All-City Space Horse

One of the bikes we have had on a long-term test is the All-City Space Horse Disc.

The Space Horse is sold as one of those ‘do it all’ bikes. But I’m still left undecided as to whether it can indeed do it all, but only when it is straight out of the box. With just one spec level from Ison Distribution, your options truly are limited, that said the gear on offer is not to be sniffed at.

A classic steel frame and forks, Electrophoretic Deposition (ED) coated for durability & rust prevention, full Shimano 105 groupset with a 50/34 crankset and an 11-28T cassette, Halo wheels with quick release axles front and rear, plus Surly Knard 41c tyres. The frame and forks can easily take mud-guards, racks etc which allows for a good touring bike set-up.

Recently it had a good thrashing around the New Forest where its ‘do it all’ capability was truly tested. While the bike performed very well overall, there were a couple of issues we had. Firstly the short head tube doesn’t leave much room for a front bag when bike packing, and teamed with the relatively short Genetic Flare bars with a 130mm drop means getting onto the drops is a rather long way down and leaves a lot of weight on the front when descending, not ideal if the bag is rubbing on the front wheel. The feeling is disconcerting and also means reaching for the brakes is a stretched too far. 

One thing that Ison could do to make the bike even better is to change the 11-28T cassette. The range really does not provide enough gears for some all-road steep sections.

All that being said the bike did make for a comfortable ride, and with a few changes made on the set up helped with those hills. The 41c Knard made the bike roll, ensuring many of the potholes and vibrations encountered on any road or gravel ride are rolled over with ease and maximum comfort.

Being one of All-City’s best selling bikes you can easily see why this is a popular option. A steady classic which will last years even if you need to make a couple of tweaks just to make it a “Do-it-all” bike. For smaller riders, there is also the ability of a better fit by utilizing 650b wheels on the 43cm and 46cm versions, something many bike manufacturers are missing out on.

“The geometry is a mix of traditional road and randonneur, with a relatively short rear end and a bottom bracket that’s slightly lower than a standard road bike. This gives it both agile handling for riding unbridled and increased stability when loaded. This blend of geometry and our 612 Select tubing creates a bike that is capable of quick road centuries, gravel racing, commuting, and of course loaded touring”.

For more information visit ISON.