Capital City Cycles

Bike Check

Posted in bikes, Custom builds, MTB, Rides by capitalcitycycles on June 30, 2011

After years away from the discipline I thought it was time to get back into touring and since we have this blog I thought our readers might be interested in seeing what I use for multi-day excursions. Of course this is a pro bike shop build so perhaps not within the reach of your average guy but as a bike shop we like to showcase our unique skill set and the sort of quality parts we can provide. Enjoy:
Frame is custom orderd SporTek mtb stepthrough. I like the ruggedness of a mountain bike frame as opposed to dedicated touring frames. I also like the semi-stepthrough frame for when I’m winter touring in geiters and crampons.

For panniers I use Blackburn racks with custom made powder coated pannier grates (no these are not from a laundry hamper). For the front I like to drape reusable shopping bags of the crate an I usually fill those with water and sometimes rocks for more high speed stability…more on that later. I use backpacks for panniers, and on the front I use a milk crate for the added rigidity of a plastic enclosure and in there I have a seat belt for Charlie Sheen my slightly un-purebred Whippet.  The crate is also great to sit on at the campfire at night, and with slight modifications can be used as a helmet. Drivetrain is a 21 speed setup with Falcon thumb shifters and  Shimano SIS derailleurs, but that’s the most bombproof system there is…I know because I blew up five drive trains with sticks of dynamite before deciding on this setup (they were the only ones that were usable after the explotion.

Charlie Sheen the Whippet

Wheels are Joytechs, tires are Cheng Shins. Cranks are one piece, with ceramic bb. Pedals are composite, hempbased and again use ceramic coated bearings. Grips are ODI, Stem is a custom made Everti Titanium 17degree quill with matching bars. Bottle cage is Chris King and I use Vitamin water bottles. Seat is velo sport with titanium rails and natural gel padding. Seatpost is titanium.

Perhaps what sets this bike apart from your average touring machine is the custom Univega rear spoiler system. The only drawback of using a mountain bike frame as a basis for your touring rig is that the wheelbase is very short. This makes it a bit unstable at speeds above 79kmh and I noticed that my rear end would wander a bit in those circumstances, especially if I was using the hovergear. Therefore I added the spoiler which makes for much better tracking at high speed and gives me more traction in the back for high speed, loaded, climbs. The last thing you want is your rear end levitating when you don’t want it to, and the spoiler takes care of that. It’s a composite system existing of steel struts, and a natural fiber wing. It’s a prototype, but the patent is pending.
Go forth with vigor,


Port Renfrew to Victoria

Posted in fixed gear, Rides, Road by capitalcitycycles on June 12, 2011

As reported on

Clay, Parker and I went for a nice ride last Monday on our fixed gears. After a while of talking about it we decided to take on the road from Port Renfrew to Victoria. It’s a distance of about 115 km and a little hilly, so we were a bit nervous heading out. There was even talk of just going for a drive with the bikes on the back of the car and skip the riding part. But soon those feelings were replaced with pure fear. You see, our trusty driver Simon, was getting into the “zone.” The zone for Simon is a narrow tunnel of a road right in front of him. Suddenly roadside signs and warnings are not to be listened too, blind turns are navigated with speed and squeals, tailgating is a way of life, and bumps in the road have no affect on him except for a low grunt of:  “huh some road.”

For us regular folk, this sort of driving style has an effect on occupants in a way that makes us grab onto things whiteknuckle style, and a strange brake-like movement in our right foot, even though there are no brakes to step on (they’re unfortunately on Simon’s side, blissfully unused until the last possible moment). Strangely this driving style seems to have an effect on bike racks with three bikes too…as my dear pink bike rack proved. halfway into the ride it had had enough and tried to eject it self off the car, through the rear bumper. It was unsuccessful but broke in the process and our bikes were luckily undamaged.

So you can kind figure by now that the prospect of simply riding our bikes back seemed infinitely more appealing to us than to ride back in the car with the death racer. That took care of that, and now we just had to ride back…

pictures after the jump: (more…)


Posted in bikes, fixed gear, Rides, Road by capitalcitycycles on April 23, 2011

Phillippe Gilbert has been amazing this year and is the favorite for tomorrow…he’s a marked man however, so other teams will try to make the race as tough as possible.

Nice profile (spells: pain)

The last of the Ardennes races is on tomorrow. The Liège–Bastogne–Liège is the last of the three Ardennes races held every year in the Easter week. Liège–Bastogne–Liège is the oldest surviving bicycle race in the world and it has been around since 1892. It’s sometimes called La Doyenne (the oldest) for that reason. The race is often considered the toughest of the classics. It has 10 tough climbs and it is about 260km long, so it takes the toughest kind of rider to be able to take the win.

This year we’ve had a fantastic classics season, with upset wins, great battles and much drama. Tomorrow will be no different, and will be well worth a watch.

We’ll go for a ride tomorrow leaving the shop at 10 and then watch the race in the afternoon.

Vino took it last year in an impressive fashion


Posted in Events, fixed gear, Rides, Road by capitalcitycycles on April 15, 2011

So far we’ve had a great classics season. Milan San-Remo, Flanders and Roubaix were all nail biters and awesome to watch. But as we move further into the spring, the racing continues. The Ardennes classics are upon us, starting with the Amstel Gold race on Sunday.
The Ardennes’ classics are hillier than other classics and this makes for really interesting races often won by strongmen that can still climb, such as Phillippe Gilbert (last years winner of Amstel Gold) Cadel Evans, Alexander Vinocourov and Alehandro Valverde just to name a few. Who knows who’ll win on Sunday, but surely it’ll be a great race. We’ll probably go for a ride on Sunday and then watch the race at the shop. Expect a bit of a hilly ride but as always, the pace will be pretty relaxed.

A few more photos from the sprints

Posted in bikes, fixed gear, Rides, Road, Track by capitalcitycycles on April 14, 2011

The sprints last Friday were amazing. This was probably one of our biggest events ever. It’s pretty cool to see all different sorts of cyclists, of all levels, coming together and racing purely for fun. Everyone got along well and hoppy drinks were consumed in brother/sisterhood.

There is no great bicycle divide.

Bunch of more photos here: