Bicycling Mag recently took the new BlackHeart Allroad AL, the little sibling to the flagship Allroad Titanium bike, for a spin and one thing is clear – they get it.
Tara Seplavy, Deputy Editor, took an in depth look at what the Allroad Aluminum is – and is not – as well as providing commentary on what we at BlackHeart are about and our vision for cycling.
The full article is available online for Bicycing Mag digital subscribers via the link below, and will be featured in the August print edition.
Below are excerpts and make sure to pick up a copy next month!
Takeaway: Upstart brand BlackHeart impressed us with the Allroad AL. This aluminum-framed bike has a stealthy appearance and loads of versatility. It's a modern road bike but without headache-inducing integration or unneeded proprietary parts. The dependable and value-packed 105/Ultegra RX build kit is loaded with aftermarket components.
They've created the perfect bike for a whole lot of riders.
BlackHeart has breathed some fresh air into cycling with its unique business model and practical product offerings. Plus, BlackHeart has been mindful of inclusion from its start, not trying to shoehorn it into the brand years down the line.
You see women, Black and Brown faces, and queer folks. BlackHeart shows its bikes being used by regular riders around its Los Angeles home base, not in some far-flung destinations. It’s very open and approachable.
Suddenly lots of people around bike culture were talking about this upstart brand.
Some road bikes impress with aerodynamic trickery; others dazzle with integration or electronic wizardry. There are ones that awe with featherlike weights or marvel with feats of carbon-fiber engineering. Certain bikes are honed for a specific task or are carefully calibrated for peak performance. Other bikes grab your eyes, visually stunning with beautiful paint or novel graphic elements. A few rare bikes do many of these things at once.
The BlackHeart Allroad AL does none of them. This is precisely why it's great.
Compared to road race-style bikes, the Allroad AL has slightly slacker head- and seat-tube angles, plus longer chainstays. But compared to some modern gravel bikes, the Allroad AL has steeper angles, a shorter reach, and shorter chainstays.
This nets to the BlackHeart having a neutral yet road bike–like riding character. It’s stable on smooth paved and gravel descents and negotiated sharp turns without much additional input.
It’s a modern bike with a classic approach to bike design in an age of sometimes forced innovation.
Cycling needs more bikes like this.