All City Space Horse Disc first ride review

Disc brakes add to an already capable rig

All City's Space Horse is their most popular bike for plenty of reasons. It can do it all: road riding, touring, gravel, commuting, you name it. How did they make a good thing better? All City added some more sizes and the confidence of disc brakes.

All City's Space Horse Disc is here and it's fun
All City's Space Horse Disc is here and it's fun

All City Space Horse Disc spec overview

  • 612 Select chromoly frame
  • 4130 chromoly fork
  • Shimano 105 drivetrain
  • Hayes CX-Expert disc brakes, 160mm rotors
  • WTB STP i19 TCS rims
  • Salsa bar and stem
  • Sizes 43cm, 46cm with 650b wheels, 49cm, 52cm, 55cm, 58cm, 61cm w/ 700c wheels

All City Space Horse Disc ride impression

I went on two rides with the Space Horse Disc. They were two very different rides to see if all the capability talk from All City's brand manager Jeff Frane was real.

First ride was up the maintenance road of Northstar Resort in Truckee, California. The Sierra Nevada mountains are dry, rocky, and covered in a fine powdery dust. The Space Horse Disc rolled right through, gaining elevation without any fuss other than occasional rear tire slippage. That slippage could be easily cured with a more aggressive tread than the 35mm Panaracer T-Serv Protex tires. 

The second half of this dirt foray saw proper resort trail riding. I'd ridden this trail earlier in the morning so I knew it was relatively tame, no drops, no rock gardens, but plenty of big berms and pesky pinch-flat sniper rocks. Hands in the drops, the Space Horse Disc just cruised right along. No dropped chains, no harsh vibrations, no flat tires, just the occasional squeal of dusty brake pads. 

I ventured off the pavement and even successfully did a small lap in the bike park
I ventured off the pavement and even successfully did a small lap in the bike park

The second ride was much tamer. I rolled down the road from resort, instantly going pretty fast I noticed how stable the Space Horse was. Inputs to the bars were met with mellow, line-holding ease. It's not razor sharp, but it is confidence inspiring to be able to say this is the line I want, and plant it there. 

The roads around Northstar Resort in California are a pretty okay testing ground
The roads around Northstar Resort in California are a pretty okay testing ground

Next I swung a left and started climbing. The chromoly frame's stiffness was good. I cranked hard, trying to get the bottom bracket to flex, but honestly there's so much tire clearance between the stays that rubbing isn't going to happen. The somewhat upright geometry lent the feeling that there was no rush when riding this bike, the journey is the destination. 

I made a U-turn, and started bombing back down the road. Here's where it became clear that this full steel rig has a really smooth ride. So smooth in fact there's no need to dodge potholes or maintenance hole covers, just zip right over them. The cushy steel frame combined with big 35mm rubber is simply not going to throw you off line, nor rattle you to bits in the guise of performance. 

A steel fork and Hayes CX-Expert discs up the Space Horse's capabiility
A steel fork and Hayes CX-Expert discs up the Space Horse's capabiility

It was while speeding downhill that I noticed the Hayes CX-Expert disc brakes were a very smart upgrade. Sure, they're not as buttery smooth as hydraulics from Shimano or SRAM, but they really add to the go-anywhere nature of the Space Horse.

Weight is pretty low on the Space Horse’s priority list. What's high on that list is not having to shy away from things that a normal road bike would have to

I really love the trend of road bikes being more capable, it really opens the door for getting more riders into the sport, as well as allowing road cyclists to venture down that dirt road, or up that old forgotten service road. 

While focusing on the brakes, I did notice the front fork does have a little bit of chatter down near the dropouts when asked to stop quickly. Also the rear brake rotor gives the slightest chirp of pad rub when really smashing the pedals, but that type of riding is on the far end of a typical Space Horse outing. 

It should probably go without saying, but the Space Horse Disc is not the lightest bike. That said, weight is pretty low on the Space Horse’s priority list. What's high on that list is not having to shy away from things that a normal road bike would have to.

To highlight this fact, Jeff Frane and Nate Choma from All City took a handful of bike shop guys on a 3-day tour throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains. They got lost, crossed some streams, rode a lot of dirt, and made me wish I was there with them.

The 4130 chromoly frame is smooth, silky smooth
The 4130 chromoly frame is smooth, silky smooth

All City Space Horse Disc price and availability

US$1,800 (UK and Australian pricing not available) and should be available mid August

All City Space Horse Disc vs. the competition

With the addition of disc brakes to the Space Horse it now competes very well in the touring/adventure road market. The steel frame and fork lend an incredibly supple ride, one that few carbon or even fewer aluminum bikes can match.

There is a weight penalty however, but that's not what this segment is about, it's a riding whatever road you want, and doing it a lot.  

Russell Eich

Tech Writer
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 6'3"/190cm
  • Weight: 175lb/79kg
  • Waist: 34in/86cm
  • Chest: 42in / 107cm
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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