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Bike Shops

Bike Farm growing into new location

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Bike Farm volunteers have blank slate
at their new space.
(Photos: Bike Farm)

Bike Farm, the plucky all-volunteer collective that educates people about how to ride and work on their bikes, is set for a major move.

Their new location, 1810 NE 1st Avenue (map) will make them much more accessible to a larger portion of Portlanders and it will give more space than their current 760 square-foot shop on NE Wygant. The location, just off N Williams and north of Broadway, also places them in a burgeoning hub of bike organizations and businesses that includes the offices of Portland Design Works, the Community Cycling Center, and Planet X/Titus.
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Outside Magazine names Velo Cult one of best bike shops in America

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Not your ordinary bike shop.
(Photo: Jeff Strange)

Sky Boyer's big bet that Portland's Hollywood neighborhood could support a 10,000-square-foot headquarters for bike culture is looking smarter every month.

In June, Outside Magazine named the shop Boyer owns, Velo Cult, one of the top 10 bike shops in the country. The joint "stands out as a beacon of cycling culture," the magazine wrote:

The shop is known just as much as a gathering place as for the product they sell, a reputation they have embraced with a stage for live bands (built from an old drawbridge), a theater space with frequent cycling screenings, the de rigueur coffee roaster, plenty of picnic table seating, and an open invitation for all cyclists to come and hang.

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New bike shop opens in Southwest Burlingame neighborhood

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
Glenn and Mark Vanselow of Burlingame Bikes.
(Photos: Glenn Vanselow)

Burlingame Bikes is Portland's newest bike shop.

The shop was started by the father-son duo of Glenn and Marc Vanselow. Marc (the son) is a professional bike mechanic who got his start in 2001 by working on Alfa Romeos. When the auto shop he used to work out left town in 2005, he started working on bicycles and has been a bike mechanic ever since. Marc's dad Glenn is a enthusiast of vintage European road bikes and a partner in the business.
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From e-bikes to recumbents, Portland's niche bike shops find success

Monday, July 1st, 2013
Coventry Cycle Works-1
Coventry Cycles has found a comfortable
niche with recumbents.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

With (at least) 69 bike shops in Portland — that's one for every two square miles, in case you're keeping track — we're often asked how they can all survive. The bike shop business isn't easy; but one way to stand out in the crowd and be successful is to find a niche (or create a new one) and then develop it into a healthy market. Several Portland bike shop owners have done precisely that. And they've done it well.

Powered by high-touch marketing and nurtured by Portland's seemingly bottomless love of interesting bikes, a handful of small-scale entrepreneurs have taken big risks on bike shops that fit both their personal passions and market niches that bigger companies either couldn't serve or didn't even know existed.

Here's a quick take on each of three specialized Portland bike shops whose bets are paying off.
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Business booms for bike valet in South Waterfront

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Photo taken last week at the Go By Bike shop under the Aerial Tram. "Only" 175 bikes parked that day.
(Photo: Kiel Johnson)

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New bike shop coming to downtown St. Johns

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Downtown St. Johns has been without a bike shop for a few months since Weir's Cyclery moved out of the neighborhood at at the end of last year (they're now located on N Lombard at Portsmouth) That didn't seem right to resident Ben Helgren, so he's decided to take matters into his own hands. Ben plans to open a new bike shop, Block Bikes, on March 9th that he hopes will become the go-to place for bike riders in St. Johns. The new store will open up at the corner of N Burlington and Philadelphia (right off the St. Johns Bridge, map).

Ben, 35, has worked in non-profits for the past nine years (on programs promoting financial literacy and home-buying skills) but he has wanted a job in the bike industry for a while now. He became a certified bicycle mechanic through the United Bicycle Institute last fall and he and his wife planned to move to Billings, Montana where she planned to go to school and Ben planned to work at a bike shop. But plans changed, explained Ben during a phone call this morning.
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Back from injury, Marilyn Hayward to open new Coventry Cycles in Beaverton

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Marilyn Hayward
Marilyn Hayward, owner of
Coventry Cycle Works East (and West!).
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

It sure was nice to see the beaming smile back on Coventry Cycle Works' owner Marilyn Hayward's face this morning. That smile — and the spirit behind it — was a far cry from where she was just six months ago. On August 6th Marilyn was involved in a collision while riding her recumbent that sent her flying twenty feet in the air. Her fall was stopped when her head slammed against a curb.

Marilyn, 63, suffered a traumatic brain injury. She was unconscious for over a day and spent a month in the hospital. Thankfully, her brain injury was not severe and she's made a nearly full recovery. "I was very fortunate," she told me today. "The doctors said if I wasn't wearing my helmet it's for certain I would be dead." (more...)

Jay Graves retires, sells Bike Gallery chain

Friday, November 30th, 2012
Jay Graves
Jay Graves, the former — yes former — owner
and president of Bike Gallery, as seen yesterday.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Jay Graves announced his retirement as owner and operator of the six-store Bike Gallery chain this morning.

Graves has passed on management duties to longtime Bike Gallery employee Kelly Aicher. Aicher now has an ownership stake in the company and he'll also be the general manager of the six stores. Bike Gallery has been acquired by Mike Olson of San Diego, California-based Trek Bicycle Superstore, which is the number one Trek retailer in America.

This marks the end of an era for bicycling in Portland. (more...)

Bike shop news roundup: Movings, openings and closings

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
The last day for Bike Gallery's SE
Division store will be December 4th.
(Photo: Bike Gallery)

With so many bike shops in the Portland region (70 or so at last count), it can be tough keeping track of them all. Lucky for you, I happen to cover this beat full-time and it's sort of my job to know this stuff. On that note, read the updates below for the latest bike shop news I've heard about...

Joe Bike to open second store
Joe Bike, a commuter/utility and cargo bike specialty store, is opening a second location. Joe Bike owner Joe Doebele has outgrown his small, 600 square-foot storefront on SE Hawthorne Blvd (at 39th) that first opened back in late 2008. The new store will be just a 1/2 mile south of the Hawthorne store at 2039 SE 39th (at Lincoln). The original store will remain, but only for repairs, accessories and clothing sales.

The new store is a former corner grocery market. Check out the street view image of the new location below...
(more...)

Sunset Cycles loses lease, will close Beaverton location

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Our friends at Sunset Cycles have just announced the closure of their Beaverton store. They plan to consolidate into their Bethany Village location. Full details below...

Portland's Premier West Side Bicycle Shop Consolidates Stores, Renews Focus

November 20, 2012--Beaverton, Oregon--Citing economic concerns and challenging lease terms, Sunset Cycles owner Roger Colwell has announced his intention to close the doors of his Beaverton location.

"A change in ownership of the space we rented left us in a tough spot," said Colwell. "We had to choose between signing a lease that wasn't in our best interests, or consolidating our resources and focusing on our Bethany Village store."

As the premier bicycle store on Portland's West side, Sunset Cycles offers bikes and accessories for every rider, from elite-level racers to weekend neighborhood enthusiasts and their families. Shuttering their Beaverton store, according to Colwell, helps his staff better serve their core customer and attract new business.

"The bottom line is we now will be able to concentrate on doing what we do best…that is, giving all of our customers a better all-around bicycle experience," he said. "I'm as optimistic as ever for the future of the bike business and for Sunset Cycles."

Shoppers looking for a bargain will benefit from the Beaverton store closing, where deep discounts of up to 60% can be found on bikes and accessories until January 31st, 2013.

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