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David Rosen looks for success with Sage Cycles brand

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Riding with David Rosen of Sage Cycles-1
Sage’s new PDXCX model is made in Tennessee.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

From a garage and a small storage space in Beaverton, David Rosen has launched a new bike company: Sage Cycles.

Rosen, 41, created the brand in 2012 after he saw a niche in the market for bikes made out of titanium. “Ti”, as it’s known in the industry, is a great material for bikes because it’s light, very durable, and offers a ride that can be the perfect blend of stiffness and compliance. The vast majority of bikes you see around town or at the races are carbon, aluminum, or steel. But ti, mostly because of its higher cost, is relatively rare.
(more…)

Local bike industry roundup: Moves, expansions, hires, and more

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Portland-based Sage Cycles now has
its titanium frames made in Tennessee.

Portland’s local bike industry is alive and well. How do we know? Companies are launching, moving, expanding, hiring, and generally taking the bike world by storm in a number of exciting ways.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check out list below of local industry news we’ve been collecting over the past month or so…

Major move and expansion for Portland Bicycle Studio (more…)

Report and photos from test ride of Organic Transit’s ELF trike

Thursday, January 30th, 2014
ELF trike test ride-19
Organic Transit CEO and Founder Rob Cotter inside the ELF during a test ride event in Portland on Tuesday.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s not a bike and it’s not a car, but the ELF trike is quickly finding fans in Portland who are looking for something in between.

ELF trike test ride-7
The event drew a good crowd —
some who arrived by bike, others by car.

Organic Transit, the North Carolina-based company that makes the ELF solar and pedal-powered trike, just wrapped up three busy days of test rides (two days in Troutdale and one day in Portland). I dropped by the test ride event Tuesday on the eastbank of the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge to take a closer look, meet the company’s founder and CEO Rob Cotter, and get people’s impressions of these interesting vehicles.

(more…)

Organic Transit plans Portland test drive event for solar/pedal-powered trike

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
Coming to Portland

If our story back in November piqued your curiosity about what some call the “most efficient vehicle on the planet”, you’ll want to mark your calendar for a chance to drive one yourself.

Organic Transit (based in Durham, North Carolina) is bringing their ELF solar and pedal-powered tricycles to Portland for three days of test rides. The company that says its missions is to “get more cars off the road” knows that the Portland region’s biking and transit-centric demographic makes it a great marketing target. In fact, the company is considering opening an assembly plant in Portland.

In a press release about the Portland-area test ride events, company founder Rob Cotter said the ELF gets the equivalent of 1,800 miles per gallon. Far from a recumbent bike, the vehicle itself comes with side and rear mirrors, head and taillights, and a fully protective enclosure while still being legal to operate in bike lanes, paths, and in standard traffic lanes. (more…)

Velomobile maker Organic Transit to set roots in Portland

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Coming to Portland

Durham, North Carolina-based Organic Transit is currently shopping for office and warehouse space in Portland.

The company is known for their “ELF” solar and pedal-powered vehicle (which stands for Electric, Light and Fun) which they bill as the “most efficient vehicle on the planet.” The company is the brainchild of Rob Cotter, a former engineer who worked on racing projects for Porsche, Mercedes Benz and BMW. Cotter then moved into the human-powered vehicle scene in the late 1980s as a race promoter and vice president of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. As CEO and founder of Organic Transit, Cotter steered his latest invention into a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year that raised over $225,000 from 547 backers.
(more…)

Chris King Precision Components hires former head chef of Clyde Common

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Chris King Gourmet Century-25
Chris DiMinno, shown here at the 2013
Chris King Gourmet Century.
(Photo by J. M

Chris King Precision Components has hired well-known Portland chef Chris DiMinno. DiMinno has spent the past five years as head chef at Clyde Common, a popular restaurant on SW Stark adjacent to the Ace Hotel. The move by King has made headlines in the local food scene and it cements the company’s already strong connection between bikes and food.

As we shared earlier this month, Chris King (the man and the company) is well known in the bicycle industry for a commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Those principals have been pillars of the company for over thirty years and have established it as one of the strongest brands in the cycling world. What is lesser known is King’s love of gourmet food (as chronicled by The Oregonian). From the company’s long-running annual event, the “Gourmet Century” and their “Cielo Salon,” to their on-site cafe which serves two, made-from-scratch meals a day for its 120 employees; King has now taken his love of food to a new level. (more…)

Blumenauer urges Portland bike makers to forge new industry alliance

Thursday, November 7th, 2013
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, top left, with local bike
makers at the United Bicycle Institute Wednesday.
(Photo by M. Andersen/BikePortland)

(Jonathan Maus contributed to this story.)

Portland is nationally known as the city with the highest number of bike riders. But when it comes to making bikes, our reputation is about quality, not quantity. We’re known for custom, handcrafted bikes, but not for producing them in large numbers. The city’s mature cluster of bike makers could change that if they teamed up, representatives of the local industry’s small businesses agreed at a roundtable discussion led by U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer on Wednesday.

The event was convened by Rep. Blumenauer, who said he’d “dedicated my life” to making biking a big part of the city and would happily look for ways to help the industry itself become “the next part of the Oregon identity” if they can offer a clear list of ideas within the next few months. The event was a more focused follow-up to a visit to the same location by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in September.

(more…)

Detroit-made, low-priced city bike set for Portland debut

Friday, November 1st, 2013
A Type by Detroit Bikes-1
The “A-Type” from Detroit Bikes is made in Detroit and retails for $550.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new bike company based in Detroit says they’ve cracked one of the toughest nuts in the bicycle industry: A full-fledged city bike made in the USA that retails for just $550. The “A-Type” from Detroit Bikes is made in the company’s 50,000 square foot factory and it’s about to invade Portland. With a free concert and launch party set for Saturday night, and a local dealer already set up to sell them, I figured it was time to give these bikes a closer look. (more…)

The making of a Cielo; a bike that’s purely Portland

Friday, November 1st, 2013
Chris King Cielo Cycles factory  -5
King Cycle Group employee Danny Hayford secures a dropout inside a CNC machine; one of several processes the parts go through before they end up on a Cielo frame.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s sort of strange that Portland’s largest bicycle manufacturer isn’t known for making bicycles. But that’s the case with Chris King Precision Components, a company with 120+ employees that operates a 70,000 square foot factory in Portland’s northwest industrial district. (more…)

Handmade Bicycle Show this weekend will showcase Oregon’s finest

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show-55
Immerse yourself in beautiful bicycles this weekend.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The sixth annual Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show (OHBS) is this weekend and if you love fine bicycles, this is an event you won’t want to miss. The OHBS promises to be a fantastic showcase of expertly executed designs, meticulous builds, and a chance to meet and hang out with the builders behind the headbadges.

The OHBS is put on by the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, a member-supported non-profit organization formed in 2006 with the aim to promote Oregon bike builders. The bike show is their largest annual event and its a great way to support the industry.

Organizers of this weekend’s event say we can expect about 30 exhibitors. Along with some of the local builders you’ve come to expect at this show, there are a few new ones that will make their OHBS debut on Saturday: (more…)

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