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Meet the BikeCrafters: TiGr Lock, Orquidia Violeta, and piggyflowers

Posted by on November 14th, 2017 at 12:54 pm

In case you haven’t heard, Portland’s bike-centric holiday gift fair is back! BikeCraft 2017 is December 15-17 at the Bike Farm (1810 NE 1st Ave.) and it’s powered by Microcosm Publishing.

Last week we shared our first in a series of vendor intros written up by Microcosm Co-owner and Marketing Director Elly Blue. Here are three more…

Orquidia Violeta – Orchid Velasquez (website)

I first met years ago at a Portland Society meeting, where she introduced herself as a maker of “veggie onesies.” She still makes adorable outfits for tiny babies and has expanded into other kids’ clothes like ponchos and headbands with the power to make a small child look like a delicious piece of fruit. Each item is a unique work of art.

What’s your bike craft?
I sew hand-dyed kids clothes from recycled fabric, with vegetable and push-bike appliqué pockets.

How did you get started?
I design and sew hand-made wearable artwork. I started fifteen years ago. I ride a bike for transportation. I have sewn other bikey items in the past, but I’m currently focused on kids.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love to work with color, and see little people wearing my craft.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
Everything I make is one-of-a-kind, so it’s hard to operate like other businesses.

What does bicycling mean to you?
Bicycling is freedom. I can go anywhere, anytime, and it’s fun. I pick up fabric, commute to a shared sewing space, deliver to stores, and sometimes sell at farmers markets – all by bike!

piggyflowers – Shannon (website)

Shannon, aka piggyflowers, is returning to BikeCraft this year to fill the demand for sturdy, attractive, reflective flowers to decorate your bicycle basket, hair, clothes, cat, etc. People who are into stuff like this—well, we know exactly who we are.

What’s your bike craft?
I make Petal Brites: reflective flower accessories for bikes and more.

How did you get started?
I made my first Petal Brite when the fuzzy centers fell off the flowers on my bike basket garland. I covered the bare spots with reflective stickers and my garland wasn’t just pretty, now it had a safety feature! I thought other people would like reflective items that were not only practical, but pretty. I opened an Etsy shop and started selling Petal Brites in 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
I love making Petal Brites! Whether it’s working with flowers that catch my eye or bringing a customer’s special request into bloom, I know it’s complete when the combination makes me smile. I also love it when my customers let me know they are happy with their Petal Brites and share photos of them in use.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
Because I have a day job, finding time to devote to my Petal Brites is challenging, especially coordinating photo shoots and photo processing with my husband. But his photos are always worth the wait.

What does bicycling mean to you?
I started commuting by bike when my daughter was 11 months old because I missed getting regular exercise. I was working full-time and didn’t want to spend more time away from my daughter going to an exercise class. I had a short commute and riding my bike took 10 minutes longer than driving so it was the perfect way to fit exercise into my day. Eighteen years later, my bike is still my preferred way to travel. Bicycling keeps me physically and mentally healthy. I love my bike.

TiGr Lock – Jim Loughlin (website)

One of the coolest things about BikeCraft is getting to meet folks who are producing something totally new and different with a ground-up business model. Jim Loughlin and his brother are a Kickstarter success story and they make bike locks that don’t look like any I’ve seen before. I’m really looking forward to checking these out.

What’s your bike craft?
My brother and I make bike locks. Not a very crafty kind of item, but it feels like a craft business to us. We put a lot of thought into design, production process, sourcing raw materials, how things function. We form and assemble each lock by hand. Our finger prints are literally on every item we ship.

How did you get started?
Our dad got started in the lock business on a more industrial scale in the 1970s. We joined him later in life. The idea for the TiGr came out of work we were doing for a different security challenge. Being lifelong cyclists we’ve been thinking about bike locks for quite a while. We introduced the original TiGr Lock idea via Kickstarter in 2011.

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Working with my brother.

What’s your biggest challenge with it?
My brother can be a pain in the @#$.

What does bicycling mean to you?
Freedom. As a kid, I loved to use my bike to get myself where I wanted/needed to go without having to ask an adult for ride in a car. As an adult I love being able to get places without having to buy gas, or worry about traffic.

If you’re ask excited about BikeCraft as we are, don’t forget to snatch up a few tickets for the special Friday night preview party (and benefit for the Bike Farm!).

Thank you Elly for these great Q&As. For more details and a full list of vendors, check the official BikeCraft website and stay tuned for more vendor profiles.

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

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  • Toadslick November 14, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    I’ve been using a TiGr lock for four or five years now. Love it. The way it transports, strapped to the top tube, means no more awkwardly carrying a U-lock, chain, or cable.

    I’ve found it especially handy while touring, since it is lightweight, barely takes up any storage space, and a single lock can hold multiple bikes together.

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    • John Lascurettes November 14, 2017 at 2:17 pm

      I’ve been intrigued by these ever since they were first announced. I’ve seen only one in the wild (maybe it was yours). How do you feel about it strictly from a security standpoint? I know relatively speaking to all other locks how good my Kryptonite is (or isn’t). I love the idea of these but have still been waiting for them to become more ubiquitous and hear about whether they are actually as hard or harder than a good, tight u-lock to thwart.

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      • colton November 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm

        I was scared off by the following video. If I understand it correctly, TiGr’s demo video uses a bolt cutter whose jaws can’t close completely (due to the springiness of the handles), so they can’t actually finish the cut. An honest set of bolt cutters seems to have little trouble defeating the widest of these locks in about two cuts. (not that the same can’t be said for a Kryptonite Series 2, $36)

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        • John Lascurettes November 14, 2017 at 3:31 pm

          Ah, bummer! Thanks. I was afraid of that.

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          • Chris I November 15, 2017 at 7:59 am

            Titanium has amazing strength to weight, compared to steel. Where it lacks is hardness. Hardness is critical for locks. Another weakness is the thin profile. You really want a circular cross-section if the goal is to prevent cutting.

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        • soren November 15, 2017 at 10:39 am

          the video depicts a tigr lock that was specifically marketed as a low-security lock. the medium-security lock is twice as thick and the independent dutch rating agency ART gave it the same rating as an evolution mini u-lock.

          a video by transportation alternatives (notice the cut u-lock on the pavement):

          i’ve been using tigr locks for many years. two tigr minis are far lighter than my mini u-lock and allow me to lock up both wheels. i use them in high-theft areas (including psu) often.

          i now have a pile of u-locks that we have not used for years.
          good riddance.

          my only problem with tigr is that it uses titanium. i would like them explore releasing locks made from more sustainable alloys or composites.

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          • John Lascurettes November 15, 2017 at 10:43 am

            Thanks. Also helpful.

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          • colton November 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

            “the medium-security lock is twice as thick” -soren

            Are you sure you don’t mean wide (from 19mm to 32mm). I’ve never seen anything suggesting that the thickness (3.18 mm) was increased, in fact I’ve heard it stayed the same. For instance, one review said “By increasing the width rather than thickness in all their locks, TiGr were able to increase the resistance to cutting attacks without sacrificing flexibility”.

            If the only change was width, I would expect the lock would now require two cuts instead of one, but the same tool and effort as shown in the German video.

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          • Chris I November 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm

            Aluminum cuts like butter, and steel is too heavy. What sustainable alloy did you have in mind?

            Forget composites, unless they perfect a low cost way to produce lightweight ceramic composites. The existing CFRP technology is not hard enough for an effective bike lock. There are also lifecycle concerns (recycling is problematic).

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            • Middle of the Road Guy November 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm


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            • soren November 15, 2017 at 1:47 pm

              i own a composite lock that i use for high-security situations:

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      • Toadslick November 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm

        When I think of parking my bike in Portland (or any other U.S. city), I’m either somewhere that i’m comfortable locking up with the less-secure TiGr (*points to Colton’s video*), or i’m in a situation where i would never leave my bike, regardless of how many locks I placed on it.

        For example, I’d never leave my bike outside overnight within city limits, or out of sight on the waterfront. I’ve seen too many securely-locked frames where every other possible component was ripped from the bike.

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        • Kyle Banerjee November 15, 2017 at 10:29 pm

          This is what it boils down to. The only thing you can effectively lock is your wheels, and everything else can be taken very quickly with simple tools.

          I don’t really get the tigr lock aside from you can use it like a more secure cable — though it really costs a lot.

          BTW, why does everyone in this town carry U-bolts the most awkward way they can come up with rather than just attach them to the downtube bottle bolts? Way more secure, looks better, and stays out of the way.

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  • Todd Boulanger November 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    I have been to many Bikecrafts in the past, but not recently [loved them but our family’s bike craft needs have been well filled] though having the maker of TiGr lock has me changing my mind…especially if he runs the lock through attacks…

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    • colton November 15, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      It would be awesome if someone going to Bikecrafters took along some bolt cutters that close completely (i.e., would cut a normal piece of sheet metal) and reported back here.

      Or, if the TiGr folks are demonstrating cutting their material with bolt cutters, see how their bolt cutters work on a normal piece of sheet metal. If it can’t even do that, well, then…

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  • steve November 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    The TiGr lock is easier to cut than the universally reviled cable lock. But it costs a lot more – So must be swell.

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  • steve November 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Also, this was all known over 4 years ago. These locks scratch your frame, are awkward to use and cut like thin titanium. Which with a proper bolt cutter, cuts like butter.

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