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Nicole's All-City Big Block

A secretly fancy singlespeed

Home / Custom Builds / Nicole's All-City Big Block

The brief

Nicole came to us with four requirements for her new, custom-built bike:

  1. It had to be single speed.
  2. It had to be light.
  3. It couldn't attract too much attention.
  4. It had to be cheap.

Basically, she wanted a low-maintenance bike that would be fast and nimble, but that she could park outside a pub/bookshop without stressing that it would immediately be a target for thieves. A fly-under-the-radar bike, if you will.

A stealth bike.

This was going to be fun.

The bike

First, we needed to get a bit of wiggle room with the budget. Custom bikes that weigh nothing and are nice to ride are never cheap. Fortunately, Nicole was fine with this, so we rolled on.

As with most builds, we started with the frame. An All-City Big Block would be perfect: it fitted the geometry that Nicole needed, it worked as a single speed, and the paint job was relatively subtle.

Because Nicole wanted to keep things low-key and not too fancy-looking, we fossicked through our second-hand stash to come up with a mix of new and old components. The resulting groupset not only ran like a dream but also gave her the gear ratio she was after. We kept it classic with a black and silver colour scheme throughout. (Fun fact: the Easton carbon handlebars were off one of Pete's old mountain bikes, and were a high-end bar back in the day.)

During the build process, however, we received a hushed call from Nicole's husband. He had a secret, special request: was there a way to incorporate the phrase 'bike bandit' into the build somehow? (An in-joke between them.) There was! We custom-made a decal set, designed to match the All-City font as closely as possible.

And this is the end result: a stealthy, under-the-radar-but-secretly-cool single speed build, created just for Nicole, the Bike Bandit.

Want your own custom stealth bike? Get in touch, even if you're not a bandit.

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The wheel has performed great, thanks! I went in the Coast to Coast on the weekend and it was particularly smooth and responsive. Thanks for the high quality of workmanship and excellent customer service. I've told some others who I work with about my experience with BMCR and they are looking…Brendan Frears
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