Some of you are probably aware that Stevenson Custom Bikes is constantly trying “new” ideas and concepts. Some times the new ideas don’t work or are only partially successful; rarely a new concept works beyond our wildest dreams. Falling within the second category is an “All Road” prototype we recently built and tested.
‘All Road, what the heck does that mean?’ You might ask. Well, in the simplest terms, it’s a disk brake road bike which is designed and built around 26” fat road tires and wheels. The tires are marked 26×2.3 (58.42mm) but actually measure about 55mm when mounted on Stan’s flow rims. I’m running them tubeless with about 40lbs tire pressure and they rock! If someone would have told me that I’d ever be riding big fat road tires at 40lbs pressure and liking them I’d have laughed. I normally have my tires at around 110lbs pressure and couldn’t imagine 40lbs doing anything other than going squish. I need to give credit where credit is due, in all fairness, these tires are what makes the bike work; they are exceptional!
Compass deserves credit for taking a concept which popular wisdom would say wouldn’t work and bringing it to fruition. The tires even sound good; much like the silk Clement Del Mondos I rode in the ‘70s. The 26” size allows the bike to be built with relatively short chain stays. The bike is designed with road bike geometry, 73 degree parallel head tube and seat tube, but mountain bike looks, with sloping top tube and lots of seat post showing.
If you don’t look down the bike feels like a skinny tired road bike. Looking down is disorienting. Those big tires shouldn’t be so fast, but they are. And Yes, the brakes work with less hand strength, and going around corners fast on these big tires, the bike feels like it’s on rails.
While part of the concept of the All Road bikes is that they can be ridden on and off road, often during the same ride. I have yet to take it off road, but expect it to work just as well off road as it does on. I’m so glad that I took a chance on this idea that I originally thought was outrageous and unworkable, and am very happy to be surprised by such a smooth ride.
Here is one of our recent projects to show what we’ve been working on.
This is a prototype which I think is going to morph into a new model. The frame is built out of air hardened steel tubing, and weighs 3.2 lbs! I fillet brazed the frame with minimalist fillets. The complete bike weighs 17.2 lbs. I think we are going to call the model “Superlight” which will sell for $2200.00 for frame and fork.