BlackHeart Bikes built the Allroad frame for riders who want to go everywhere but couldn’t justify owning more than one bike. The titanium build toed the line between a lightweight road and a burlier gravel design. Now, the Venice Beach company offers it in aluminum — at half the price.
The new double-butted frame should be resilient enough to handle slide-outs and spills, but it gets slightly oversized tubes to keep handling nimble. BlackHeart uses thin seat stays and a carbon seat post to keep it from feeling overly rigid on rough surfaces. The frame also gets the same 47mm-offset carbon fork as its titanium counterpart. It weighs 1730 grams at a size 56.
The Allroad’s geometry and design specifics seek to balance advantages for road and gravel. For example, the head angle is slightly slack to help riders keep the front wheel firmly planted on bumpy roads — but it’s not so slack that it would compromise road handling.
BlackHeart’s various builds for the Allroad aluminum include multiple components to facilitate transitioning from the smooth to the gnar. Gearset choices include Shimano 105/Ultegra RX (durable components, stable off-road shifting) or SRAM Rival eTap AXS (integrated power meter, simplified wireless shifting). Customers can also choose a Shimano Di2 system for dependable wired shifting (partially wired for the new Di2).
The frame fits wheel sizes 27.5” (tires up to 50mm) or 29” (tires up to 42mm). It gets a few other handy features to help riders get where they want to go, like rear rack mounts and a third water bottle cage mount.
The BlackHeart Allroad aluminum won’t be available until February 2022, but you can pre-order it now. MSRP is $1,375 for the frameset — a clean half of the $2,750 Ti version. The 105/Ultegra RX build will run you $2,900, and the Rival eTap AXS groupset build will cost $3,400.
BlackHeart says complete builds should weigh 18-22 lbs., depending on component choices. Check it out if you want a go-anywhere bike for town and country but are unwilling to spring for Ti.