The inaugural incarnation of All-City’s Macho Man was more of a traditional cyclocross bike. We tried it and liked it but considered it too heavy to be seriously raced on. This new version, which has a double-butted steel frameset that’s been updated to handle larger volume tyres, is also on the heavy side for cyclocross, but would be ideal for taking on gravel events.
The updated Macho Man is aimed squarely at gravel riders that use their bikes to commute because, despite the knobbly 40mm Schwalbe tyres, this rig is capable of building and holding more on-road pace than you’d expect. And that’s not its only attribute.
From the head badge and lugged fork crown all the way back to the custom-stamped bottom-bracket shell and rear dropouts, the details on the Macho Man’s frame shine out.
The head badge and green paint job are sophisticated affairsRobert Smith Photography / Immediate Media
The reinforced bottle bosses and brazed-on seat collar, plus stunning metallic green finish, form a chassis that looks the equal of many handmade custom bikes. Underneath the looks there’s toughness too: All-City’s Electrophoretic Deposition coating (a primer that’s fused to the frame and fork before painting) has been applied to prevent corrosion.
The SRAM 10-42 cassette and 44-tooth chainring offer plenty of range: 44/10 generates a decent road pace while the 44/42 ensures you can climb off-road like a mountain goat.
Electro Deposition coating helps to prevent corrosionRobert Smith Photography / Immediate Media
The SRAM Rival drivetrain is paired with TRP’s cable-operated Spyre disc brakes and its twin-piston action gets as close to a hydraulic brake feel as you can with cables. On top of ample power, that twin-piston action means the pads retract from the rotor, so you don’t suffer the brake rub that cable setups are prone to.
Head off-road and the generous-volume Schwalbe G-One tyres possess tenacious grip in all but the sloppiest of conditions and, arguably, would dampen vibrations in the most flawed frameset. Not that there are flaws here. The Macho Man’s skinny tubes and fork blades imbue its ride with a real liveliness — not something that can often be said about a bike weighing 11.5kg.
Slick TRP Spyre cable-operated disc brakes provide ample stopping powerRobert Smith Photography / Immediate Media
Halo’s Vapour disc 650b wheelset is excellent, as is the Genetic bar and stem combo, which is quality alloy. The textured Gusset saddle adds a comfortable finishing touch.
With a few upgrades to bring the overall weight down, the Macho Man would be a killer competitive gravel bike. As it stands, it’s a beautiful blast of affordable fun.
All-City Macho Man Disc specification
The details on the Macho Man’s frame shine outRobert Smith Photography / Immediate Media