Getting Dirty with Kyle’s Campy Athena Mr. Pink Chubby Road on Dirt Mulholland

You’d be surprised how big of a tire you can squeeze into some of the older road bikes. My Merckx fits a plumb 28mm tire with ease and those Campagnolo NR mid-reach brakes can wrap their arms around, reaching the braking surface. Now what happened between the 1980’s and modern bike design is up to anyone to debate. Clearances got tighter, more aero, stiffer and a mentality that a smaller tire is faster took over the pro peloton. Like it always has, the trickle down effect hit store shelves and consumers did what they do best: consume. I know this is a bleak picture of tire clearance on road bikes, but it’s mostly unexaggerated. Mostly…

It seems that now with the whole “adventure / gravel grind / blah blah” trend, companies are designing bikes that fit big tires with the aid of disc brakes. Now we’ve got “all road, road plus” and various other terms to describe these machines, designed for riding off-road.

But what about the classic steel race bikes from back “in the day?”

Enter the All-City Mr. Pink. We’ve reviewed one before here on the site and while I stuck with a moderate 28mm tire, I could clearly see this bike was made for more rubber. With a caveat though. Putting bigger tires on the Mr. Pink means you’ve gotta go for a mid-reach brake, like the Paul Racer, or in this case, the Velo Orange Grand Cru long reach brakes. With those, you can fit a 30mm tire, with ease, making this one capable chubby road bike.

So pitted!

Why would you want a 30mm tire on a road bike? Well, why not? Especially when a road ride, at least according to Mr. Kelley’s opinion, consists of all sorts of roads, including fire roads and even moderate singletrack. Kyle’s also not the easiest on his bikes, often hitting booters and kickers on a road bike, or skidding through corners, pinging rocks off his downtube. While you could technically do this on a 23mm tire, having some extra cushion helps.

When Kyle first got this Mr. Pink, he wanted to build it up as a classy, modern road bike. That means silver components. For that option, there’s only one group that fits the bill: Campagnolo Athena. The range is there for dirt riding, the parts look elegant, but the brakes just wouldn’t fit a 30mm tire. What happened to the NR era? Kidding aside, a simple swap of the brakes and this bike was ready to go. The build also includes: White Industries hubs laced to H+Son Archetype rims, matching pink Salsa skewers, a Spurcycle bell with a Thomson stem. He even topped it off with a Nitto post and Brooks C13 saddle to complete the look.

Keep on skidding with the free wheel...

This bike is fire. It’s molten lava and in California, we’re still in a drought, so bringing heat like this to state parks is dangerous!

Once it was all built up, I really wanted to shoot it. Mostly to show how versatile this bike is and because, well, it just looks damn fine. I didn’t just want to roll the bike around the block and fire off 30 photos or so. Kyle and I both decided we needed to shoot it on a bike ride. He had one route in mind: Dirt Mulholland to Topanga. From Golden Saddle and back it ends up being around 60 miles with 4,500′ of climbing.

Cascading

Sure, there’s a lot of urban riding mixed in, but that’s why this ride is so great: the contrast, or dichotomy of 10,000,000 people rushing to work mixed in with pristine, uncrowded dirt roads. You basically skirt around the city through the Santa Monica Mountains, while avoiding the rush-hour congestion. Technically, we’re still commuting to work, right?

Then, to top it off, you get spit out to the beach where you ride the bike path to Santa Monica and take Melrose avenue all the way back to Silver Lake.

That moment when you're riding through Beverly Hills, see a pink wall, stop to shoot a Mr Pink road bike when a model comments on how much she loves the bike and wants her photo taken with it. Oh and she's not really smoking a cigarette - it was a prop in her photo shoot.
“That moment when you’re riding through Beverly Hills, see a pink wall, stop to shoot a Mr Pink road bike when a model comments on how much she loves the bike and wants her photo taken with it. Oh and she’s not really smoking a cigarette – it was a prop in her photo shoot.”

Rides like this are totally doable on a ‘cross bike, or in Kyle’s case, one slick, chubby road bike that looks the part and even fits in on Melrose Ave.

Getting Dirty with Kyle's Campy Athena Mr. Pink Chubby Road on Dirt Mulholland

If you’re into this All-City Mr. Pink build, holler at your local dealer and be sure to spec Campagnolo Athena on it!

  • Jake

    I’ve been riding a Surly Pacer for the last 9 years. Runs about the same clearance and is a fantastic for all types of riding.

  • Matt Rumora

    Stellar build.

  • breed007

    I’m surprised how often I’m out on my Mr. Pink, run into guys on carbon road bikes and they tell me they’ve never heard of All-City.

    • tony365

      That happens on my Soma as well as my All City, There are a ton of cyclist that have no idea about brands like Surly, Soma, All City. Together They are a really small segment of the market

      • breed007

        If it’s not in the pro peloton, most cyclists don’t know about it.

  • mookauu

    I owed a blue Mr. Pink and was able to stuff a 32c knobby tire in there with Shimano R451 brakes. Too bad the frame was too big or I’d still have it!

  • Keith Malarick

    Have a frameset on order. Can’t freaking wait to build this thing up.

  • David Watts

    I’ve seen a mr pink with 35s somewhere on the internet.

  • alexander g

    who knows which oakley lens kyle is wearing here?

    • Keith Malarick

      I know it’s Prism Trail, not sure on shape tho…

      • D0rk

        Radarlock Pitch

    • nahcaz

      looks like a prizm trail

  • Tony Clifton

    That bike makes the most compelling case I’ve seen for why someone would want to buy Campagnolo for their next build.

    • Keith Malarick

      Just changed my order from Rival 22 to silver Athena lol.

      • Mark

        Nice choice. Bragging: My CX was recently built up with a 2009 Chorus group that I had laying around after a road upgrade. Went with compact gearing and a S****o cassette due to compatibility / adaptability. Once you have your hands on those shifters on a harsh descent… it’s over for anything else. ERGONOMICON

        • Keith Malarick

          Nice! I am sure I will get used to the shifting. My only concern coming from Sram is not being able to adjust the lever reach (don’t have the biggest hands) and using the thumb shifters in the drops.

  • How does Kyle like those VO brakes?

    • He’s digging them. GSC specs them on a lot of bikes.

    • Zach Roeder

      FWIW, I’ve tried a bunch of long reach brakes and I like these the best. They’re plenty stiff and they (barely) clear my Barlow Pass tires. Probably won’t work on all rim widths, but it worked for me!

  • George

    How would you rate those Schwalbe S-One tires? I’ve had my eyes on them since they were announced.

    • He’s just now flat spotted one after a few months of use, but they’ve been pretty durable.

    • I really like mine. They seated first time on both my Alpha 340’s and Iron Cross rims, and are remarkably versatile, taking me through all sorts of stuff which you’d usually use a gravel specific tyre for. I did get a slice all the way through a few weeks back thanks to some really sharp gravel and unfortunately sealant couldn’t patch it up as it was about 10mm long, but I threw a tube in and fixed it with superglue that evening and it’s been fine since. I’m considering either the G One or X One for my other set of cross wheels and both my sets of road wheels will be getting 25c Pro One’s as soon as the wallet allows.

  • tony365

    Really classic, Dig it

  • Brian Sims

    99% carbon free

  • kasual

    what a gem — great bike, great pics. probably the frameset I want the most, but need the least. such a beaut.

  • Neil Hubert

    Rad build & ride! thanks for the strava link. Will have to check out temescal canyon & topanga fire rd. That climb up to san vincente is fun.

  • Cliff Horton

    I just put 28c on my Merckx and couldn’t be happier.

  • 28c 4 Lyfe

  • Theodor Rzad

    Rad! I’m getting flashbacks to my old Merckx Corsa Extra/C-Record sled that often wore Wolber Paris-Roubaix tubbies in 30mm. Just ‘barely’ fit under the front brake. I found the trick was in nailing the right PSI. It was a rocketship on fast, open singletrack and the infinite gravel miles of Douglas Co. KS :)

    • hans

      weird. i can’t even fit a 28mm pasela on my team GAN corsa extra due to the rear bridge. front brake clearance is fine..

      • Theodor Rzad

        That is weird. I suppose it could have been fabrication variances in the 80’s, the brake type, or tire/rim pairing. I was running v1 Deltas and whatever the Campy Omega tubular rim was called. The Wolber tire was not terribly tall on that rim. Or maybe I just used extra thin glue…:)

  • Tim Wesolowski

    Re-built an older Mr. Pink recently with Paul Racer M’s. Customer wanted 30mm tires and fenders, and there was clearance for at least a 33c knobby under there…

    • Etienne Gregoire

      Michelin Pro4 endurance measure out to about 29mm on H+ archetypes, and I was able to fit PDW full metal roads under the standard tektro calipers.

    • breed007

      I have a red frameset like the one below in a 52 and am able to run Clement X’Plor 32s on 23mm rims with room to spare.

  • Robert0321

    Hopefully you won’t mind John:

    I still have 2 size large Necronomicog jersey’s i’ve never worn and have been sitting in my closet.
    Due to a shipping mistake i got 2 jerseys instead of the set and both were too wide for me.
    If someone wants one (or both) for a couple of bucks + shipping leave a comment and we’ll work something out. (Shipping from NL)

    • Jimmy

      Hey! Let me know what you’d want for one! No idea what you paid but name your price.

      • Robert0321

        email me r.hagman [a] gmail.com!

        cantpostthesamecommenttwice

    • Alan

      Want! HMU with details.

      • Robert0321

        email me r.hagman [a] gmail.com!

  • noob_sauce

    Need to pick up some of that new lizardskin splash tape.

  • dude has some nice bikes

  • Nate Batts

    That build looks familiar…

    • Jason Marshall

      now…where have I seen that before?

  • Jaybe Lee

    who makes those pump straps?

  • G

    Upside down Chris king cups ;-) Nice touch!

  • I love that it’s dirty. No, seriously! I around people who obsessively clean their bikes after every ride and their road bikes looks as though they’re straight off the showroom floor.

  • jtbadge

    It’s a damn shame that Campy is moving away from this groupset.

  • Germanflea

    I am building a wheelset and having trouble picking hubs, 24 hole front 28 rear rim brakes, aluminum rim. About 87 kilo rider weight. CK or WI?, I see a lot of road bikes on here with CK and just a few with WI. Could someone comment on this that has ridden both? Thanks

    • Ian Stone

      CK aren’t servicable without expensive tools and WI don’t have enough engagement. Get the Industry Nine road hubs.

      • DominicBruysPorter

        I miss my White, and they were the old version with the migrating bearing adjustment and smaller axle. Loved the Ti freehub! My Record flange just broke so i’m on the hunt too. I’m starting to wonder if I stick to Campy or get a White.

  • Chris Andrews

    I’ve converted a 1950s steel frame beasty to a flip-hub single-speed/fixie running 35mm Continental Cyclocross speed tyres – they fit with ease, but being a 27″ wheelset frame I had to switch to extra-long reach brakes (Tektro R559’s). Makes for a pretty great all-weather commuter!

  • DominicBruysPorter

    I love that shimano pedals on campy groupset equipped bikes is a thing.

  • Public_Parent

    In your opinion, how good/bad would a Mr. Pink with 30mm tires do at Grinduro or the Dirty Fundo?

    • It’d be doable, but would require a lot of bike handling skills.

      • Public_Parent

        Got a Macho Man Disc with 35’s instead. Hoping to do those rides soon. Thanks!

  • Drew Leigh

    What size is that frame?