Business Section Archives

Portland’s BikeCraft fair is back for the 2017 holidays

Posted on October 5th, 2017 at 2:44 pm.

BikeCraft 2012-2

BikeCraft 2012.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

After a year on hiatus, Portland’s only bike-specific craft fair will ride again this December.

The simple idea, as phrased by co-producer Elly Blue of Microcosm Publishing: “Anyone who makes something bike-centric can pay a small tabling fee and come sell their stuff to a crowd of happy cyclists. It’s informal, fun, and all about building community and supporting the kitchen table and small business economy.”

This year’s event happens the weekend of Dec. 15-17 at the Bike Farm, 1810 NE 1st Ave. just north of Broadway. It’s free to attend Saturday and Sunday; this year there’ll also be a paid preview party on Friday night to benefit the Bike Farm’s mission (a cheap place to crank on your bike and/or learn how) and to let people “shop early in a festive but less busy setting,” Blue says.

[Read more…]

Thieves snatch four bikes from Metropolis Cycle Repair on N Williams

Posted on September 14th, 2017 at 2:03 pm.

Metropolis on N Williams and Page.

Metropolis Cycle Repair owner Nathan Roll says thieves broke into his shop last night and took three mountain bikes — two of which belonged to customers. UPDATE: Roll says he just realized thieves took an additional bike — his own. See description and photo below.

Here’s more from Roll about how it happened along with a description of the bikes.

The thieves broke a pane in a window in the back of the shop and were able to unlatch the window. This situation will be remedied shortly. Interestingly, they were only interested in mountain bikes. They passed over numerous other bikes to select these 3. They also took a small amount of merchandise, including an Ortlieb backpack and a couple of sets of lights.

Here are pics of the 3 bikes.
[Read more…]

Portland-based Chris King ceases production of Cielo frames

Posted on August 16th, 2017 at 3:59 pm.

Chris King Cielo Cycles factory  -48

An employee puts finishing touches on a Cielo frame at the factory in 2013.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you were waiting to order a Cielo, it’s too late.

Portland-based Chris King Precision Components (CKPC) announced yesterday that they’ve ceased production of all Cielo frames, forks and stems effective immediately.

In a statement, the company said, “After reevaluating marketing and sales goals for the coming years, Cielo unfortunately did not fit into our plans. We are quite proud of the product that the brand has produced over the years, but will be focusing our attention and resources on our core product families (headsets, bottom brackets, and hubs).”

Cielo was started by Chris King in Santa Barbara California 1978. By the mid 1980s King’s headsets had become so popular that he stopped making bikes to keep up with the demands of his fast-growing company. As his headset (and later hubset and bottom bracket) business grew he added staff and moved his business from Santa Barbara to Redding (CA) and then ultimately to Portland in 2003. Once settled into a large manufacturing facility in the northwest industrial district and with a healthy business (the company now employs over 130 people), King rekindled the Cielo brand in 2008.
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Organizers pull plug on Portland Electric Bike Expo due to “eclipse mania”

Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 9:28 am.

Portland Electric Bike Expo-5.jpg

A scene from the 2016 event.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Hysteria around the total solar eclipse that will make its way through Oregon two weekends from now has caused a major bike event to cancel its plans.

Organizers of the Electric Bike Expo had planned to bring their event to Portland on August 18th through the 20th. But when they started calling around for essential services like tents, fencing, port-a-potties, and backup power generators, they quickly noticed something was wrong. With concerns over historic levels of traffic and camping due to the millions of people expected to flood Oregon for Monday’s celestial show, providers were unable to guarantee availability of the aforementioned services.

This realization sent Ray Verhelst and Bill Sell of the Electric Bike Assocation scrambling. They tried to reschedule the event for the following week — a move that also meant they had to find a different venue because the planned location at Portland Meadows Racetrack wouldn’t be available. They then considered moving the event to October but worries about bad weather tanked that idea.

But with such late notice and with many of their vendors and customers having already made travel plans, Sell and Verhelst announced this morning that they’ve cancelled the event.
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Industry Roundup: New digs for Nomad, Stoic Wheels’ new product, retailer wins award, and more

Posted on August 8th, 2017 at 12:17 pm.

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:[Read more…]

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show freshens up with new location for 2017

Posted on August 3rd, 2017 at 11:41 am.

Handmade Bike & Beer Fest-33.jpg

Coming to St. Johns August 12-13th.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

It’s been 10 years since the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show burst onto the scene. I can still recall the buzz and optimism in that room. There was a collective realization that we had something special here. Today the show is stronger than ever and organizers have announced a new location, new vendors, and a lot of new reasons to check it out.
[Read more…]

New business voice finds strength, maintains focus on housing and transportation

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 at 12:26 pm.

Speakers at the event included (clockwise): Former Street Roots Editor Israel Bayer, Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman, Speaker of the Oregon House Tina Kotek, and House Rep. Karin Power.
(Photos by mitchwilson.co)

There’s a new voice for businesses in Portland and they are focused on two issues that could make or break the future of cycling in our city. As we just reported with the City of Portland’s proposal to lower its bike mode share goals due what their analysis tells them is a lack homes in proximity to jobs, the issues of affordable housing and cycling are closely intertwined.

A business lobby group could help bend this trend in a different direction; but only if it wants a future with housing for everyone and more people on bikes.
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Industry Ticker: SE Portland’s Renovo launches ‘Aerowood’ road bike

Posted on July 24th, 2017 at 2:11 pm.

Renovo’s Aerowood is made in their shop in inner southeast Portland.

While there’s been a bit of a shakeout since the artisan bike maker heyday of years past, Portland is still home to many great builders. One of them is hardwood bike specialist Renovo. Under the tutelage of Ken Wheeler, the company (celebrating their 10th anniversary this year) has found a solid niche.

Their latest is the Aerowood endurance bike. Learn more in the press release below:
[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: ‘Lucky Cat’ bottle cage, Framebuilder Supply acquisition, and a new jacket from Showers Pass

Posted on June 22nd, 2017 at 10:49 am.

In Portland’s local bike industry, change is a constant. Companies come and go, they grow and scale back, they release new products and refine existing ones.

In our latest Industry Ticker we’ve got a bit of news on three companies: One has released something new, one has made its first acquisition, and the other has added a women’s version of a popular item.
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The Portland connection behind the limited edition ‘Sequoia Merz’ bike from Specialized

Posted on May 24th, 2017 at 1:36 pm.

The Sequoia Merz from Specialized.
(Photo: River City Bicycles)

One of the most well-known bike brands in the world has just released a limited edition model (only 200 will be sold) that has a Portland framebuilder’s name on the downtube.

The new Sequoia adventure road bike from Specialized Bicycles has the name “Merz” emblazoned on the frame in honor of the work of Jim Merz. As you might recall in a story we shared of a bike tour Merz took in 1972, he was one of the first custom framebuilders to set up shop in Portland. After getting his start here in the early 1970s his work caught the attention of Mike Sinyard — the man who started Specialized. It was 1982 and Sinyard needed help building his “Stumpjumper” mountain bike frames which were taking the country by storm.

When “The Big S” wanted to bring back their Sequoia road bike to capitalize on today’s big adventure riding/gravel bike market, they contracted with Merz on the design. Below is an excerpt form an interview with Merz recently posted on the River City Bicycles website. In it, Merz explains how he first met Sinyard:
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