Not long ago both my wife and I hailed from Minneapolis – a town that many cyclists likely know as the source for, and money sink of, all the products you have undoubtably ordered through QBP (the mothership behind such bike brands as Surly, Salsa, All-City and many others). To us Minneapolis has always been home. Having lived there for a decade (plus or minus), it is a city filled with amazing friends, wonderful food, stress-free living, and (of course) the brutal winters that helped fuel the popularization of fatbikes! It is also host to amazing trail systems, growing urban bike infrastructure, and an excellent community of cyclists, all of which fostered my passion and obsession for riding.
As life circumstances would have it though, we moved eastward to the great city of Boston, and a faster pace of life with its own charm, rewards and challenges. As a lover of all types of riding, the benefits of Boston are many. For the mountain bike enthusiast there are over 40 areas within 25 miles of downtown that host some of the most varied technical singletrack and mixed riding the east coast has to offer. For the urban cyclist, we have the Boston Bike Party and the Boston Cyclist Union (to name just a few), amazing custom builders, and a community of riders that is growing fast and advocating hard for a more bike-friendly city.
Three years into our Boston transition and we are riding more and more each year, which has necessitated some changes to the bikes we possess to make the most of all the region has to offer. Despite having served my wife well for many years, it is time to retire her Bianchi Eros (a gracious gift from my sister) in favor of a more purpose-built bike for commuting and light duty touring, New England Style.
The requirements were simple:
(2) Fit fat tires (38c or greater) with fenders
(3) Have a shorter reach & more upright geometry to better fit a 5 ft, 4 inch woman with long legs (31 inch inseam) and a short torso
(4) Be a flexible enough platform to morph into whatever the situation demands
Enter the All-City Space Horse.
It didn’t take too long with these requirements in mind before the All-City Space Horse was a top contender. Perhaps the decision was easier for her after seeing a bit of home, the pillars of the Hennepin Avenue bridge, on All-City’s head badge. So, I set about finding a 49 cm blue Space Horse frameset (the color of choice), as the current model year silver and green versions just aesthetically lack something.
Luckily, it didn’t take too long to acquire the frame locally in her size, and for the fun of ordering components to commence. With most of the pieces yet to arrive, I think it’s fair to say that I am far more excited about her bike than she is at this point, though I know that will change rapidly as it comes together. Personally though, I find this part the most exciting in any bike build. There is just something about the potential of an unbuilt frame and the anticipation of how it will all come together. While you cannot predict where it all will take you, it’s nice to know that as you keep moving forward you can always be reminded of how you got there and where you came from.
Complete build details, pictures and assembly to follow in Part 2 …