Utility, cargo bike importer opens retail shop on Hawthorne

Joe Doebele - Stumpworks-3.jpg
Joe Doebele’s new retail shop (not the building
in this photo) is now open
for business on SE Hawthorne.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Joe Bike, a new retail shop that sells imported (and then modified) utility and cargo bikes, is open for business on Hawthorne Blvd.

We reported on owner Joe Doebele’s business back in October when he announced he’d import the legendary Flying Pigeon brand bikes from China.

Since then, Doebele has been busy adding to his offerings (see below) and he opened his doors at 3953 SE Hawthorne Blvd. the day after Thanksgiving. Doebele says so far business is great and he’s recently hired a store manager and several mechanics to keep up with interest.

Portlander Jeremy Towsey-French and
his family in their Carrier Pigeon
cargo bike.

Among the bikes he’s offering are a Chinese-made “box” bike (similar in look to the Dutch bakfiets) that he has modified from stock with a Sturmey-Archer drivetrain, locally made walnut wood fenders, Schwalbe tires, moustache bars, and a leather saddle. Joe says, “It’s more fun and much easier to ride than a “Bakfiets” bakfiets, at way less than half the price.”

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Doebele also has the original, Mao-era Flying Pigeon city bikes in stock. He tells us that they’re the first ones available in the U.S. to be sold without the stock rod brake system. Doebele has replaced the stock brakes with a front caliper and a rear coaster. He’s also replaced the cranksets and bottom bracket, installed a smaller chainring, upgraded the crankarms, and more.

Batavus Personal Delivery Bike

Joe Bike is also a dealer of the Mundo cargo bike (I tested it back in June). Doebele’s big change to that bike is an 18-speed model that he says is, “so downgeared you’ll be tempted to pedal your whole family up the back side of Mt. Tabor…and you probably could.”

Other interesting and hard-to-find utility bikes you’ll see at Joe Bike include the Dutch Batavus Personal Delivery Bike (it’s been discontinued in the U.S. and Joe has some of the last ones for sale) and the Strida folding bike from Germany, which Joe says is “as much fun as you can possibly have on your way to the bus stop.”

— Check out for more info.

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