Kyle’s Fat Bottom Cosmic Stallion Road with Campagnolo Chorus 11

Kyle’s 650b Cosmic Stallion Road with Campagnolo Chorus 11
Photos by John Watson and words by Kyle Kelley

Editor’s intro. I love Kyle’s All-City Cosmic Stallion. For me, the interchangeability of these bikes from 700c to 650b open up a door for riders to experience the plush cush of a 47mm tubeless road tire on a readily-available, production frame. It’s my belief that these 650b / 27.5″ wheeled bikes will alter the “road” industry to a place that proves you don’t need 23mm tires and 110 PSI to enjoy “all the roads.”

A while back I found myself riding my road bike less and less and my cyclocross bike more and more. I just wanted to get further and further from the hustle and bustle of the big city and closer to the epicenter of the San Gabriel Mountains, but I also understood that I would always have at least 15 miles on pavement before reaching the service roads and single track found in the Angeles Forest. No matter how much riding I was doing in the mountains, I was guaranteed 30 miles on the actual road, and no matter how much dirt the middle of the ride promised, road geometry made the most sense for these longer rides.

Raise your hand if you have ridden an actual cyclocross bike over 100 miles in one sitting. It is not fun and I’m not talking about type 2 fun. A road bike just works better for on and off-road riding. Hence the gravel craze.

For me, it’s just a road bike, and that’s why it has road pedals. It’s ridden on roads, paved and dusty. It’s a road bike, and for me, no road bike should be built with anything but Campagnolo. Now, thanks to Paul Component Engineering and their Klampagnolo brakes, with a Campy-specific pull and Chorus‘ new, 32-tooth cassette, why would you use anything but Campy?

I know this build isn’t for everyone, but I guarantee it’s for way more of you disbelievers than you think. The bike rolls fast on the 47c slicks, doesn’t weigh much because of the carbon bits, and will go just about anywhere! Can’t argue with that, right? Well…of course, you can, and that’s OK because that’s your right to have an opinion. I’m just saying, someday give it a try and then let’s talk.

Fat bottomed bikes you make the ripping world go round!


Follow Kyle on Instagram and follow Golden Saddle Cyclery on Instagram.

  • As Kyle says “Hell yeaaaah”

  • Ray Juncal

    How many cool bikes should one man be allowed to have?

    • Theodor Rzad

      the correct number is N+1 ;)

    • AdamBike99

      Shouldn’t your question read, “How many cool bikes should one rad bike shop owner and social media sensation be allowed to have? LOLs 8-)
      But of course the true answer is always “n+1” as already stated below…

  • radlandscyclist

    Curious how this bike compares with the Space Horse? I’ve been wanting a Space Horse recently, but looking at Kyle’s rad setup I could be persuaded a different direction. I especially love it with that handlebar bag!

    • Spacehorse is a more touring-friendly machine. This is more, like Kyle points out, like a road bike.

    • benreed

      Space Horse –> lower quality tubing; steel fork but with rack mounts. And better paint…. (Yeah, I went there)

      • It’s weird, the CS is the only bike from AC that I’ve actually liked the paint on. No offense to AC, but the CS just stands out more. I guess it does look like a Speedvagen though.

        • benreed

          I’ve never seen it in person so my opinion might change. I mostly just dig that new Space Horse paint.

      • jtbadge

        I’ve owned more All-Citys than I would care to admit, and this is definitely the best looking bike they have come out with thus far.

  • Jared Jerome

    I’m surprised more people don’t have something like this for their default road bike. Nice one, Kyle.

  • Theodor Rzad

    “For me, it’s just a road bike” This observation jumped out at me, Kyle. I’ve just begun a long term relationship with my first 100% custom (Falconer 650b roadish thing). Describing it has been an ongoing, evolving exercise. In the end, however, it is just a road bike: MY road bike. A ‘road’ just happens to be whatever path I take for my daily psychic reset; the surface doesn’t matter. Great write-up and build man!

    • Same with my Firefly. It’s not a ‘cross bike. It’s a road bike.

      • Jon B.

        It’s exactly how I would describe my Stigmata, if only it could also rock 650b properly. It’s the only downfall to an otherwise epic bike.

      • Kenneth

        Dare we say, an ~all~Road bike?

  • benreed

    I cringe at the thought of road pedals on dirt, but I suppose it’s dry enough out there mud isn’t an issue.

    • Yeah and he doesn’t walk anything.

      • benreed

        I don’t either. …unless I get stuck in the mud.

  • Man… If all my bikes vanished and I was starting from scratch… I’d start with something like this.

  • Jon B.

    What rims are these?

    • Older ENVE rims, which were on closeout at QBP for something absurd. Kyle bought a set, I bought a set, but I can’t figure out what to do with mine.

  • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

    Nagging question: why are the seat stays bent on Kyle’s cosmic stallion and straight on others? is it a sizing thing? or am I losing it by thinking some are straight?

    • I looked into it. It’s a sizing thing. Smaller sizes need them to be bent for rotor clearances. I love the way the small sizes look because of this feature.

      • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

        Same. Is this a 50cm or a 52cm?

    • Kenneth

      Why buy multiple lengths of seat stays when you order one length in bulk and bend some of ’em to fit!

  • Jake Kruse

    all ’rounder

  • George

    Hey Kyle — what drove your decision to go with a compact crank + 32-tooth cassette instead of a 1X drivetrain? I’ve been debating the merits/drawbacks of these for my own bike and there’s no clear winner to me.

    • jtbadge

      More range on both ends of the spectrum, as well as tighter gaps between gears, makes 2x a no-brainer for me on a bike like this. If it were just an off-road vehicle, it would probably be a different story, but riding on pavement with tiny gears is no fun.

      • Theodor Rzad

        I’m learning this one first hand right now. On my version of Kyle’s bike I’ve got 1x 38T/11/42T 11s w/ 650b x 48s. On a typical Marin headlands loop w/ rough/steep fireroads and pavement in-between I’ve wished for a little bit more range on both ends. I’ve never used a modern 1x setup before so this spec is an experiment. I also have a 48/30 2x setup for my R30 crank for when I’m willing to crinkle the seat tube paint for a front der ;)

        • Chris Valente

          I ride pretty much the same setup also regularly in the Headlands. I can’t imagine needing lower than 38/42 but I do occasionally spin out on the downhill. I also have a 40t chainring that gives a little power on the flats and the 40/42 can get me up Miwok (slowly). If I was riding more pavement with that bike I would probably gone for a double up front.

          • Theodor Rzad

            Yeah, it was on Miwok a few weeks ago that I was wishing for a little bit more low than my 38/42 provided but I wasn’t having the fastest day either. I’ve wished for more top end a number of times now but I haven’t missed it so much that I was motivated to setup the 2x. I’ve only had the bike together for < 3 weeks though.

          • Chris Valente

            It’s a grinder for sure!

    • GNARdina

      If I had to guess I’d say its just because it’s a road bike. You don’t have much of a road bike without a big ring to hammer the pedals with. 50 teeth will give you some good speed when you bump to your 11 in the back, and a 34 to 32 offset will climb a steep hill.

    • Kenneth

      I’m a huge fan of the 50/34 & 11-36t 2x SRAM setup: Red shifters, GX rear derailleur. Gives you 1.05:1 for the steeps without sacrificing gears on the flat and descents

    • AaronBenjamin

      My guess is Campagnolo’s lack of a 1x system.

      • DaymanDaryl

        The Campy group looks great.

  • Nicholas Tingey

    I’m curious how wide those tires blew up to? My Compass 48s measure in at 51mm on blunts. I’m looking for something a tiny bit smaller so I can fit some fenders.

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      WTB Byways and Horizons both open up pretty good on wide rims, I think mine are both ~50mm on Cliffhangers. If you really want to fit fenders a 42mm slick can work, Panaracer Gravelkings come tubeless ready at that size. If you want some tread and want fenders it is best to make sure there is really a lot of clearance for mud and gunk. WTB Makes a 42mm 650b Resolute, Bruce Gordon Rock n Roads could also be an option.

    • Byways and Horizons are at least 2mm narrower than Switchback Hills. Small enough that the WTBs (more) comfortably fit under 62mm Honjo fenders, while the Switchbacks are just too tight (though I did one 200k on that setup). On a 23mm rim, Switchback Hills measure about 50.5, while Byways and Horizons don’t really get above 48 on the same rim.

      • Nicholas Tingey

        Hey Morgan,
        You’re the man! Thanks for the solid advice. I think i’m going to grab some byways & save my SBHs for summer riding.

        • I like the WTBs for durability, traction, and skids, and the Compass for going fast. You won’t go wrong with Byways.

          • I can’t skid compass tires here. It’s like cheese on a grater. I love them for the road though. So smooth.

          • I can’t bear to skid Compass tires because they wear really quickly if I do. They seem to last forever if I can keep from skidding. In contrast, Byways and Horizons last a long time even with getting shreddy. But they are noticeably slower.

    • Those rims are an old ENVE MTB model, so they’re super narrow. The 47mm tires measure 47mm.

  • Jonathan McCurdy

    i’ve got plans to build up an 80s steel Pinarello with that new Chorus goodness. hopefully it fits 28mms, aka the original all-road tire.

  • Josh

    Great build as always from Kyle, killer shots John. Any idea on the weight of the bike or the frameset?

    • That’s a good question, but I doubt I’ll ever know. We don’t have a scale at GSC.

      • Will Ashe

        Probably a good thing now that you’re a Riv dealer. ;)

    • I have a scale (for bike reviews) – it’s 26lbs as photographed here with bottles, pedals and bar bag.

      • Josh

        416oz not to shabby. Thanks for the info John.

  • Aesca Dun

    If I didn’t already have the perfect (for me) gravel bike I’d be all over this! Quick question, noted the low slung routing for the rear Klamper… just to ease the routing? Also, compressionless or bowden? Having minor return issues with my klamper on a paragon low slung, and not just the klamper to be honest, it’s preceding spyre too… My routing is quite tight

    • It’s Yokozuna compressionless. Definitely the way to go. The Jagwire stuff is alright too. It’s important for cable discs as you’re always on the edge between your pad rubbing the rotor, and your lever hitting the bar.

      Tight routing seems to be problematic for the Klampers’ light spring, I find setting them up with a bit more pre-tension on the cable and then opening up the pad adjusters helps them return better.

      • Aesca Dun

        Thanks for the advice, greatly appreciated… Was using Jagwire compressionless but once it got tired I returned to standard cables after seeing Paul himself recommend bowden cables. Marginally smoother round the curves but the problem remains – will try your suggestion!

    • mrbiggs

      I had a come to Jesus moment after Iron Cross last fall. I’d been using the Jagwire “sport” level of housing for that rear brake, and had been having return issues as well. Also a wee bit squishy. Iron Cross totally killed this housing as well as my BB, so when I replaced it I got the “pro” version and holy shit all the difference in the world. Night and day. Evil and good. Cats and dogs. I was even thinking of hydro brakes for the SSCX bike Mark Weaver is building me. But no more. Now I’ve got another set of Klampers. Love.

      • Aesca Dun

        Not entirely sure it’s cable quality over routing in my case. My last guide is quite close to the caliper and so the bend is quite tight, particularly with compressionless, I’m 90% certain that it was the routing that rendered my Spyre (and another of my lbs useless.) love the Klamper, just need to lose that rattly lever syndrome when it doesn’t return all the way.

    • Yes and compression less housing. We’ve noticed there is a slight leaning curve in setting up Klampers. It took sometime to perfect, but once dialed they are awesome!

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    Well said duder!

  • barry mcwilliams

    Love seeing this bike in person & on the webs.

    And this is totally my relationship with my Stinner, which is definitely more gravel than pure CX. I’ve done multiple hundred mile + road-to-fireroad-to-road rides in the Crest on it and it’s the damn best. And I commute to work it. And I coffeeshop on it. And etc., etc. My poor Cervelo is wondering if I’ve forgotten about it.

    Unfortunately I’ve got no Campy or carbon wheels, but you’re damn right I’m rocking gumwalls!

    • Chris Valente

      Funny, I have been thinking about replacing my Cervelo with something like this. It’s getting dusty for sure.

  • totally my kind of build

  • Pascal K

    This thing makes me want to throw my plastic road bike in the dumpster and get one of these. Just makes sense to me. What a sweet machine!

  • Might be finally time to retire my Macho Man…

  • Robert Williams

    Great looking build. Naive question: can someone explain the basic difference between cross bike geometry and road geometry?

    • Andrew Demack

      Depends on the cross bike really. I compared the numbers from my 2012 CAAD-X to the Cosmic Stallion and the difference is, well truth to tell there is barely a difference at all. 5 mm less bottom bracket drop. Head tube’s a bit taller on the CAAD-X. In terms of how it rides on the road, if you’ve got a CX bike that fits you, then it’s probably fine on the road, I regularly do long road rides on mine.

      • Me too. Sometimes I prefer a “cross” geo but I agree with Kyle, a true road geo is more comfortable on longer rides. Especially here in Los Angeles, where you’re usually climbing straight up for 3-4 hours. Also, a note: modern ‘cross geometry has moved closer to road geo in the past few years. Maybe it’s the popularity of “gravel” or maybe they realized that high bb dims from a bygone era of toe clip interference with sand / etc on race courses isn’t an issue anymore.

        • Theodor Rzad

          The only thing about my CX (an early 90’s skinny-tubed Salsa) that keeps it from functionally hot-swapping with a traditional road bike is the BB height. It’s only got 66mm of drop which gives a BB ht of 283mm with the 38mm Compass tires. I also run 170’s on that bike which makes things worse regarding aero drag. Not a big deal on sub- 2 hour rides, but on longer stuff you can feel the effects of being way up there. The other geo is pretty standard for the era and causes no complaints: 71.5 HA, 73 SA, 420mm stays…

    • In short:
      Cross bike: high bb, tight wheelbase, steep head angle, short chainstay, steep seat tube angle
      Road bike: lower bb, slacker angles, longer stays

      • Robert Williams

        Thanks! I was trying to understand the comment about this being more comfortable for long rides than a cross bike. Coincidentally, there’s a blog post about this on the All City website that basically says the same thing:

      • DaymanDaryl

        Traditionally road vs cross geo would be more lika dis:
        Cx: high BB, longer stays than road (but shorter than touring), HTA slightly slacker than road
        Road: lower BB, steeper HTA, shortest stays

  • Harry

    Hmm. Ive been wondering if i should put road pedals on my Kona Rove. This adds fuel to that fire!

    • Nicholas

      I think it all comes down to the shoe you use. Me personally, I use the Shimano XT pedals with Shimano S-Phyre XC9 shoes and feel that they hold up just as good as my top line SIDI and GIRO road shoes. I can ride 100 miles in them without a complaint. They look road-ish and are much easier to walk in. Not sure if I’d go back, even if I was racing crits.

  • Drew Thornton

    Hey everyone.
    Keen to find out if anyone has tried to chuck those WTB byway 47s on a Cannondale SuperX? Mines from 2012, been looking at the 47s for a while but not sure if theyll clear the chainstays.

    • measure between the stays. If you have 50mm of space, they should “clear” depending on rim choice. If they have more than 50mm, that’s better.

      • Drew Thornton

        Cheers John.

    • T. Paine

      They fit on the 2016/2017 model just fine. Not sure about the earlier one that you have.

  • Does no one make gold disc rotors, yet? Hmm…

  • KT

    absolutely sick! I love it!


    Someone please tell me why the seat stays are bent back? On All-City’s site the seat stays are all straight but curved inward but not in this manner at all. Am I missing something here?

    • pattyjo

      All-City has size specific tube shaping so each size looks a little different.


        Thanks! Appreciate it! @disqus_CcwUpeMmgS:disqus

  • James Shepherd

    lovely build, and i’m sure thats a Silca impero pump?? If so a thing of beauty.

  • walshy4president

    Last week I upgraded from a Space Horse to this guy (61cm) with a SRAM Force 22/Thompson/Klamper build with 700c 45’s. Only been out a couple times, but it rules. I was surprised how light it was compared to the Space Horse. Can’t wait to take it on some dirt or gravel!

  • Facebook User

    wow a very nice all-city, looks like a lot of fun, ohh and the new paul klampagnolo brakes!

  • Benny Watson

    Great to see the Cosmic Stallion getting some love. I’m sure enjoying mine. Standard Rival 22 build except for 650B wheels with Byways and a 46/30 Sugino crank. Great on any kind of road.

  • Sebastian Burnell

    could the sequoia be compared with the stallion?

    • I’d say so. Haven’t compared the numbers but they feel like a similar bicycle.

  • Jimmy

    Would love to see the top-down build-kit list on this thing! John, have you thought about adding this for featured bikes?

    • It’s so much more work and that’s why I photograph each component.

      • Sebastian Burnell

        No, please don’t. Takes all the fun from discovering within the pictures…it`s all said there.

        • Hell yeah! That’s what I like to hear…. phewwwwww…. ;-)

          • Jimmy

            Fair enough, I agree to an extent, but I am curious what carbon hoops those are!

          • ENVE OG Mountain Bike Rims

  • Mike Colby

    This type of build was a huge inspiration for my Coffee Grinder, now I’ve just got to make the 650B switch!

    • Mate

      hey Mike, very cool setup. Are your running 38mm Gravelgrinder slicks? If so, how are they holding up? I reckon they could be a great choice for fast summertime road/gravel riding.

      • Mike Colby

        These are the 32mm gravel king slicks, I really dig them. I’ve rode them for about 6 months or so, most of that time was road riding with a few gravel rides mixed in. 70/80 psi or so, as I haven’t set them up tubeless. I am curious if the 38s would fit and how they might compare. If I don’t make the switch to 650b this spring I could definitely see myself getting another set of these tires.

  • Flavio San

    for the italian culture this is not a road bike, it simply can not be.
    anyhow super nice bike

    • Well, this is California, where there are no rules. haha.

      • Flavio San

        Yep, that’s a strange place i do admit.

    • I like that about Italians, won’t budge. Maybe this summer I can come out and ride this bike and hopefully change some minds. Not all, just some.

  • walshy4president

    Important question: Can you give the bike a female name if the model name is Cosmic Stallion?


    Kyle and or John,
    With the Klampagnolo brakes, how do they REALLY feel? What type of brake housing did you use and do the brakes feel positive or spongy? Appreciate it. : )

    • Rob X

      Looks like Yokozuna housing to me

    • Solid as a rock, I was having a lot of problems before Paul made the new arms.


        Kyle, thanks a ton!!! Appreciated!

      • Ryan Maynard Eames

        How do they compare to a hydro brake?

        Having now had my Shimano hydros for a few years, I test rode a few options, TRP spyres etc, and instantly pushed the mechanical thought out of my head. But it seems every build has Klampers? are they genuinely up to scratch?

        • Definitely up to scratch. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m guessing that means good!


    If anyone from All-City is reading this, when are you guys getting more Stallion’s in stock either bike or frameset? After reading Kyle’s piece here, I’m in! Just need Q to get more in! Can you help me out here? I’d appreciate it. Cheers!🍺

  • DaymanDaryl

    Typo (on the line just above the last pic): I’m just saying, someday give it and try and then let’s talk.
    Message me if you would like me to proof for you. For gratis.

  • Hmmm, sure tempted to replace my Macho King frame with one of these…

    • Michael McDonald

      That’s exactly what I did, highly recommend it!

  • Ben Barber

    I wish WTB made the byways for 700 wheels

    • Exposures are close, just not as much volume.

      • I’m a huge WTB fan but the exposures are nowhere near as durable as the Byway. They seem like a tire for roadies who sometimes accidentally go off road. A true 700 Byway would be great. And a 47c 650b Resolute would be the other tire that makes their lineup all the way dreamy for me.

  • pissed

    HI, nice bike, Still lovin’ it? Quick question – what wheels did you get? I’m getting a CS in about a week and want to also have a set of 650b’s.
    I’m not sure what type of axle/hub combo I need to get. I understand 142mm rear with 12mm axle, and 100mm/15mm thru axle front, but can this also be QR etc? VeloMine seems to have a lot of options and I’ve had good luck with them in the past (unsolicited plug I guess)
    And what does your butt think about the Cambium? Have heard mixed reviews. I’ve got a b-17 I may try on it. thanks.