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Local company makes tote bag for front basket of Biketown bikes

Posted by on August 8th, 2016 at 3:19 pm

North St Bags bike share tote -1.jpg

North St.’s new “Townie Tote” model. It also comes in dark grey.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In just the latest sign that Portland has gone head-over-heels for bike share, a local company has added a Biketown-specific bag to their product line.

Southeast Portland-based North St. Bags has adapted their “Tabor Tote” model to fit snugly into the front rack of a Biketown bike. The new “Townie Tote” comes in two colors familiar to Biketown users: dark grey and Nike orange. Other features in the new, Biketown-edition Tabor Tote are an internal zippered pocket, reflective side tabs, and an optional set of straps that will attach the bag to the rack. The bag has a 25-liter capacity and is made from 1000 denier Cordura nylon.

North St.’s new tote will sell for $45 (the straps are an extra $10). Kevin Murphy, the company’s product marketing manager, said the bag will be available soon on the company’s website. They’re showing it off to Biketown staffers today and they hope to make it available direct from the BiketownPDX.com website. Murphy says he’s heard grumblings from local bike shops about the loss of business due to Biketown, so he thinks offering the Townie Tote might be one way for shops to draw bike share customers in.

Murphy also said since the Biketown racks are similar on all the bike share systems that use bikes made by Social Bicycles, they can easily work with other cities as well.

Is this the first in a long line of products to complement the emerging “bike share lifestyle” market? Which company will be next to capitalize on this new transit system that has taken Portland by storm?

Here are a few more images:

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Optional straps with buttons can tether the bag to the rack so it doesn’t pop out when you hit a pothole.
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Curtis Williams launched North St. in his home in 2009 using a sewing machine he bought off Craigslist. Today his company has grown to eight employees and his bags are sold by over 60 dealers and distributors around the globe. All of their products are made in a 1,200 square foot space just off of Southeast Clinton at 23rd that includes a retail store, offices, and a full production facility. Check out the rest of their offerings at NorthStBags.com.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Patrick Mok
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Patrick Mok

If anyone got some weird project. North st is pretty awesome

Redhippie
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Redhippie

I’m curious. How are the local bike businesses adversely affected? Lower bike rentals? Any interesting stories out there?

9watts
Guest
9watts

I had the same question.
Not so long ago the bikeshare hype was all about the positive spillover expected from going down this path.

Ali Corbin
Guest
Ali Corbin

I also was surprised to hear that local bike businesses were being affected. Are people renting bikes instead of buying them? I’d be more likely to suspect a drop in revenue for the car-sharing companies and Trimet.

Scott Mizée
Guest

I am also curious to hear more specifics about what Murphy was referring to when he said, “Murphy says he’s heard grumblings from local bike shops about the loss of business due to Biketown, so he thinks offering the Townie Tote might be one way for shops to draw bike share customers in.”

Jonathan, do you have a story coming on this?

or did I miss one?

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

I wonder if shops alluded to are grumbling about business actually lost to people switching from personal bikes, over to bikeshare…or if they’re grumbling simply about an as yet unfounded prospect of losing business to bike share.

The bike share bikes are cute and convenient, but from what I hear, also very heavy. For much in the way of mileage and climbing, they don’t seem to me to be a ride that people used to high performance lightweight bikes, touring style, hybrids, as well as racing style bikes, would find worth giving up a personal bike for. Even basic cruiser bikes weigh lots less, if the figure of 60lbs for bike share is correct.

I do wish more businesses would do more to allow people to bring personal bikes into stores and other business. Doing so, I think, would help encourage more people’s use of bikes for travel, both personal bikes and bike share bikes.

Wait two or three years to see in Portland, how people’s enthusiasm for bike share bikes goes, after the bikes have some patina, and people have some longer term familiarity riding the bikes. It’s then that what preference of bike option over the other there is, may be more clear, and also, whether the system is resulting in loss of business to bike shops.

Kyle Banerjee
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Kyle Banerjee

It seems too early to be able to determine impact on local businesses. If I lived in the service area, had a commute within the service area, and lived in a small apartment, I could imagine using bikeshare as a substitute for owning my own bike as well as accessories like pumps, lights, panniers, etc. But that’s quite a few ifs.

Also, people who use bikeshare will not need consumables such as tubes when using the service.

However, if more people ride bikes or start using their own bikes more, demand at local shops would increase.

Given that relatively few people have even tried these yet, I find it hard to believe that any change in business could be attributed to bikeshare yet, though I suppose a few very specific areas such as PSU where you have a lot of students coming in from the outside might see a bigger impact.

Adam
Subscriber

This looks great! Any way to attach a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry off-bike?

SE
Guest
SE

>>this new transit system that has taken Portland by storm

maybe DT , but have never seen one in my E.County travels, and we may still be in Portland ?

Caitlin D
Subscriber

Nice!

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

North’s bag design looks swell in the BikeTown bike’s basket. Softens and adds some sophistication to the bikes’ appearance. Good thinking for the company’s designers to include some reflective material into the design.

For both a practical purpose, and higher visibility, switch out the white straps, which will likely get dirty and ugly, fast…for darker colored straps, maybe orange, same as the bag, with reflective material on their top sides. The reflective material can come in a silver color, which would be visually similar to the white. Can get dirty too, but I think, easier to clean up than the white synthetic material straps.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I agree about the straps. A darker gray would show a lot less grime and still work with the color scheme.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

I won a North St bag last year as part of the See and Be Seen ride. I brought it with me to China, and it’s currently on my bike right now.

Great products!

peejay
Guest
peejay

If you’re thinking of buying the first one, you can forget it, as that one is already in my hands, to be given as a gift to my sweetie.

OK, well, if you’re my sweetie, you will have the first one. In which case, stop reading; it’s a surprise.

Mike Sanders
Guest
Mike Sanders

Score one for American ingenuity! Plus, that orange color should work great at night.

Doug Klotz
Subscriber

Local manufacturers can react quickly to local needs. Good job, Curtis and North St.!

Pedal PT
Member

Great work Curtis + NORTH St- Awesome idea!