I have been waiting for this day for years now: NEW BIKE DAY! Everyone who knows me at all knows that cycling is super important to me and that I can be found commuting to work and even running errands on a bike. Cycling is such an important part of my lifestyle that I would say it even makes up a core part of my identity, however, I have never owned a bike that even fit me correctly let alone was custom fit.
When you have a bicycle the fit really is more like a pair of shoes or a nice suit than a pair of pants or a shirt - one half size too big or too small is like trying to run a marathon in shoes too big or too small... it doesn't really work. Even though I have been cycling enthusiastically for over a decade at this point, I always was getting bikes on consignment, from a buddy, or a hand-me-down - and never had the scratch to put a custom build together from the drawing board. My friend Nevin and I were discussing this bike as a dream in February and things became a lot more earnest for me in March. I started squirreling away money and putting together an idea of what I would like to get.
I focused on the All-City Cosmic Stallion because I really enjoy QBP's other bikes like the Salsa Journeyman and the Surly Cross Check / Long Haul Trucker - but I wanted something a little more unique and boutique for this particular build. What is the sense in getting a dream bike if everyone else has it, right? I knew the shop that I wanted to have build it is Mojo Cyclery in the valley because they are definitely the shop that is most about grinding gravel and widely regarded as the best in Spokane for building up gravel bikes. They also do a really great job of putting together shop rides and other events, and feels more relational than transactional and I must say they did a stellar job with the build.
The global bike market is in serious flux right now - so much so that these pedals ended up being takeoffs from another build as Shimano was backordered for over 500 pairs of SPD pedals. The shop made sure that I got these custom handbuilt wheels from Woven in Canada at a price that beat out the Whisky wheels that QBP sells with the bike and got me ready to ride even when all the stuff hadn't shown up yet.
To top it all off, my good friend and professional photographer Dave Ainley was available to go take a few shots with me at sunset to capture the likeness of my trusty steed on the day I bought it which was an incredibly special experience. What a guy! He is the real deal if you need any photography done and are local to the Spokane area.
While this bike will be at home shredding gravel or riding a century, the real goal that I had with this build above all others was that it would be an excellent all-arounder so I wouldn't need a whole collection of bikes but just have one that can do everything 'bikey' that I throw at it. After only one day with this bike, I am certain that I was successful in this quest. I am not into downhill/MTB type stuff at all and I already took the bike on ascents and tricky terrain and know it can handle anything that I would throw at it. Find a parts list below and reach out to me if you have any specific questions about how anything here is working out for me.
I hope to see you all out there and remember to keep the rubber side down!
Build Specs / Part List
- All-City Cosmic Stallion Frameset 700c steel, purple fade, 52cm
- Shimano R5500 Hollowtech II Bottom Bracket
- Shimano GRX 810 Crank
- Shimano GRX 810 Long Cage Derailleur With Clutch
- Shimano GRX ST-RX600 2x11 Hydraulic Brake / Shift Levers
- Woven Precision G45 700c Handbuilt Wheels
- René Herse Bon Jon Pass 700x35 TC Extralight Tires
- Thompson Elite X4 Mountain Stem
- Whisky Parts Co. No. 9 12F Carbon Drop Handlebar
- Easton Carbon Seatpost
- Selle Anatomica H2 Saddle
- SRAM PC1130 11sp Chain
- Crankbrothers Candy Pedals
- Supacaz Super Sticky Kush Star Fade Tape and Plugs