Last month, Southeast Portland’s bike shop desert got a little less dry.
NW Pro Gear, which sells both new and rehabbed bikes, set up shop in August in the heart of Lents, at 9240 SE Woodstock Blvd., just west of Interstate 205.
“It’s a pretty good market,” owner Dimitriy Kuzmich said in an interview last week. “This is an up and coming area, I believe. That’s part of why we chose it. … I think it has a lot of potential for growth, and there is a lot of bike traffic in this area, too.”
With its location at the junction of both the freeway and Springwater Corridor path, NW Pro Gear is convenient for people driving in from Clackamas as well as to bike users in the neighborhood and those to the east.
Kuzmich’s business model is a little unusual: in addition to dealing in the workaday Fuji, SE, Kestrel and Breeze brands, he also accepts and resells used bikes of all sorts, often involving trade-in credit.
“We buy bikes that people either have outgrown or they have got another one,” Kuzmich said.
Another unusual touch: 10 percent of profits go to nonprofit organizations.
At the moment, Kuzmich said, the price range in the shop starts at $75 and goes up to about $1,000, with bikes up to $6,000 available on order.
Kuzmich said he tries to minimize new purchases of all the components he uses for repairs.
“99 percent of it is recycled,” he said. “We only do 1 percent new parts, which is usually just cables, cable housing, grips and innertubes.”
As a used-bike buyer, Kuzmich said he does what he can to fight theft.
“All of the bikes we purchase, they do go through the police system to make sure that nothing is reported stolen,” he said. “We’ve actually reported six stolen bikes in the last month alone. … If anyone does bring in the stolen bikes, we hand all of their information over to the police.”
NW Pro Gear also deals in snowboards and skis.
It’s always great to see good things happening in Lents, an old railroad town whose decline only deepened after I-205 cut through the middle of it. Let’s hope Kuzmich’s shop is just the leading edge of more nearby services to come.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.