Industry Roundup: New digs for Nomad, Stoic Wheels’ new product, retailer wins award, and more

Here’s the latest news from our local bike industry and the people who make it so great…

Portland retailer wins industry award

Leah Benson (right) accepting her Londonderry Award.
(Photo: Chuck Hood/Quality Bicycle Products)

Leah Benson, owner of Gladys Bikes on Northeast Alberta, is the winner of the 2017 Londonderry Award (named after the first woman to ride around the world). Benson was honored in a ceremony hosted by leading bike industry distributor Quality Bicycle Products at their Saddle Drive dealer event last weekend.

Benson was recognized for her work in creating a welcoming space for women, transgender and femme customers (aka WTF).

From when she first opened her women-focused shop in 2013, Benson has challenged the bike shop orthodoxy in both how she runs the business and what she does outside of it.

Among the initiatives she’s created and supported include: a bike saddle library card to help ease the sometimes awkward conversations that come with the process of finding a saddle that fits; a transgender cycling club, the “Cross Curious Club“, and more.

Here’s a snip from Benson’s acceptance speech:

“We live in an amazing time when our conceptions of what gender is/isn’t is shifting at a phenomenal pace, and it would behoove us all to keep up. Serving customers who are women, trans and non-binary folks isn’t just something for ‘niche’ shops to confront, but for all of us. Learning how to meet people where they are at and use new or unexpected pronouns can be hard, but it’s just as necessary as learning about the newest bottom bracket specs or 1x groups. We can do better.”

Congrats Leah!


Portlander leads national nonprofit Trips for Kids

Robert Ping.
(Photo: Trips for Kids)

Robert Ping has been named executive director of Trips for Kids, a nonprofit based in northern California. Ping is a resident of North Portland who has dedicated his career to helping kids and communities stay active on bikes. Ping will be based in Portland, where he’s also volunteering to start a local high school mountain bike racing league.

“I am thrilled to join the Trips for Kids team,” Ping said in an official announcement. “I remember the natural beauty and the feeling of freedom and accomplishment the first time I rode a mountain bike, and look forward to helping community leaders around the country to bring that life-changing experience to many more of America’s youth.”

Nomad Cycles PDX opens new shop on Sandy Blvd

Nomad’s new storefront on Sandy.
(Photo: Nomad)
Brad Davis in 2015.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s electric bike industry continues to thrive. The latest sign is a new location for Nomad Cycles. The shop, owned by 39-year-old Brad Davis (formerly of Coventry Cycles and Ecospeed), is now doing business at 5820 NE Sandy. It’s a major step up in visibility compared to Nomad’s previous space tucked in an industrial park off of Highway 99E near Johnson Creek.

Nomad builds e-bike conversion kits that can fit onto nearly any bike. Davis and his crew make nearly every part for the kits right here in Portland and prices range from around $800 to nearly $4,000 per kit. Learn more at

Stoic Wheels launches ‘Spoke Dope’

Fresh and ready for wheel building.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Stoic Wheels is your friendly neighborhood wheelbuilding and suspension-tuning shop. It’s run by Brian Pagel and tucked right next to Norther Cycles on North Albina and Killingsworth. I stopped by Brian’s shop last week and he just finished packaging a new product: Spoke Dope spoke prep. Here’s more from Brian:

Spoke Dope is a non toxic made in the USA product that was a collaboration between Stoic Wheels and ZumWax. It is a thread preparation product designed specifically for spoke threads. A blend of teflon, acrylic resin, and different types of waxes, Spoke Dope is invaluable in the preparation of spoke threads for wheel building. Even if you are only building a few sets of wheels at a time, Spoke Dope will work for you. It is water based, and can be brought back to life with just a few drops of water, rather than clumping and having to be disposed of. Comes packaged as 2-20 ml bottles of different colors to help you keep your spoke lengths separated.

Learn more at

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Eric in Seattle
Eric in Seattle
6 years ago

I think that’s supposed to be “Londonderry”, not “Londonberry”

6 years ago

I recently brought a friend to Gladys to purchase her first bike, and I’m very glad I did. They were super approachable, helpful, and welcoming. Congrats to them on a well-deserved award.

Bill Stites
Bill Stites
6 years ago

I checked out the new Nomad shop at their Open House on Saturday – beautiful space for retail, and a great work space in the rear. They had an amazing Danish ebike made of creamy aluminum [I never said that before!] with slippery contours.

Also, Stoic has been building our heavy duty wheels for the UPS trikes – Brian is very knowledgeable and stands behind his work.

6 years ago

Leah Benson is a treasure. So stoked to see her getting much-deserved recognition for her hard work and general awesomeness.

6 years ago
Reply to  JP

You’re makin’ me blush. That said, I definitely took a screen shot of your comment and highlighted the part about me being a treasure so that I can share it with my partner every time I do something annoying. *wink*