You've seen it. You've picked it up. You've probably even tripped over it. Well, it's finally a bike, and it was well worth the wait!
When All City unveiled the JYD almost two years ago now, I got pretty jazzed. It was a bike that didn't fit into a single category, or fit any of the modern specs. A rim brake, 29er, rigid fork, steel frame....something. Nothing about it was easy to build on, and the odds of having rim brake 29er wheels is, well, probably close to zero.
Because of that, the frame bounced around the shop for a week, then a month, then a year. Our All City guy, Jeff, would always ask about it whenever he stopped by, but since nothing had happened in so long, even he forgot about it. It was hung up in the back, near the fit station, on the wall, behind the couch, under the Christmas tree...it was bounced around like a unwanted kiddy pool.
Finally, just this past week, in the deep thaw and subsequent lull at the shop, we took action. I made a pile of parts to use in building it, and then Ben went through and found parts that would actually work on the build. Dan ordered up some Surly Singlespeed hubs and Rhino Lyte rims, and, gasp, used SILVER spokes to lace them up.
We managed to use a Wolf Tooth 34t elliptical chain ring and a PC 1 chain, paired with a 17t freewheel Ben had at home. With great tire clearance, we opted to go with Maxxis Ardent 2.4s in skinwall, of course. The rest of the parts were stuff we had laying around the shop, including the aluminum Concept drop bars from my first cyclocross bike, a random Salsa stem in 90mm, a Concept post and Fizik Tundra saddle from the trade in bin. We did end up ordering some Cane Creek brake levers and Avid linear brakes, because it's 2017 and no one stocks those.
Yes, it's a drop bar bike, and here's why: it's awesome. I was admittedly influenced by The Radavist's very cool write up of the frame and build way back in the day. They used some HED Belgian+ rims, and since I already have those on my All City Nature Boy, I wanted a wider rim to really take advantage of the JYD's increased tire clearance.
The gear ratio, too, is related to the Nature Boy. I really like that bike, so much so that there was a short time that I considered by another one with a different rear cog, so I wouldn't have to switch between 42x17 and 42x18. Luckily, Dan stopped me. But now, I have the 34x17 within a few fractions of a gear inch that 'mountain bike' ratio I ran on the Nature Boy, and now with wider, grippier tires that will make Speed of Light an awful lot of fun this spring.
It's steel, so it's never going to be the lightest ever. It's 24 pounds, and man, doesn't it just look sharp?