by Kit Redwine
You might be unfamiliar with the Nature Boy from Minnesota’s All-City Cycles, but the steel singlespeed bike has already been making waves, taking victories on both coasts this past weekend. JT Fountain, current singlespeed ’cross national champion, won the opening singlespeed round of Portland’s Cross Crusade, while Stu Louder took both singlespeed and Cat 1/2 categories in the Virginia CX Series.
All-City, a house brand of cycling distributor Quality Bicycle Products (QBP), primarily serves the urban fixed-gear market, but just released the Nature Boy this year. The frame is built from 4130 ChroMoly steel with double-butted down, top, and seat tubes. Like those steel Italian bikes from yester-year, the Nature Boy features internal cable routing, a braze-on seat collar and stainless steel dropouts, although these are cast with the icon of the decidedly un-Italian Hennepin Bridge, a Minneapolis, Minnesota landmark. The straight-blade, lugged-crown fork is also 4130 double-butted ChroMoly and is, says All-City co-founder Jeff Frane, “Chatter free.” Additional features include mounts for fenders, two sets of bottle bosses and removable cantilever studs.
A 55cm frame weighs in at 4.7lbs while the fork is a beefy 2lbs. Frame and fork together retail for $540 and a complete bike, with Cane Creek headset, Kalloy bar/stem/seapost, Tektro cantis and 700×32 WTB tires on Alex rims is a relative bargain at $899.
There’s rumor of a special edition Nature Boy made from lightweight Columbus Zona tubing, but that may not see the light of day until next spring, if ever. With the Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships only a few weeks away, now’s the time to choose your steed – perhaps a Nature Boy – and get in the ring like Minnesota wrestling legend Ric Flair. Stay tuned to CXM in the coming weeks as we put the Nature Boy through its paces and report back to you. More info at www.allcitycycles.com.