Industry news: Urban Arrow in Portland, Framebuilder Supply’s grant, Velotech expands, Left Coast makes house calls

Who’s ready for some local industry news?

Here are the latest tidbits we’ve come across from Portland’s ever-changing bike business landscape.

Framebuilder Supply names first-ever “Women Build Bikes” grant winner

Framebuilder Supply owners Tony Tapay and Mike Cobb want to see more women among the building ranks.

(Photo courtesy Jackie Mautner)

“When Mike and I attended the recent Handmade Bike Show here in Portland,” Tapay said in a company statement, “at one point we were all asked to fine into a room for a group picture. Other than a food vendor and a PGE rep, there were no women.”

To fix that, Tony and Mike have announced Jackie Mautner as the recipient of their first ever Women Build Bikes grant. Mautner was nominated by other women in the Portland bike industry. They chose her in part because of her answers to a list of questions.

When they asked Mautner, “What do you believe you bring to the framebuilding world that is unique?”, here’s how she replied: “I hope to build the community of women, transgender, and non-binary folks within the framebuilding industry. Creating spaces where we can support one another on our own individual and/or collaborative journeys, as well as breaking down barriers to achieving our goals such as under-representation.”

Mautner, whom you might recall from an interview here on BikePortland a month ago, will receive a $1,200 credit toward materials at Framebuilder Supply.

Velotech acquires

Portland-based Velotech, owners and operators of Western Bikeworks,,, and, has expanded its retail footprint once again.

New website.

They now own This comes about one year after Western Bikeworks took over the local tri shop, Athletes Lounge.

Velotech says they’ll operate as a separate division and it will replace Athlete’s Lounge as their main triathlon brand. Here’s more from Velotech:

“This is an exciting time for triathletes in the Pacific Northwest,” said Gary Wallesen, Athletes Lounge General Manager. “We’ll continue the TriSports rewards program, and have already moved customer accounts and loyalty points over to our system. We’ve relaunched the website with the goal of offering a wide range of great products at the best prices, a wealth of resources for training and competing, and exceptional customer service.” The Athletes Lounge retail store is located in Tigard, a suburb of Portland, and will rebrand as TriSports’s brick-and-mortar headquarters.

Dutch e-cargo bike brand has Portland connection

When I was recently in Amsterdam, I couldn’t believe how many Urban Arrows I saw. These electric, bakfiets-style bikes were everywhere. Now you’re likely to see more of them in Portland because the Dutch company has named Portland resident Ed Rae as its U.S. agent. Many of you might already know Rae. He’s a familiar face at local bike events and he was the North American sales rep for Brompton for the past eight years.

An Urban Arrow in the wild in Amsterdam.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here’s more on Ed’s new gig at Urban Arrow via

“We see the U.S. rapidly accepting and accommodating use of the bicycle in a much broader context than sport, race and recreation,” said Henning Thomas, the company’s international sales manager. Urban Arrow bikes are designed from inception as e-bikes, as opposed to electric conversions, the company said.

Rae said, “While there may still be controversy about e-bikes for some applications and locales I think we all agree for cargo and transit, such as a parent moving children and a batch of groceries, or a business delivering product, or tradesman appearing at worksite and more, the additional power and range is welcome or even essential.”

“The growth we all want and need isn’t going to come from yet another wheel size or shock design for off road, nor from another added cog or further 50 gram reduction in road bikes,” he said. He said for bike retailing to survive the industry must “bring into stores some of the 90 percent of people who never darken the door of bike shops.”


Left Coast Bicycles now makes house calls

Portland-based mobile bike shop Left Coast Bicycles has found as niche by showing up at workplaces to perform service and maintenance for employees for many companies in the region. Now company owner Aaron Michalson will come to right to your front door.

(Photo: Left Coast Bicycles)

The service aims to rid people of the hassle of taking their bike into a shop. All you do is book a time and one of their mechanics will pick-up your bike and give it a full tune-up.

Left Coast Bicycles was founded in 2012. Michalson is a retail bike shop veteran who realized that he could service bikes at people’s workplaces while encouraging employers to promote more biking to work. “Our business clients realize bringing a mechanic to their business is a great way to express support for biking as a way of life and is a effective means to help put biking-as-transport on equal footing as other transportation modes.”

Left Coast is a full-service mobile shop that is 100 percent bike-powered using a fleet of cargo-trailers operated by 2 full-time mechanics and several on-call staff when things get busy.

Have a local industry tip? Send it in and we’ll consider it for the next round-up.

— 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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Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
6 years ago

GOOD LUCK ED! (Though, you know you now have to find secure bike parking for your company vehicle!)

6 years ago

Thanks and true dat Todd; they don’t fold down quite as small as a Brompton 😉 …but can carry 10 of them with the 275 lb. cargo capacity! Both elegant solutions for citizen cycling though; everyday people riding bikes for everyday needs – YES!

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
6 years ago
Reply to  ed

Or more…if they are the titanium models!

Der Berggeist
6 years ago

Ah yes, remember when Gary from Athlete’s Lounge used to claim Velotech was the devil?

According to Gary in an Aug. 2016 Bikeportland post, “’The business environment is changing, online [shopping] is growing, a shop in town discounts everything and hurts all others.’ Wallesen said the triathlon market is particularly flat (pun intended).”

Then on Bikeportland in Oct. 2016 he said “‘I am very excited to be part of the Western Bikeworks team of professionals. The addition of triathlon will be great news for the large and active multi-sport community,'” added Gary Wallesen, former owner of Athletes Lounge.”

Oh how times change. 🙂 Hope Gary’s enjoying those sick benefits @ Velotech now. Welcome to the internet Gary, welcome to the FUTURE!

Patrick Croasdaile
Patrick Croasdaile
6 years ago

Congrats Aaron and Left Coast Bicycles!!! Novel idea.

Aaron Michalson
6 years ago

Thanks patrick!

6 years ago

Aaron did a great fix on my trike yesterday. Thanks Aaron.

6 years ago

congratulations, ed! we miss you being our brompton rep, but glad for this new opportunity.