First Impressions: All-City Pony Express

I’ve all but sworn off drop-bar bikes. My 60-year-old body doesn’t contort like it used to. I’m happy to see bicycle makers continuing to roll out flat-bar road bikes. Case in point: the recently introduced Pony Express from All-City. It’s a chromoly around-towner that is versatile, utilitarian and fun to ride. This pony delivers the mail for $1,150.

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For those familiar with the All-City lineup, the Pony Express is a Space Horse frameset that’s adorned with a riser bars, linear pull brakes and a 1×10 SRAM Apex drivetrain. With an 11-32 cassette and 42 tooth chainring, I found the gearing well-suited for flat or rolling roads, but challenging on hilly terrain.

All-City’s investment cast stainless steel dropouts are more than eye-candy. The semi-horizontal rear dropouts have an adjustable set screw that maintains your desired wheel position before/after wheel changes. I can already hear singlespeeders’ gears turning. I hope that’s not an oxymoron.

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Practical-minded riders will appreciate the frame’s rear rack and fender mounts. I got all excited when I spied the pump peg protruding from the head tube. Snapped my trusty Zefal HPX frame pump right onto that bad boy, I did.

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The fork features 4130 chromoly tapered blades, a lugged crown, mid-fork eyelets and dropouts sporting a pair of eyelets each. Details like these reinforce the practical, and versatile, nature of this steed.

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The internally routed rear brake cable helps keep the Pony Express clean and uncluttered looking. Some would argue that internal routing is an unnecessary complexity, but I like the way it looks on this bike, and the straight shot along the top tube is about as simple as internal routing gets.

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I’m a sucker for head badges, and bridges, so I’ll drop one more photo here, showing the All-City badge that adorns the Pony.

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This is not meant to be a detailed review, rather just a little taste to whet your appetite for my full review that’s coming in the next issue of Bicycle Times magazine. Hurry up and subscribe if you haven’t yet.

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