Business Section Archives

Oregon bike tax is coming: Here are a few quirks in the law and how shops feel about it

Posted on December 11th, 2017 at 1:14 pm.

Final days at The Missing Link bike shop-3

(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s infamous $15 bicycle excise tax goes into effect in just 20 days.

On January 1st, bicycle retailers across the state will have to be registered with the Department of Revenue (DOR) and have systems in place to collect and record the fee. To help make sure shops are ready, DOR has sent notices in the mail and has set up a website with more information.

We’ve been in touch with many Portland-based bike shops to hear how they’re feeling about it. So far we’ve heard a range of opinions. Some shop owners disagree with the tax in principle and/or have concerns about how it will impact their business, while others don’t think it’ll be that big of a deal.

As for the tax itself, the first order of business from the State’s perspective is to educate retailers. In a letter (PDF) sent to shops on December 4th, the DOR laid out the basics of the tax and offered answers to several frequently asked questions.
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New ownership for Worst Day of the Year and other popular Portland rides

Posted on December 8th, 2017 at 1:02 pm.

Worst Day of the Year Ride 2011-1

Start of 2011 Worst Day of the Year Ride.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Portland-based Axiom Event Productions has purchased four major local bike rides.

The company, which launched in 2013 when it earned the exclusive contract to manage the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways events, is now in charge of putting on the Worst Day of the Year Ride, Petal Pedal, Tour de Lab, and the Portland Century. They’ll be operated by Events by Axiom, LLC.

Axiom purchased the events from their previous owner, Good Sport Promotion. Also in included in the sale is ORBike.com, a website that promotes cycling and events statewide. Good Sport’s owner Porter Childs has started a new business selling custom bike jerseys.
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Bike shop news roundup: Portland Bicycle Studio, Holy Spokes, and Orenco Station Cyclery call it quits

Posted on December 6th, 2017 at 10:50 am.

Holy Spokes on Division is no more.
(Photo: Holy Spokes/Instagram)

To sustain a small bike shop has never been easy. If you did it in the past few years during this downturn in the U.S. bike industry, it was even tougher. That’s just one lesson we can take away from three shop owners in our region that decided to close their doors last month: Holy Spokes on SE Division, Portland Bicycle Studio/3928 Bike Shop on N Williams, and Orenco Station Cyclery in Hillsboro.

All three of these shops opened in the past three years.

Tim Ennis opened Holy Spokes at SE Division and 31st in July of 2014. It was the brick-and-mortar version of his Rolling Wrench mobile bike shop business. The neighborhood shop focused on repair, daily riders, and carfree families. On November 10th he announced to customers on Facebook that, “The time has come to close our doors. It’s been fun but it’s time for new adventures.” We reached out to Ennis to learn more about his decision but have yet to hear back. Holy Spokes is now having a closing sale. Check the shop’s website for the latest deals and updates.

If you were a Holy Spokes customer, check out A Better Cycle (2324 SE Division St), Seven Corners (3218 SE 21st Ave) or Joe Bike (2039 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd.).
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How Eugene-based Burley built the market for child bicycle trailers

Posted on November 22nd, 2017 at 11:14 am.

The author Josh Reid (middle) in his family’s Burley trailer in 1999.

This article is by Josh Reid, a journalist from the U.K. who recently toured several Oregon bike companies. This is the first in a series that’s being published in conjunction with BikeBiz.com.

What would become Burley grew from a bike shop founded in 1969 in Fargo, North Dakota, by 17-year-old touring cyclist Alan Scholz.

I’ve been using Burley’s bicycle products since I was a tot. Photographic proof of this was emailed to me when, earlier this year, I visited the company’s HQ in Eugene, Oregon. There I am, seated in a 1997-vintage Burley Lite trailer, pulled by my 1965-vintage dad, editor-at-large of BikeBiz. A few years later I progressed to a Burley Piccolo trailercycle. Today, I often ride my dad’s 2002-vintage Burley Runabout steel-framed commuter bike – he long ago added an Xtracycle attachment, creating a cargobike.

What would become Burley grew from a bike shop founded in 1969 in Fargo, North Dakota, by 17-year-old touring cyclist Alan Scholz. Al’s Bike Shop took over the basement and garage of his parents’ house. This was just before the start of the American “bike boom” of the early 1970s which took almost everybody by surprise, and most especially the bicycle industry, which couldn’t keep up with demand. Thanks to health concerns, cycling had been building in popularity throughout the 1960s, and when baby-boomer ecological concerns merged with a fitness kick the American market for bicycles doubled within a couple of years.
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Industry news: Urban Arrow in Portland, Framebuilder Supply’s grant, Velotech expands, Left Coast makes house calls

Posted on November 14th, 2017 at 2:39 pm.

Who’s ready for some local industry news?

Here are the latest tidbits we’ve come across from Portland’s ever-changing bike business landscape.
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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.
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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…]