(Photos © J. Maus)
Beloved Cycles have found a new home in Portland. The handmade bike brand which launched in September 2009 with the evocative “Let us chase the sun” tagline, will now be built by Chris King Precision Components alongside their Cielo Cycles brand in their shop in Portland’s northwest industrial area.
According to Chris King marketing manager Chris Distefano, the partnership is a perfect match — Beloved gets a top-notch building facility (Chris King’s product quality is legendary) and Chris King gets a wider range of bikes to place in very select dealers.
The Beloved line consists of three city models: Morton, the porteur; a mixte dubbed Half Full, and a commuter model named Every Day (all starting at $4,195). The company is led by James Selman and Matt Stein, partners in a Portland-based creative firm weights&pulleys. The production manager is Nick Sande, who moved to Portland recently from Minneapolis where he worked for Quality Bicycle Products for 13 years and was part of the original crew at Surly Bikes.
The Cielo Cycles shop is run by noted framebuilder Jay Sycip, who came to Portland to run the brand for Chris King back in September 2008.
Why would a respected industry veteran like Chris King put his name on a relatively unknown bike brand (and yes, all Beloved bicycles will feature a “Built by Chris King” graphic on the chainstay)? Distefano says, “It’s simple, we believe in each other.”
Here’s more about the partnership from Distefano via email:
“Beloved believes in everyday cycling. They believe in bikes. And making things in America. In creating things that reflect the way we live. They see the value in what we do at King and how that matters to consumers more and more each day. Take a look at a lot of these city-style bikes six months from the date of purchase. How did the materials stand up to every day use? Dig a little deeper and look at how they were designed. Is bolting a rack on the front of a bike useful if the geometry isn’t designed for such use?”
Cycle Works Oregon, Beloved’s parent company, will lease a space within Chris King’s large warehouse and operations building. Cycle Works Oregon will remain a completely separate company and there is no shared ownership between them and King Cycle Group (parent company of Chris King Precision Components and Cielo Cycles).
Beloved sells their bikes direct to consumer on their website, through licensing deals with brands like Rapha (more on that early next week) and fashion label Jack Spade, and through select retailers. In Portland, Beloved will be sold at West End Bikes and Lizard Lounge. Their other two dealers are Mellow Johnny’s in Austin and Cascade Bicycle Studio in Seattle.
Distefano says Beloved will unveil a special edition bike commissioned by Mellow Johnny’s for the upcoming North American Handmade Bicycle Show (February 25-27) in Austin. Stay tuned for some sneak peeks at that bike and more news about local bike builders next week.