A Sci-Fi Backdrop for the New 105-Equipped All-City Cycles Cosmic Stallion

A little while back, All-City reached out to me to shoot their new Cosmic Stallion, with one request, it does not look like Los Angeles in the backdrop. Being a geological nerd, I have a list of weird zones surrounding LA’s sprawling megacity footprint that I’ve either found or have known about since moving there in 2015, one of which being Vasquez Rocks, a popular backdrop for Hollywood SciFi movies…

Vasquez Rocks

Set along the San Andreas fault, these unique rock formations were made by uplift and the rapid erosion that followed about 25 million years ago. They’re made up of coarse-grained conglomerate and breccia sediments, making them extra tacky to walk on. On any given afternoon, people will be walking all over the rocks like ants looking for food. These sedimentary rocks found their way to this area due to the uplift and erosion of the neighboring San Gabriel Mountains.

Named after Tiburcio Vásquez, who at the time, was one of the most notorious California Bandits. He used the rock formations to hide out from the law between the 1873-1874. Prior to Tiburcio, the rocks were home to the Tataviam people who were living here when the Spanish settled the area. The Tataviam most likely spoke a Uto-Aztecan language and lived in grass huts. Eventually, they became assimilated with the Spanish before the last of their people died in 1916.

Due to their proximity to Los Angeles, at only 30 miles away, this zone has been featured in various Westerns and Science Fiction movies.

Cosmic Stallion in Outer Space

In the 1986 movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Vasquez was chosen to represent the planet Vulcan. Yet, previously, in a Star Trek TV show episode which aired on January 19, 1967 entitled “Arena,” Kirk battles it out with Gorn, a large lizard creature in the very same landscape. While Science Fiction writers, producers, and directors might have thought the public wouldn’t recall the original series’ overlap with the more modern Hollywood movie, those eagle-eyed fans pointed out the discrepancy, as they often do.

Not wanting to confuse the readers of this site, who might be looking for an entirely “new” Cosmic Stallion, I should point out that this current model maintains the same frame geometry and details, yet is now built up with a Shimano 105 kit (with BB7s mechanical brakes), WTB wheels, Teravail Tires, and Whisky components. Plus it dons a new paint scheme with a light aqua to teal chevron fade.

These bikes are available now at All-City dealers at a complete MSRP $2599 or as a frameset MSRP $1299. Head to All-City for more details.


Follow All-City on Instagram, follow Ivy, the kick ass model for this shoot, on Instagram.

49 responses to “A Sci-Fi Backdrop for the New 105-Equipped All-City Cycles Cosmic Stallion”

  1. benreed says:

    Thought I’d save everyone the time:


  2. TheGluconateGuy says:

    Post mount? Why? It’s not MTB it’s road/all-road, has the frame builder not retooled since 2014? I understand adoption of standards can be slow, but give me a break it ain’t like Shimano debuted Flat mount yesterday. I think it’s time QBP and it’s brands gave up a little ground on this backwards compatibility stand. Also 440mm, Yikes! Me thinks it’s time for a chain stay yoke. It’s damn pretty though. What a paint job!

    • John Watson says:

      I mean, I get that but Flat Mount kinda sucks in my experience on an all-road / chubby road compared to Post Mount. The braking is far from superior when you’re descending a 6000′ mountain on 14% grades but apples to oranges I suppose. Flat Mount feels great on a straight up road bike, but I don’t agree it’s the “best” for off-road applications.

      • TheGluconateGuy says:

        Yeah, just my opinion. I’ve always been on the Shimano path and road wise they are done with post mount. If you can find used or new R785 post mounts great, they ain’t cheap though. Also the outlay for R7020 shifters. All hypothetical of course if you wanted to go the Shimano Hydro route. Guess I should move to SRAM hahaha. My new 2019 Brodie Romax is in coming at the end of this month, so it’ll have to wait till next time.

        I’ve always had cross bikes, even with the advent of gravel specific frames I stuck with cross cause I don’t want anything longer than 425. That’s why I loved my Surly Straggler. 425 and 41mm Knards with fenders! It was frinkin’ great.

        I don’t know if it’s style or the colour (Canadian, Disqus is trying to correct my spelling haha) selection, it might be one of the nicest looking factory jobs I’ve ever laid my eyes on. My mind is pretty blown. I’m just in love with the paint.

        • jtbadge says:

          Can’t you match Shimano post mount MTB calipers to the road hydro levers? Should open up options significantly.

    • AaronBenjamin says:

      From what I understand flat mount, as a standard, is hard to execute nicely (read: cheaply) on steel bikes. The standard is really more intended for mass-produced carbon bikes. For a steel bike, you typically need a custom-machined reinforced chainstay or VERY precisely-aligned braze-on mounting tabs, which are more expensive to manufacture. Secondly, there are not many mechanical flat mount brakes available at the poverty-spec level. My guess is that they went post-mount to open up the options and keep costs down on this bike.

      There are MANY custom builders that will make a flat mount bike for you if you insist on that standard.

      • TheGluconateGuy says:

        I definitely agree. That’s why in the future I’d like to go custom or at least small batch production.

    • AdamBike99 says:

      This ain’t no plastic aero bike! haha

      +1 on the paint tho

    • Production manufacturers usually run models in 3-year cycles to pay off the cost of custom tooling, dropouts, and so on without dumping all that cost into the first year of production. Sure, an on-the-fly change could be made, but is a lack of flat mount stopping people from buying Cosmic Stallions? I’d wager it’s not. The bike was introduced just 1.5 years ago, in August 2017, and it’s still very much current in terms of tire fit and so on. I don’t think they’ll be in a rush to put flat mount on this bike, but you can definitely expect it when a refreshed version comes along.

      • TheGluconateGuy says:

        I definitely get that. I have no issue with post mount brakes, they all work no matter how there mounted. It’s just the lack of adaptability. I guess I would have stuck with SRAM for the drive train/brakes if I was going to leave the frame post mount only.

        That’s the real burn I feel, the first model had Rival 22 Hydro at roughly the same price point. That said I’m sure they sell far more frame only than complete builds.

        So in the end it’s a moot point. Just a bunch of shop talk, that’s alright it’s a slow work day.

      • Zack Ross says:

        It is for me. I’d have already bought this bike if it was flat mount. And I waited on getting a new gravel bike to see if the refreshed version would be flat mount.

    • Rowdy Rollins says:

      The even newer AC Gorilla Monsoon is also post mount. Makes me think AC projects take a particularly long while to come to market and don’t always stay on trend because of that. Seems minor, but not being flat mount is major reason why I chose not to shell out boutique bucks on a GM, even though I like many other things about it. It’s particularly annoying because backwards compatibility is not even an excuse. Post mount/IS brakes can go on flat mount frames no problem, but the converse is impossible.

    • gza says:

      I’m really considering this bike mostly because it’s gorgeous and I want to support my LBS. But hesitant due to the chain-stays. As someone who wants an all-road build but also does some cross racing, how much do you think the long stay will matter?

      • TheGluconateGuy says:

        It wouldn’t make a real difference I don’t think. I just really like tight rear ends haha. I’m just a grumpy grouser. I’m a commuter (daily/year round) and a foodie (the horror). The typical cross rear is my ideal, 425 done right with plenty of clearance for 35-38mm with fenders. Toronto roads are garbage in winter and even worse after the thaw, oh and streetcar tracks (trolley for you Frisco and NOLA folks) just waiting to swallow lesser rubber.

        My advice, head down to said LBS and swing your leg over that bike and spin those crank arms. It’s the only way to really know for sure. Plus you gotta get it dialed in, there are few things worse than an ill fitting bike. Just my two cents.

        • gza says:

          Just want to follow up, rode this yesterday and it is freaking sweet. I thought it’d be all “slow, low, and stable” but it feels really fast despite being heavy (24lbs stock on a 55) and speccing treaded tires. It accelerates really well, and on singletrack it’s responsive and the back wheel stays planted when you’re climbing in the dirt. That said, the spec is a bit of a shame. Really wish they had stayed with the Rival hydros. Considering a build instead but it’s a shame that it’ll end up so much most costly just to get back to hydros.

  3. bicyclecrumbs says:


  4. Stephen Pierson says:

    Man, that color scheme is REAL nice 😍

  5. AdamBike99 says:

    I am jumping on the “nice paint” wagon!!

    Signed, the guy who painted the AirLandSea bikes 8~}

  6. Mike Smith says:

    That is a good looking bike..

  7. Ace Metric Cycles says:

    so sick… you shoot these John?

  8. Peter Hedman says:

    Good looking rig! AC always seems to be on their color game – would love to see the mood boards behind the new season’s line-ups…

    Vasquez is a cool place, I proposed to my wife the first time there! (long story)

  9. John Solomito says:

    Super cool bike. 105 hydraulic double with Michelin Power Gravel 40’s would be such a grin inducing rig.

  10. planning_nerd says:

    MSRP is ridiculous. Trek Checkpoint ALR5 has full 105 hydro group (flat mount) for $500 less.

    • trololo says:

      Aluminum Trek is cheaper, news at 11

      • Rowdy Rollins says:

        Counterpoint, Giant Revolt Advanced is also $500 less for the same cable 105 spec, but with more appropriate gravel gearing, cable-actuated hydro brakes, anddd carbon frame. And the fork has mounts for good measure.

        • Rob X says:

          Carbon bike from the largest bike company in the world and owner of most bike factories in the world is cheaper? Interesting.

          • Rowdy Rollins says:

            Fair point, but that’s why I mentioned the frame last. If you consider them equal, high end frames, it’s still a ~20% lower price for a higher spec, which is more than just economies of scale. There’s a serious niche tax in there too.

            All City is apparently a big enough company to get my other comment pulled down as “spam” so

          • John Watson says:

            Hey Rowdy, looking into why that was flagged. BRB. If people flag it enough, it gets removed but I can always re-approve it.

          • Rowdy Rollins says:


          • trololo says:

            let’s not forget the 20% tariff that went into effect in September too

  11. Rowdy Rollins says:

    I know it’s a relatively new model that had particularly expensive productions costs (whether those costs are worth it is another discussion), but man what a disappointing release. I’d be mad as heck if I was one of those people who have been waiting so long for them to come back available. The bike originally came out with SRAM Rival HRD for $2600, and THAT was not a particularly good value unless you were totally enamored with the frame itself. To now, two years later, charge the same amount for 105 with cable BB7s is kind of a slap in the face. Like, they couldn’t even spec the nicer looking black BB7 that would blend in with the rest of the components, they chose the painted silver that looks the same as when the BB7 first came out what, 15 years ago? Yeeeesh. I really don’t know how they can justify keeping the price the same other than costs increasing post-Trump.

    Probably one of the reasons that they didn’t do a full 105 hydro group is because they literally can’t on this frame, because it still has post mount brakes. It’s a relatively new frame, but it already feels dated without flat mounts and better tire clearance, especially for bigger-than-Horizon 650s. From their sister brand Salsa you can get a Warbird with Tiagra 10sp that functions 90% the same, same gearing, similar parts, and arguably nicer Spyre brakes. And it’s carbon and fits bigger tires, AND shockingly is also better equipped for light touring than the this steel bike. My conclusion is that this Cosmic iteration is only for the person who refuses to spend less than carbon money, but demands steel. And only average performance out of the components. Compare also to the carbon Giant Revolt Advanced 105, even closer spec, even better value.

    Things I do appreciate (since my history is almost exclusively logging in to vent about my frustrations with All City):
    1. The paint is gorgeous. Miles better than the last one. I love it.
    2. The wheelset is upgraded nicely to WTB KOM light rims. I appreciate that there’s not really a need to upgrade them until you hit the carbon bracket, or demand nicer hubs.
    3. BB7s, while older than dirt, are still around because they stop well and are easily adjustable. All City has defaulted to much lesser Hayes and Promax brakes in the past and I’m glad they didn’t here.
    4. Nicer tires than previous.
    5. Obviously this is a nice ass bike that I would be happy to own, all grousing aside.

    Separate from the bike itself:
    1. Nice one featuring a rider who’s not a cis male! More people of color too please.
    2. Stunning photography, this is pure eye candy.

    • John Watson says:

      Yeah, the challenge was finding someone who rode a 55cm All City which is, in reality, a little bigger due to the longer top tube. Ivy was in town and it fit her so it was a no-brainer. ;-)

      • Rowdy Rollins says:

        Yeah no shade there, that’s a tall order! Really appreciate your strides in this area, we all gotta keep striving for better and better.

        • John Watson says:

          Your comment is back up. Also, FWIW, no company has the ability to remove comments. I’ve added some commentators to a “whitelist” – their flagging / reporting votes count as mine, so comments that are spam or trolling get pulled and await my moderation. Apparently someone flagged your comment.

          • Rowdy Rollins says:

            No worries, I wasn’t truly worried about that, just a bad joke on my part. I removed it. All City fans are loyal bunch!

  12. Hugo van Doorn says:

    A Killer paintjob as always. I can totally imagine this in an „all silver“ look (hubs, spokes, rims, stem, bars, seatpost & crankset). And gummwalls!

  13. Bil Thorne says:

    The Radavist- “here’s some history including an entire tribe wiped off the planet”

    The rest of us- “BB7s for that price? Fuck.”