Business Section Archives

Bike shop news roundup: New shop, new owners, and more break-ins

Posted on January 2nd, 2019 at 1:23 pm.

Tom Martin is the new ower of TomCat Bikes on SE Milwaukie in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

They say the only constant is change; and that’s certainly true for Portland bike shops.

In 2018 we saw several high-profile closures with 21st Avenue Bicycles, Velo Cult and all three Performance Bicycle locations closing their doors.

But the news wasn’t all bad: A new shop opened on Mt. Hood and Golden Pliers, that opened in June on North Skidmore at Interstate, has quickly become a favorite of many.

We’re sure to see more evolution in the local bike shop scene this year. Before we get too behind on this beat, I wanted to share a few news updates that have been accumulating in my notebook…
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Bankruptcy leads to closure of all three Performance Bicycle stores in Portland region

Posted on December 7th, 2018 at 1:03 pm.

Signs are up at the Beaverton store.
(Photo: Andy Kutansky)

Some people hoped a bankruptcy filing last month by the parent company of the Performance Bicycle might not result in the closure of all stores across the country.

But today the list is out and the news isn’t good: Advanced Sports Enterprises says it will close all 102 of its stores in the United States. That includes locations in Portland (Mall 205, 9988 SE Washington St.), Tualatin (7690 Montgomery Rd.) and Beaverton (3850 SW Hall Blvd.). The closure leaves Portland with just one bike shop (Outer Rim Bicycles) east of I-205.[Read more…]

Former Portland bike builder Mitch Pryor loses home and shop in Camp Fire

Posted on November 13th, 2018 at 12:32 pm.

Screen shot from GoFundMe page.

The Camp Fire that ravaged through the small town of Paradise, California burned through the shop of a former Portland bicycle builder.

Mitch Pryor and his MAP Bicycles burst onto the Oregon building scene in 2008. Less than a year later he took home Best City Bike honors at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

Mitch left Portland for Chico, California in 2012 to be closer to family. He had recently opened a shop nestled in the woods in Paradise. I haven’t heard directly from Mitch yet, but friends say his new home and shop were completely destroyed in the fire. He lost everything — parts, supplies, machines, tools — and escaped with only the clothes on his back.

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Transpo data start-up Ride Report raises $3.4 million in venture funding

Posted on November 6th, 2018 at 1:25 pm.

Ride Report homepage.

When we first profiled Knock Software in 2015 we said their small device that counts bicycle traffic would “change planning forever.”

Nearly four years later that device is no longer part of their business, but the company itself has more than lived up to the headline.
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Portland-made Truck Trike stars in UPS cargo delivery pilot program in Seattle

Posted on October 25th, 2018 at 1:07 pm.

A last-mile delivery solution that reduces congestion, doesn’t kill people, and doesn’t spew toxic exhaust into your mouth as it passes.
(Photo: Truck Trike)

In a partnership with the City of Seattle and University of Washington, delivery giant UPS announced today they will use pedal-assist, electric cargo bikes to make deliveries around Pike Place Market and other parts of downtown.

The best part about this news? The bikes being used in this pilot program come from Portland-based company Truck Trike.

Here’s more about the delivery program from a UPS press release:

In an effort to address growing traffic congestion and air quality concerns, UPS and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan today announced the deployment of an innovative downtown delivery pilot project using pedal-assist cargo eBikes and customized, modular trailers. The cargo eBikes will operate in the historic Pike Place Market and downtown Seattle area on sidewalks and in designated bike lanes.
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Builders and fans converge at Chris King factory for ‘Open House’ show

Posted on October 15th, 2018 at 5:26 pm.

Chris King welcomed visitors to his factory on Saturday.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

As Portland’s largest bicycle company, Chris King Precision Components is in a unique position to be an industry leader. With the success of their mini-summit of bike builders and industry movers and shakers that wrapped up with a big open house event Saturday, the 42-year-old company seems to be embracing that role.

The halls of the Chris King factory were jam-packed for the “Open House” show on Saturday. Among massive industrial machines and assembly rooms that put together some of the most respected and sought after bicycle components in the world, hundreds of bicycle lovers got an close-up look at a very special selection of bicycles and the builders who create them.

For the man behind the brand, Chris King, the gathering must have felt bittersweet. A framebuilder himself, King decided to cease production of his Cielo brand just over one year ago so his company could focus more closely on its core business: designing, making, and selling bottom brackets, headsets, and hubs. King, who still spends about three days a week in the shop, is obsessive about quality and his company makes nearly every piece of their products themselves (yes, even the bearings). Manufacturing products in the United States is hard enough without having to constantly react to the whims of product managers and marketers who seem to push a new wheel size, head-tube size or axle configuration every season.
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Brexit uncertainty, US regulations among reasons for Islabikes’ retreat

Posted on October 5th, 2018 at 10:50 am.

Islabikes are a common sight at local schoolyard bike racks.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been a tough year for Portland’s bike industry.

In May, local cargo bike maker Metrofiets called it quits. Then in July, bike shop and community gathering spot Velo Cult announced it would no longer have a retail location. And on Tuesday of this week we reported that UK-based Islabikes decided to close the local office and warehouse that housed their North American headquarters. And yesterday we shared the messy road that led to the end of Renovo Hardwood Bicycles.

I don’t enjoy reporting these type of stories, but I do think the community deserves to know a reasonable amount of detail about them. Given Islabikes’ popularity and large role in our community (as a sponsor and partner of many local events), I felt like their official statement wasn’t enough. Earlier this week, I reached out to Islabikes General Manager Tim Goodall and asked him to share more about why they’ve decided to leave.

Goodall cited Brexit (the UK’s decision to leave the European Union) and a pesky US federal government regulation as two of the main reasons.
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Out of cash and employees, Renovo calls it quits

Posted on October 4th, 2018 at 5:11 pm.

Renovo founder Ken Wheeler in his booth at the 2012 North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Sacramento.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The ride for Renovo Hardwood Bicycles is over.

The website is gone. No one responds to emails. The building at SE 8th and Ash that has housed its factory since 2008 is for lease. And there’s a lien notice posted to the front door.

According to the notice, Kenneth Wheeler of Renovo Designs LLC owes $34,864.53 in rent that hasn’t been paid since May.

This is a sad ending to a company that was once one of the bike industry’s shining stars.

Wheeler launched Renovo at the 2008 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) in Portland. With experience and success making hardwood lighting fixtures and airplanes, Wheeler figured out how to make bicycle frames with a CNC machine. When I first visited his shop in February 2008 he proudly watched his CNC machine at work and said it would be done with the frame in five minutes. Not only were the frames beautiful and relatively easy to produce (or so it seemed), Wheeler said they tested stronger than high-grade aluminum.

He was clearly on to something.
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Islabikes to close US headquarters office and warehouse in Portland

Posted on October 2nd, 2018 at 6:28 pm.

The busy warehouse as seen in June 2017.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland will no longer be the U.S. headquarters of Islabikes. In an announcement made this afternoon, the children’s bike company said they will close their southeast Portland office, showroom and warehouse.[Read more…]

Component maker Chris King will open its doors for builders and fans next week

Posted on October 2nd, 2018 at 11:02 am.

King employees 75 people at their factory and headquarters in northwest industrial.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s largest bike industry company plans to throw open its factory doors next week.
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