Business Section Archives

This locally-made, pedal-assisted trike wants to conquer last-mile deliveries

Posted on September 11th, 2019 at 3:02 pm.

Michael Chen with Silver Eagle Manufacturing in northeast Portland with the Rytle MovR cargo trike.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

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Bike shop news: Driver crashes into Cat Six Cycles, Crank Bicycles closing

Posted on September 4th, 2019 at 12:55 pm.

It’s been a rough few days for the Cat Six crew.
(Photo: Cat Six Cycles)

I’ve got two bits of bike shop news to share…
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Inches from disaster, the Lumberyard avoided major damage from last night’s fire

Posted on August 27th, 2019 at 12:56 pm.

Lumberyard co-owner Will Heiberg and employee Chris Rotvik are on the roof of their building. This is how close they were to disaster.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

“We’re incredibly lucky,” Lumberyard co-owner Will Heiberg said this morning from the roof of his building on Northeast 82nd just south of Siskiyou. “If you would have talked to me last night at about 6:30 I would have said it was all gone.”[Read more…]

Business district welcomes carfree customers with ‘Walk Williams’ event

Posted on June 7th, 2019 at 3:29 pm.

If I owned a business on Williams I’d want to celebrate these potential customers too.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Imagine a business district that celebrates cycling and welcomes those who do it with open arms. That’s what we have on North Williams Avenue.
[Read more…]

He was worried about bike share’s impact on his business. Now he profits from it

Posted on May 23rd, 2019 at 1:42 pm.

Evan Ross, owner of Cycle Portland bike shop, tours, and rentals on SW 2nd Avenue.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Evan Ross is a serial cycling entrepreneur who understands the local bike scene and how to create a viable business around it. That intuition served him well when the idea of cheap bike rentals available in seconds from a mobile app was first pondered in Portland.

“I started my business to get more people riding bikes. Biketown works toward that same goal, so it’s hard for me to be a hater.”
— Evan Ross, Cycle Portland

Ross founded his bike shop and tour business in 2008. That’s right around the time the City of Portland’s efforts to start a bike share program were heating up. Lucky for Ross he had a bit of time before any bike share system would hit the ground. Portland infamously stalled on the program several times before finally launching Biketown in 2016.

From the get-go, Ross knew it would impact his business. “I was scared; but I saw it coming and I had time to adapt my fleet,” he said during a chat with him outside his retail showroom on SW 2nd Avenue in Old Town yesterday. I’ve known Ross for years and can recall being a bit surprised when he didn’t share my enthusiasm for bike share. A dedicated bike advocate and former member of the City’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, Ross wasn’t as excited about the idea as other advocates I knew.

“I knew my rental numbers would go down. That was always the threat with Biketown,” he shared.

And Ross was right. His revenue did go down. But he didn’t let that stop him from turning it into a positive.

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Big sale at Community Cycling Center

(Photo: BiketownTours.com)

Earlier this week, Ross announced an official partnership with the City of Portland to lead “Biketown Tours”. “Using public bikeshare you’ll cruise the waterfront bike path, discover Portland’s past and present, and ease into city riding with our experienced guides in America’s bike capital,” reads the copy on his new BiketownTours.com website.

For Ross, the third time was indeed the charm. The tours come after two previous attempts to work with Biketown fizzled out. He first hoped to get the maintenance contract for the fleet, then he tried to position his shop as the official helmet and map supplier for Biketown users. Neither of those came to fruition, but Ross maintained a working relationship with bike share program staff. And he remained optimistic.

I asked Ross how he went from seeing Biketown as a threat, to embracing it as a partner. “I realized bike share companies are really good at supplying bikes, but not in curating routes and building a connection to the local community,” he said. “Then I had this epiphany when I realized I spend a lot of time maintaining my fleet, and if I can outsource the maintenance of the bikes, but still provide the tour, it would be a bit advantage to me. I’d save wear-and-tear on my bikes — and not have to store, fix, or buy them in the first place.”

And there were also philosophical reasons for the partnership. “I started my business to get more people riding bikes,” Ross said. “Biketown works toward that same goal, so it’s hard for me to be a hater.”

Biketown (which is operated by Motivate, Inc., a Lyft company) loves the tours because Cycle Portland’s guide staff acts as a concierge to their system. The guides helps riders with rental checkout (including how to push the buttons on the keypad so they respond), offer tips and advice on how to stay comfortable on the bike (saddle adjustment is key), and they educate new riders about safety and rules of the road.

The $20 tours last about an hour and depart from the plaza in front of Voodoo Donuts on SW 3rd Avenue and Burnside. Riders get a $5 discount on their Biketown rental when they sign up. Learn more at BiketownTours.com.

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

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New shop in southeast caters to fixed gear fans

Posted on May 17th, 2019 at 12:04 pm.

Retrogression’s home page.

Portland has a new bike shop whose owners hope to be a part of the local fixed-gear and track riding scene.

Retrogression (2315 SE 11th Ave, just north of Division) is owned and operated by Dave Gattinella and Angie Beaulieu. Fixed-gear riders themselves, Gattinella and Beaulieu couldn’t find track-related parts and gear at local bike shops, so they started sourcing their own.

Retrogression started as an online-only shop in 2009 and opened a brick-and-mortar location in Massachusetts shortly thereafter (they are both from New England). They moved the business to San Diego a few years later; but quickly outgrew their space and went on the hunt to find a new location that would offer them a combination of warehouse (for the online business) and retail shop. [Read more…]

Southeast Division bike shop ‘A Better Cycle’ will close next month

Posted on April 15th, 2019 at 11:20 am.

(Photo: A Better Cycle)

A neighborhood bike shop in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood will close its doors next month after over a decade in business. Owners of A Better Cycle announced their decision last week.
[Read more…]

There’s no longer a “BikeBar” on North Williams Avenue

Posted on March 28th, 2019 at 1:16 pm.

The walls often displayed bike-related images like these portraits of Williams Avenue commuters by Jim Golden. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Hopworks’ Christian Ettinger pouring pints from the Hopworksfiets (note the bike hub beer taps).


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Portland researchers behind major new helmet tech launched by Trek/Bontrager

Posted on March 19th, 2019 at 7:52 am.

WaveCel’s “collapsible cellular membrane” showed much better results in initial lab tests than traditional foam or MIPS.

A local company has played a major role in the development of a new helmet released today by Bontrager, a bicycle part and accessory brand owned by Trek Bicycle Corporation.

Bontrager says the WaveCel technology used in their new line of helmets, “disrupts 30 years of accepted safety standards.” The company says research proves WaveCel is up to 48X more effective than common expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam at preventing concussions caused while cycling. The “collapsible cellular material” was developed by Dr. Steve Madey, an orthopedic surgeon, and Dr. Michael Bottlang, a biomechanical engineer. Madey and Bottlang work for Apex Biomedical, a company with a laboratory in Clackamas and an office in downtown Portland. Their research was performed at the Legacy Research Institute in north Portland. Madey and Bottlang worked with Trek and Bontrager’s research and design teams for four years developing the material.[Read more…]

Portland area bike companies in Sacramento for North American Handmade Bicycle Show

Posted on March 15th, 2019 at 4:30 pm.

Chad Smeltzer of Smeltzer Bikes in Gresham has made a name for himself with off-road capable drop-bar bikes. He shared this photo of one of the bikes he has at NAHBS.
(Photo: Chad Smelzter)

Portland area bike businesses will have a strong presence at the annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) that opened today at the Sacramento Convention Center.
[Read more…]