A sneak peek inside West End Bikes

Posted by on January 24th, 2011 at 9:24 am

West End Bikes co-owner Mark Ontiveros stands outside his shop on SW 11th and Stark.
(Photos © J. Maus)


Get ready Portland, a major new bike shop is set to open its doors. West End Bikes, a gleaming store that beckons passersby on the corner of SW 11th and Stark will officially open for business any day now. On Sunday, I just happened to bump into shop co-owner Mark Ontiveros and he offered to show me around.

I know it seems like bike shops open up here in Portland every other week, but this is different. With its size, the experience of Mark (a bike business veteran) and his partner Mike France, backing from Specialized Bicycles Inc., and a professionally crafted brand, West End Bikes is likely to become one of the top shops in town the moment it opens for business. And in Portland, that’s saying something.

Scroll down for more photos and notes from my quick look around…

The gorgeous line of Beloveds dominates the front window…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-3

West End is a Specialized concept store, which means you’ll see lots of parts and a full line from the big “S” in addition to their other brands…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-1

I guess since saddles are sort of boring, Mark and Mike decided to spice up the display with a full-carbon custom Calfee tandem…

While West End carries several very high-end brands (Wilier, Calfee, Beloved, Assos, Mission Workshop, and others), they also carry Surly…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-19

Mark has a real expertise in apparel, so expect West End to be the shop for the best-looking bike clothes you’ll find anywhere. Here’s Mark showing off a pair of bike-friendly dress pants from Outlier. Outlier is made in New York City’s garment district and it’s very, very nice stuff (West End is their exclusive dealer in Oregon)…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-9

Now this is my kind of riding shirt (also from Outlier)…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-8

The signage is very pro (the branding is by Portland-based weights&pulleys, the same firm that developed the Beloved Cycles brand and that did Lance Armstong’s Mellow Johnny’s shop in Austin). The vertical letters are raised up from the wall a few inches…

West End Bikes-1

And the shop makes a proud pronouncement on the corner of SW 11th and Stark…

With floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, the shop has tons of natural light, and it’s even got a remnant of its former resident, Django Records…

Mark was very excited to show off the new Team West End Bikes kit…

Sneak peek at West End Bikes-22

Here’s a wide shot taken from the loft at the back of the shop (which will be their fitting studio)…

Mark and Mike were beaming. They’re extremely excited to be so close to opening. They’ve put a ton of hard work into this shop and they are both passionate about the bike business and about our community. I wish them nothing but success and urge everyone to give them a warm welcome…

And there are a few more surprises yet to come… On the SW 11th side, a roll-up garage door will be going in. It will open up to a lounge with comfy chairs, magazines, a library of books and a big screen TV. Also to come on the SW 11th side is a big mural of the City of Portland bike map. I can’t wait to see how that turns out!

Check out a few more photos in our gallery and follow us on Twitter for an update on West End’s official first day of business (which Mark says could be tomorrow or Wednesday).

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Ed
Guest

OUTLIER!!!!!!!!

Kate
Guest
Kate

Congratulations, Mark!!! I can tell that Mark’s amazing sense of style has translated quite nicely to his new shop. I can’t wait to stop in and check it out.

OuterToob
Guest
OuterToob

Store looks nice, but the signage by the door should read top to bottom like on the spine of a book (or the shoulder of the team kit jersey) – bottom to top is harder to read.

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Very nice looking shop. Best of luck to them!

Ken
Guest

Love the space and shop, they are a great addition to the West End. That part of town is hopping!

PDXbiker
Guest
PDXbiker

Wow, that is one nice shop. Seems geared for the “discriminating cyclist”. Nothing wrong with that if you can afford the nicer stuff. I’ll definitely have to stop by and check it out.

rigormrtis
Guest
rigormrtis

Not sure I would call a Surly a bike for a ‘discriminating cyclist”.

Did I miss it? Again?
Guest
Did I miss it? Again?

Perhaps not the Surly, but the $165 button up shirt probably is.

rigormrtis
Guest
rigormrtis

Totally agree with that.

PDXbiker
Guest
PDXbiker

Also, as reported in BikePortland.org, we have the new River City Bicycles Outlet store opening on SE Belmont. Between it, West End, and the other 50+? shops in town there’s a bike store for everyone. Not to mention Craigslist.

mmann
Guest

I miss Djangos – many many fond memories. That said, this is a far better fit than another Starbucks. And thanks for keeping the little bit of Djangos memorabilia – may it help bring you good luck with the new business!

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

Funny, isn’t Specialized kind of the Starbucks of the cycling world.

jered
Guest
jered

Maybe, but everytime i ride a front suspension Stumpjumper I remember how much I love mountain biking, something about the way that geometry has held up over the years!!

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

I agree. I walked past this new store and notice they still had the Django’s sign. Great memories of looking through all the vinyl there.

Nelo Breda
Guest

Congratulations Mike and Partner , very nice store in and out …..I’m few jealous , good job guys , keep the boll up…..

NELO BREDA

Jim F
Guest
Jim F

Can’t wait to check it out!

joey
Guest
joey

Outlier clothing is the very best.

tom
Guest
tom

looks sweet. can we park our bikes inside too while we shop?

m
Guest
m

wow that seamed like one big advertisement. Does Bike Portland also do their P.R. work?

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

m,

No. I am not paid to do their P.R. work. Thanks for the comment though. I am sorry if my enthusiasm for a big new local shop comes off as “one big advertisement.”

m
Guest
m

I never post comments to anything, but for some reason I couldn’t help myself. I always think of your site as more of a news source rather than “some dude’s” opinion.

I feel like with the size of the megaphone you hold you might want to be more careful about choosing one bike shop over all of the others so publicly.

“West End Bikes is likely to become one of the top shops in town the moment it opens for business”.

If I was opening a store in Portland I would be lobbying you hard for such a glowing review before I even opened my doors.

Loren
Guest
Loren

Looks like a nice shop, but my mom always said, “If you can’t say something nice about the money hungry, small (portland) business suing, gimmick foisting company called Specialized, don’t say it all.”

Steve-O
Guest
Steve-O

You mention that Mark Ontiveros is a “bike business veteran”. In what capacity? What other stores has he managed? Just curious, because it will take one heck of an entrepreneur to weather this economy. I am keeping my fingers crossed that West End Bikes can make it. The store will make a great addition to Portland.

Mary
Guest
Mary

If anyone can make a go in this economy it is Mark Ontiveros. What capacity? Success!

NELO BREDA
Guest

Steve congratulations for yours note re. the new bike Shop ; I like guys type Mike and Mark for try give to the costumers new tens in the market ….I’m fill mad for fill peoples talk bad tens before meeting this two guys and before see the shop ….
NELO BREDA

HotDogg
Guest
HotDogg

Mark was one of the major players at RiverCity. It looks like a very nice store, but I have to ask…. Does Portland really need another bike shop?! They seem to pop up as fast as they drop. 3-4 new ones opening this year after what, 3-4 closing last year? Over-saturation in my opinion.

dan
Guest
dan

Mazel Tov Mike, I wish you nothing but great success, beats the heck out of designing computer chips

Steve-O
Guest
Steve-O

@ HotDogg

Thanks for informing me of Mark’s involvement with River City Cycles. The main article should have specified Mark’s managerial experience for many BikePortland readers who do not know all the names of the local industry bigwigs.

With bike ridership on the rise, I see an opportunity for new shops. However, the shops will need to sell bikes in price ranges that people can afford. To be frank, I doubt people will be willing to drop over $1,000 on a high end road bike or spend $135 on a designer shirt when they are worried about their job security or had their salaries slashed. The downtown real estate must be super pricey too and there seem to be a few splurges. For example, was it necessary to hire a professional advertising firm to design a logo? Since people are penny-pinching these days (at last, people acting with financial responsibility!), the River City Outlet will have a greater chance of success.

Perhaps BikePortland can publish follow up stories on the new bike stores that it prominently featured. Such an article would allow future bike store owners to learn which products and services are the most profitable and also to learn about the potholes new businesses must avoid. Since future owners will not have to “reinvent the wheel”, their businesses have a greater shot at survival, which means more bike stores in Portland!

John & Laura Ontiveros
Guest
John & Laura Ontiveros

Wishing you and Mike congratulations on a beautiful bike store. Our pride is over flowing and based on the look of the store, we are sure that you will be successful.