First look: All City Space Horse + Civia Twin City and updates from Salsa & Surly

World exclusive steel loveliness from CORE 2012 plus more non-exclusive steel loveliness

by Tony Farrelly   February 2, 2012  

There's always plenty of high end carbon at the CORE Bike Show but amidst all the ultra-high modulus this, and nanotech  that there's also a fair bit of steel loveliness and nothing so rare and lovely as the All City Space Horse… crazy name, rather beautiful bike. It's rare too right now this is the only one in the country and it hasn't even been seen in the US yet, so something of a world exclusive. We're promised that a whole herd of them should be reaching the UK at the end of March.

What we have here is a pretty steel all rounder with a performance edge and all the bits and fixings for racks, mudguards  it's very much in a similar vein to the Jamis Quest we featured yesterday and also bikes from the likes of Surly and Salsa - with whom it's sharing stand space here at CORE and more about them later.

Built from TiG welded double-butted 4130 cro-mo the Space Horse is designed to be super-versatile bike and very comfortable, All City are billing this as a fast commuter do anything on bike - including blasting along the sorts of gravel roads and trails they have plenty of in the US.

In effect this is occupying the same territory as the new generation of cross/commuter bikes but instead of being an off road bike you can ride just as successfully on the road this is a road bike you can take off road if you want. Again, like many of those crossers you can also tour on it too. The Space Horse has masses of clearance allowing you to fit properly fat tyres for touring or off road if you want to and the mounting points to run racks front and rear plus guards. The slight difference here is the emphasis All City are putting on speed, this is a bike they say you can haul ass on and haul your stuff too. It's also a bike built to last with all tubes internally rust proofed.

It's versatility doesn't end there you can built it geared or singlespeed - courtesy of a  simple but clever lipped dropout that holds the wheel firmly when you're running geared and lets you easily get the right chain tension if you want to run singlespeed.

It will be available in two versions either as a complete bike or a frameset, the latter will cost you £499 for frame and fork and comes in a rather spiffing looking Elven Blue colour. The complete bike will set you back £1,350 and that buys you some very nice finishing kit and a Tiagra 10 speed drivetrain with a 50-34 compact chainset turning a 12-30 rear cassette a combo that should allow you to climb walls if you want to. Stopping comes is taken care of by a set of Tektro cantis to give the combination of maximum stopping power and off road and load lugging capability. The frame also featues nice touches like the internal cable routing on the top tube and a beautifully raked front fork - which not only looks the biz but lengthens the wheel base and give a bit of front end cush.

When it lands on our shores the Space Horse will be available in six sizes and there should be one to fit everybody – we've already booked our review sample.

Civia had a new bike on display too, the Twin City. It's an urban utility machine and comes in step-through and step-over versions with a choice of a seven-speed hub gear or a singlespeed setup.

Both the frames feature a split top tube, the step through arcing down to give plenty of standover height. We didn't see the step-over frame but the word is that the tubes arc up and then down to the stays, a bit like the Pashley tube Rider. Those bottle bosses near the head tube aren't a mistake, by the way: they're put there to hold a specifically designed frame bag for your wallet and keys. nice touch.

The Twin City features an integral cromoly rack that has standard tube profiles for panniers and should be sturdy enough to lug a fair amount of weight. The bikes will cost £849 in seven speed guise, and £549 for singlespeed. They'll be arriving later in the year.

Salsa's Vaya is a bike that we've tested and enjoyed very much, so it's great to see it still in the range along with its big brother, the Fargo which we also have a lot of time for. This year the Vaya is available in two builds. The Vaya 2 is the more highly specced of the two, with SRAM Apex running gear and integrated shifters. That's a build that'll appeal to people using the Vaya predominantly for commuting and leisure riding; if you're off touring on it you might want to plump for the Vaya 3 which has a triple chainset and dependable bar-end shifters, coupled with a Deore rear mech and 11-34T cassette for all the gears you'll ever need. Both bikes use the same frameset, albeit in different colours.

Salsa are also working on a new road frame. That's all we know, they wouldn't tell us any more except that it'll be at CORE 2013.

Surly's range remains more or less unchanged. The Pacer is a different colour this year - medium sparkle blue, to be precise - if that's been the only thing putting you off buying one. The Long Haul Trucker will soon be available in disc-ready guise, but wasn't finished for the show. There'll be two versions of the frame, one specifically for discs and the current one for cantis, and both will be 26" wheel in the smaller sizes and 700c from 56cm upwards.

4 user comments

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That's a lovely thing. Good to see the practical steel revival is still rolling. Cool

Rob Simmonds's picture

posted by Rob Simmonds [257 posts]
31st January 2012 - 18:44

7 Likes

No disc brake mounting points?

posted by chris22 [5 posts]
1st February 2012 - 2:38

5 Likes

Nice enough, but my experience with an almost identical rear brake hanger - which requires a very precise length of cable outer and still gives spongy braking, and has no adjustment for pad wear - on a Cross Check is that it's the ruin of an otherwise fantastic frame. What on earth is wrong with a proper hanger on a bridge?

Bez's picture

posted by Bez [481 posts]
1st February 2012 - 12:56

4 Likes

That does look nice. Prefer the white of my new CdF to the orange though (ok, yes, am a bit excited about new bike Big Grin )

Doctor Fegg's picture

posted by Doctor Fegg [142 posts]
2nd February 2012 - 18:13

4 Likes