Behold the first Cherubim All-Road ever built, a collaboration between Blacksmith Cycle and the Japanese workshop.
Check out coverage from The Radavist for John's incredible photos, BikeRumor Tyler's additional pics, specs, and build details, BikeRadar for Josh's detailed review, and CyclingTips for James' sexy side shot!
And two huge shout-outs: first to the Rolf Prima Wheels crew for hosting the bike in their NAHBS booth, and providing this awesome set of carbon tubeless wheels with purple ballistic coated hubs. Second to the CeramicSpeed team for providing the custom OSPW system and BSA BB for this build.
See below for our Build Details and full Award Submission which describes the bike and the design process behind it.
Builder : Cherubim / Name : Care Bear Camo / Model : All-road [Uli] Disc
Features : 38 mm tires clearance / fender-mounts for matching Honjo fenders / flat-mount brakes / 12 mm front and rear thru axles / internal hydraulic brake routing / custom-selected Kaisei steel tubing / chrome details / pastel camo Care Bear paint
Build : Shimano Dura Ace R9120 with 11-30 cassette / CeramicSpeed custom OSPW system and Bottom Bracket / 3T LTD cockpit / Rolf wheels with custom one-off ballistic purple hubs
NAHBS Bike Details Sheet
Builder: Cherubim All-Road for Blacksmith Cycle
Category: Best Gravel Bike
How long have you been in business?
Cherubim has been building frames since 1965. Shin-ichi Konno's father, Hittoshi Konno started building steel frames for Olympic riders. Shin-ichi's brothers built under the names 3Rensho and Miyuki, while he took up the torch to continue building under the name his father founded. He is NJS certified, and a former NAHBS winner.
Blacksmith Cycle are incredibly proud to be the only dealer for Cherubim in North America, helping customers design their steel dream bikes, one build at a time.
How long is the wait from order to delivery?
About 6 months.
What is the retail price of this bike?
$3,250 USD for frameset, Columbus Futura Gravel fork, Columbus or Kaisei tubing.
Upgrade options shown:
Chrome plating details / Internal cable routing / Flat-mount rear brake in chrome / 12-mm rear thru axle / custom “Care Bear Camo” paint / Fender mounts / Honjo H4 painted fenders / 3T LTD painted cockpit.
Is it sold to a customer or awaiting its forever rider?
This bike is the first Cherubim All-Road model ever built, designed in collaboration with Blacksmith Cycle and Cherubim for North American customers. It was built for Blacksmith Cycle and will be found in our shop after NAHBS, available for ogling and test rides, if you are on the tall side ;)
What material did you use?
Because steel is real. Especially for an all-road bike where ride quality and durability trump weight or pure stiffness. Not to mention the customization options, whether geometry, fender mounts, tube selection...We settled on Kaisei for this model, as an homage to its Japanese heritage, whereas All-Road #2, coming next month, is built from Columbus HSS.
How many people worked to braze, weld or lay up the frame?
Shin-ichi Konno himself. He brazes all frames in-house. A very small team of assistants help with polishing and engraving details.
Was there any in-house engineering?
Yes...among other unique design features:
- The headtube is a custom Cherubim design which artfully flairs from 1,1/8” to 1,1/4” and houses an integrated headset.
- Fender mounts are artfully integrated, with brake-and-chainstay-bridges allowing for mounting, specifically with Honjo leather washers to ensure quiet and dry enjoyment, still with plenty of tire clearance
- Integrated seat-collar with engraved and painted details, for 27.2 post
- Rear hydraulic brake line is internally routed through a chrome port on the underside of the downtube
Who painted the frame? Was it someone in-house or a contractor?
Cherubim frames are custom painted per each customer's request. Mike from Blacksmith Cycle always loved the classic Cherubim designs, but was also smitten by their camo bikes. Since he's more of a lover than a fighter, we opted for a pastel scheme, that was eventually dubbed Care Bear Camo, by Blacksmith wrench Jesse Stubbs. Matching painted 3T LTD cockpit and Honjo fenders (not pictured, but you can see them in store) were the cherry on top.
Were any parts (such as dropouts or racks) fabricated in your factory/shop?
Yes, many details are done in-house, including the chromed Cherubim plate on the drive-side chainstay, the integrated seat collar, and the engraved head badge.
What unique or unusual features (such as points or fillets added to lugs) might the untrained eye miss?
Huge thanks to Rolf Wheels for the amazing ballistic purple hubset on the Ares 3 tubeless carbon wheels. This is a one-off color never before seen.
Shout-out to CeramicSpeed for allowing us to feature both their OSPW system (custom engraved for Mike at Blacksmith Cycle] and BSA ceramic BB!!
Also, be sure to note the internal hydro brake routing through a neat chrome port on the underside of the downtube, to match the chromed flat-mount brake area, seat-collar, headbadge, and chainstay logo.
Was there a particular inspiration for the bike, something about the customer or their needs that makes the bike not just custom, but unique?
When we visited Cherubim in January 2017, we talked about growing industry trends. I mentioned all-road/gravel. They looked confused. So we said, let's design one together. And here we are! Basically, Japan was showing ZERO interest gravel market, since the country is so dense and has a trail network that is simply not used for cycling. I told them that we were building more all-road disc bikes than pure race bikes in 2017 (and that trend has accelerated this year even more), and so we decided to jointly design and create our ideal all-road / gravel / light touring / light racing / do-it-all steel bike!!
We designed this to be a stable yet agile all-road machine. Tire clearance is about 42 mm or 35 mm with fenders installed. We used Japanese-made Compass Bon Jon Pass Extralight 35 mm tubeless tires.
Thanks to Jeremy at Lifeisabeautifuldetail.com for two amazing photos above!! And below is one of John's phenomenal shots, so head on over to The Radavist for way more.