The Classic - Cycle Oregon

Clever Cycles opens for business

Posted by on June 1st, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Opening Day at Clever Cycles

Clever Cycles is now open.
View gallery
(File photo)

It’s been almost ten months since I first mentioned bakfiets on this site. Back in August, I spotted one on NE Broadway and I was blown away by the simple, elegant utility of it.

That story sparked a lot of interest and it was clear Portland was ready for the Dutch bike revolution. Now I’m happy to report that today is the first day of business for Portland’s very own Dutch city bike and bakfiets dealer; Clever Cycles.

The shop is located just south of Hawthorne Blvd on SE 9th and I stopped in today to check things out.

Co-owners Todd Fahrner and Dean Mullin were inside talking about bikes and giving test rides to customers. From the looks of their faces it’s obvious they’ve put a lot of hard work into making this shop a reality.

They said they wanted to keep today as a “soft opening” so they could work out any kinks and make sure they’ve got everything figured out.

I didn’t have the heart to grill them with questions and do a full interview, so for now, the slide show below will have to do. Check it out to see some of their offerings which include: the brand new “Old Dutch” Batavus; “Oma” and “Opa” city bikes, bakfiets, and folders from Brompton and Bike Friday):

Created with Paul’s flickrSLiDR.

Before I left I gave Todd and Dean a firm handshake to congratulate them on their vision becoming a reality. Way to go guys (and gals, their partners Martina and Rachel are also co-owners). Thank you for bringing the best of Europe to Portland.

Browse my archives for more Dutch bike and bakfiets news.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Todd B June 1, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    I sooo wanted to be there today – but work up in the Couv called me.

    Good luck to all!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd B June 1, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Hey Todd F.

    Does your shop need a few Dutch Bike posters (Fietsers Bond) for the wall and sticker for your door (advising bicyclists to ride with a head light, etc.)?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Cecil June 1, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    This past Wednesday I met my husband (a non-rider) at the Lab for a beer after work. He gets off his bus right at that corner – he comes into the Lab and he says to me, he says, “Hey, did you know that there’s a store right across the street that sells those bikes you want so badly?”

    Oh, yeah . . . .says I, ohhhh, yeah . . .

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott Mizée June 1, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    Congratulations on the opening today, guys. I wish you the best.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bill Stites June 1, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Congrats on the opening – looked crazy busy at 5:30pm …

    The space is very pro, with lots of high quality goods, and just a great atmosphere.

    Good job!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Donna June 1, 2007 at 7:14 pm

    Yipee! I got a pair of Rainlegs and Martina helped me find the right size. And she’s really nice, and she isn’t an uber-athlete, and it was so wonderful, and I felt like a kid again, and it’s right on my way home from work, and, and, and…. 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Phillip Ross June 1, 2007 at 7:39 pm


    Great looking place y’all.

    I love the “flying bikes” they look majestic!

    Jamie and I can’t wait to roll one of our Portland made Cargo bikes into the shop.

    Portland will never be the same thanks to the four of you. Thanks for spreading the “Bak’ Love”


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe June 1, 2007 at 9:56 pm

    Now I’m interested to know how the Dutch park these machines in dense living quarters. Are there garages in Amsterdam suited to these larger style bikes? Do people bring them indoors? I’m just thinking ahead to the day when (hopefully) these machines play an integral role in inner city and downtown living.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tbird June 1, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I stopped by after work to check out the shop. It was very cool. A real family scene. Interesting when you compare it to the sort of ‘grease and gears’ kinda scene found at other bike shops. There were several young families with kids looking at the variety of rides on display. There’s a play area for ‘het jongen’ and lots of big kid toys too.
    The place looks awesome; Good job Dean and Todd!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Martha S. June 1, 2007 at 11:33 pm

    I am quite happy about this, can hardly wait to come and check it out. ^_^

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • todd June 1, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    Joe, classic Dutch bikes are designed for decades of service parked on the street year-round in climates like Portland’s. Tbird, Martina and Rachel (we’re their husbands) have pulled equal weight in getting this going. We appreciate everyone’s patience today as we were doing almost everything for the very first time.

    We were all really touched, nearly to the point of tears, at all the people who came by for no reason other than to wish us well, to volunteer help, to bring us treats, and so on. Words fail.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Henry June 2, 2007 at 12:13 am

    Hi Todd & Dean,
    A huge congratulations on your “official” start! Now your risks, hard work and sleepless nights can begin to pay off in a stream of happy, paying customers. I wish you the best success!

    A quick answer to Joe above:
    Garages are almost unknown in Holland, especially in cities where all of the Cargobikes are ridden. Most people simply park their bikes on the street, locked to a bike rack, pole, railing etc. Some people park a bike in a community bike garage “fietsenstalling”, but these generally do not allow larger bikes such as a bakfiets. Many of the bikes in our fietsenstalling appear to be recreational “second” bikes.

    Their outdoor life is one reason why Dutch bikes are built to be tough, weather-proof and unpretentious, instead of as precious objects.

    met vriendelijke groeten,

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Todd B (PDX Bakfiets Owner 2) June 2, 2007 at 12:24 am

    It was a fun day to check out the shop…better than most Dutch bike shops…light and airey.

    Too bad there is not a coffee shop next door for those to new to utility bikes to discover the shop. (Perhaps you all will have to park a bakfiets on Hawthorne as a ‘sign’ pointing to the shop.)

    I cannot wait to take my Dutch and English bikes in for some bike love.

    And I loved the locally made cushions for the bakfiets bench seats.

    Great job and a very different additional to the Vancouver Metro bike shopo scene. 😉

    See all you bakfieters and CAT freight bikers at the Pedal Palooza kick off parade (7 June)…the calendars are out now at local bike shops.


    And to reply to Joe…these bikes are parked all over Amstedam’s sidewalks…as few apartment dwellers have private garages in the city unless one is lucky enough to have a neighborhood bike garage or have joined the Locker (Amsterdam’s version of the US Bikestation).

    I do not have a garage here and have had little problem parking my bakfiets outside in the rain and snow for 2 years. (only a few little rusty nuts and faded fabric seat cover so far.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • mommy June 2, 2007 at 8:51 am

    I covet a bakefiets! Very cool looking store. Good luck and I hope you do very well. I think you will because it seems so perfectly suited to Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • beth h June 2, 2007 at 8:54 am

    So cool! My friend is looking hard at electric bikes and I’ll be bringing her by to learn about the Stokemoney. Congrats and welcome to the neighborhood.

    (I swear I’d own a long wheelbase cargo bike if we only had a garage. There’s just no way I’d leave it outside in my part of NE Portland, where thieves have been known to saw through porch supports and signposts to steal locked bikes. Maybe people in Amsterdam are mellower.. But gosh, those things are just COOL.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Barbara Kilts June 2, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I’ve been looking forward to checking these cool bikes up close. I’ve got a handicapped son that would love to get out on rides. Is there any thought of renting a ‘bak to see if it would work for a person’s need? And for those that don’t have the cash to buy one. Of course, the ultimate goal is to get people to replace their cars, but it would be nice to check it out for more than a test ride. I hope to stop by today and see the shop – congratulations!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • todd June 2, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Beth, you and your friend are very welcome, but we’re holding back a bit on telling the Stokemonkey story until we deal with some parts supply issues and get physically more organized. There’s no stoked rig on the floor, yet. I’ll be happy to answer questions, though, and maybe we can arrange a ride with one of our personal rigs.

    Barbara, yes you can rent a Bakfiets. And if you decide to buy one upon return of the rental, we waive the rental fee. Details, rates etc. coming soon to our site.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jacque June 2, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Every time there is a post about clever cycles I am shocked at all the “thank you boys”. I feel like I’m living in some kind of 50’s time trap, but it must just be ignorance. Martina and Rachel, Martina and Rachel, thank you Martina and Rachel!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kirsty June 2, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    Stopped by for a little while on my way home from work. Gorgeous shop! Gorgeous products.

    Any plans to carry Basil bike panniers and bags from the Netherlands anytime? (Pretty pretty please with a cherry on top)…

    I am in love with one of their particular bag so much it hurts. It’s a large practical, pretty evening handbag bag, vinyl, english tea rose pattern, carry handles, that hooks onto your panniers!

    Great shop, wonderful job.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • todd June 2, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    kirsty, see comments at . elsewhere another commenter, who also runs a bike shop, indicated that he’d heard the same “setting up US distribution” story from basil 18 months ago.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Kenny June 2, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    I dropped in this afternoon. What a lovely shop. So many practical bikes.

    Good luck guys!

    Seeing brand new Dutch bikes in a LBS was dreamy.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • […] the Phenomenon at has an excellent photo set […]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Elliot June 3, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    My smile gets a little bit bigger when I’m riding around town and I see someone on a Bakfiets. I look forward to that happening more often!

    Maybe I’m overly optimistic, but I swear the next generation of Portland’s children will be raised with these as the family vehicle. At least, mine will be.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Sacha White June 3, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    Wow you guys!

    Just from the pictures, the shop (and the bikes of course) look gorgeous. Well done!


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Cecil June 4, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I found a UK website where I can order basil bags, but the strength of the euro and the cost of overseas shipping makes it a less than inviting option – the version pictured in the flickr link in post #20 would run about $72 all told

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Emily June 5, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Congratulations on the new shop! I saw 2 Bakfeits on the street yesterday…I can\’t wait to come get mine!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Marthijn June 26, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    To all Basil fans,

    here a message from Marthijn from the Netherlands. I am the owner of Basil (from the bags & baskets at I saw your messages about our bags & baskets. Sorry to keep the US waiting for our products! We are still looking for the right importer (an energetic bicycleparts wholesaler who covers most of the US). But we surely will find one, don\’t worry. Untill than, you can buy them at some onlinestores (but the shippingcosts and Dollar/Euro make the products not soo cheap).

    Thanks for your patience.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • brettoo September 13, 2008 at 2:52 am

    I just picked up a sweet red waterproof Basil pannier from Clever Cycles.

    Recommended Thumb up 0