All-City Cycles’ Disco Party: Adding Disc Brakes to the Nature Boy Singlespeed

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We took a look at the just-launched All-City Cycles Macho King cyclocross bike and frameset last night, and now we’ll look at All-City Cycles’ other new cyclocross model, the Nature Boy Disc cyclocross bike.

Anna Schwinn of All-City Cycles has been around steel bikes her entire life. Yes, she’s a descendant of that Schwinn. Her dad runs Waterford Precision Cycles, and after hanging out in the frame shop since middle school, and then studying mechanical engineering in college, she can pretty much design and engineer a steel frame in her sleep.

Anna Schwinn has grown up around steel bikes (her dad runs Waterford), and engineered the All-City Cycles' Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike. Now that her work is done, she serves up Jell-O shots to sleep-deprived journalists and retailers. © Cyclocross Magazine

Anna Schwinn has grown up around steel bikes (her dad runs Waterford), and engineered the All-City Cycles’ Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike. Now that her work is done, she serves up Jell-O shots to sleep-deprived journalists and retailers. © Cyclocross Magazine

However, adding disc brakes to a singlespeed frame (as in the Nature Boy) with horizontal track ends for rear dropouts is not the simplest project, since chain tension, brake caliper and rotor position all need to adapt to the wheel position. And so, Schwinn was particularly proud of her recent engineering feat, a cleverly-designed rear dropout that tensions the chain, positions the wheel and moves the brake mount with minimal moving parts and weight.

All-City Cycles' Nature Boy Disc has a cleverly designed, sliding post disc brake mount that also serves to adjust wheel placement and chain tension, via a 3mm Allen key. The Hennepin Bridge remains in the dropout. © Cyclocross Magazine

All-City Cycles’ Nature Boy Disc has a cleverly designed, sliding post disc brake mount that also serves to adjust wheel placement and chain tension, via a 3mm Allen key. The Hennepin Bridge remains in the dropout. © Cyclocross Magazine

Other sliding disc brake mounts can add as much as 300 grams, but Schwinn’s design of moving the brake mount with the single horizontal dropout adjustment bolts is quite elegant and drew appreciation from the launch party attendees:

A retailer appreciating Anna Schwinn's sliding disc-brake dropout on the All-City Cycles' Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike, unveiled at Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

A retailer appreciating Anna Schwinn’s sliding disc-brake dropout on the All-City Cycles’ Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike, unveiled at Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

The just-launched Nature Boy Disc features the new, disc-brake compatible dropouts and the same steel disc brake fork as the Macho Man Disc. The parts spec features a Surly singlespeed hub, FSA Vero crankset, one-bolt setback seatpost (we’d replace with a two-bolt post for cyclocross racing), and a tall, 42×17 single gear (good for commuting and road, but pretty tall for most singlespeed cyclocross racing, since the 2014 singlespeed National Champion used a 36×17).

All-City Cycles' Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike, unveiled at Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

All-City Cycles’ Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike, unveiled at Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

160mm rotors front and rear provide plenty of braking leverage, while the iconic Hennepin Bridge remains on the new disc brake dropouts. Final price TBD, but it’s a largely practical, affordable build. Stay tuned as we try to get our hands on one for a full review, and check out the new Macho King, the newest disc brake cyclocross bike offering from All City made with Reynolds 853 Steel.

All-City Cycles' Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike comes with a Surly singlespeed hub. Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

All-City Cycles’ Nature Boy Disc singlespeed cyclocross bike comes with a Surly singlespeed hub. Frost Bike 2014. © Cyclocross Magazine

More info: allcitycycles.com (not yet on the website)

For more Frost Bike 2014 cyclocross bikes, components and gear, see our ever-growing list of 2014 Frost Bike posts.

 

 

Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 22, Print and digital subscriptionsHave you subscribed yet? You're missing out if not. Get all-original content and your cyclocross fix throughout the year with a subscription and Issue 23 back copy, with features on Lars van der Haar, Jonathan Page, Elle Anderson and more!
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