone who's ever tried to strip one of our framesets to bare metal). Additionially it is the best rust prohibitive at our disposal. The E.D. means a better overall finish, higher durability, and rust prevention. In our eyes, totally worth it.

-paint
We love the look of multiple coats of traditional wet paint on our bikes. It would be easier and cheaper to do a single coat of powder or whatever, but we want finishes with depth and luster and sparkle. Typically our frames are E.D.'d, coated with the tip color, then painted the body color, and then shot with clear. Get one out in the sun and tell me it ain't worth it.

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-lugged crown forks
It would be cheaper to use unicrown forks and non lugged fork ends (used on most models but not all), but unicrown forks are in our opinion flipping ugly and we aren't going to put a moustache on one of our Mona Lisas.

-fork batch testing
We batch test our production runs of forks to ensure that yours is safe and reliable. When forks go, they tend to fail in terrible ways and we go this extra mile to make sure we're putting out a safe product. Trust us your teeth are worth it.

-warranty
It sounds weird to say that this factors into the price but it does. I'm very proud to say that every and all instances where it was our fault that a frame didn't make it in the real world for whatever reason, we stood by the rider and took care of it. When you buy from us we want  you to buy with the confidence that you'll be treated fairly should an issue ever arise.

-support the culture
Our mission statement, and I'm actually really proud of this since most mission statements suck is "To make a significant contribution to the culture and machinery of urban cycling." We sponsor a courier team, sponsor race teams, and sponsor events. Giving back to the community requires the financial means to do so, and this is part of what you're paying for with an All-City.

So if you ever wondered what you're paying for check above, that's where the money goes. AND of course there's the All-City private jet, drug orgies, champagne, the villa in Italy, and holidays in Mallorca, but those my friends are tales for another day.
 

Skate Vid

What Have You Been Up To

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What’s in the bag? Winter Edition

I originally did this post for my personal blog, but figured, that I'd share it with the All-City crowd too, because it's potentially semi-useful information.

Every now and then I like to do a post about all the crap that I'm currently lugging around in my purse.

Although my non Midwest friends like to tease me for the fact that I carry things like spare links and what not around all the time, the bike mechanic in me wouldn't have it any other way. I like to have what I may need to fix my bike or someone else's wherever I go, and in the winter, you just may save your life. Or fingers and toes if you want to be a little less dramatic about it.

In addition to the tools, there are other items specific to winter that can really help prevent a bad time.

Let's get into it:


The items: balaclava, liner gloves, bandana, coozie, headlamp, taillight, pump, tool pouch, mints, pen, marker, chapstick, lighter, knife, combo 4/5 allen wrench

On the winter specific front: bandana, and liner gloves

A wise man once told me that the key to keeping warm in the winter is controlling your neck temperature. When you can actively cover or vent the neck opening on your jacket, the ability to regulate your overall body temperature goes way up. In addition the bandana is particularly useful because it can be worn over the neck, mouth, or ears. Or if you're my dad, you can also blow huge loogies into it repeatedly over the course of a day and keep it wadded up in your front pocket. (gross, dad)

The liner gloves are most useful when the temp in the morning and the temp at night don't match up. Having these lightweight johnnies in your bag that can be added or subtracted from the gloves you brought with for the day can come in real handy (zing!) and have saved my ass on numerous occasions.

And this is my much made fun of toolkit. It's got all I need, allens, floss (not having floss sucks when you need it), a fifteen / tire lever, lever, spoke wrench, chain links and tool.

There you have it folks, prepared for just about anything.

Lightweight balaclava: doesn't take up much space and can be added to your other ear coverage when it gets nasty. I find myself most often using it when out on the town for the night and the temperature has been dropping since dusk. I use this less often than the bandana or liner gloves, but it's still worth carrying because when you find yourself needing it, brother you need it.

These are part of my year round kit, you need a coozie (especially in winter), a headlamp is the jam for repairs, digging in your bag, or as a spare headlight, and the mints are just good for not having your breath stinking. You're not an animal, you live in society, check the dragon at the door.



The 4/5 allen combo I keep in the hood flap of my bag for quick saddle height adjustments. It's particularly handy in fall and spring as I swap between winter boots and normal riding shoes regularly, since winter boots have a higher stack height than standard bike shoes which necessitates a higher saddle position.

The pen, marker, champstick, lighter and knife are just solid things to have with you always.

Genius Presta Adapter

SK on Fox 9

Minneapolis based team rider, Sk and his Thunderdome are featured in this local Fox 9 winter spot. Check it out

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Winter Won't Stop Us: Bike Courier from Ron Johnson on Vimeo.

All-City Clothing Sizing Chart

Koochella Team Roller Training Photos

So I am on this race team with some of the coolest chicks around.

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(Photo Credit: Zane Spang)

“How is that possible, Anna, when you’re such a lame nerd?” you’re undoubtedly asking yourself. 

I know!  I have no idea!

Koochella is a team of ladies from around the city of Minneapolis.  They race alley cats, some are messengers, they do cool stuff for the bike community of the city (run races, fundraisers, events, etc.), and are solid riders who love to ride. 

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They came up to the velodrome last season, many without ever seeing one in person, and hopped on without hesitation.  Freaking fearless.  And, because everyone has a healthy respect for one another, we’re all terrified of each other for next season.  Hooray!

So France Barbeaux, the extremely talented Official Unofficial Team Photographer, took some sweet shots of one of the roller training sessions we had at Sunrise last week.  Enjoy:

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"What's up with that girl in the helmet?" you're wondering to yourself.  

That's Steph.  

Remember that sweet picture in the last post of the chick with the bloody face?  That's from when Steph crashed this:

 

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(Photo Credit: Ben Wallace)

It was a good thing she was wearing it, too, because her session that night ended with this:

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The End.

Cyclecomponents Scandinavia

#laterblog:  Anna Blogs Funkadelic Year End Party

A few weeks ago, the community gathered to celebrate at the Funkadelic End of Year Party at Sunrise Cycles.  The invite said we would “party until sunrise…”

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… a threat I should have taken more seriously at the outset of the party.

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(^ That's a unicorn.  I swear.)

Sunrise holds a special warm and gooey spot in my heart because it is the official shop sponsor of my Koochella women’s track team (look for us next season… our kits will make your eyes bleed).  My teammates have similar warm and gooey heart spots, so they were also out in full force to support the shop.

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Good Friends

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Good Feels

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Good Talks

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Kristian

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Hanah and Lilah

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Aaron and His Injuries

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Exercise biking

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The "piece de resistance" of the evening came at about 4:30am when 2013 Season Koochella Star Sprinter, Steph, (who claims she isn’t just a sprinter… she’s other stuff too, you guys!) crashed the miniature clown bike and did this:

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The End

Ruining it for yourself…

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Photo Ben Hovland

This fall I raced more cyclocross races than ever before, it was the first year of the All-City X Fulton team, and I ended up doing four Bandit Cross' and ten "official" cross races.

I'd like to say that I had fun and loved racing, but the truth is, I ruined it for myself like I always do.

Let me explain...

It's not that I didn't have fun hanging out at the races, or spending time with my team, or cheering for my friends. I love all that stuff.  I ruined it with expectations, as I tend to do with many many things in this life. 

It happened with mtb racing in my teens and early twenties, with alleycats and now with cross. At first it's all fun and games and light hearted, but once I start doing well, nothing but podiums will do. If I don't place or finish first, I am thoroughly disappointed with myself. 

Eight years or so I started racing alleycats and fell in love with racing again after being a disillusioned mtber. The speed, the thrill, the new set of challenges, the idea of making a name for myself, of seeing any rider on any street in this town and knowing that if it came down to it they couldn't touch me, etc. After a few years and plenty of wins, I began to think of myself as the fastest guy in town, the best of the best, and I started to put so much pressure on myself that if I wasn't feeling 100% or my legs were sore or whatever, I wouldn't even come out anymore.  It wasn't fun, and it wasn't worth the risk to my reputation or ego to finish midpack. (forgetting that even at my peak, I was getting beat often (Landon was the more consistent racer and best router in town))

I put so much pressure on myself to win, that all the fun disappeared, the process was lost to the result. 

This year I found myself doing this again as a Cat 4 cross racer. A Cat 4, for fucksake!  At Cat 4 you ain't the best at anything, the midpack 3's will dust your ass.  But here I was again, worrying about the result instead of having fun just being there riding my bike with friends.

My New Year's resolution is to get out and ride and race as much as possible. To lose with grace, to say screw the results, and enjoy the opportunity to ride harder than I ever could in a non race situation.  Our sister brand Surly, is proudly stating that "Racing Sucks," but the only thing that can suck is the attitude you bring to it. This is true of any situation. The desire for a certain outcome affects how we experience the process. 

I'm sick and tired of ruining the moment with unrealistic expectations of the outcome. I want to change, I want to better myself. I want to enjoy every bit of next cross season.

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Fijate Warm Up Party!

April 21, 2014 | Jeff

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For those of you who may not know, the Puerto Rican Fixed Gear Festival is this weekend, and All-City is making an appearance.

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