Single-speed perfection

Progress frequently breeds complexity. Occasionally special products prove refreshing and rewarding, however, simply because they simplify an experience.

All-City Cycles’ single-speed Nature Boy Disc celebrates and enables the freedom cyclists seek, while  leveraging technological advancements to deliver a highly reliable and enjoyable ride. Single-speed bikes, by virtue of stripping away unnecessary components that sometimes distract, better focus riders on the pure spiritual aspect so many cyclists find addictive within the activity.

Years ago—despite possessing several technologically advanced bicycles, including accommodating full-suspension offroad and fast-and-light carbon fiber-framed road models—I stripped an old aluminum hardtail down to its bare frame, converted the utility frame to a single-speed and rebuilt the bike using lightweight comports cast off from other bicycles. The result produced the least expensive but most enjoyable-riding bicycle within my stable.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. Convinced updated frame geometry and proper horizontal dropouts could enhance my single-speed disposition, I purchased the All-City from my local trusted shop, On Your Left Cycles. Other than swapping out the standard cyclecross-intended Clement clinchers in favor of Continental Grand Prix 4000 S IIs to better accommodate my urban riding habits, the stock build has quickly become my most favorite ride. It’s light and quiet. You need not worry whether you’re in the correct gear. There’s no complicated drivetrain with which to wrestle. Instead, you simply ride.

I no longer train 250 miles a week. I no longer race time trials. I no longer calculate target heart-rate zones. I just ride. And the Nature Boy Disc certainly enhances these adventures. For that, I’m grateful.

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