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Major new shop, West End Bikes, coming to downtown Portland

Posted by on October 28th, 2010 at 10:33 am

West End Bikes is set to open in this spot in the next few months.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Mike France and Mark Ontiveros-1
Mike France (L) and Mark Ontiveros.
Can you tell how excited they are!?

If all goes according to plan, a major new bike shop will open in downtown Portland just in time for the holiday season. Mark Ontiveros (formerly the head buyer for River City Bicycles) and Mike France (a former customer and now friend of Mark’s) are partners in West End Bikes. They’ve begun a complete renovation of the old Djangos Records building on the northwest corner of SW Stark and 11th on the confluence of a streetcar line (on 11th) and a buffered bike lane (on Stark).

I stopped by the shop this morning and chatted with Mike and Mark about their new venture.

West End Bikes will be a Specialized Concept Store. Concept stores are so-named because they include the manufacturer (Specialized in this case) as an investor in the shop and the product mix tilts heavily toward one manufacturer (Trek also has a concept store program). Specialized currently has 29 concept stores in the U.S.. This would be the first in Oregon.

The new shop will be able to carry a wide range of products due to its 4,300 square feet of main showroom space, a 500 square foot loft for bike fits, and a 2,500 square foot basement for storage. The interior is very open, has multiple levels, lots of natural light, and should be perfect for a bike shop.

This interior photo doesn’t
do the space justice.

While West End will include a lot of the Specialized and Globe (their urban line) bikes, they will also carry other brands. Co-owner Mike France mentioned they will carry road bikes from legendary Italian brand Wilier, but wanted to keep other brands secret for now. In addition to serving the high-end road market, France said the shop “will concentrate on the urban market.” Specialized’s Globe brand will allow them to do that, as will Ontiveros’ 15 years of experience as head buyer at River City Bicycles.

While at River City, Ontiveros (he was a 10% owner in the business, and he left back in June) built up a reputation for stocking one of the largest selections of women’s clothing and non-lycra bike apparel in the country (in 2008, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News named River City the most female-friendly bike shop in America).

Ontiveros told me this morning he also plans to stock mountain bikes, in part because his 12 year old son loves riding off-road. Ontiveros is a regular at local cyclocross and mountain bike races and plans to “sell what we love.”

With three hotels (Ace, Mark Spencer, and McMenamins coming soon) nearby, lots of foot traffic, and being at the intersection of a major bikeway and a streetcar line, the future for this shop looks very bright. We’ll keep you posted on developments and stay tuned for the grand opening announcement!

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Comments
  • Ely October 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

    hah! I THOUGHT it looked like bikes going in there! will they service any old bike? cuz I work right across the street, it would be so handy for tuneups/tires/etc…

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  • Rebecca October 28, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Great to see something going into this space at last! I wonder if they’ll consider keeping a small rental fleet and teaming with the nearby hotels so that our visitors can explore the city in the proper style.

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  • Lance P. October 28, 2010 at 11:10 am

    That is a great place for a bike shop. I’m sure bike rentals will be a large part as well.

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  • noah October 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Sometimes you’re better off dead
    There’s gum in your chain and and a staple in your tread
    Your shifter’s bad, too unstable
    Kicking up gears when you’re going down angles
    In a bike shop called West End Bikes
    Call anytime, there’s a friendly face around
    Come on in, come in to our shop
    We’re West End Bikes!

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  • BURR October 28, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Man, I spent a lot of time inside that location before RedLight moved in, back when it was Django’s Records. It’s been vacant for a long time, good to see it being put to good use again.

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  • q`Tzal October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

    While some may whine “Another bike shop!?!? We have too many all ready!” I think they are vastly out numbered by cars.

    Numbers I’d be curious to see:
    }Number of car dealerships and auto repair shops per capita for several cities including Portland.
    }Number of bicycle shops per capita for several cities including Portland.
    }How these numbers have skewed over the last decade.

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  • Mark C October 28, 2010 at 11:48 am

    So I wonder if this means that River City will no longer be carrying Specialized bikes?

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  • Mark Allyn October 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Heck, there are probably more car dealerships on one mile of 82nd than bike shops in the entire city.

    One block of 82nd that comes to mind has about 5 car lots.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      I haven’t done a precise count in the past few months, but with West End Bikes, the city of Portland now has somewhere 58-60 bike shops.

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  • Anonymous October 28, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    +1 noah #4

    too funny

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  • PDXbiker October 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    58-60 bike shops?? Well, better too many than too few.

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  • Bill October 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

    its a shame that Specialized would undermine their largest single-store dealer (Rivercity) by planning with one of its owners to leave and start a concept store within 1-2 miles of said shop.

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  • middle of the road guy October 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Bill,

    River City probably sells more specialized road bikes than globes.

    Opening a store with a focus on more urban bikes means they will sell more bikes. Likely a small impact to river city.

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  • Toby October 29, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Seems like a shot across the bow of the downtown Bike Gallery, to me… but competition is good for everyone, right?

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  • RWL1776 January 5, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Performance is right down Burnside at about 20th, too.

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  • Dan Hawk January 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Pretty close to my office! Great for the occasional part of quick repair due to mishaps on the ride in. Can’t wait!

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