Business Section Archives

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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Industry Ticker: Norther’s Klickitat, limited edition Breadwinner, and Western Bikeworks big remodel

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 9:40 am.

The latest from Norther, Western Bikeworks, and Breadwinner.
(Photos by Anthony Bareno (left), Western Bikeworks (middle), Breadwinner Cycles (right).

Portland’s local bike industry is always in flux: coming, going, making it, and breaking it. Because business is a key part of our local scene, we try to keep an eye on it all. Here are three bits of news from local makers and sellers that you should know about.
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Ikea will launch pilot program at Portland store to encourage cycling and sales

Posted on April 19th, 2017 at 12:30 pm.

Ikea wants to make their new Sladda bike easier to use and own.

Ikea knows Portland is a place where bikes — and especially utility and cargo bikes — are taken seriously. With that in mind, the global home furnishings giant plans to launch a pilot program aimed at encouraging people to ride and share their new Sladda bicycle.

The Sladda is aimed at people who use bikes to get things done. They offer it with front and rear racks and even a rear cargo trailer. Given how solid the bike looked and Ikea’s unique ability to distribute it to the masses, we thought its launch back in January was noteworthy.

This Saturday (April 22, which happens to be Earth Day) Ikea will announce a lower price for the Sladda and details of a new partnership with Spinlister, a bike sharing platform that allows people to list and rent bikes.

We’ve been in touch with Ikea Portland spokesperson April Minister to learn more.
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Industry Ticker: Igleheart/Chris Chance collab yields re-issue of Yo Eddy! Road Fork

Posted on April 17th, 2017 at 1:44 pm.

New fork made in north Portland.
(Photos courtesy Echos Communications)

Portland-based builder Chris Igleheart has teamed up with another bike industry legend on an old fork design made new again. The Yo Eddy! Road Fork is based on the 1995 version first released by Chris Chance of Fat Chance. Now the two bike-making veterans have updated its design to modern standards.

Igleheart works out of his shop on Page Street in North Portland where he specializes in frames and forks. Check out the official release below:
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Bike shop news roundup: Two moves, one stays, Breadwinner’s new cafe, and a heartwarming story

Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 11:58 am.

Kenton Cycle Repair’s new location off Denver Ave.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Lots of news to get to so let’s jump right in shall we?

There’s been a lot of shuffling of bike shops in Portland in the past few years. There are several reasons we see bike shops move or go out of business. There’s always a pendulum swing and shake-out in a city whose enthusiasm for cycling sometimes outpaces its actual support of it. Rent increases are another major culprit. Bike shops aren’t exactly cash cows and most owners operate on very thin margins. Finding the right space with the right size at the right price is not easy — especially in a city where landlords and developers would rather own multi-story residential buildings.

With that, here are the updates we’ve got for you (scroll down to get all the details):

  • Upcycles moves out of Woodlawn
  • Kenton Cycle Repair moves into much larger space
  • Metropolis Cycles changes plans
  • Announcing the Breadwinner Cafe!
  • East Portland shops step up to help

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Thieves steal bikes, new inventory from Kenton Cycle Repair

Posted on April 4th, 2017 at 9:07 am.

The shop is in the process of moving to a larger location.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Kenton Cycle Repair has had a very rough start to the week. Around 6:00 am Monday morning two men broke into the shop and stole nine bikes and a large amount of new inventory off the shelves.

The shop is located at 2020 N McClellan Street, just off Denver Avenue in downtown Kenton. According to @pdxalerts (not official) the suspects were driving a blue Chevrolet pickup.

The shop’s owner Rich Walker confirmed the details of eight of the stolen bikes with us yesterday. The total retail value of the bikes is around $4,750. Walker said the thieves also made out with “all our lights and locks and a large amount of repair parts.”

Walker said the thieves busted out the front door. When he arrived around 8:15 there was glass all over the floor. A witness from the Kenton Hotel Apartments across the street saw two men in a truck loaded with bikes and called 911; but they drove away before police arrived. The witness was able to share a description of the men and a partial license plate number.
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Two non-profits team up for new coffee/bike shop on SE Powell

Posted on March 28th, 2017 at 10:50 am.

He’ll have much more room in the new space.
(Photo: Braking Cycles)

How much good can bikes do under just one roof?

How about a coffee shop up front where homeless and at-risk youth learn job skills and a bike shop in the rear where they learn bike repair skills? That’s what Braking Cycles and Bikes for Humanity PDX have planned for a new venture coming to SE 33rd and Powell.

We shared the story of Braking Cycles in 2014, right when social service worker Rhona Maul was starting up the new venture. Braking Cycles is a project of Transitional Youth, a Beaverton-based non-profit that helps homeless and at-risk youth integrate into the community. For the past three years Maul has been working to make her dream of having a stand-alone shop for the program a reality. Now she’s just $12,000 away and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to get there (watch the video below).[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: Renovo’s ‘John Day’ gravel bike

Posted on March 21st, 2017 at 10:26 am.

Made in Portland.
(Photos: Renovo Hardwood Bicycles)

Renovo Hardwood Bicycles has come a very long way since we first profiled them nine years ago. The company has added staff, inked major partnerships, and significantly expanded their offerings.
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Bike companies to high schoolers: We’re cool, come work with us

Posted on March 15th, 2017 at 12:56 pm.

A local high school student in the “Bikes Mean Business” booth.
(Photos: Dan Steinle/Ruckus Composites)

To succeed as an industry cluster in Portland, bicycle companies must compete for the best talent. And that’s no easy task in a town full of well-known names in the tech, fashion and outdoor industry.

To help raise the profile of bicycle-related careers, a group of local bike companies shared a booth at the NW Youth Careers Expo held at the Oregon Convention Center yesterday. The annual event hosts 6,500 students from 70 area high schools who get a chance to meet-and-greet with over 200 companies.

Under the rubric “Bikes Mean Business” (it was also on their custom lanyards, made by Chrome Industries), representatives from Chrome, River City Bicycles, and Chris King Precision Components spent their day talking to local teens about how their future could include a job in the bike industry.
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