Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 8th, 2008 at 12:30 am
Portland just added another company to its burgeoning bike economy: Rapha Performance Roadwear.
Company co-founder Luke Scheybeler, who I met tonight at an event hosted by Rapha as part of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), said Rapha will establish its U.S. operations in Portland.
I asked Scheybeler why he chose Portland and he said, “The U.S. is massively important to us…and Portland is so obviously a center of cycling, there’s an amazing bike culture here and a real appreciation for it. It just feels right.”
Taking the reins of Rapha’s U.S. presence will be seven-year Nike veteran Slate Olson. Olson worked on the Nike Cycling line and he told me tonight that the Rapha office in Portland will handle all the company’s U.S. operations, marketing, and customer service duties.
Olson said the company also considered San Francisco as its U.S. base, but Olson, a former Bay Area resident, convinced them that “there’s no better place for Rapha than in Portland.”
Rapha currently has 15 employees in London and Scheybeler hopes to have a similar sized staff in the Portland office. The company sells their high-end (and high-fashion) cycling apparel consumer direct via their website at Rapha.cc.