Cyclocross

Gravel Bike: Nikola Perego’s Barry-Roubaix Horse Urban Assault CX Bike – Cyclocross Magazine

When Nikola Perego was bike shopping, his requirements included a bike at home on the road and the road less traveled. Ultimately, his research led him to Thomas Callahan of Horse Brand, who has been building bikes in Brooklyn, NY, since 2007.

Horse builds a handful of production lines and also works with customers on made-to-order projects. Perego’s do-it-all frame is the former, an Urban Assault Cyclocross frame, with stock sizing and Horse Brand’s SRAM Rival build kit.

We took a closer look at Perego’s bike after the Barry-Roubaix gravel race.

Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

The Urban Assault is a stock sized cantilever frame made of True Temper OX Platinum tubing, with Paragon Machine Works hardware and a paint-matched ENVE fork rounding out the Made in America package.

Horse Brand builds its frames in Brooklyn, NY. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

In the time since Perego’s frame was built, however, True Temper has ceased the production of bicycle tubing. To fill the void, Callahan has substituted a mix of Columbus and Veri-Wall pipes on current production frames.

The Urban Assault includes a paint matched ENVE cantilever fork with a straight 1 ⅛” steerer tube, which turns in an FSA external cup headset.

Perego’s bike featured a Deda alloy handlebar. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

The build features SRAM Rival 10-speed components and cantilever brakes from Avid. To suit Perego’s do-it-all request, the solid forged Rival crankset features 50/34t chain rings to provide a road appropriate gear spread. SRAM Rival derailleurs were present front and rear, with a braze-on front derailleur mounted with help of an adapter.

Curiously, the rear derailleur was a short cage, which limits the use of wider cassettes, meaning Perego ran an 11-28t.

Perego wanted a bike to do it all, and SRAM 50/34 chainrings provide an effective gear on both road and gravel. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

Further adding utility are Shimano T421 Click’r pedals, which combine a platform pedal with a light action SPD mechanism.

Shimano Click’r pedals provide the utility of a platform pedal as well as the option to clip in. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

Perego’s bike rolled through Barry County on 32-spoke Alex Rims wheels with Panaracer GravelKing 32mm tires, which Perego said worked well in Michigan’s dusty conditions.

The Urban Assault had room to go bigger in the event a 32mm Panaracer GravelKing is not enough. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

Stopping was a rim brake affair, with Avid Shorty 4 cantilever brakes front and rear.

Perego kept it in the SRAM family, opting for Avid Shorty 4 cantilever brakes. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

The cockpit components were a mixed bag, with a Deda Zero1 RHM handlebar wrapped with black cork tape mounted on a Dimension alloy stem. Perego’s black Brooks B 17 saddle was mounted to an Easton alloy seatpost. To cover hydration, Perego brought two bottles in mismatched cages, with a Bontrager RL cage on the seat tube and an alloy wire cage on the down tube.

Perego chose a Brooks B 17 leather saddle for his build. Nikola Perego’s Horse Gravel Bike, 2019 Barry-Roubaix. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

For more on Perego’s Horse bike, see the photo gallery and specs below.