Horsing around

The All-City Space Horse Disc Apex, up against the Wall of Science.

New bike in the house — the All-City Space Horse Disc Apex (yeah, I know, that’s a mouthful).

Space Horsing around in the foothills.

I wrote up a rim-brake Space Horse in 2012 and didn’t expect to see another, but Adventure Cyclist tech guru Nick Legan got swamped and kicked this bad boy my way. So we’ve spent the past few days getting acquainted.

It’s a touch small for me at 55cm (the ’12 model was a 58cm), but I rocked the 55cm Steelmans for the better part of quite some time so I figure we’ll get along just fine.

And how d’ye like that color scheme? Kinda reminds me of Bridgestone in the mid-1980s, or maybe the Team Panasonic Raleighs from that era.



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12 Responses to “Horsing around”

  1. Pat O;'Brien Says:

    I ws impressed with the component selection, especially the TRP Spryre disc brakes. It’s also pretty neat that they prime the frame, inside and out, before painting. Not so important in Arizona, but definitely a plus in a moister climate. Sizes down to 43cm is also a plus for shorter people. I wonder about the gearing though. If you got the 105 drivetrain, the gearing is the same as my ES which is lacking the low end for touring, even light touring.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      This’n has the Apex 10-speed group, which lacks a true touring low (34×32 is as good as it gets here).

      And the brakes actually are Promax, which are on the low end, spec-wise. Everybody’s trying to keep the cost down in an extremely soft market. In this case, the SH retails for $1,500, so another $75 or so might be a deal-breaker for some folks.

  2. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    Good luck with the test. I don’t envy bike reviewers, especially when they aren’t given the correct size. It’s like “Here, try these shoes out. Yeah, I know they’re size 11 and you wear 9, but let us know what you think.” I may be in the minority but having the correct size and position on a bike makes all the difference. I don’t think the bike works the same way if the person riding it is too big or two small for it. Weight distribution has a large effect on handling, etc.
    Then the damn things are more alike than they are different, which results in inane comments – one I read recently rated the bike highly because it was light, the reviewer claimed to be one who could tell while riding if his water bottle was full or empty, while another reviewer of another bike in the same publication admitted the test bike was about the same amount heavier than others – but somehow this was not important.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I kind of like riding a small frame now and then. Feels kinda like driving a little ragtop sports car. But having gotten reaccustomed to riding a 58cm I’m not sure that at my advanced age and state of decrepitude I could tolerate a 55cm for any serious length of time.

      I should compare the little fella to my 55cm Eurocross. Or maybe the Soma Double Cross, which if memory serves is also a 55cm. I did a three-day, 150-mile credit-card tour on that one.

      I used to chuckle when reviewers would claim that it was tough to find a bad bike, but it seems to be pretty much the case. I’ve test-ridden bikes I wouldn’t buy for various reasons — spec, price, color, utility — but I can’t say I’ve gotten an actual garbage wagon yet. Reviewing them (at my admittedly low level, anyway) can feel like choosing your favorite $15 bottle of wine.

  3. Libby Says:

    Looks like a mashup of a ’50s Western and ’50s road picture, Patrick. The Horse, the rider, the mountains and the sky and road that go on forever.

    I like the paint job, too.

  4. Libby Says:

    Random: your pal, ex-comrade, Andrew Hood brought a bike to the Giro. Contrary to his night owl nature he has been getting up early to ride! The extra-special corsa rosa this year inspired him. He mentioned this in one of the video blogs he and Gregor Brown do. Rupert Guinness is there, in body only, typing away.

  5. Jon Says:

    Imagine my surprise when I searched online for Space Horse Disc Apex reviews, and I saw that you are also in ABQ. Small world! You’re also not the only person riding an undersized Space Horse (or maybe it should be called Space Pony?) in town… I picked up a single-speed 2015 Space Horse at the ABQ Bike Swap a few weeks ago, and it’s been a blast to commute with, especially after upgrading it with Deore XT V-brakes that stop it quickly. But it’s a 52cm and I typically ride a 58cm road bike. I’ve read and heard from multiple folks that All-City frames tend to be sized a little large, so that would explain how I can even fit on this bike, but I’ve been wondering if a 55 or 58cm Horse would be a better fit. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts about their frame sizing, as well as the rest of your Space Horse Disc Apex review as time goes on. I would also enjoy the opportunity to see and/or test the 55cm version in person if you’re up for meeting… I’m in the NE Heights. The nearest All-City dealer from here appears to be way out in Tucson…

  6. Neal Says:

    I’ve got a 55 elvin blue frame that I’d trade for that 52. I’m 5’9 with long legs and short torso. I absolutely love the ride so I’ve just put up with it. I need to be on a 52 though. Anybody reading this want to size up shoot me a message. nsokerbloom@gmail.com

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