Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 27th, 2010 at 1:20 pm
Tucson, Arizona-based Fair Wheel Bikes plans to open a bike shop in Portland next month that won't be like any other in the city. Fair Wheel is a full-service shop in Tucson, but they're known online and in the industry for pushing the boundaries of high-end, exotic, and light weight bike builds. The Portland location will expand on that reputation by focusing solely on custom bikes and high-end aftermarket parts.
According to Emiliano Jordan, a Portland-based marketing and web design consultant who works with Fair Wheel and who will manage the new location, the shop will more closely resemble an art gallery. "We're going to closely emulate a true art gallery style... The idea is to showcase one of a kind custom and low-production hand made bikes."
the McFetridge light bike.
(Photo: Fair Wheel)
"It is not so much a full-on bike store," [Fair Wheel owner Ralph] Phillips said. "It is more of a boutique store where you can go in, view things and order online if you like. We just want to display products and bring our presence into Portland."
One bike you'll see on opening night is this amazingly lightweight build with graphics by artist Geoff McFettridge. The bike's frame was made by Ruegammer Blackwerks and with its exotic parts tips the scales at just over 8.5 pounds.
Like an art gallery, the bikes will be displayed alongside information about the builder and bikes will be rotated every month or two. There are also plans for special "builder opening" nights. In addition to bikes, Jordan says the shop will feature exotic components as well as "tuning items to make commercial bikes a bit more unique."
The bikes displayed at Fair Wheel's new Portland location will be on loan and shop staff will direct sales inquiries directly to builders when people show interest in a specific bike. Sales revenue will be generated via a small gift shop and by directing customers to the shop's website.
The shop will be open by appointments during the week and will be open to the public on at least one weekend day. The location of the shop is 600 NW Naito Parkway, just north of the Steel Bridge in the McCormick's Pier building. A soft launch is planned for early January and a grand opening is planned for March 4-5th.