Review: The Silca Ypsilon “Y” wrench

Quality tools encourage you to do learn about your bike and work on it yourself more often.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As with many of Silca’s products, their latest tool called Ypsilon Wrench caught my eye and I could not resist. This is a quality tool that looks the part.

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The creations of ‘Fiets of Strength’ builder Jake Ryder

Ryder uses his customers’ existing bikes to build his distinctive cargo creations.
(Photos: James Buckroyd)

You may have seen Jake Ryder’s creations via J_ryde on Instagram, ogled the cyclocross images he shoots as Sellwood Cycles’ official photog, or heard his name from a friend who is into Zoobomb or freak bikes. Either way, Jake is a multi-talented maker who has carved a niche based on his unique perspective on cycling.

I visited his shop in southeast Portland recently to learn a bit more about him.

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Circling back to Portland bike builder Circa Cycles

Rich Fox in his Circa Cycles studio in northwest Portland.
(Photo: James Buckroyd)

Contributor James Buckroyd writes about products and the people who make them. He previously visited Misia Pitkin’s Double Darn cycling cap studio.

BikePortland first caught up with Rich Fox and Circa Cycles about four years ago, when the company was new on the Portland scene. Since then, there have been several interesting developments and we thought it’d be fun to circle back.

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A visit to Misia Pitkin’s Double Darn cap-making studio

Double Darn’s creative and quality caps have found a strong following in Portland and beyond.
(Photos: James Buckroyd)

Story by our resident “Product Geek” James Buckroyd, who approaches products with an eye for how they solve problems. He previously shared how to maintain your waterproof gear.

If you’ve been cycling for a while you probably already know some of the functional benefits of an under-the-helmet cap. You have probably also tried a few and found that not all of them are the same. There’s a huge variety of fits, brims, shapes and sizes, not to mention all the different materials, prints and colours.

Named after a common hand stitch, Portland-based Double Darn was started 12 years ago by local artist Misia Pitkin. Misia, who grew up with artist parents and started sewing at an early age, graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and an interest in clothing. She translates her art skills into fabrics, adding structure and shape to create a form of soft sculpture. She started repairing clothes and dabbling in creating rain jackets, but she found her passion was in caps.

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Keep it waterproof: A guide to getting more out of your gear

You know the feeling: It’s nice when it beads, but it doesn’t last forever.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland and James Buckroyd/BuckyRides.com)

James Buckroyd is our Product Geek. See his previous stories here and delve deeper via his website BuckyRides.com.

We spend a lot of time choosing our gear carefully and as we know cycling gear is expensive! Especially when it comes to all-weather wear. But do you know how to keep your Rapha softshell going strong? Your Castelli Gabba still stretchy, or your favorite Showers Pass shedding through the spring? With a little investment in care you can keep your gear performing well.

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Product Review: Cool weather, USA made kit from Ornot

Socks, Bib shorts and jersey colourways sync up for a put together look.
(Photos: James Buckroyd)

Pretty psyched for a change of season, I ordered up some new gear.

I needed some new colder weather kit and wanted to try something different, so I grabbed a few things from Ornot, a smaller San Fransisco company that has been around for about four years. Ornot’s brand stuck in my mind from the play on words in their clever marketing campaign: “You can be a rolling billboard, Ornot.” The whole point being that their kit has no logos, no sponsors, no massive branding. In the cycling world we’ve all been subjected to logos everywhere on cycling kit — some tastefully done, some not. Browsing through the website you see an array of products all with minimal branding and really nice patterns and designs.

I ordered up some winter bib shorts, a winter jersey and socks for the full matchy-match look.

Here are my impressions…

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Interbike 2017 show report: Trends and new products

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The bicycle industry’s annual trade show sets up in Las Vegas each year.
(Photos: James Buckroyd, usually)

James Buckroyd is a professional product designer who happens to be addicted to cycling and is always seeking out the perfect route and the perfect piece of gear. He blogs at BuckyRides.com. His last review was Chrome’s Hondo backpack.

Last week I headed to Interbike Vegas 2017, where cycling industry veterans gathered to show off the latest trends and technology in cycling. The first two days of Interbike were the “Outdoor Demo,” where cycling industry pros get to view and ride new bicycles, followed by three days of trade show. With three exhibition halls full of gear, Interbike gives you a glimpse of the future.

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Portland born and raised, the OttoLock hits a bike security sweet spot

Surprisingly convenient and useful.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Q: What do you get when a cyclist, an engineer and a businessman walk into a bar?

A: A stolen bike.

At least that’s how the joke used to go before the OttoLock came along.

Designed and engineered in Wilsonville by Otto Designworks, the company got started in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign for their first product: an app and tool that helped people adjust derailleurs. With the OttoLock, the company seems to have found its stride.

Word-of-mouth for the product ignited early on in large part because one of the idea generators and spokesmen is professional cyclist Jacob Rathe (whom you might recall from our story on him when he made the U.S. National Team in 2008). We first covered the OttoLock nearly a year ago when it was still in the prototype and design phase. Now that it’s starting to show up in bike shops around the country, it’s time for a closer look.

Here are my impressions after using it for several months…

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