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2019 Giant Escape 1

Old 09-19-18, 11:17 AM
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2019 Giant Escape 1

I was in the market for a cheap(ish) hybrid that I could convert into a multiple use bike but wouldn't break the bank doing so. I already have a nice road bike, and a full suspension MTB but needed something in between the two. Not a full on gravel grinder, but also not a full on city/urban bike. I wanted flat bars, rigid frame/fork, hydraulic disc brakes, wide range 2x gearing, and the ability to run 40c tires or bigger. After looking around at all the manufacturers offerings, the Escape was the only bike that was close to what I was looking for.

After looking over the line-up I decided to go for the Escape 1 Disc. Tubeless rims, composite fork, and the frame color I liked. Overall I am impressed with the bike. The fit and riding position is almost perfect for me. The wide handlebars give it a very MTB like feel without being overly wide, around 700mm width. The Tektro brakes work much better than I anticipated. I had new brakes at the top of my upgrade list before buying it but I will leave them on and use up the pads before deciding what to do. But as expected there are a few things I'm not so excited about, more about that below.







So there lies the biggest drawback. This thing is heavy. 28.6 lbs. Even of you subtract a pound for the rack it's still heavy for a rigid frame aluminum bike. Another thing I didn't like is the 3x9 Shimano Acera drivetrain. I mean it shifts perfectly, but its uninspiring and cumbersome to use. The biggest problem with this bike is the heavy wheelset. The rear wheel, cassette, rotor, and tire assy weighs in at 2770 grams, or just over 6 lbs. The front I weighed but didn't note the actual weight. The hubs have loose ball bearings, the axle does not move smoothly when spun by hand off the bike.

So I had planned upgrading the drivetrain even before buying the bike. One of the bikes I rode before buying the Escape had a Tiagra 2x10 set up on it. I was pretty impressed with it considering its middle of the road place in the Shimano road drivetrain hierarchy. I didn't want a MTB style drivetrain but buying one might have saved me a few dollars along the way.

Upgrades included: FSA Gossamer 46/32 172.5mm crankset, Tiagra 2x10 shifters and derailleurs, 11-36 Shimano SLX 10sp cassette, a OneUp 40t cassette expander cog kit, a Wolftooth Roadlink, and a pair of Vittoria Terreno G Dry 700x40c tires( I think I could fit some 45c tires on there and still have room).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the bike now. Put about 50 miles on the new drivetrain and I am impressed with the gearing range. The 32x40 climbing gear is plenty for anything but the super steep stuff. No miles on the tires yet but they were recommended on the gravel forum.
​​​​​​









So the upgrades netted about a 1.8 lb savings. The biggest improvement was removing the OEM tires. They were 760 grams each and are some type of weird combined tube and tire with sealant.

Overall I am happy with my purchase but if I had to do it over again I might opt for the Escape 2. Use the $230 price difference and invest in a better set of wheels. I did like the composite fork and frame color better so maybe I made the right choice afterall. I plan on swapping the 3x9 Acera drivetrain onto an old early 90s hard tail MTB so that won't go to waste.

In stock form I feel this is great bike for the $750 usd retail price. Plenty of room for upgrades for the type of people like me who enjoy tinkering with their bikes. But also good enough to ride as is for many years to come.

Last edited by Bryan C.; 09-19-18 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 09-19-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
I was in the market for a cheap(ish) hybrid that I could convert into a multiple use bike but wouldn't break the bank doing so. I already have a nice road bike, and a full suspension MTB but needed something in between the two. Not a full on gravel grinder, but also not a full on city/urban bike. I wanted flat bars, rigid frame/fork, hydraulic disc brakes, wide range 2x gearing, and the ability to run 40c tires or bigger. After looking around at all the manufacturers offerings, the Escape was the only bike that was close to what I was looking for.

After looking over the line-up I decided to go for the Escape 1 Disc. Tubeless rims, composite fork, and the frame color I liked. Overall I am impressed with the bike. The fit and riding position is almost perfect for me. The wide handlebars give it a very MTB like feel without being overly wide, around 700mm width. The Tektro brakes work much better than I anticipated. I had new brakes at the top of my upgrade list before buying it but I will leave them on and use up the pads before deciding what to do. But as expected there are a few things I'm not so excited about, more about that below.







So there lies the biggest drawback. This thing is heavy. 28.6 lbs. Even of you subtract a pound for the rack it's still heavy for a rigid frame aluminum bike. Another thing I didn't like is the 3x9 Shimano Acera drivetrain. I mean it shifts perfectly, but its uninspiring and cumbersome to use. The biggest problem with this bike is the heavy wheelset. The rear wheel, cassette, rotor, and tire assy weighs in at 2770 grams, or just over 6 lbs. The front I weighed but didn't note the actual weight. The hubs have loose ball bearings, the axle does not move smoothly when spun by hand off the bike.

So I had planned upgrading the drivetrain even before buying the bike. One of the bikes I rode before buying the Escape had a Tiagra 2x10 set up on it. I was pretty impressed with it considering its middle of the road place in the Shimano road drivetrain hierarchy. I didn't want a MTB style drivetrain but buying one might have saved me a few dollars along the way.

Upgrades included: FSA Gossamer 46/32 172.5mm crankset, Tiagra 2x10 shifters and derailleurs, 11-36 Shimano SLX 10sp cassette, a OneUp 40t cassette expander cog kit, a Wolftooth Roadlink, and a pair of Vittoria Terreno G Dry 700x40c tires( I think I could fit some 45c tires on there and still have room).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the bike now. Put about 50 miles on the new drivetrain and I am impressed with the gearing range. The 32x40 climbing gear is plenty for anything but the super steep stuff. No miles on the tires yet but they were recommended on the gravel forum.
​​​​​​









So the upgrades netted about a 1.8 lb savings. The biggest improvement was removing the OEM tires. They were 760 grams each and are some type of weird combined tube and tire with sealant.

Overall I am happy with my purchase but if I had to do it over again I might opt for the Escape 2. Use the $230 price difference and invest in a better set of wheels. I did like the composite fork and frame color better so maybe I made the right choice afterall. I plan on swapping the 3x9 Acera drivetrain onto an old early 90s hard tail MTB so that won't go to waste.

In stock form I feel this is great bike for the $750 usd retail price. Plenty of room for upgrades for the type of people like me who enjoy tinkering with their bikes. But also good enough to ride as is for many years to come.
Very nice write-up. What size frame is it? Did you set the tires up tubeless?
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Old 09-19-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by andrei_r View Post
Very nice write-up. What size frame is it? Did you set the tires up tubeless?
Thanks. Large frame, and yes the new tires are set up tubeless. The wheels already had the tubeless rim strips installed.
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Old 09-19-18, 04:39 PM
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Thanks for the post, and great review! I think you'll like those Vittoria tires. I have a set of Vittoria Mezcals on my MTB, with the same anthracite sidewall, and they're both super fast and super supple. The stock wheelset is pretty heavy (my Giant Roam has the same ones), but they're durable. They'll do for now, but I suspect that you'd be able to find a lighter wheelset on the used market. You're right about the brakes -- even entry level hydraulic disc brakes are fantastic these days. I had those same Tektro HD-M285s on a Giant ARX and my Roam has the Shimano equivalents (BR-M315).

Enjoy your new Escape!
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Old 09-20-18, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
I was in the market for a cheap(ish) hybrid that I could convert into a multiple use bike but wouldn't break the bank doing so. I already have a nice road bike, and a full suspension MTB but needed something in between the two. Not a full on gravel grinder, but also not a full on city/urban bike. I wanted flat bars, rigid frame/fork, hydraulic disc brakes, wide range 2x gearing, and the ability to run 40c tires or bigger. After looking around at all the manufacturers offerings, the Escape was the only bike that was close to what I was looking for.

After looking over the line-up I decided to go for the Escape 1 Disc. Tubeless rims, composite fork, and the frame color I liked. Overall I am impressed with the bike. The fit and riding position is almost perfect for me. The wide handlebars give it a very MTB like feel without being overly wide, around 700mm width. The Tektro brakes work much better than I anticipated. I had new brakes at the top of my upgrade list before buying it but I will leave them on and use up the pads before deciding what to do. But as expected there are a few things I'm not so excited about, more about that below.







So there lies the biggest drawback. This thing is heavy. 28.6 lbs. Even of you subtract a pound for the rack it's still heavy for a rigid frame aluminum bike. Another thing I didn't like is the 3x9 Shimano Acera drivetrain. I mean it shifts perfectly, but its uninspiring and cumbersome to use. The biggest problem with this bike is the heavy wheelset. The rear wheel, cassette, rotor, and tire assy weighs in at 2770 grams, or just over 6 lbs. The front I weighed but didn't note the actual weight. The hubs have loose ball bearings, the axle does not move smoothly when spun by hand off the bike.

So I had planned upgrading the drivetrain even before buying the bike. One of the bikes I rode before buying the Escape had a Tiagra 2x10 set up on it. I was pretty impressed with it considering its middle of the road place in the Shimano road drivetrain hierarchy. I didn't want a MTB style drivetrain but buying one might have saved me a few dollars along the way.

Upgrades included: FSA Gossamer 46/32 172.5mm crankset, Tiagra 2x10 shifters and derailleurs, 11-36 Shimano SLX 10sp cassette, a OneUp 40t cassette expander cog kit, a Wolftooth Roadlink, and a pair of Vittoria Terreno G Dry 700x40c tires( I think I could fit some 45c tires on there and still have room).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the bike now. Put about 50 miles on the new drivetrain and I am impressed with the gearing range. The 32x40 climbing gear is plenty for anything but the super steep stuff. No miles on the tires yet but they were recommended on the gravel forum.
​​​​​​









So the upgrades netted about a 1.8 lb savings. The biggest improvement was removing the OEM tires. They were 760 grams each and are some type of weird combined tube and tire with sealant.

Overall I am happy with my purchase but if I had to do it over again I might opt for the Escape 2. Use the $230 price difference and invest in a better set of wheels. I did like the composite fork and frame color better so maybe I made the right choice afterall. I plan on swapping the 3x9 Acera drivetrain onto an old early 90s hard tail MTB so that won't go to waste.

In stock form I feel this is great bike for the $750 usd retail price. Plenty of room for upgrades for the type of people like me who enjoy tinkering with their bikes. But also good enough to ride as is for many years to come.
You can adjust your hub bearings- most factory wheels are adjusted too tight. Using 2 cone wrenches, loosen the bearings so that they are a little too slack as the QR will tighten it more. It might take a little experimenting to get it right the first time. While you're at it, put some real grease in there.

It won't take the weight off but they will roll smoother and the cones will not get damaged as easily.
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Old 09-20-18, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
You can adjust your hub bearings- most factory wheels are adjusted too tight. Using 2 cone wrenches, loosen the bearings so that they are a little too slack as the QR will tighten it more. It might take a little experimenting to get it right the first time. While you're at it, put some real grease in there.

It won't take the weight off but they will roll smoother and the cones will not get damaged as easily.
Thanks, that's a good suggestion. Quality grease had greatly helped a few of my bikes many years ago. I'm not ready to swap these wheels out just yet. Need to get a few more miles on them so I feel like I got my money's worth.
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Old 09-25-18, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
So the upgrades netted about a 1.8 lb savings. The biggest improvement was removing the OEM tires. They were 760 grams each and are some type of weird combined tube and tire with sealant.

Overall I am happy with my purchase but if I had to do it over again I might opt for the Escape 2. Use the $230 price difference and invest in a better set of wheels. I did like the composite fork and frame color better so maybe I made the right choice afterall. I plan on swapping the 3x9 Acera drivetrain onto an old early 90s hard tail MTB so that won't go to waste.

In stock form I feel this is great bike for the $750 usd retail price. Plenty of room for upgrades for the type of people like me who enjoy tinkering with their bikes. But also good enough to ride as is for many years to come.
What a fantastic review! I must have got mine the same week as you, Bryan. Lots of great ideas for me for upgrades, although I'm far less knowledgeable than you. I knew these OEM tires were going to be the first thing to go after my first ride, so your review helps corroborate my impression. I have some Schwalbe Marathons with a diamond patten tread on my other bike, and I find those tires much quieter and faster than the stock Giants. On weight ... my old "comfort" bike was so much chubbier, I found the Escape 1 featherlight, but the numbers don't lie, as you show. I certainly don't "feel" extra weight in the frame, but I have this vague sense of the tires dragging, but after reading all your review and DorkDisc's comments, I wondered for a moment whether I need some better grease in the wheels, but not this year -- but I do wonder if might just have a tiny bit of brake rub and need my LBS to dial in the wheels a bit (they do for free). [Update, just checked my wheels and no question my rear wheel doesn't spin as long as the rear wheels on the others Giants in the household, so I'll need to see about an adjustment.]

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Old 09-25-18, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by streetlight View Post
What a fantastic review! I must have got mine the same week as you, Bryan. Lots of great ideas for me for upgrades, although I'm far less knowledgeable than you. I knew these OEM tires were going to be the first thing to go after my first ride, so your review helps corroborate my impression. I have some Schwalbe Marathons with a diamond patten tread on my other bike, and I find those tires much quieter and faster than the stock Giants. On weight ... my old "comfort" bike was so much chubbier, I found the Escape 1 featherlight, but the numbers don't lie, as you show. I certainly don't "feel" extra weight in the frame, but I have this vague sense of the tires dragging, but after reading all your review and DorkDisc's comments, I wonder whether I need some better grease in the wheels?
The difference between the old tires (760 grams each), and the new tires I installed(500 grams each), is a net loss of slightly over a pound of rotating mass. The weight loss was a very noticeable improvement when riding. The bike seems to get up to speed faster and with less effort. Replacing the stock tires sooner than later will pay off in the long run.

I can only imagine how much better it would ride with a quality wheelset installed. I haven't tried to regrease the wheels just yet, still trying to find some better wheels. Which leads me to my current issue, finding a budget friendly, tubeless compatible, and lighter wheelset with QR axles. There are various options, cheapest I found was a DT Swiss narrow 29er MTB wheel with a $70 - $80 set of adapters that will set you back somewhere around $400 combined. The used market around me is mostly filled with through axle wheels. Just another thing to consider when buying the Giant is the outdated axle specs. I found The Colorado Cyclist custom built wheels to be the best value at the moment, but those will have to wait for now.
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Old 09-25-18, 08:06 AM
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Just an update on my upgrades. Before replacing the stock tires I was pushing my luck on a gravel road. Downhill at 25 mph around a sharp corner, combined with too much front brake left me and bike somewhat damaged. Mostly road rash for me, but the bike did have some issues.

The various reviews of the Wolftooth roadlink say that it becomes the weak point and will break if the derailleur gets hit. Well that wasn't the case for me. The derailleur hanger and the derailleur itself both got bent during the crash. But somehow the roadlink was just fine. Buying a new hanger was a bit of an ordeal. The replacement hangar did not fit the frame without being modified. I can post some pics if anyone is interested. After replacing the hanger, I installed the road link and checked everything with my alignment gauge and sure enough the road link was just fine. A new derailleur and a few adjustments I was back out riding.

The Vittoria Terreno dry g tires seem to work very well. Super low rolling resistance on the road, and they do inspire some confidence on the gravel corners with the knobbies on the edge of the tread. They are soft and will most likely wear out quickly. 50 miles on them so far with over half of that off road. Too bad I didn't have them installed before I decided to try downhill racing with street tires.
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Old 09-25-18, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
The difference between the old tires (760 grams each), and the new tires I installed(500 grams each), is a net loss of slightly over a pound of rotating mass. The weight loss was a very noticeable improvement when riding. The bike seems to get up to speed faster and with less effort. Replacing the stock tires sooner than later will pay off in the long run.

I can only imagine how much better it would ride with a quality wheelset installed. I haven't tried to regrease the wheels just yet, still trying to find some better wheels. Which leads me to my current issue, finding a budget friendly, tubeless compatible, and lighter wheelset with QR axles. There are various options, cheapest I found was a DT Swiss narrow 29er MTB wheel with a $70 - $80 set of adapters that will set you back somewhere around $400 combined. The used market around me is mostly filled with through axle wheels. Just another thing to consider when buying the Giant is the outdated axle specs. I found The Colorado Cyclist custom built wheels to be the best value at the moment, but those will have to wait for now.
That settles it for me -- new tires soon! Thank you for your insights. Keep us updated on your wheel thinking/buying.

Overall, I do think it's worth saying again that, on balance, the 2019 Escape 1 IS still a lot of bike for $750, at least from the market I was analyzing. I almost went with a ToughRoad, but I'm glad in the end I didn't. I need something for all-weather small-town fitness-style riding with salt and grime (80-90% on tarmac) with occasional jaunts to the shops for groceries etc. I have weekend touring aspirations, and I also had a Karma Sutra and Surly Disc Trucker in my sights, but I wouldn't have been able to justify the extra $750-$850 for those bikes with the boss haha, and I had to be honest with myself about what I really enjoy in riding.
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Old 09-25-18, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
Just an update on my upgrades. Before replacing the stock tires I was pushing my luck on a gravel road. Downhill at 25 mph around a sharp corner, combined with too much front brake left me and bike somewhat damaged. Mostly road rash for me, but the bike did have some issues.
.
Whoa, I missed this. You crashed? Glad you're OK! So now the Giant is "crash-tested?"
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Old 09-25-18, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by streetlight View Post
Whoa, I missed this. You crashed? Glad you're OK! So now the Giant is "crash-tested?"
I guess so.

Not my finest moment, and I missed a few days of work over it. Downhilling on a hybrid with street tires is never a good idea.
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Old 10-10-18, 12:36 AM
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So I have a little over 200 miles on the bike so far. Overall I am pretty happy with how it rides and the mods I have made so far. But I am still a little bothered by the overall weight of it. Now this bike is supposed to be a budget friendly build. So far I have blown the budget a few times, so why not do it again?

My search for a low buck but strong wheelset, tubeless ready, and with QR axles was frustrating. I could find some budget wheels but it wasn't clear how easy buying the correct adapters for the QR axles would be. Various options presented themselves along the way. But I chose to go for a custom built set of wheels. I weigh around 210 lbs and plan on riding this bike mostly off road so I wanted 32 spokes for sure. Hope hubs were said to be suitable for heavier riders so I went with those. Colorado Cyclist seemed to be the best value when compared to my local shops and other online retailers.

So I ordered up some wheels built up with Hope Pro 4 hubs, DT swiss competition double butted spokes laced 3 cross, and Easton R90sl rims. I was a little disappointed with the overall weight but considering the alloy rims and 32 spokes I knew it was inevitable they would be heavy. With 2 wraps of Stans tape the front weighs 890 grams, the rear 1010 grams. 1900 total. 1700 or less was my hope. I could have opted for the center lock road version Hope RS4 hubs and saved around 100 grams(they were out of stock), maybe a lighter rim, but it is what it is. Just for reference I weighed the old wheels and as expected they were pretty heavy. 1125 grams front, and 1350 grams rear. So I lost a net 575 grams, or around 1.25 lbs. Not bad all things considered. I do wish I bought the orange colored hubs but I think the silver and black color scheme works well.

With some new grips, Cane Creek bar ends, and some nice DMR V12 platform pedals the bike weighs in at 26 lbs flat. I assume the rack weighs around a pound, maybe more. One of these days I will weigh it without the rack and bottle cages to get a more realistic weight reading.





Last edited by Bryan C.; 10-10-18 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 10-10-18, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
So I have a little over 200 miles on the bike so far. Overall I am pretty happy with how it rides and the mods I have made so far. But I am still a little bothered by the overall weight of it. Now this bike is supposed to be a budget friendly build. So far I have blown the budget a few times, so why not do it again?

My search for a low buck but strong wheelset, tubeless ready, and with QR axles was frustrating. I could find some budget wheels but it wasn't clear how easy buying the correct adapters for the QR axles would be. Various options presented themselves along the way. But I chose to go for a custom built set of wheels. I weigh around 210 lbs and plan on riding this bike mostly off road so I wanted 32 spokes for sure. Hope hubs were said to be suitable for heavier riders so I went with those. Colorado Cyclist seemed to be the best value when compared to my local shops and other online retailers.

So I ordered up some wheels built up with Hope Pro 4 hubs, DT swiss competition double butted spokes laced 3 cross, and Easton R90sl rims. I was a little disappointed with the overall weight but considering the alloy rims and 32 spokes I knew it was inevitable they would be heavy. With 2 wraps of Stans tape the front weighs 890 grams, the rear 1010 grams. 1900 total. 1700 or less was my hope. I could have opted for the center lock road version Hope RS4 hubs and saved around 100 grams(they were out of stock), maybe a lighter rim, but it is what it is. Just for reference I weighed the old wheels and as expected they were pretty heavy. 1125 grams front, and 1350 grams rear. So I lost a net 575 grams, or around 1.25 lbs. Not bad all things considered. I do wish I bought the orange colored hubs but I think the silver and black color scheme works well.

With some new grips, Cane Creek bar ends, and some nice DMR V12 platform pedals the bike weighs in at 26 lbs flat. I assume the rack weighs around a pound, maybe more. One of these days I will weigh it without the rack and bottle cages to get a more realistic weight reading.




Silver hubs match the rest of your decoration
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Old 10-10-18, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by andrei_r View Post
Silver hubs match the rest of your decoration
Hahaha.

Maybe I should strap one of those bottles to my rack for the upscale yet rugged look that is popular right now?
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Old 10-13-19, 11:07 PM
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How about a 1000 mile review that nobody asked for? Sure, why not.

This bike was supposed to be a budget friendly all around city bike. As from earlier posts you can see I decided to give it the gravel treatment. Big improvement from stock and with the new wheelset my build was finished.

Looking back I should have got a 2x11 drivetrain for it. The Shimano Tiagra 4700 with the roadlink handles the 11-40 10 speed cassette just fine. I feel like having a closer spaced cassette would benefit this bike. Surprisingly the Tektro hydraulic brakes have been perfect. They lack the subtle modulation of more high end brakes but overall work well enough to leave as is.

The wheelset is a mixed bag. They roll well and are ultra stiff but with that comes the inevitable weight penalty. I should have got the lighter RX4 hubs, fewer spokes, and some lighter hoops.

The only change to the bike was an updated trunk bag and some Portland Design Works fenders.

I have a few other bikes that get ridden more but this bike always makes cycling fun. I can explore just about anywhere, tackle city streets with ease, all while packing my own lunch in the trunk bag.



Las Vegas Strip


Robin Williams mural on Market St in San Francisco


A hidden spot in the Marin Headlands


Bike Party!


Death Valley


Whale made from ocean garbage. Chrissy Field San Francisco


Sugar skull bling


Blue Whale skeleton, Santa Cruz California
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Old 10-13-19, 11:23 PM
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Just a couple other notes.

The FSA gossamer cranks have been a disappointment. The small chainring bolts installed from the factory were too short to properly hold torque. After repeated retorques I realized the threads were pulling out of the crankarm spider. Longer bolts were found on amazon and installed but the damage was already done.

I also noticed the 2020 Escape disc 1, in the US, has gone to a 2 x 10 drivetrain. Had this been available when I bought mine I would have kept the original drivetrain. Better value for basically the same price.
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Old 04-26-20, 08:14 PM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
Looking back I should have got a 2x11 drivetrain for it. The Shimano Tiagra 4700 with the roadlink handles the 11-40 10 speed cassette just fine. I feel like having a closer spaced cassette would benefit this bike.
Dumb question time! Are the Tiagra components you got off a road bike or another hybrid, or are the components interchangeable? I have a 2020 Escape 2 disk and Iím thinking I want to go to a 10 or 11 speed set up. Not exactly sure what the path forward is to accomplish that though.

Also, I donít remember reading anything about grips l (could have missed it). Did you upgrade the stock grips?
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Old 04-28-20, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tjcough View Post
Dumb question time! Are the Tiagra components you got off a road bike or another hybrid, or are the components interchangeable? I have a 2020 Escape 2 disk and I’m thinking I want to go to a 10 or 11 speed set up. Not exactly sure what the path forward is to accomplish that though.

Also, I don’t remember reading anything about grips l (could have missed it). Did you upgrade the stock grips?
Not a dumb question at all. I sourced the Tiagra parts from Chain Reaction Cycles in Europe before Shimano cut that off. 2x MTB components are getting hard to come by these days. Most MTB's do not have a front derailleur. So while an MTB drivetrain would have been better, I'm not sure I could have found it. As it is, I'm still running the Tiagra 2x front derailleur but I am using an 11 speed Shimano SLX rear derailleur and shifter. Works fine together but the shifters are mismatched colors. Road and MTB shifters/derailleurs do not play well together if mixed any further.

I did upgrade the grips, I used Specialized Contour XC grips They help support my hand. and keep the pressure off my wrists that usually causes numbness. I use the same type on my full suspension MTB as well.

The real issue with any type of upgrade like this is cost. If you aren't careful you may spend more money upgrading the bike than it's worth. I like tinkering with my bikes and I can do all the work myself so I can save the labor costs. Sometimes the right answer is to ride the bike you bought until you figure out exactly what it is you do or don't like about it.

But that being said, a nice 11 speed conversion using Shimano 11 speed flat bar shifters and 105 series derailleurs would be pretty nice but pricey. These shifters are made specifically for use with road derailleurs. Shimano Flat Bar road shifters

Probably close to $250- $300 all together if you consider cranks, chain, and bottom bracket along with the shifters and derailleurs. It all depends on how much you like the bike and how important the upgrade is.

Overall I'm not sure it made any financial sense to do what I did with my bike, but I sure am happy with it and love riding it. So in the end, it was certainly worth it for me but not everyone would make the same investment in a low cost bike.

Last edited by Bryan C.; 04-28-20 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 04-29-20, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
2x MTB components are getting hard to come by these days. Most MTB's do not have a front derailleur. So while an MTB drivetrain would have been better, I'm not sure I could have found it.
Regarding MTB doubles, they are still being produced and sold on all websites (even triples still exist). Shimano 1x crank arms are the same as the 2x, so one can just add rings to a 1x crank. Front shifters and derailleurs are available as well and often on sale because of lower demand.
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Old 04-29-20, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Regarding MTB doubles, they are still being produced and sold on all websites (even triples still exist). Shimano 1x crank arms are the same as the 2x, so one can just add rings to a 1x crank. Front shifters and derailleurs are available as well and often on sale because of lower demand.
Yes and no. Demand is way down on all the high end MTB 2x drivetrains. New old stock will still be around for a while but how long will all the different versions(6 at last count) of their front derailer stay in stock? Some of the parts are available, but it seems like mostly the lower end stuff and spotty stocking levels. There are workarounds for just about every situation but at what cost? In the long run it may be easier to just get what is easily available and replace/upgrade it as needed. The reality is 2x Shimano 11 speed front shifter and derailer parts are getting harder to find through domestic sources. Sure, Ali express and eBay has a large number of listing but who knows if they are legit products or not?

Shimano XTR, XT, and SLX are all 12 speed now. But that requires a specific hub driver to use. Sram did away with their front derailer because they couldn't make it shift right. Deore is still 10 speed, Acera and below are all 8 or 9 speeds.

1x MTB and 2x road are dominating the market. Sure there are outliers at certain price points but generally speaking bike manufacturers and their dealers know what is selling and they direct their efforts to those items.
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Old 04-29-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
Yes and no. Demand is way down on all the high end MTB 2x drivetrains. New old stock will still be around for a while but how long will all the different versions(6 at last count) of their front derailer stay in stock? Some of the parts are available, but it seems like mostly the lower end stuff and spotty stocking levels. There are workarounds for just about every situation but at what cost? In the long run it may be easier to just get what is easily available and replace/upgrade it as needed. The reality is 2x Shimano 11 speed front shifter and derailer parts are getting harder to find through domestic sources. Sure, Ali express and eBay has a large number of listing but who knows if they are legit products or not?

Shimano XTR, XT, and SLX are all 12 speed now. But that requires a specific hub driver to use. Sram did away with their front derailer because they couldn't make it shift right. Deore is still 10 speed, Acera and below are all 8 or 9 speeds.

1x MTB and 2x road are dominating the market. Sure there are outliers at certain price points but generally speaking bike manufacturers and their dealers know what is selling and they direct their efforts to those items.
There will always be newer stuff. Shimano is still making double parts. I never buy anything from Ali or Ebay. Last year, I built two bikes with XT 2x. Local vendors have had this stuff in stock for years.
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Old 04-29-20, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
There will always be newer stuff. Shimano is still making double parts. I never buy anything from Ali or Ebay. Last year, I built two bikes with XT 2x. Local vendors have had this stuff in stock for years.
Jensen is great, I buy from them often. A few months back when I upgraded my rear to an SLX 11 speed I couldn't find the correct matching SLX high clamp bottom pull front derailer that I needed for my Escape. When I eventually upgrade the front at least I know I can find what I need now.
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Old 04-30-20, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
Jensen is great, I buy from them often. A few months back when I upgraded my rear to an SLX 11 speed I couldn't find the correct matching SLX high clamp bottom pull front derailer that I needed for my Escape. When I eventually upgrade the front at least I know I can find what I need now.
An SLX 2x front derailleur will likely not be able to swing in far enough. The modern stuff has a narrow operating range, your road crank's closer chainline will most likely be a problem. You should check that before you buy.
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Old 07-31-20, 07:44 PM
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Rack

What kind of rear rack are you using and how do you like it?
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