Joe Bike

Local bike shop news roundup: Major closures, big moves, and smoothies!

Posted by on July 22nd, 2014 at 3:07 pm

There’s only one constant in Portland’s bike shop ecosystem: change.

With about 70 or so bike retail shops in the city boundary, hundreds of employees constantly switching between them, and an ever-changing market of bicycle riders, we need a full-time business editor on staff here at BikePortland just to keep up.

In the meantime, I’ve cobbled together several weeks of notes and emails to bring you the latest local bike shop news…

Bike ‘N Hike closes Portland store


One of Portland’s largest shops, Bike ‘N Hike, is closing. The 7,500 square foot store at SE Grand and Oak is having a big inventory closeout sale through the end of this month, then Portland will be without a Bike ‘N Hike location for the first time in over a decade. Owner Kevin Chudy will still operate his five other locations throughout the state (in Albany, Corvallis, Beaverton, Milwaukie, and Hillsboro).

Chudy said he was forced to close the Portland store because his lease was up for renewal and declining sales would simply not support the location. He plans to “sit out” the upcoming Fall/Winter season (which is typically very slow for bike shops) and “look for other opportunities.” Chudy says he’s actively looking for a better location and would like to re-open in March 2015.

Rolling Wrench mobile shop goes brick-and-mortar with Holy Spokes!


After two years of growing his mobile bike shop business, Rolling Wrench owner Tim Ennis is expanding with his first brick-and-mortar location. The new shop will be called Holy Spokes! and will be located at 3050 SE Division, in the “D Street Village” building.

We profiled Ennis and Rolling Wrench when he first opened in July 2012. Since then he’s towed his bike repair trailer to all sorts of events and has worked on bike repair contracts for Nike, Keen Footwear, and other companies throughout the area. Ennis says he plans to maintain the mobile repair business. “I think there are a lot of ways that the brick and mortar will complement Rolling Wrench, allowing us to offer some unique services,” he shared with us via email this morning. “Our main focus will be on commuters – extended hours, fast turnaround and a few other things convenient to daily riders and carfree families.”

Ennis says his grand opening is planned for August 24th, which is the same date as the Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways.


Upcycles moving to larger space


Woodlawn residents will be happy to know that Upcycles is moving to a larger space. The tiny shop that used to be just west of Woodlawn Park on NE Dekum is moving two doors down, says co-owner Kai Druzdezel. The new location will be on the corner of Dekum and Oneonta Street, kitty-corner from popular eatery Breakside Brewing.

Here’s more from Druzdezel: “It’s a much bigger and more visible space, and I plan on expanding all of my offerings, including new and used bikes, parts, accessories, and services.”

The new Upcycles space will open this Sunday, July 27th during the Northeast Sunday Parkways event. Stop in and say hi when you roll by!

Performance closes store near Providence Park


Another major store that has closed its doors is Performance Bicycle. The national chain with over 100 stores in 20 states has given up on their location at 1736 SW Alder (near 18th and Burnside).

We noticed the “For Lease” up over the weekend and a phone call to that location was picked up by an employee in the company’s Mall 205 store. The employee told us Performance is hoping to open a new location closer to downtown Portland, ideally on the east side of I-405. He blamed poor sales at the Burnside location to a lack of parking, high crime, and the “cavernous” feeling of the building. The employee said talks of a new Portland location are just rumors at this point, but he’s hopeful one will be found in order to maintain jobs that were put in jeopardy with the closure.

Mountain Shop now offers a ‘bikepacking studio’


The popularity of bikepacking in this region is leading to more signs of its strength as a serious market segment. Its gotten so big that Mountain Shop, a local outdoor store, now has an “Adventure Bike Studio.” It makes sense, given that bikepacking is really just backpacking with a bike..

Mountain Shop employee Lisa Luna got in touch with us recently to share the news. She said the shop now rents out full adventure biking kits with bikes from Salsa, bags from Revelate, and an assortment of ultralight camping gear. Luna says they’ve event set up group rides with a courtesy shuttle van.

Check out their Adventure Bike Studio page for more info and stop in to see their selection.

The Bike Commuter moves to larger space


The Bike Commuter in Sellwood is making a big move to a space that’s four times the size of the current shop. Owner Eric Deady says the new location at the corner of SE 17th and Clatsop will allow him to expand into more of a “loungey and comfortable” vibe. With a liquor license on the way, beer will be a new addition to the mix as well. This is the third move for The Bike Commuter since they opened in January 2010 on the corner of SE 13th and Umatilla.

Reached by phone today, Deady said moving into a larger space is all part of his grand plan to create more of a gathering space where he can hold clinics and have room for customers to hang out on couches, tables, and chairs. “We’re still a bike shop first and foremost,” he said, “we’re just adding that other component… a more loungey atmosphere, a comfortable place to absorb the culture of what it means to be a bike shop.”

Deady and his crew are doing a major renovation of the new space and he doesn’t expect it to open until September 1st. He’s posting photos of the demolition and construction on the shop’s Facebook page. The Bike Commuter will remain open in its current location until the new space opens.

Moberi Smoothies is coming to West End Bikes


Moberi Smoothies is a local, bike-blended smoothie business that’s on the rise. The company’s latest move is to open its first brick-and-mortar location inside West End Bikes at SW 11th and Stark. West End previously leased out the café space on the eastern side of its shop (that opens onto 11th) to two coffee businesses.

Moberi owner Ryan Carpenter, who already operates smoothie carts on N Mississippi Ave and NW 23rd, says he’s planning a big opening celebration this Saturday (7/26). At the event he’ll have extra bikes for blending smoothies, Polaroid photo ops, and free t-shirts to the first 10 customers who blend their own drinks.

Former Velo Cult employees open Cat Six Bicycles & Repair


Cat Six is a new shop on NE 42nd (at Alberta Ct) that was just opened a few weeks ago by two former employees of Velo Cult.

Jonathan Scarboro and Kirk Bernhardt met while working as mechanics in the uber-popular Hollywood store and they became roommates last August. The way Scarboro tells the story, he and Bernhardt passed by a vacant storefront with a “For Lease” sign on their way into work every day. “We kept talking about what a great place it would be for a bike shop,” he shared via email with us this week. “Right off the Going St/Alberta Ct bicycle byway. In an under-served area with a ton of cyclists. Not too small, not too large -1,500 square feet.”

Six months later Scarboro and Bernhardt’s chatter got more serious and with the space still available they finally picked up a phone and realized the landlord was hoping a bike shop would move in. Not only that, Scarboro says, but when he spoke about it with the 42nd Ave Business Association they said the neighborhood’s second highest priority for that location was a bike shop. “We just kept getting green lights and doors swinging wide open.”

Seeing an opportunity, the two business partners jumped in head first and haven’t looked back since. Right now, they’re focused on repairs and the commuter/family riding market. They plan to expand their offerings next year with gravel/cyclocross bikes and touring gear.

Major online retailer evo set to open eastside retail store


evo, a big name in online retailing in the outdoor industry, is currently refurbishing the old Salvation Army headquarters on SE MLK and Ash into a retail store.

Employee Jordan Sunshine says the new store will include a selection of bike products including complete bikes from Traitor and accessories from Bern, Chrome, Portland Design Works, and others. Sunshine says the bike products are new to their offerings. “We just started diving into bike this month online, in our Seattle store, and it will be in our Portland store,” he said via email. “It is a new category for us and one we have been thinking about for a long time now. Although we are starting off pretty narrow in it, we plan to expand each season into different aspects of bike.”

Follow the construction progress of the new store on the evo blog.

We think bike shops — and their owners and employees — are an essential part of a bike-friendly city, that’s why we’ve covered the local shop beat for many years. For more coverage browse our archives. And if you have any bike shop related news tips, please drop us a line.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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    Adam H. July 22, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Performance Bikes is blaming a lack of car parking on their closure?

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      whyat July 22, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      I liked being able to shop at the downtown store. I don’t shop at Performance for everything, but for some items they’re hard to beat. Ttheir Ultra bibs are the only bibs I’ve been able to find that fit my sit bones correctly. I have a long waist and most chamois pads sit too far forward. Their Ultra shorts fit me perfectly, and I had been to (what felt like) every store in town trying to find bibs that fit before I went to Performance.

      One of their larger demographics are people buying their first bike, so I think that lack of parking would be a big deal.

      For me, it was such a pain to get to on a bike. There is no good way to get across the 405 and then get to that intersection. It was playing with MAX trains or going the wrong way on side streets. Not fun.

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        Peter Michaelson July 22, 2014 at 5:19 pm

        It’s always super easy to park a car at the Performance Bike store. That excuse is silly – and awfully ironic coming from a bike shop. Maybe the attitude / non-Portland thinking has something to do with the closure….. just sayin!

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      Chris I July 23, 2014 at 7:08 am

      Showing exactly why they have no business being in downtown Portland. The Mall-205 location has plenty of parking, but it is usually empty when I visit.

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    BIKELEPTIC July 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    We actually went by the “Cat 6” store the other day. It brought up the conversation of the name of the shop. I hope you do a profile with them more thoroughly. I mean, I “get it” – it’s kind of like how 21st Ave Bikes used to have that ‘everyday commuter racing team’ or whatever it was.

    But “Cat 6” doesn’t scream confidence to me. To me it’s like saying “Hey, we’re okay, but you know… there are definitely better guys on the field.”

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      spare_wheel July 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      Given how many Cat 6 commuters there are in PDX it’s only fair that they get a store too.

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    Gregg July 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    I love that UpCycles is growing. This is one of my favorite/ inviting/ approachable shops anywhere.

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      Caleb July 23, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Agreed. Congrats to Mark and Kai on getting into a neat corner space while still being able to serve the neighborhood they love so much!

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    q`Tzal July 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Too bad Bike N’ Hike couldn’t buy Portland Spirit’s location on the Eastbank Esplanade/Springwater Trail.

    I’d be curious to see how the daily bike counts compare between Portland Spirit and Bike N’ Hike’s current location.

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    Mike Quiglery July 23, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Portland is supersaturated with bike stores, most of which are staffed with people who don’t know what they’re selling, and seem to care even less. There’s bound to be a shakeout.

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      davemess July 23, 2014 at 8:40 am

      I was really dissappoited when I had to go to 4 different bike stores last year to get wet lube (I mean this is Portland and it rains here!), also had to go to 3 stores for tubular glue (which I know is a little more of a specialty item, but one of the stores that didn’t have it sold tubular tires!!!!!).
      Definitely has me missing my favorite shop in Colorado.

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      q`Tzal July 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

      I thought the clueless thing was a hipster/superiority complex attitude problem.

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    VTRC July 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

    We actually went by the “Cat 6″ store the other day. It brought up the conversation of the name of the shop. I hope you do a profile with them more thoroughly. I mean, I “get it” – it’s kind of like how 21st Ave Bikes used to have that ‘everyday commuter racing team’ or whatever it was.

    It was the Ambassador program, and I was one. Basically they’d loan you a really nice tool roll in exchange for offering to stop and help people who might be having trouble. Since I do that anyways I thought it was neat. The discount was probably unnecessary considering myself and the other “ambassadors” I met.

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    Matt July 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Let’s hope the Bike Commuter did there due diligence on their new location. Word in the neighborhood is that their new location might get torn down in 4-6 yrs to make way for a lock-long redevelopment of that site?

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      VTRC July 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      I can understand wanting a bigger space, but Umatilla was a great location. Right on the usual commuter path as you cut through Sellwood to pick up the Springwater again.

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    Zaphod July 23, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Moberi will be brewing Trailhead Coffee Roasters’ coffee in their shop 🙂

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    shuppatsu July 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Cat 6 is a Bike Snob NYC reference. I keep meaning to stop in. I met Jonathan while they were still putting the shop together. He was raising capital for the shop by selling one of his personal bikes, which was very Velo Cult-ish and extremely beautiful. I ended up not buying it (66cm frame!) but he was a super nice guy and very cool about me running into some glass on my test ride and flatting his fancy tires.

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