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Chris King to build Beloved Cycles alongside Cielo brand

Posted by on January 7th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Beloved’s commuter, the “Every Day” as seen at West End Bikes last night, will now be fabricated by Chris King Precision Components in northwest Portland.
(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.

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The “Half Full” model.

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.

Distefano says Beloved fills the gap between popular city bike brands like Linus and Public and fully custom, handmade bikes.

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show-7 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show-13 Biketobeerfest at Hopworks -14 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show-6

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).

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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.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Harald January 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Phew, you should’ve mentioned the price point of these lovely bikes. Starting at $4200. I guess I’m not the targeted audience for stuff like this.

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  • Chrystal January 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    The bikes are beautiful, but WAY out of my price range..

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  • mh January 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve been lusting after the (cheapest) Renovo wood bike, which at $3K is in the realm of not just fantasy but hallucination. I can’t even afford to think about these. Then again, I’m close to monogamous – I love my old bike, and can aim for another, but that’s enough potential partners for me.

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  • adam January 8, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I want one

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  • Jerry_W January 8, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I also can’t understand where there is a market for such a high priced bike with limited use. I hope Chris King’s fine component line isn’t subsidizing this venture with higher prices.
    Maybe some will buy the bike as art, but that seems unlikely too. Good luck with this one.

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  • beth h January 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I would guess that a good number of these bikes will be sold outside of Portland, perhaps using a semi-custom, mail-order model similar to that of Rivendell Bicycle Works. No one would depend on Portland, with unemployment hovering at 10 per cent, to eke out most of a living on $4,200 bikes.

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  • JH January 8, 2011 at 10:07 am

    @ everyone complaining about price. This is the cost of domestic production. We all want US made stuff at Taiwan prices. We can only hope to bring production back to the US, for now this is the reality. Hopefully these companies can be a catalyst for more domestic production.

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    • spare_wheel January 8, 2011 at 10:40 am

      i can purchase a nice stiff USA-made bike from calfee for half the price of these bikes.

      and this cost of production includes massive tax payer funded bailouts (tax credits) to corporations to offshore production.

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  • Skid January 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    @ everyone complaining about price. This is the cost of domestic production. We all want US made stuff at Taiwan prices. We can only hope to bring production back to the US, for now this is the reality. Hopefully these companies can be a catalyst for more domestic production.

    That is NOT the cost of production in the US, that is the cost of high end status oriented production in the US. There are a few BMX and MTB companies in the US that manage to keep their prices affordable and competitive, so it can be done. It’s a matter of what market you decide to go after.

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  • Andy B from Jersey January 8, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    While these bikes are indeed VERY pretty, the price is just insane! I can get a very pretty Pashely made in the UK for a grand despite a weak exchange with the British Pound. I could even get an American made bike that will last a lifetime for much, much less. Workmans Cycles of Ozone Park Queens, NYC has fat tired cruisers starting at $300!

    I don’t think we need yet another high-end custom US bike maker building building “Gucci” town bikes at ridiculous prices. Would you ever even use the thing for what it was intended for at that price?!?! I’d be scared to death that it would get stolen while its locked up outside, as I’m in the office or in the grocery store.

    What we need is an American manufacturer building bikes of reasonably good quality, in mass quantities on an assembly line for less than $1000. While this boutique stuff is nice for the aficionado, it will do NOTHING to capture the “Interested but Concerned” bicyclist and raise bicycle mode levels.

    In the meantime I’ll keep on riding my old Ross Eurotour that I found at the curb for FREE (one advantage of living in a bicycle-ignorant part of the country). It’s worth no more than $200 so I’ll actually use it to go to the grocery store without fear of it being stolen.

    And yeah. This bike was built on an assembly line in an American factory, in Allentown PA no less. It’s already 30 years old. Still, its built like a tank and shows little sign of wear after the thousands of miles I must have put on it in the last 5 years.

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  • Andy B from Jersey January 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    And yes, I know the joys of high end bicycles. I have three bikes in my collection of eight, that cost the equivalent of $4000 or more in today’s dollars when I bought them ten years ago.

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  • Joe M January 8, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    “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?”

    I would hope a $4200 bike would hold up well.

    My “nice” bike is a $1200 Lemond that has held up fine for 10 years. My “city” bike is an $80 Craigslist Diamondback that also (with it’s Wald baskets) is a great grocery getter. The $4100 left is more appropriately delegated to my 401k.

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  • beth h January 8, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Do we need another high-end bike maker in Portland? This may not be the right question. Rather, we ought to be asking how much money someone is willing to pay for a “classic” (or at least “classic-looking”) bicycle.

    Portland is NOT a “bike-ignorant” place and in fact Andy B’s Ross may be worth far more than $200 here, especially if it’s:
    a. lugged steel;
    b. all original;
    c. still fully functional.
    In that case, Andy B should use a larger lock to protect his bike. Because that’s how informed — and wacked-out — the Portland bike market is.

    Perhaps people of a certain age are wishing they’d hung onto that “classic” bike back when it wasn’t so classic and they were still in high school. Perhaps those of a younger age wish they’d been around when all those steel bikes were still cheap and plentiful. Either way, steel bikes have become cool again and now a host of companies are stepping up to help all those wistful people realize their “classic” bike dreams. But nostalgia, even misplaced nostalgia, has a price. How many people are willing and able to pay the price remains to be seen. And how this “classic” steel bike craze — especially the time and length of its arc of popularity — will affect the Portland bicycle market is another, equally interesting scenario that will take some time to observe.

    We live in intriguing times.

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    • Andy B from Jersey January 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Agreed beth,

      I’m quite sure the Ross would fetch well more than $200 in Portland. It’s lugged steel, all original except of the pedals and tires (wore through 2 sets of tires since I’ve had it), and in very good shape for a “daily rider”.

      BTW, the going rate for such a bike around me is about $250 in Brooklyn and around $200 in Philly (much less in Jersey, sadley). I’d be curious what it would run out your way.

      I still think a $4200 upright commuter/town bike/ “grocery getter” bike boarders on insanity and that’s coming form someone who is looking to get a custom lugged steel Bilenky randonee / light touring bike with fancy lugs and paint due to Bilenky’s award winning reputation from the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Shows.

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    • middle of the road guy January 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      “But nostalgia, even misplaced nostalgia, has a price. ”

      That’s the whole underpinning of the hipster paradigm.

      Same question goes for “Do we need another bike shop, coffeehouse or food cart?”

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  • dwainedibbly January 9, 2011 at 2:08 am

    If these guys have found a market niche, more power to them. I won’t be buying one, but other people must be or they won’t be around for long. Capitalism has a way of self-correcting like that.

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  • JIM R January 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

    At a starting price of $4200.00 maybe they can put a few in Fair Wheel Custom Bike Shop/ Gallery.

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  • Joel Grover January 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    hmm…a really nice bike for the price of a hipsters bar tab for about 10 months…seems like an issue of priorities…really nice US made bikes are not cheap.

    Realize that we have all been spoiled by cheap off-shore labor and currency manipulations that make stuff appear cheaper than they should be.

    If you don’t want one, that’s cool. I bet they’ll be successful as there are plenty of customers around the world that understand that a Beloved made in Portland is not a Worksman or a Linus.

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    • Nickey Robo January 10, 2011 at 10:25 am

      Uh, anyone who is spending $420/month at the bar has a drinking problem.

      You could probably call me a hipster, but I’ve never made more than $17,000/year (in a good year), so after rent and food and student loans, I could certainly never fathom getting a $4200 bicycle. Don’t be so quick to judge- there’s a lot of poor people in this town.

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      • Joel Grover January 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

        oh i’m not judging anyone, just poking fun at a couple of friends of mine…$100 a week at a bar? Not very hard to do in this town!

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      • BURR January 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm

        At let’s say $7 a drink (including tip) $420.00 will buy you 60 drinks or about 2 a day; I know a lot of people in the Portland bike scene that drink quite a bit more than that….

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  • Lisa January 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Everyone spends their money and everyone spends it differently according to their different priorities. I think it’s “insane” (to use the word which is used repeatedly in previous comments) to have more than one kid or even one kid. The costs of a kid are insane to me. I would never want to spend my hard earned dollars (for 18 plus years! OY!) that way.

    To each his/her own.

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  • Pete January 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    It is possible to make a bicycle in the US for less than $4000. Rodriguez Bikes in Seattle has a “value” line and the starting price is $1599 for the Navigator model. This is a handmade steel bike made in Seattle Washington and this price is for a complete bike.
    Just because it’s made in the US doesn’t mean it has to cost four grand. By the same token you are not ever going to find a bike made in the US for the same price you can have it made in Asia.

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  • CaptainKarma January 9, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    It’s beginning to feel like the 1930s again, some people driving Duesenbergs, others selling apples on the corner.

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  • Merckxrider January 10, 2011 at 8:02 am

    A high quality steel bike frame will last AT LEAST thirty to fifty years. I ride one that’s 30+ years old, a friend of mine rides brevets on a bike that’s almost 60.
    The price of these bikes is high, but the cost per amount of potential use in them is peanuts especially compared to the same money spent on a piece of fashionable Chinese plastic shaped like a bike frame.
    These bikes will have a nice patina of use when Treks and Cervelos are mere batches of dead unrecyclable fabric in landfills. These are made to be lifetime bikes. I can’t afford one either–but I can see the sense in buying one for those who can and I applaud Chris King for participating in the project.

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  • Jim F January 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Everyone spends their money and everyone spends it differently according to their different priorities. I think it’s “insane” (to use the word which is used repeatedly in previous comments) to have more than one kid or even one kid. The costs of a kid are insane to me. I would never want to spend my hard earned dollars (for 18 plus years! OY!) that way.
    To each his/her own.

    But as soon as they hit 7, you can put the little buggers to work in a factory, and turn a nice little profit. Because if kids aren’t a good investment, why have them, right?

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  • RyNO Dan January 10, 2011 at 10:06 am

    And, as Jonathan has reported, you can get a bike loan. If you have a full-time, non-min wage job, a two-year loan for these bikes seems eminently do-able. But yeah, you gotta want it.

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  • VTRC January 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I really expected top notch components for the price. Tektro brake levers and an IRD BB on a $4200 bike is unacceptable.

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    • middle of the road guy January 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

      My thoughts exactly. it’s like putting Sora on an IndyFab.

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  • Matt January 10, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Class warfare. Let people ride what they want…

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  • kww January 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I can’t believe all this vitriol against an American frame-builder. Well yes I can. It is the same vitriol that closed all the large bicycle frame builders in this country.

    It is the attitude that enables out sourcing.

    On another note, don’t expect that a cheap frame with quality components will cost much less. I did a Surly (Taiwanese) frame build up with top notch components that ended up costing >$2500.

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    • middle of the road guy January 10, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      I built a bike for a lady friend (a Surly – something i would never buy for myself) and it ran 2500+ also.

      Brooks saddle, wood fenders, nitto bars, Velo orange doo-dads etc……the nice parts add up fast.

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  • Skid January 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Bikes is bikes, I have nothing against anyone using their creative and craftsman skills to build bike frames, or anything for that matter. I just wish that for once somebody think a little further downmarket.
    Less like a Duesenberg, more like a Model A.

    Also Surly frames are inexpensive, they are not cheap.
    Magnas are cheap.

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    • middle of the road guy January 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      cheap is relative. i think they are cheap.

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    • kww January 11, 2011 at 3:33 pm

      I misspoke, Surly is inexpensive.

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  • Merckxrider January 11, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Please also realize that Taiwan is not a low-wage country anymore; I have been told by a few bike industry people that Taiwanese aluminum welders are paid better than many Italian ones. American made will always be my choice, but many Asian countries–Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and others–are not the slave-labor economies that they once were. And if you want American and a bargain, check out Waterford’s “Gunnar” line as well as researching custom builders who don’t live in big cities and have body piercings and arts degrees.

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  • beth h January 11, 2011 at 11:20 am

    “…as well as researching custom builders who don’t live in big cities and have body piercings and arts degrees.”


    There are a shocking number of arts degrees whose owners are currently working in the bike industry. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

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  • Steve Jones March 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I am in the market for a nice commuting ‘ everyday’ bike right now. Even though I have some nice bikes already,a few custom made, I need something I’m not afraid to leave outside a store when I’m out and about. I would think most people would have similar needs. Who is going to feel comfortable leaving one of these anywhere at THIS price. ?? Beautifully put together bikes, the quality and design is perfect, but even for people like me who can afford one. The price makes it unsuitable for it’s intended purpose.
    Rather like a gold plated notebook or a 600 dollar handkerchief.
    And an Alfine,,for this much??? My beautifully built British Thorn tourer has a Rohloff hub for MUCH less money and prices are not cheap in Europe either.
    Better to buy a Surly for everyday and a Cielo.
    Don’t you think so?
    Would have expected someone with QBP experience to have understood this. And if I’m going to drop this kind of money I would expect at least to see stand over height info etc. on the web site.
    Quality? Yes, I get it. I appreciate it. But it has to be related to the product and it’s intended purpose.
    100 dollars is a good price to pay for some things, but how would you feel if your cup of coffee cost that much, no matter how delicious it tasted?
    By the way about this U.S. production stuff. The frames are rarely made in the U.S.( In THIS case it’s Italian metal isn’t it?) and it’s a GLOBAL market these days. I don’t care about U.S. production
    especially if I have to pay a premium for it. You want to keep U.S. jobs? Make the products more competitive then.Stop producing boutique 4000 dollar bikes and up. Or.. stop complaining about Taiwan and China doing it cheaper.I recently bought a custom, made in U.S.A. bicycle from another custom bicycle builder in Oregon. They charged me an extra 300 dollars just for a different color paint!
    When i visited their factory, I could see why. They were not geared up efficiently to produce the volume of bikes they were producing. The extra 300 dollars may have been beneficial to the staff of this company, helping jobs in the area,..whatever. But it sure didn’t help me as a customer.I repeat..It’s a global market. It helps to be realistic and understand better your target market. The Japanese, Taiwanese,
    Chinese have been doing this for years and look what happened.

    Sorry. Long post. But maybe something to think about.

    I wish Beloved and Chris King well,they make some of the finest products out there, but I’m finding it hard to understand this direction, as are others who posted here.

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  • DIMcyclist September 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    The sad thing about these beautiful bikes (not that it’ll matter to their makers- who’ll be well paid for their efforts) is that the majority of them will likely spend their time sitting in some rich person’s garage gathering dust, there to join the legions of Dutch bikes & Colnagos ridden less than 100 miles before being stored for a decade and then sold at 1/2 of their original sale price.

    That may sound cynical, but I see it happen far too often.

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    • jered September 5, 2013 at 11:37 am

      You’re like me!! I hate it when products are not actively fulfilling their destiny. Bikes unridden, sportscars that don’t spend time on the track, pick up trucks that don’t haul stuff, toys that are collected and not played with. As a designer these things make me sad. I’m always happy to buy an old bike and ride the heck out of it for a bargain!

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