Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bike Barn Blues

Yep, some bastard stole our beautiful new bench from in front of the bike barn. What is this world coming too???

Monday, December 07, 2009

Geared Crank Excites the Commuter Market

With all the attention that commuter bikes have been getting lately (there was even a report on NPR this very morning) it is no surprise that more commuter oriented products are being released. Below is an article from Bicycle Retailer about a new two speed, internally geared crank. Geared cranks are nothing new. There is the Schlumpf system where you strike the center of the crank to change gears . The SRAM option, designed for all-mountain/freeride bikes. And now the newest option from FSA specifically designed to add durability and reliability to transportation bikes. It will be operated by a handle bar mounted shifter. (Sorry no good pictures at this time)

Patterson Drives Ahead with FSA
Sam Patterson has his eye on urban commuters. And he’s betting that a new crankset he designed will intrigue product managers looking to give 2011 commuter bikes a new look. Pattersonisno stranger to the industry. He helped put SRAM on the map with his work designing Grip Shift and other key SRAM components. He spent 14 years at the company before leaving in 2000. Back in the mid-1980s, Patterson had been working on exotic fuel injection systems at a boutique R&D lab in San Diego. He met SRAM’s Stan Day while skiing at Park City. Day had gone to school with Patterson’s brother. Patterson, tired of sucking in gasoline and diesel fumes, began kicking around product ideas with Day and eventually they came up with Grip Shift for road bikes. Day, a triathlete, wanted to shift from the drops without reaching for downtube shift levers. The 55-year-old mechanical engineer has now teamed up with FSA to introduce the Metropolis Patterson Transmission (PT), a new internal two-speed planetary-geared crankset. It seems Patterson has harbored a long-simmering dislike for front derailleurs. And this crankset eliminates them. From a manufacturers’ standpoint, installing the Metro PT is a snap on the assembly line. It’s compatible with most conventional frame designs. Forget installing and setting front derailleurs. No need for a chain guard to protect pant legs from grease. Shifts are lightening fast. And you can shift under load at will. It has a 1.6-to-1 gear ratio with drive gears of 28T and 43T. Use any rear cassette you like or internal-gear hubs. It’s a cast aluminum crankset with an eye-catching, brushed alloy silver finish. If there’s a downside, the unit weighs 1,780 grams, but Patterson said it can be trimmed to about 1,500 grams. As for pricing, Patterson said his first year’s goal is to produce a modest volume at a high enough price to keep him in business. Year two, as demand ramps up, pricing will come down. This was Patterson’s first public unveiling of the system. Douglas Chiang, FSA’s managing director, said he’s optimistic about the new addition to FSA’s Metropolis group, a line of city-style handlebars, stems, seatposts and cranksets. Patterson has a multiyear agreement with Chiang. Judging from the number of people test riding the Metro at Saturday’s Ride On event at the Freshfields Resort and Conference Center, Chiang and Patterson have reason to be optimistic. At one point, a European product manager interrupted a conversation to ask whether the system could be used with a belt drive. Patterson assured him that with some minor modifications, a beltdrive option would pose few problems. The Metropolis PT was installed on a sleek Giant city bike. It looked great. A test ride confirmed Patterson’s boasts. It shifts instantly and there’s no balking when shifting under load. If there was a disconcerting moment it was the three-speed shifter. I initially kept searching for that third shift, but there was none. After a few minutes, it wasn’t an issue. Patterson said the system should appeal, at first, to the European commuting market. “It’s a functional replacement for a front derailleur, the internal shifting is fast and works under load, it never derails and will fit any bike with downtube cable routing and fixed chain stays,” he said. — Marc Sani Bicycle Retailer and Industry News Dec. 7th 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Friday, November 06, 2009

More Work to be Done

The WHEN: Saturday November 14, 9am

The WHAT: The park has wanted to bypass the lakeside trail that the fishermen use for a considerably long time. It was flagged some time ago, and we had waited on approvals which are finally here! So we are going to start building this trail!

The WHY: The lakeside trail is unsustainable, and really not that much fun or that long. It is the small narrow segment on the south end of the lake that goes between the dam and the campground touching the lake side. Fishermen crowd thenselves along this narrow trail for extended periods of time. The bypass will connect the end of the dam with the orange trail further up the hill, which will bypass the lakeside trail leaving it to the fishermen and the perennially wet areas of the lower orange trail. Eventually the orange and this new trail will be blazed red, and the hugely steep and eroded portion of the red that drops off the escarpment will be permanently closed. This will make the red longer, sustainable and more fun. The race course will use this new trail, so we would like to finish it by spring.

The HOW: There will be corridor cleaning, bench cutting, and rock aligning. The trail is going to have to go through some pretty rough areas, so some special things need to be built. There is a rock garden which we will need to build a rock path through. Think the new blue reroute in the watershed. Similar, but not nearly as long.

The BENEFIT: No new trail has been built in Greenbrier in a long, long time. Over a year ago, I submitted a proposal of several trail segments that will link up existing unused trails, and extending into currently unused area. The proposal is in several phases. This would be the first phase. The park agreed to move ahead in this phase. A good showing of quality and swift trail building will show the park that we are serious about moving forward with the other phases of the proposal. A decent turnout of hearty workers is essential to this success. There are some incredible areas that we can hopefully expand into.

The WHERE: Directions to the park are here: Instead of meeting in our usual location by the boat ramp, we are meeting at the south end of the parking lots across from the Visitors Center. Not the tiny parking lot forthe VC, but in the big lot towards the beach. Enter the park, bear left at the split, and turn into the big lot just before the campground gate.

There will be tools to use, please bring the usual water/snack/gloves/warm clothes, and be ready to get dirty! RSVP's appreciated email: phil_vw(at)yahoo(dot)com

Ribbon Cutting

Press Release:
FREDERICK, MD, November 1, 2009 - The City of Frederick, MORE (The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), a non-profit representing thousands of Mid-Atlantic mountain bikers, and IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) have committed to enhance the existing trails in the Frederick Municipal Forest. MORE has been providing volunteer trail maintenance in the Frederick Municipal Forest for more than 15 years.

The Frederick Municipal Forest, 7,000 acres of forested land in western Frederick County, has been a popular destination for hikers, trail runners, hunters, equestrians and mountain bikers for many years. The Catoctin Trail, a 26 mile natural surface trail connecting Gambrill State Park, the Frederick Watershed, Cunningham Falls State Park and Catoctin National Park, bisects the Watershed and is currently the only blazed and mapped trail in the Forest.

MORE and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) have recently completed phase I of a trail work project that rerouted a severely eroded section of the Catoctin Trail. After more than 650 volunteer hours, this new one mile section of sustainably built trail is now open to all users.

“The City of Frederick, MORE, PATC, and IMBA met to discuss this endeavor, developed a plan, included all the stakeholders and made a significant improvement for recreation and the environment at no cost to the taxpayers,“ said Tim Davis, City Transportation Planner. “This sort of collaborative effort where the public resources and private non-profit agencies work together is how publically beneficial projects will come together in the future.”

MORE has recently received a $30k grant from the National Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and a grant from Trek Bikes and IMBA Trail Solutions and will use this funding as well as volunteer labor to continue efforts to improve the quality of the Catoctin Trail. MORE, PATC and the City of Frederick have begun planning phase II of the Catoctin Trail reroute project in order to make the trail more sustainable. The reroute is expected to be complete in the summer of 2010.
“The efforts of City of Frederick, MORE, PATC, and IMBA have turned eroding trails into environmentally sound trails. We look forward to continuing this partnership,” said MORE President Jason Stoner

Additionally, MORE and IMBA, in partnership with the City of Frederick, have agreed to donate their services to blaze and map a circuit loop of existing trails in the Forest. Once complete, a free online map will be available for all users and the new blazed system will make traveling the trails more enjoyable for all.

MORE (The Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts), Inc. is a 501c (3) non-profit representing thousands of area mountain bikers. Founded in 1992, MORE maintains more than 250 miles of natural surface trails in 25 state and county parks in the region. MORE members contribute more than 3,000 volunteer hours annually and have constructed nearly 100 miles of new, sustainable trail. The club also leads hundreds of rides each year at local parks, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. Since 1988, IMBA has been bringing out the best in mountain biking by encouraging low-impact riding, volunteer trail work participation, cooperation among different trail user groups, grassroots advocacy and innovative trail management solutions.

PATC, a non-profit, is the only agency that maintains the entire Catoctin Trail. PATC maintains and manages 1200 miles of trails in the Mid-Atlantic region including 240 miles of the Appalachian Trail. CFC agency 91413. EIN #53-0187508. Phone: (703)242-0693 x105. 118 Park St., SE, Vienna, VA 22180

PATC President Lee Sheaffer joins Joe, Phil, David, Clyde and 50 volunteers to open up the new Blue trail in the Frederick Watershed. Photo: Jay Divinagracia

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Gambrill Night Mountain Bike Rides Return

We are once again ready to start the off-season fun! Our Gambrill State Park night rides commence on November 18th and continue on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. The rides will continue through the off-season.

Click here for the skinny...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

New IF Lightweight

We just finished a new stock build. It is a super rad Independent Fabrication Factory Lightweight built up with a Shimano Ultegra kit. The bike tips the scale at 17.15lbs and has the classic steel ride that anyone can enjoy. More pictures here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

New Blue

New Blue
Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

Thanks to all who helped make yesterdays trail work day a huge success. For those of you who do not know a section of the blue trail in the Frederick Watershed was closed and replaced with a more fun and sustainable section of trail.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Watershed Trail Work

Water Shed Trail Work
Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

There is an important trail work day THIS Sunday. If you ride, run, hike, or gallop in the Frederick Water Shed please help the trails you love. Meet at the Sandflats parking area at 9:00am sharp. I will bring coffee and donuts to further entice you. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Power Tap

The Bicycle Escape is now Maryland's source for training with power. You can rent a Power Tap hub and see what all the excitement is about.

$35 gets you the wheel for a week. Buy a Power Tap and you get that money back.

Become a fan of TBE at:

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best Fall Ride

Best Fall Ride
Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

It seems everyone was anxious to hit the trails following the week of rain that just passed. I had a great time on two wheels and I hope you did the same. After the ride I a grabbed some Indian food at the Clay Oven. A nice way to end a great ride.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bike Art

Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

The Bike Project was a real great show. This work was done by Sara Michener.

Thanks to the organizer, Becky Bafford, and all the great artists who participated.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cycle Chime

Cycle Chime
Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

I made this wind chime today. And YES it was a slow day :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Bike Project

Bikes and Art at Howard Community College
The Bike Project: A Visual, Literary and Cinematic Celebration of Biking in Our World,
October 8-November 15. Reception October 24, 5-7pm.

(Columbia, MD) – Howard Community College features “The Bike Project: A Visual, Literary and Cinematic Celebration of Biking in Our World.” The project includes multimedia exhibitions and a film festival. A reception to will be held on October 24, 5-7pm at The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery in the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts. The exhibition, reception, and film festival are free and open to the public.

The Bike Project: A Literary Exploration explores biking through writing. Bikers often share the joys and challenges that they experience from the physical, social and emotional aspects of biking through writing, in blogs, sports publications and online forums. Based on the NPR writing project titled, “This I Believe...”, bikers were asked to respond, in writing, to the theme, “I bike because…” Over 50 riders, most of those whom are not writers, responded. Their candid, insightful and creative responses express a well rounded and poignant picture of the power of biking in their lives, and those around them. Copies of their writings are available at the galleries.

The Bike Project: An Exhibition is invitational exhibition held in The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery. While the literary component of The Bike Project focused on bikers, who are not necessarily artists or writers, the exhibition does the opposite. Established artists—painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic artists, printmakers, etc—who are not necessarily avid cyclists(though some are), were asked to create bike related artwork. An exciting number of artists (46) took on the challenge. The resulting artwork will be displayed in the galleries from October 8-November 15, 2009.

The Bike Project: Did You Get That??? Great Moments On(and Off) the Bike, Photos by Bikers is an open
exhibition where bikers were asked to submit up to three photos of their choosing that depict their biking experiences. It will be shown in the Art Department Gallery October 8 – November 15, 2009.

The Bike Project – A Film Festival, runs October 19-23, in the Monteabaro Hall of the Horowitz Center for Visual and Performing Arts.
Monday, October 19, 7pm, features two films: “Off Road to Athens” captures the personal struggles and sacrifices of 8 cyclists trying to make the U.S. Olympic team, and “24 Solo” follows Howard County resident and 24 Hour Solo World Champion Chris Eatough on his quest to a seventh consecutive title.
Wednesday, October 21, 7pm, features three films-“The Collective,” “Roam,” and “Seasons”- that portray the newest and cutting edge images of the freeride progression while exploring thoughts and personalities of the riders leading to the progression, as well as following seven of the world’s best mountain bikers through the course of 4 seasons of one year.
Thursday, October 22, 7pm, features "Adventures for the Cure". "The Doc" chronicles the incredible, 6,500 mile trek made by 3 young men across the United States on single-speed, fixed gear bicycles in order to raise money and awareness for diabetes, and to help disabled children in Kenya. In particular, it focuses on one of the riders, Adam, who as a Type-1 diabetic has to manage his illness while riding up to 150 miles a day through rugged terrain, and on the touching stories of two diabetic children the group meets along the way. The film is narrated by three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond."
Friday, October 23, 7pm, features “Klunkerz,” a thoughtful and accurate portrayal of the cycling enthusiasts of Northern California’s Marin County where mountain biking originated among a diverse group of cyclist racers and fun-loving hippies looking for a way to commune with nature. Their original hefty steeds were affectionately knows as Klunkerz.

Exhibit viewing hours are Monday - Friday,10 a.m. -8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. The Rouse Company Foundation Gallery is located in the Horowitz Arts Center on the Howard Community College campus at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044. For more information about the exhibition and gallery programs, visit or email

Media Contacts: Jane Sharp, HCC Public Relations & Marketing, 410-772-4794,
Rebecca Bafford, HCC Gallery Director, 410-772-4189,

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

J.C. Higgins Re-Birth

A few months ago a woman named Ann stopped by The Bicycle Escape with a very rusty bicycle and a story. The story goes that she grew up with little material wealth. The one treasure from her childhood was the pictured secondhand bicycle. It is a 1940s Sears J.C. Higgins cruiser. Ann’s goal with the restoration was to recapture a slice of her childhood and to proudly display this vintage machine in her home.

As the pictures suggest this was a daunting task. The bike was badly weathered. Rust and caked grease were everywhere. Parts were bent, cracked, and missing. Keeping the bike totally original was not a concern but maintaining a nostalgic look was important. With that in mind, we replaced the crank front wheel, seat, bar and stem, and of course the tires and tubes. The rear wheel was rebuilt using the original hub. This way we could retain the original character–adding skip-link chain and rings. The Chainring was brought back to life with help from Frederick's Brass and Copper Shop. Due to the extreme damage to the chain guard we had Paul of Brass Knuckle Kustom Work repair and reshape the guard.

While Paul hammered away, we stripped the rest of the bike and cleaned, degreased, and degreased, and degreased… The seat post is much thinner than modern styles so we machined an adapter to make the new saddle fit just right. We created new rack struts using fender hardware, cut the stem shaft down for a better fit, and did all sorts of other things that I have forgotten.

The frame came out of finishing looking bright and shiny. For this project we used Chris of Toxic Art who applied a combination of powder coat and wet paint. The reassemble of the bike went smother than anticipated and the finished product is even more amazing that we imagined.

Finally, the bike is ready for a warm and joyful homecoming. Thank you Ann for the challenge and thrill of another Bicycle Escape restoration project!

The Bicycle Escape, Frederick Maryland

Saturday, October 03, 2009

SwissStop Brake Pads

SwissStop brakes have landed in Frederick, Maryland! TBE is now the home of the finest brake pads in the business. SwissStop brake pads have been held in such high regard we could not go another second without them. They are available in compounds suited for carbon fiber rims, disc brakes and good-old-fashioned alloy hoops.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

YiPsan Modifications

Lately I have made quite a few modifications to my YiPsan mountain bike. On the list was an XTR crank, a new bash guard, Effetto Mariposa Caffelatex tubless gunk, and a Shimano SLX double specific front dérailleur. This post is regarding the latter.
It is no secret that a bash guard is quite nice for East Coast mountain biking. The SLX dérailleur helps two-ring riders further exploit the benefits of ditching the big ring. This modification dramatically increases your tire/front dérailleur clearance. On my YiPsan the cage of the dérailleur is completely out of the way. The tire would hit the stay before the shifting component. This is a real benefit for those of us who like fat tires. If you are a bash guard user you should consider this alteration. If you are considering running a guard you can learn more about them here. Cheers!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

1976 Raleigh Tourist DL1

I have always wanted a rod-brake bicycle and last weekend I achieved that goal. I am now the proud owner of a 1976 Raleigh Tourist DL1. The bike is in near mint condition and rides great. The neat and funny thing about this bike is that the technology is curiously retro for 1976. The bike could have easily been made decades earlier. I guess the folks in Nottingham England were feeling nostalgic when they built this bike. The bike will be at the shop for a while so stop on by and check it out.

Friday, September 04, 2009

2010 Giant Bowery Mash Up

Here is Giant's fun and funky new fixed gear, the Bowery Mash Up. All decked-out in retro colors and able to be set up fixed or free. Love it or hate it, it is most definitely funky. More pics here:

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Crown Jewel

The latest build here at old TBE was this Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel (of the steel persuasion) for Dennis. The frame is built with Dura-Ace 7800 bits and a Chris King headset. The elegant down tube decal is the script style. It is newer to the IF decal options.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cross Season???

This time of year is always bitter sweet. It is 100 degrees outside right now with 200% humidity and all I see promoted by my vendors is cross bikes and fall clothing. I guess I have to accept the fact that summer is winding down. I love fall but hate to see the sunshine fade away.
The pictured bike is Ken's 2010 Redline Conquest Team. The bike comes stock with tubeless tires and weighs 17.8lbs. Not to shabby.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Titus FCR

In celebration of being nominated the mid-Atlantic's laziest blogger I decided to make a quick post. The custom bike pictured here was built for Candice. It is a Titanium Titus FCR built with Ultegra SL and SRAM Force crank and brakes. The Edge fork and Rolf wheels keep the bike just under 17 lbs. Congratulations Candice!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Specialized 2010 29er Single Speed and Epic

Here is a sneak peak of some of the 2010 higher end Specialized 29ers. The carbon bike on the left has suspiciously horizontal dropouts and is not well hung in the derailleur hanger department. This carbon fiber single speed 29er should build a super light SS! For the full squish racers out there Specialized has the Epic 29er.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Where Is Tom ?

Where Is Tom ?
Originally uploaded by thebicycleescape

In an out of character move Tom did not show up to work today. I know what you are thinking: Reno 911 Marathon... nope. This absence is due to the newest TBE addition: Geoffrey Galen Rinker, 8lbs 11oz. Welcome son!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Starry Night

We just built this beautiful Independent Fabrication Factory Light Weight for Alan. I love the sky like fade complete with the moon and stars. Check out our photo album for more pictures.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Simply Beautiful

As your stroll the streets of downtown Frederick make sure you check out Simply Beautiful Boutique (43 E. Patrick). They are borrowing our Batavus bicycle for their beautiful window display. While you are there stop in and check out their shop. They have plenty of great home, baby and personal items.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2010 Specialized Langster

For 2010, Specialized continues the city themed Langster fixed gears. On the menu is a Moscow Langster and a Los Angeles styled bike. The LA Langster is the one with the white wheel and tire combo.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


As a bicycle mechanic I get the opportunity to see all sorts of home-brewed attempts at bicycle repair. The tube pictured is one of my favorites. The reason I like this botched repair so much is because of the determination and love behind it. As I held the tube in my hand which had more holes in it than a car parked in downtown Frederick, I could feel the frustration of the father. I also sensed his determination as he tried desperately to fix his son’s bike. This kind of determination could only exist when a parent is trying to be a ‘hero’ for their child. It is a determination I have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of countless times. At the end of the day daddy solved his son’s problem (with a little help). Today is Father’s Day and to all the fathers out there that happen across this blog I wish you a very happy day. Keep on fixing those bikes but remember we are here when you need a hand.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

2010 Giant 29er

Twenty Niner fans worldwide have been asking the same question: When in the hell is the World’s largest frame producer going to address the big wheeled market? Well my friends they finally have... well...almost. The pictured bikes are Giant’s answer. The XTC 1 29er (approximately $2125) and XTC 2 29er (approximately $1350) will be available within the next few weeks. The higher end Giant 29er will be adorned with a Fox fork (with thru axle) and a mix of Shimano XT, SLX, and Deore components. The XTC 29 2 will be dressed in Shimano Deore and Alivo bits with a Marzocchi Forty-Niner TST2 fork with a 15QR thru axle.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

YiPsan All-Road Bike

I recently had the absolute pleasure of building the pictured YiPsan all-road bike for Catherine. The frame is hand crafted in the lugged tradition. I refer to this bike as an “all-road” bike because it is designed to accept wider cyclocross tires, but has road bike geometry. This style of bicycle is very practical as it allows the rider to explore asphalt and dirt roads on the same well designed machine. Accompanying the frame is a custom stem, fork, and seatpost made by the same builder, Renold Yip. This level of customization and attention creates a beautiful, flowing, and timeless aesthetic. This YiPsan all-road bike rides as good as it looks! I am lucky enough to own a YiPsan (or two :) ) and I can attest to the fact that YiPsan’s are incredible machines! Happy trails Catherine, you’re going to love this ride!
As always more pictures on our Flickr site.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

QBall Frames

With Big Bear just days away, many of you have come to the same conclusion: 1) It is a wonderful time to break the frame you planned on racing and/or 2) it is a wonderful time to replace your old frame/bike. Here are two of the frames you might see being raced in WV. Both are QBall 29er frames crafted by our friend Scott Quiring in Michigan. But that frame is only available in black..... well yes, this is true but occasionally we can sweet talk Scott into a different color option. Good luck to all of you making the journey for this year's race! More pictures on our Flickr site.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

IFy Week

Here are two fun builds we just completed. The very first Independent Fabrication to sport the damn cool HammerSchmidt two speed crank and a well set-up IF Independence. One bike will pick its way through east coast rocky single track and the other will pick its way through villas across Europe. Both are beautiful in their own right and we were honored to work with both Jody (mtn) and Robert (touring) to make their dream bike a reality. Thanks guys. As always more photos here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Frederick Kids Triathlon

The Kids Triathlon was a huge success. Thanks to all the volunteers and participants. If you missed it this year we hope to see you in 2010.