The All-City Gorilla Monsoon arrived with quite a splash a few months ago, priced at $1999. It checked alot of boxes for the kind of bikes that we sell at 718. Many of our customers don't have the garages (remember, we're in Brooklyn) that most people use to collect bikes. The bikes we sell better be capable, allowing the rider to have that one bike that does many things.
See Full Image Gallery Here
We were incredibly lucky to have 4 of them delivered by All-City for us to try out. This coincided with our Micro-Tour 2 ride to Croton Point Park on May 12/13, 2018. Of the 4 bikes delivered, 2 are being ridden by 718 employees (I'm taking the 55cm, Chombo is taking the 58cm), and 2 are being ridden by Micro-Tour riders.
The first thing I am drawn to are the Thru-Axles, front and rear. This is a big indicator of what this bike is intended for...rough and hard riding. The next thing I am drawn to is the drivetrain. A nice SRAM Apex setup, with a 36t chainring in the front, and a large cog of 42 on the cassette for a wide range of gears. Next, its those tires and that clearance. It comes set up with 27,5 x 2.4 WTB Riddlers (and can take 700x42). Finally, I look at forks alot on new bikes these days. Why cant every fork be set up to accept Salsa Anything Cages? Regardless, the ACGM fork is quite capable, with mid-blade and crown mounts (perfect for the Surly's 8/24 Pack Racks
The next step is getting the bike packed up for Micro-Tour 2. This trip is a 44 mile ride each way, with a night of unsupported camping and cooking. The route is a pretty benign, and the bike will probably be overkill. But...who cares, right?
I normally ride a Niner RLT that allows me to run those Anything Cages I was moaning about a few paragraphs back. When using a bike that doesn't have such fork capabilities, I generally go the Salsa EXP Anything Cradle route, along with a Salsa EXP Saddle Bag, Revelate Tangle, Feedbag and Jerrycan bags.
I transferred my bags to the Gorilla Monsoon in about 30 minutes, and I think I'm all ready to go...really no surprises on a bike in this class in terms of mounting points, etc.
I loaded my Gorilla Monsoon up an headed to Manhattan to meet up with our group heading out on Micro-Tour 2.
I've got to say that I generally ride these trips on more of a standard sized Light Touring bike like the Salsa Vaya or the Niner RLT. I was concerned with friction and weight, but must admit that this bike handled the whole trip well. A vast majority was on Rail Trails, but since it was such a crappy day there were great opportunities to go through some mud and rough terrain.
Again, I went with a more Bike Packing/Frame Bag setup, while the other 3 ACGM riders really mixed it up in terms of attachments and bags.
I found the Apex 1x11 mechanical disc brake set-up to be more than adequate for my needs. I always test bikes on the corkscrew path under the George Washington Bridge, that has a short steep climb at 9%...I was able to nail this little ascent while sitting, which is impressive considering the loaded nature of my set-up.
The ride was smooth, and nothing about the bike detracted me from how these rides usually feel. The top tube was a little longer than I normally ride (I was on the 55cm), but other than it it seems to me that this is a very capable bike.