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Recent Bike Builds at Schlick Cycles

If you’ve seen out Schlick Cycles Flickr Photoset you know that we’ve been busy over the summer on new designs as well as custom bikes for customers. We will have atricles on each of these projects in the coming weeks but, just to whet your appetite, here are a few pix of our recent work.


Simplified 650B w/Gates Carbon Drive System


Carlos’ Columbus LIFE 26-inch MTB


Smitty Great Divide


Schlick BigMX


Schlick OneBy 29’er


Mark’s TET MTB

smitty 8-speed coaster brake

Smitty 8-speed Coaster Brake Commuter


refurbished raph cycles mtb

Refurbished Ralph Cycles Mountain Bike

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Lots of new Pix on Flickr!

Well, we’ve been busy in the shop as well as riding and testing a bunch so site updates have taken a back seat to building and fun but that didn’t stop us from taking a bunch of pix of both Schlick Cycles bikes as well as several new models from Simplified Bikes.

Check out the Flickr Group here:

Here are a couple to warm you up!

Tony’s Smitty with the Gates Carbon Drive System Belt Drive!

Out trail testing a Simplified 26-inch Singlespeed MTB

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Road ID Coupon

I ordered a Road ID for Syd and got another “friend code”. Use it if you need to. I think the Road ID is a great idea and should be part of any riders “kit”.

Coupon Number: ThanksGreg828217

This coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order. It can be used up to 20 times in the next 30 days.

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Get Ready for Ray’s Indoor MTB Park in Milwaukee

The hugely successful Ray’s MTB Indoor Park is coming to Milwaukee in Fall 2010!

I’d been hearing rumors and plans for a while now but a recent Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) story confirmed that this is no rumor! Here is a bit of the low down.

Ray’s was the first indoor mountain bike park in the world when it opened in 2004 in Cleveland, OH.

To help with the Milwaukee location Ray’s MTB has partnered with Trek Bicycle for this gigantic expansion

The Milwaukee Park site currently under major construction. It will be in a 110,000 square foot former Menard’s store on the north side of Milwaukee.

Plans are to have it open Fall through Winter with opening ceremonies scheduled for November 2010

Ray’s will offer XC, freeride, dirt jump, park bike and BMX all under one roof.

Sounds great!

What is a bit funny to me is that I tried to figure out a way to do this way back in 1990 or so when the old Gimbel’s Warehouse on the Milwaukee River was standing unoccupied for several years. It was 9 stories tall and had forklift ramps throughout. I envisioned a 7-story park with the ground lever being retail with a bike shop, juice bar, restaurant, massage therapist, bike messenger biz and several other related businesses. Wish it had come to fruition! Well, at least now we have Ray!

There will be a new website just for the Milwaukee Park but, for now, check this out:

and the Cleveland location:

also, here is the complete BRAIN article on the Trek connection:

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The Bike Fed is hiring for 3 positions in Madison and Milwaukee

The Bike Fed is hiring for 3 exciting positions in Madison and Milwaukee !

Director of Communication

The Bike Fed is now accepting resumes for a Director of Communication. This career-building opportunity offers the ideal candidate a chance to lead external communications and mobilize bicycle support throughout the state. ??The position is 40 hours/week and can be based out of the Bike Fed’s Madison or Milwaukee office. Benefits include health, dental, and vacation time plus an excellent work space in either downtown Madison or downtown Milwaukee.

Submit a cover letter and resume by 5pm Monday, February 22

Click here for the full job description and contact information

Director of Membership & Development

The Bike Fed seeks a highly motivated and organized Director of Membership & Development to recruit new members, retain the Bike Fed’s existing 3,500 members, and engage members in the Bike Fed’s work to make biking in Wisconsin safe, fun, and convenient. This exciting position plays a central role in building momentum to make Wisconsin one of the best places in the country to be on a bike. ??The position is 40 hours/week and can be based out of the Bike Fed’s Madison or Milwaukee office. Benefits include health, dental, and vacation time plus an excellent work space in either downtown Madison or downtown Milwaukee.

Submit a cover letter and resume by 5pm Monday, February 8. Late applications may still be considered.

Click here for the full job description and contact information

Bike Walk Safety Instructor

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin (Bike Fed) is seeking a Bike/Walk Safety Instructor to support Milwaukee ‘s Safe Routes to School program. Safe Routes to School is an innovative national movement to stop the growing trend of childhood obesity by drastically increasing the number of children who bike and walk to school. ??The position is 20-35 hours/week and is based in Milwaukee . Hours will be scheduled between 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday with occasional Saturdays required. The position is part-time, limited-term employment paid at $10/hour and does not include benefits. ??Employment begins April 12 and ends in October.

Submit a cover letter and resume by 5pm Monday, February 19

Click here for the full job description and contact information

Jessica Wineberg Binder??Wisconsin Safe Routes to School Network Organizer?

Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin
1845 N Farwell
Suite 100
Milwaukee , WI 53202

P.S. Save the date for our annual Wisconsin Bike Summit on April 21 and 22. Join hundreds of fellow bike supporters to make Wisconsin one of the world’s best places to be on a bike.


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Bicycling is a $1.5 Billion Business in Wisconsin

It also employs more than 13,000 people in the state. That is fantastic!

Here is the Press Release from The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin.

MADISON — Recreational bicycling is among Wisconsin’s top outdoor activities in terms of economic impact, and increasing bicycling has the potential to deliver impressive health benefits and savings, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The report, produced by the CHANGE program of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, estimates that the economic impact of recreational bicycling in the state exceeds $924 million. Of this amount, $533 million is annual direct spending while an additional $391 million is due to indirect and induced effects, such increased purchases of supplies and labor by restaurants and hotels serving cyclists. These indirect and induced impacts may also occur on an annual basis or may extend over a longer time-frame.

Combined with previous estimates of the state’s bicycle manufacturing, sales, and services industry, this means bicycling generates more than $1.5 billion a year in total economic impact, according to the report. By comparison, deer hunting in the state generates $926 million, according to the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. And in a 2001 report, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism estimated the impact of snowmobiling to be just under $250 million.

Bicycling’s economic impact is not surprising given the predominance of the sport, say the report’s co-authors, Maggie Grabow, Micah Hahn, and Melissa Whited, all graduate students in the Nelson Institute’s Certificate in Humans and the Global Environment (CHANGE), a National Science Foundation-sponsored training program whose purpose is “to instill cross-disciplinary learning and prepare students to take on complex real-world environmental challenges of our times, ” according to CHANGE director, Professor Jonathan Patz. .

“According to the Wisconsin Outdoor Recreation Plan, 49 percent of Wisconsin residents enjoy bicycling for recreation, making it among the most popular outdoor activities in the state,” the trio writes. “State residents generate approximately $388 million in economic activity while enjoying Wisconsin’s extensive network of bicycle trails and scenic country roads and participating in bicycle races, rides for charity, and tours.”

Other notable observations:

  • Wisconsin is recognized nationally as a top destination for bicycle tourists and was again named second in the nation in 2009 by the League of American Bicyclists.
  • Non-residents are estimated to spend 6.4 million days a year bicycling in Wisconsin and generate more than $535 million.
  • In all, bicycling supports an estimated 13,193 jobs in the state.

“People do not realize that bicycling is a big business in Wisconsin,” said state Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison), a leading bicycling advocate, for whom the report was prepared. “It really is a big part of our economy, in many forms.”

The report’s authors also calculated the potential economic value of increased bicycling as a replacement for short automobile trips. They estimated that improvements in air quality and the health of Wisconsin adults could yield annual savings valued at more than $400 million.

“By incorporating physical activity into the lives of sedentary Wisconsin residents, bicycling to work could save approximately $319 million a year from reduced morbidity and healthcare costs,” they explain. “In addition, fewer cars on the road would result in a decrease in air pollution by fine particulate matter and ozone. This would not only reduce health problems such as asthma and chronic bronchitis but would further reduce health care costs by almost $90 million annually in Milwaukee and Madison alone.”

Increased bicycle commuting also could help Wisconsin meet its goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the students say.

A follow-up study of the demographics of current and future cyclists will help target investments in bicycling infrastructure to maximize the potential benefits.
Among other things, the report recommends aiming bicycling improvements at younger people. Studies in Europe suggest that designated bike lanes and smooth roads on primary thoroughfares that are the most direct routes to major destinations provide strong incentives to this age group to commute by bike.

The report also recommends that future investments, ideally within the next two decades, focus on bicycle paths and traffic signals to accommodate Wisconsin’s aging population. The researchers emphasize that although investments should be targeted at younger riders, a safer infrastructure will ultimately encourage people of all ages to spend more time bicycling.

The report, “Valuing Bicycling’s Economic and Health Impacts in Wisconsin,” draws information from more than two dozen published sources. It is available free online at

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Visiting the Sun Ringle Tech Center

I headed over to Sun yesterday to visit Russell and pick up some some hand-built wheels he made for a couple of project bikes we have going at the shop. He did a sweet job using some Surly Single Speed hubs I brought in. I got a set of 29’ers with Sun Rhino Lite hoops, a set of Venus 700c wheels and a set of Equalizer 27s for my new 26-inch Single Speed MTB.

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Thoughts on the Shark from Nick

Nick Ginster, a Milwaukee area native, lives in Taiwan and has been helping us with another bike project. He recently visited Milwaukee to see family. We took the opportunity to meet Nick and have him check out the Shark. Here is what he wrote about his experience riding the Shark:

I put some miles on the Shark and I had quite a few others try it to get their opinion as well. On my first ride on the Shark I intended to go around the block, just to check it out. I was having so much fun I ended up riding for about 45 minutes. It is really smooth to ride and turning is a blast. One of the most impressive features is how fast you can stop. With your weight in the center of the bike, and lower, you can haul down to a stop extremely quickly. The low CG makes turning a breeze as well. Also, the easy seat adjustment made it very simple for other to try it out. The sizing is extremely flexible.

Nick is working with us to finalize the Schlick Shark for production. We look forward to working with him on this project and value his expertise.

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The Kim West Radio Cycling Show

Kim-WestI’ve had the pleasure of riding several RAGBRAIs with Kim West and recently discovered through mutual friend LeeAllen that he has been doing a radio show in Des Moines, IA for a couple of years that is also available as a podcast. He talks about cycling in and around Iowa as well as other, broader cycling topics. Kim has an irreverent style and I find it interesting to keep up with what he and some of the regulars on the show are up to. Check it out!

The Kim West Radio Cycling Show Blog

The Kim West Radio Cycling Show Pocast on KXNO

The Kim West Radio Cycling Show on iTunes (Will open iTunes)

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The Long Haul Bike Tour

From September 9-26, Milwaukee-based, internationally-touring singer-songwriter Peter Mulvey will again take to his bicycle for a concert tour. This year is his third annual bike/concert tour and begins September 9 with a ferry ride from Milwaukee to Muskegon, MI, where Peter will take to his recumbent bike rigged with guitar and travel necessities and pedal to Grand Rapids for the tour’s kick-off show. From there it’s on to three more Michigan shows, then due east for three shows in New York state, and another three in Massachusetts – with daily rides this year ranging from 40 to 101 miles.

Fellow songwriter Brianna Lane will also travel the entire tour by bicycle as the opening act. Bolstered on much of the route by a few other cyclist friends, Mulvey and Lane will travel with all their gear, without a support vehicle.

Good luck, Peter and Brianna!

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Dave and Greg’s Sunday Ride

I’m a bit behind! This is actually from LAST Sunday!

Dave called and said he’d be going to check out the custom motorcycle show at the Harley Museun is I decided to head down on the Smitty to meet him. I was interested to see his finished Teesdale MTB he just finished building as well.

Teesdale MTB and Schlick Smitty

The show at the Harley Museum was OK. Lots of bikes and Harley types walking around on what ended up being a beautiful day. There were probably 70 or so show bikes and several hundred visitors’ bikes parked on the Museum grounds.

After hanging at the museum for a bit we rode through downtown Milwaukee to Water St. because we thought the block party would still be going on but that event was only Saturday night. What was going on was Dave Cook’s “Worlds Shortest Poker Run” so we got to check out more motorcycles that were in town for the Milwaukee Rally. Some pretty cool rigs including one of Dave Cook’s that uses a Manitou MTB rear shock as part of the front fork. Sweet!

Dave Cook Uses Manitou!

I left Dave who was going to his sister’s to eat dinner and went home to chef up some steaks for the family and then headed to Cook Customs shop party for more Motorcycle action.

Dave Cook's Sturgis Winning Bike

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Ride the Drive 2009

Sydney and I took a drive from Milwaukee to Madison to check out the Ride the Drive event. The basic idea is that about a 6-mile route of streets were closed off the motor vehicles to allow cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders, roller blades, strollers and runners to enjoy the streets to see and experience Madison from a different perspective in a car-free environment.

Sydney rode her Trek 820, a nice old steel version, and I rode a Smitty.

Ride the Drive Madison, WI 0809

The event was co-chaired by Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and John Burke of Trek Bicycles. who had the following goals for running the event:

•    To allow bikers, runners, skaters, walkers and even families with strollers to enjoy six miles of Madison streets normally reserved for motor vehicle use
•    To establish Madison as one of America’s most bicycle-friendly cities
•    To bring the community of Madison together for a fun, community-affirming event
•    To invite Madisonians to consider adding non-motorized means of travel to their daily lives
•    To bring Madison residents downtown to patronize stores, boutiques and restaurants
•    To invite people to discover neighborhoods in a safe, family-oriented way
•    To point out the vital role roadways play in recreation, transportation and the overall health and welfare of our community
•    To enable citizens to see the city from a whole new perspective and pace

Ride the Drive Madison, WI 0809

Syd enjoyed the bike obstacle course, the Art Cart where she made a bubble wand , tracing our feet on the street and riding through the tunnel where there were musicians playing. She also was thrilled that there is a Jimmy John’s on State St. because that is her favorite sub shop and we had lunch there.

I enjoyed the time with my daughter!

Ride the Drive Madison, WI 0809

It would be great to see an event like this in Milwaukee. If you have ideas on how this could happen shoot me a note to

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I conquered “The Hill”

Okay, so wasn’t so much that I conquered it, as I made it up without having to use my feet on the pavement!   Who says Iowa has all the hills?  We have one on Mill Rd close to Marcy Rd. that is a constant grade from the very bottom to about 3/4 up the hill.  Greg and I will get some stats tomorrow (and pictures posted).  It was a beautiful upper 50’s and no wind so it was a really nice, challenging ride. I did it on our 1×9 Smitty test rig with a 42×34 low.  Next challenge – a Shark!

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Smittys in Iowa

John and I took a trip to Decorah, IA to meet up with Deke from Oneota River Cycles, LeeAllen, Ron and several other cyclists from Decorah and Rochester, MN to do some bike riding in the hills around Decorah. We both took Smittys. John’s was set up with a 1X 9 drivetrain with a 42-tooth front chainring and a 12-32 rear cassette. My Smitty was set up pretty much like what I’ve been riding around town (coaster brake Shimano Nexus-8) 8) with the exception that I swapped the 2.35 Schwalbe Big Apples for some Kenda 38mm tires.

Smittys in Iowa

Saturday Evening

On Saturday evening we met up with Deke and LeeAllen to run about a 13 mile loop around Decorah on mostly gravel roads. Lest you think Iowa is flat let me tell you that the first hill out of Decorah rises about 350 vertical feet in about a mile and a half. With most of our riding this year in and around relatively flat Milwaukee, this hill taxed us a bit but once on top the road was rolling and a lot of fun. Dropping back into Decorah at the end of the ride was sweet too. John and Deke did one more hill before returning to town while Lee and I headed to T-Bocks for some libation. The Smittys both worked really well!

Check the ride Map here:


On Sunday we had a larger group including a couple of tandems. in fact, John weaseled himself onto the back of Deke’s tandem. I heard Deke muttering mmmm…fresh meat! Was that an ominous sign? I’m not really sure but I was mostly off the back while the tandems tore it up so I’ll assume John had a good time!

Smittys in Iowa

Smittys in Iowa

We took gravel to Bluffton, about a 13 mile trip out, and had a few beers with lunch before heading back via a slightly different route. The ride ended up being about 29 miles or so. One of the roads we took was just beautiful. A “B” road, it is a low-maitenance road that is only open in the summer. Nice double track and enough scenery to mask the fact that this was a good climb out of the valley Bluffton is in.

Somehow we ended up at T-Bock’s again. Imaging that! John experienced his first Erma Burger!

After eating we bid farewell to the Decorah folks and drove to Iowa City to be ready to meet Tom Teesdale, our intrepid frame builder, on Monday AM.

Check the Ride Map here:


On Monday we meet with Tom Teesdale who is currently building all our frames both in the Schlick Cycles line and the Teesdale Classic line of bikes. In addition we talked about some new projects with the goal of bringing some great bikes to you! More as we know it.

Smittys in Iowa

Smittys return home to the Teesdael shop!

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Everyday Cycling

I may be a little Johnny-come-lately to the term but I ran across a blog article here:

that seems to resonate with me. The term used in the article, everyday cycling, describes very much the type of riding I envisioned Smitty owners doing.

Here is a short quote from the article Travis wrote that seems to get to the crux of the idea:

“Everyday cycling describes biking that occurs every day, in every way. Biking to the grocery store for a loaf of bread is everyday cycling. Everyday cycling is simple and not confined to work travel, which is good because it brings to our consciousness the many people who are changing the way they live by biking, but have not, until now, had a solid phrase to describe their vision. That is why I encourage the move to everyday cycling rather than inadequate or partial terms which require too much qualifying.”

If you are considering the Smitty think of the term everyday cycling and I think you will find it right up you alley!

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Smitty Prototype #2

Schlick Cycles Smitty Prototype #2

Like Smitty #1 we started with a hand-built frame from Tom Teesdale. Made with True Temper Verus HT tubes, this frame was painted gloss black to match a sweet Wily 29er fork I have. Since this is a coaster brake bike and no front brake is needed I figured the Wily would provide a great ride since it doesn’t have to be really beefy like the Salsa fork to resist the twisting forces of a front disc brake.

This Smitty uses a Cane Creek S2 Ahead Set, Syncros stem and an old Zoom Brahma bar for the control center. I’m digging the riding position on this bike. Tte stem/bar seem to suit me a bit better than the set up on Smitty#1

I took back my Ritchey saddle from #1 and, like the saddle on that bike, it sits atop a great 27.2 Sasla Shaft™ seatpost.

Again, like #1, a black Sugino crank with a 42-tooth chainring handles the front end of the chain loop while the rear hub, an 8-speed Shimano Nexus hub with a Coaster Brake (Yup, a coaster brake!), handles the rear. A Shimano Micro-shift twist shifter connects us to the hub. The front hub is a Shimano Generator unit to power the headlight.

The rims are Salsa Delgado™ 22.5mm hoops built with Wheelsmith spokes and wearing HUGE Schwalbe Big Apple 2.35 tires. I have a couple of other sets of tires to try but it would take a pretty special set if rubber to replace my Big Apples!

Like Smitty #1, all the parts really work well together and the bike is a blast to ride and, with the refinements to #2, I’ve found my setup!

If you are looking for an All-City, commuter ride the Smitty is a great choice. Let us know how you want yours setup!