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A closer look at Custom Bicycles of Portland

Posted by on November 11th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

A very cool new sign.
(Photos: Adam Reiser)

Custom Bicycles of Portland — the new Guru Bicycles concept store we profiled a few weeks ago — had their first official day of business on Saturday.

The store offers a unique, Dell Computer-like approach to bike retail. Only one brand is offered and customers can choose any color, style, and parts build-up they want. The shop also features a cutting edge fitting studio and the bikes are custom-made in Quebec and ready to ride in about four weeks.

Shop owner Adam Reiser told me he got a lot of foot traffic over the weekend (as one might expect on the busy shopping street of NW 23rd).

Reiser also sent along photos of the shop’s interior (see below) and said he’s planned a grand opening “soiree” for the shop on December 4th during First Thursday (6:00 pm on NW 23rd between Johnson and Kearney).

Pick your part.

Some examples of complete build options.

The fitting area.

It’s great to see a shop like this open up on NW 23rd. From what I know about Reiser, Custom Bicycles of Portland is definitely a shop to watch.

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19 Comments
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    Dave November 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Quebec?
    Seems like there are plenty of local builders that could be tapped in a win/win to keep the money local.

    Very cool business idea. Hope it works out.

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    Matthew Denton November 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Dave, while I agree, many of the local builders have 2 year waiting lists. I also suspect that the factory in Quebec is more “machine made” than most of the local builders are. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with either of those, but…

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    BoggyWoggy November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    Is there any way the company would consider having its bikes built in the US? I’d be there, in a snap! I’m shopping for a new bike, after wearing my Trek over 15 years of hard riding! It’s a great bike, but I want a bike made in the USA, which…well…

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    shlomo November 11, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Gawd, that place sucks. Makes me want to puke. Too trendy, too expensive, and designed to appeal to yuppies. Sheez.

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    bob November 11, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    shlomo: are you kidding me? Not trendy enough, way too bland, needs a workover by a real architect.

    If they want to push a high-end product, they should be looking at some good interior design/retail firms to establish a PRESENCE.

    That place looks like a Target after its shelves are picked clean following an apocalypse.

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    Jonathan November 12, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Yea, put more money into how the shop looks so the prices of the bikes will be higher.

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    Moo November 12, 2008 at 7:34 am

    The grand opening “soiree” did me in before seeing the pics. Smells of low volume and high dollar.

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    a November 12, 2008 at 8:51 am

    There’s nothing wrong with targeting an audience, be it high, middle or low market.

    What’s with all the hate?
    If the shop doesn’t fit your taste, avoid it.

    I have to agree with Bob that it is pretty bare bones for a 23rd Ave address. I can only imagine they make up for it in personal service.

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    Moo November 12, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Yeah “a”, good luck looking around without someone breathing down your neck.

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    Brad November 12, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Some people want to spend money on a “Mercedes” bike and some of you want to buy a used “Chevy” bike. There is nothing wrong with either consumer. Shop where you can find what you want and stop bashing others for their tastes.

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    Mike November 12, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I would love a locally made custom carbon bike in 4 weeks. Who’s filling that niche?
    Also, what are their prices in comparison to the Canadian bikes?

    Schlomo-
    Don’t buy custom and don’t buy local if expense is your hang up.
    I’m not a yuppie, probably not middle class either, but I understand the benefits and appeal to a custom bike, and do not base my purchases on price tags.
    I wouldn’t say “No” to a Huffy because it was “too cheap”.

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    Jordan November 12, 2008 at 11:05 am

    The measurement tool they use to get the perfect fit sounds rad. I wouldn’t mind going in there just to get a reading and find out my specs.

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    RyNO Dan November 12, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Should be called
    “bicyles NOT of Portland”.
    Weak name, lacks all creativity, get your own.

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    colin November 12, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I guess the store name is a little misleading. Most if not all custom bikes in pdx are steel. Custom carbon fiber is much harder to turn around in a few weeks. Guru probably has precut carbon tubes and lugs to assemble your ‘custom’ ride. Definitely not the same as welding a steel frame.
    I also think the store location would make it a little more challenging to get in a good test ride, short of riding out to highway 30 or climbing up to washington park.

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    John November 12, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Welcome to the neighborhood Guru! The more positive bike energy in Portland the better for all of us.

    Perhaps Portland Custom builders could work collectively to sponsor a storefront featuring a single bike from each of them as an example of workmanship.

    Say each builder is into it for $100 a month in ‘rent’. If such a store sold accessories, bike service, and fitting service, it might actually be profitable. What do we have, 25+ bike builders in portland?

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    Dave November 13, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Why us less-wealthy people should want all of the fattest cats alive to be cyclists–these are the people who buy and sell newspapers and TV stations, elections and politicians. These people pull the strings that make public policy.
    If you want a cyclist-friendly US, fat cats who ride are going to be part of what gets us there.

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    Mark November 13, 2008 at 10:25 am

    I have experince with Guru bikes and Adam from my time working at colorado’s largest bike shop, Bicycle village. All i can say is that the bikes are amazing and the quality and attention to detail that goes into them is second to none. You’re getting a fully custom carbon bike in 4 weeks! It’s hard to test ride a custom bike before it’s built. Adam, the owner, used to be the rep for north america and is very knowegable when it comes to tri bikes and the Guru’s. Give the shop a chance and be open to new things!

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    Dennis November 13, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Guru also does steel, aluminum and Ti in addition to the carbon. Plus you can get cutting edge fit with Ultegra level components for $3000. Not bad in today’s market.

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    Boston Buddy August 18, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Adam Reiser has been an intense competitor since his Boston Marathon days. So whether he is running, swimming or biking, he is a winner. I wish him the very best on his latest venture into the bike market in Portland. We all still miss him on the east coast, maybe a second store in Boston someday?

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