What we ride: Nick’s Space Horse
I hesitated posting pictures of my personal Space Horse build as it felt a little “braggy” to me but I really want to give you all a glimpse into where my brain is at. Buckle up and hold on.
So truth be told I was never a big fan of the Space Horse. My only experience being the annual SaddleDrive industry event where I’d grab one and take it for a quick lap around the lower parking lot and back up the hill. The bikes are set up “to fit everyone” so the Space Horse always felt way too tall and uninspiring. Meh. In August of last year my opinion drastically changed.
Typical bike shop life, it was late July with summer in full swing and I was frantically trying to figure out what bike I would ride for a 5-day tour of the Cascades some friends (@boyzonthehoods) said, “would be a good time!” I originally started building up an old Trek, but changed course after finding the fork slightly bent from some mysterious front-end impact. So after weighing my options and realizing I had a week and a half to get my act together, I called up All-City and ordered a 52cm Space Horse frameset in blue. I grabbed a mix of parts from whatever was in the parts cache (SRAM Force Crank, Ultegra RD, Dura-Ace DT Shifters, cheap wheelset, Fizik Airione, TRP CX8.4 brakes, etc) and threw it together over a few days. One test ride later and it was boxed and ready for the flight to L.A.
The one thing I didn’t compromise on was my fit. I’m a geek for bike fit and have spent many hours discussing and working on my own personal fit with some of the best minds in the industry (Thanks Tim, Mike E. & Brendan). It’s the one variable you can keep consistent across your bikes which allows for a pretty damn objective view of a bike’s performance and feel. So, I ripped open the box at my friends place in L.A. and immediately hopped on it for a crash course to the local spots. We rode to the infamous “blacktop”, grabbed hot dogs and beer at Tony’s Darts Away in Burbank, then rode to Golden Saddle Cyclery where Kyle was nice enough to open the shop for us on his day off. (Thanks Kyle!). I started to realize just how amazing the Space Horse was on the climbs, but even more so on the descents, especially that sketchy road coming down from the blacktop. Kyle also confessed his love for the Space Horse on the heels of his trip up White Mountain (he wrote about it in our Vol. 6 Annual.) I got a feeling this was just the beginning.
Fast forward a few days and we set off on a multi-day tour of the Cascades, starting in Seattle and ending in Portland five days later. The plan was to exit Seattle, ride some pavement up and over Mt. Rainer, up gravel and singletrack to the base of Mt. Adams, back down gravel to pavement and into the cascade locks area en route home. Simply put, I fell in love with my Space Horse on this adventure. From the 6hr climb up Rainer to the singletrack climb and multiple mixed-terrain mountain descents, the bike was extremely stable and confidence inspiring. My bike was fully loaded with four paniers, a handlebar bag, and a tool roll, not to mention the two water bottles, pump, etc. I couldn’t believe how little flex I experienced and how lively the frame felt and believe it really came into its own with all the weight. I was completely smitten by the bike but knew it deserved a proper build when upon returning home.
Life has a way of delaying things and that long-awaited build finally happened this month. The pics throughout this post are the result. It’s a balance of bling and utility based on my trip experience and, since I’m a geek about this stuff (and it’s my job), here are the build specs:
Frameset: 2015 All-City Space Horse 52cm frameset
Headset: Chris King 1-1/8” NoThreadset, Black
Stem: Ritchey Classic, 90mm, 220 Clamp, Silver
Bar: Ritchey Classic, 42cm, Silver
Seatpost: Paul Components, 27.2mm, Setback, Polished
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C17, Natural
Bar Tape: Fizik Superlight, White
Brake Levers: Campy Veloce 9spd, gutted for singlespeed use
Brakes: Paul Mini-Motos, Polished
Shifters: Campy 9spd, Friction F&R, Polished
Front Derailleur: Campy Veloce 9spd, Triple, Silver
Rear Derailleur: Campy Veloce 9spd, Silver
Crankset: Campy Veloce 9spd, Triple 52/42/30t, Silver
Bottom Bracket: Campy Veloce Square Taper
Pedals: Pedal iSSi Triple SPD-Compatible, Silver
Rims: Sun Ringle CR18, Polished
Spokes: DT Swiss Champions 2.0/1.8, Silver
Rear Hub: Campy Veloce (9spd vintage), Polished
Front Hub: Shimano Dynamo (3N-D80), Silver
Tires: Challenge Strada Bianca 700x30c, 260tpi, Tanwall
Front Dynamo Light: Schmidt Edelux II, Polished
Front Rack: Velo Orange Pass Hunter, Polished
Fenders: Velo Orange 45mm Hammered, Polished
Bottle Cages: Arundel, Polished
Handlebar Bag: Swift Industries
Bell: SpurBell, Silver
(Note for Swift Badge Pic) We were lucky enough to be joined by Martina and Jason from Swift Industries for the first few hours of our adventure. I can’t say enough about how awesome their operation is and highly recommend checking it out when you get the chance.