Since 2010, Minneapolis-based All-City Cycles has carved its own metal-framed niche.
Evolving from fixed-gear beginnings, the brand now has skinny-tubed road bikes, cyclocross and all-road bikes in its stable. Building on the success of its steel namesake, this Cosmic Stallion is its first titanium frame.
All-City Cosmic Stallion Ti frame details
Unlike All-City’s other models, the Cosmic Stallion Ti is only sold as a frameset (£3,499.99), and the bike shown was built by Ison Distribution using its brands. The frame, built from All-City’s 3Al/2.5V Oberon Titanium, is claimed to weigh 340g less than steel (and is named after the immortal king of the fairies).
The tubes are subtly shaped and finished. From the tapered head tube, a horizontally ovalised top tube joins the round seat tube, which joins the larger-diameter, round down tube at the slim bottom bracket shell. The shell, stamped with the All-City name, leads to the shapely stays.
The chainstays taper from ovalised to round at the rear dropouts, and are crimped to increase tyre clearance. The driveside chainstay is crimped to create room for the chainrings.
Tapering towards the dropouts, the seatstays include rack and mudguard mounts and, like the chainstays, have a curved bridge. The frame has three sets of bottle bosses.
The dropouts are beautiful. What is at first glance a simple design exhibits more intricate detail every time you look. The thru-axle is seated snugly in a raised collar, surrounded by a scalloped section, while there’s a crescent-shaped window above and a protruding rack mount behind.
The non-driveside dropout includes the organically formed disc caliper flatmount, and every weld is perfect, as smooth and straight as if a slug engineer had glided precisely across it.
Onto the cables. You can configure offset cable ports at the top and bottom of the down tube, using the screw-in guides to manage your choice of controls.
Here, the front and rear derailleur, and rear brake lines run through the tube, exiting before the bottom bracket shell, where the brake and rear derailleur lines continue beneath the chainstays.
The front brake hose runs externally down the rear of the fork blade.
Much of the frame has a brushed finish, but All-City has taken a lot of time to mask the tubes and create attractive, hand-produced bead-blasted designs.
All-City Cosmic Stallion Ti performance
It might seem surprising to see a front derailleur on a modern gravel bike, but I appreciated the gearing options it provides.
With 46/30 rings and an 11-34 cassette, there’s a twiddly low gear, a high enough top gear and satisfyingly small jumps, making it easy to find the perfect gear.
However, since the Cosmic Stallion Ti is sold as a frameset only, the build is up to you.
The slender frame tubes might look spindly, but that tapered head tube, and the Columbus Futura carbon fork, add muscle where it matters, keeping the Cosmic Stallion Ti in line.
At high speed on washboard gravel, the 71.5-degree front end isn’t deflected, and it maintains superbly accurate steering control.
Hard cornering and emergency stops don’t affect things either, the 1,031mm wheelbase keeping it planted.
You might expect the additional leverage generated by the wide, flared Redshift Sports Kitchen Sink bar – or similar – to overwhelm the frameset, but it proved more than equal to huge torsional loads.
The frameset’s clearance allows for 700 x 45mm or 650b x 42mm tyres, with or without mudguards. The Halo GXC 38mm tyres on Halo’s Carbaura XCD 35 carbon gravel wheels were set up tubeless, and measured 39mm, leaving a little spare clearance, though not that much at the rear.
Good wheels and tyres always make a difference, and these gravel-specific wheels add air volume, while better supporting the tyre sidewalls, which translates into extra grip, sharper handling and greater comfort.
I rode this bike with a 27.2mm carbon seatpost and Redshift’s Shockstop post, which takes the sting out of larger bumps thanks to its passive suspension effect.
The titanium frame is inherently comfortable, and the Shockstop only magnifies this.
Within reason, weight really isn’t an issue on a gravel bike, because ride quality and practicality usually take precedence, but if this bike’s 9.95kg mass bothers you, fitting a conventional bar, stem and seatpost would shed 500g.
All-City Cosmic Stallion Ti geometry
All-City Cosmic Stallion Ti bottom line
With its slim-tubed look and standard tyre clearances, the Cosmic Stallion Ti lends itself to being a true all-rounder.
Able to perform effectively on tarmac, gravel and singletrack, it would make an excellent commuter bike or winter bike, while still being able to handle monster gravel riding at the weekend.
Titanium’s resilience also makes it many riders’ choice for bikepacking, but with total freedom to build the bike you need, it’s time to decide how you’ll ride yours.