Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 4th, 2009 at 1:32 pm
Cycle Works Oregon is the just-launched, Southeast Portland-based company that is building a full line of city bikes under the Beloved Cycles brand name.
We’ve been waiting for this company to go public ever since a mysterious job listing for a frame builder popped up back in April along with rumors that a company was gearing up to make bikes on a larger scale than the one-person custom bike builders Portland is so well known for.
The “Flamme Rouge”
According to one of the company’s founders, Emile Lemoine, Cycle Works Oregon/Beloved Cycles was created from a collective of cycling enthusiasts. Lemoine is a former San Francisco resident whose wife is from Holland. Lemoine has a 15-year background in manufacturing, engineering as well as racing and being a carfree, everyday bike rider in San Francisco. That lifestyle, combined with inspiration from his trips to Holland, are what he says inspired him to move to Portland and assemble a team to build bikes under the Beloved Cycles badge.
Beloved offers six diverse models of lugged steel bikes that are all made in Portland. The bikes have a stylistic starting point but each one is built to order with a custom fit, paint, and other details. Beloved bikes are sold through bike shops and the Portland dealer is Veloce Bicycles (3202 SE Hawthorne Blvd.).
Reached by phone while doing some dealer visits in California, Lemoine said the company’s goal is to promote cycling as a way of life and offer accessories (like racks, “luggage”, and clothing) “which integrate with the bicycle perfectly”. “With the right bicycle, one rarely needs to use another means of transportation.”
The “No Haste”
Stylistically, Lemoine says their bikes are modeled after the French ‘Constructeurs’ Alex Singer and Rene Herse. “Their ability to craft bicycles which were capable of carrying loads, offering snappy performance and looking gorgeous all at the same time is unrivaled to this day. Elegant, functional, and sporty… in perfect harmony.”
From a functional perspective, Lemoine says he hopes their bikes help Americans more readily adopt the biking lifestyle so common in places like The Netherlands.
Before Beloved, Portland lacked a bike builder with a business model akin to custom bike industry stalwarts like Waterford, Independent Fabrications, or Seven Cycles. Cielo by Chris King is another relatively new Portland-based company with a similar approach, but they do not offer as diverse of a lineup as Beloved.
As for the name, Lemoine said ‘Beloved’ speaks to the “special relationship” he hopes people will have to their bikes. “They’ll want to ride this bike all the time, they won’t want to drive a car… you just can’t get that with a production brand.”
Check out BelovedCycles.com for more photos and information.