Portland bike company Signal Cycles is the on rise. Nate Meschke and Matt Cardinal, the two artists/bike builders behind Signal, have announced that they’ve outgrown their backyard shop and are set to move into a new, 2,000 foot commercial space on N. Williams Avenue that they’ll share with another Portland bike business, wheel maker Corsa Concepts.
Since they launched in February 2008, Cardinal and Meschke have built a strong following. Their bikes are known for meticulous details and an aesthetic presence that can only be achieved by two guys with art degrees in painting (they met while working as mechanics Bike Gallery). Recently, they nabbed “Best City Bike” honors at the North American Handmade Bike Show in Austin, Texas back in February.
The award at NAHBS helped Signal gain attention just at the time they needed it most — to boost awareness for the the launch of their Saltzman production bike. The Saltzman is a crucial move for Signal as it allows them to offer a product that is more accessible to a larger number of customers. Not only is the Saltzman available more quickly and for less money than a one-off, custom Signal; but it helps them increase sales volume, which can be key to a custom bike builder’s long-term survival.
Signal will share their new location with another Portland-based bike company, Corsa Concepts. Corsa specializes in high-end racing wheelsets and was founded just over one year ago by partners Mark Duff and Greg Hudson.
The two companies will set up shop in the building (on the corner of N. Williams and Page) that’s already occupied by Metropolis Cycle Repair and two other Portland bike builders, Ahearne Cycles and MAP Bicycles. Signal and Corsa will share about 2,000 square feet, which is “Way more that we will ever need,” says Signal’s Matt Cardinal.
Cardinal also tells us he has decided to leave his job at Bike Gallery to focus full time on Signal. “It’s an exciting time for us,” he adds, not just because the move and the launch of the Saltzman, but because Cardinal is expecting his second child in September.
The presence of two more bike companies on Williams cement the street’s reputation as a magnet for bike businesses. The influx of bike businesses on Williams, which is also one of the most highly bike-trafficked streets in the city, made the front page of The Portland Tribune in August 2010. Since then, bike accessory company Portland Design Works has moved to the Williams corridor as have Sweetpea Bicycles and Sugar Wheel Works.
— You can learn more about Signal in the video below created as part of a collaboration with Ziba Designs for the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge.