We don’t do a lot of project bikes at Adventure Cyclist, though of course most of our personal bikes end up as projects anyway. But the truth of the matter is that product managers often make the choices they make for a reason — you’d be hard pressed to start with a frameset and assemble a bike with a better overall spec for the same amount of cash that the factory-chosen complete would cost you.
Of course, an occupational hazard of being a magazine editor is thinking that you know better than the pros. In the case of All-City’s very interesting Gorilla Monsoon frameset, we thought that the complete option offered some room for improvement while staying close to the $2,100 retail price. Plus, it would give us a chance to test out a range of parts.
So, how’s it going? Uhhh ... it’s going.
Our build uses an FSA cockpit, Shimano wheels, TRP brakes, and the new bargain-priced Microshift Advent 9-speed drivetrain. It should make for an interesting wide-range (if big-step) all-road cruiser, and a Specialized Pizza Bag up front adds a modern twist on a randonneur bag. But it hasn’t been perfectly smooth. Waiting for parts, getting a range of gear from a range of manufacturers to line up, bolt up, and act right, and a little good old fashioned ribbing from colleagues about whether this thing would actually ever get built — it has indeed been a project.
But with photos taken for the Road Test, the Gorilla Monsoon is officially under evaluation. Watch the August/September issue of Adventure Cyclist for our full take.