Surly Bikes is hosting two events in Portland next week

Posted on January 24th, 2017 at 3:09 pm.

If you’ve been around bicycling for a while, you’ve probably bumped into Surly Bikes. The brand is super-popular in Portland because they make many of the affordable, no-nonsense and useful bikes that are dearly beloved around here: The longtail Big Dummy, the uber-commuter Cross Check, and others.

All you Surly fans out there will be happy to know that next week they’re coming to Portland.

We heard from Surly’s Kate Echols Moore that they’ve got two events planned while they’re in town — one to show support for bike shop employees and the people who love them, and the other is a “WTF (women/trans/femme) focused event” where everyone is welcome.

Check the details below and make some plans…

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Bike shop owners tell tales of survival during ‘most miserable’ winter

Posted on January 18th, 2017 at 9:19 am.

Snow and ice storms made an already challenging time of the year even more difficult.
(Photo: 21st Avenue Bicycles)

It’s official: According to The Weather Channel, Portland’s winter has been “the most miserable” in the nation. The nearly complete shutdown of our city has been tough for many people. For small business owners, the lack of accessibility has led to some very lonely days.

Roads covered in ice and snow (and now slush) have led to a lack of stock on the shelves and — most importantly — a lack of customers coming through the doors.

Bikes shops are run on passion not profits and these storms added insult to injury because December and January are already the toughest months to survive.

Here’s what several local bike shop owners had to say when asked about how the weather has impacted their business:
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Bike Gallery moving Woodstock store to Westmoreland

Posted on January 12th, 2017 at 4:41 pm.

Bike Gallery will move into this space on SE Milwaukie Blvd by the end of the month.

Bike Gallery plans to close their Woodstock location and re-open in Westmoreland.

Bike Gallery Partner Kelly Aicher said the reason for the move is that rent had doubled. The store at 4235 SE Woodstock first opened 12 years ago and the location had been a bike shop for over 40 years prior. “We are sad to leave a spot that has been a bike shop for over 50 Years,” Aicher shared with us in an email today.

The new location will be 6717 SE Milwaukie Avenue. It’s just 1.5 miles west of the Woodstock store and Aicher says it will be much larger. Not only will their be moire room for products and service but it’s right across the street from Laurelwood Brewing and Moreland Theater, so you’ll have plenty of excuses to linger.[Read more…]

New bike shop opens on Williams while another preps to expand

Posted on November 28th, 2016 at 12:25 pm.

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

(Photos: Metropolis Cycle Repair)

Portland’s busiest cycling street is about to get even better for bike lovers.

A new shop has opened in the bustling commercial block of North Williams Avenue between Failing Street and Shaver. And Metropolis Cycle Repair on North Page Street is planning to move across the street to a new and larger location.

The new shop is called 3928 Bike Shop and is located at — surprise, surprise — at 3928 N Williams Ave. That’s right across the street from the Hopworks Bike Bar in the old Jesuit Volunteer Corps building. It’s a new endeavor from Portland Bicycle Studio owner Molly Cameron. Cameron, a well-known figure in the racing scene, calls her new store a “pop-up bike shop”. She’s not a newcomer to the area, having opened her first shop (“Veloshop”) a four blocks east on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. back in 2001.
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Western Bikeworks absorbs Athletes Lounge to expand into triathlon market

Posted on October 10th, 2016 at 10:27 am.

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Six weeks after closing its doors for good, Portland’s only triathlon shop has found new life in an unexpected place: Another bike shop.

Early Saturday morning Western Bikeworks announced an agreement with Athletes Lounge. Western Bikeworks has locations in northwest Portland and Tigard and is one of the city’s largest bike shops. In addition to their two retail locations Western Bikeworks does a robust online business as one of four e-commerce bike brands owned by Portland-based Velotech Inc (they also run Cyclocross.com, UrbanCyclist.com and BikeTiresDirect.com).

According to a statement, Athletes Lounge owner Gary Wallesen and an undisclosed number of his former staff will now be employed by Western Bikeworks in order to, “expand the areas of expertise” into trisports. Wallesen has also been hired to spearhead a new e-commerce site at AthletesLounge.com in the coming months.
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Hillsboro-based apparel retailer TeamEstrogen.com closes doors after 18 years

Posted on September 20th, 2016 at 10:51 am.

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Team Estrogen Inc., an online cycling apparel retailer based in Hillsboro, is closing its doors after 18 years in business.

TeamEstrogen.com co-founder Susan Otcenas told Bicycle Retailer & Industry News last week that price competition and the changing behaviors of customers led to the decision to call it quits. Here’s more from BR&IN:

“We were never about price and discounts, and the world has changed. There’s a fundamental tension between the kind of hands-on customer service and high-quality staff we’ve always had and the customer demand for lower prices and free shipping,” Otcenas said. “The consumer has spoken that they value those things, and I totally understand it, but as a small company, it’s hard to compete in that space if that’s the main focus. It’s a race to the bottom, and we’re choosing not to go down that road.”

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Citybikes will close one location amid business downturn

Posted on August 29th, 2016 at 5:09 pm.

The creatively painted Citybikes Annex on Ankeny and 7th is closing its doors.(Photos: Citybikes)

The creatively painted Citybikes Annex on Ankeny and 7th is closing its doors.
(Photos: Citybikes)

In another sign of a changing Portland, Citybikes is closing the doors of its flagship sales location and consolidating its business.

The shop has been run as a worker-owned cooperative since 1990. It expanded from its original repair shop location on Southeast Ankeny near 20th to a second location, the 5,000 square-foot “Annex”, on the corner of SE Ankeny and 7th in 1995. Because of dwindling sales, the Annex will close for good by the end of this year.

“The main factor,” said Citybikes owner Ryan Smith in a phone interview last week, “Is that people who used to come here, don’t live in Portland anymore.” Smith is one of nine current owners of the shop and he expects that the total number of worker-owners will be reduced to just five once the transition is complete. Citybikes used to have as many as 25 owners in peak season.
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Athletes Lounge, a fixture in Portland’s triathlon scene, is closing

Posted on August 22nd, 2016 at 1:14 pm.

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

The Athletes Lounge tent at a race.

Portland’s only bike shop that specialized in the needs of triathletes is closing its doors. Athletes Lounge in northwest on Vaughn and 26th plans to close by October 1st.

Gary Wallesen has owned the shop for nearly six years after purchasing it from its previous owner who had run it since 2007.

Wallesen says the business isn’t strong enough to remain open. “Last year the numbers were down, this year numbers really down,” he shared via email last week. And he also offered some external reasons he feels the bike shop business is especially challenging these days. “The business environment is changing, online [shopping] is growing, a shop in town discounts everything and hurts all others. There is a big inventory of new bikes in Portland and the market.” Wallesen said the triathlon market is particularly flat (pun intended).

He even shared one cautionary tale that might point to larger trends: “I think people are looking to ride, but the roads are getting more crowded and a little less safe. So markets that take riders of the road might be doing better.”
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Shop Visit: Pedego Electric Bikes now open in downtown Portland

Posted on March 3rd, 2016 at 4:55 pm.

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Pedego’s storefront on SW 2nd
(with new awning that just went up today!).
(Photo: Tommy Connell/Pedego)

Pedego is one of the largest and well-known names in the electric bike world and now they’ve got a retail outpost in downtown Portland. We mentioned the shop a few weeks ago and now that they’re open for business I swung in the other day for a peek.

The shop itself is located on a busy intersection on Southwest 2nd Avenue south of Stark — just across the street from legendary brunch spot Mother’s Bistro & Bar. (Store employee David Peters said he’s already had nearly a dozen people from Mother’s wander into the shop.)
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Portland’s creative bike shop employees are at it again

Posted on February 18th, 2016 at 2:41 pm.

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Still from the shop’s new video.
Watch it below.

Yes I’m very biased, but I honestly think Portland has the most creative and interesting bike shop owners in the country.

I mean, seriously: We’ve got a bike shop that runs out of a converted yellow school bus (that’s been painted purple); a shop that actually promotes other bike shops and will issue you a library card to checkout saddles before you buy one; a shop that was the first in America to import dutch cargo bikes (thus sparking a nationwide craze); a shop that has created a following for their brilliant newspaper ads, and a shop that has become famous worldwide for its unique blend of welcoming attitude, bar offerings, and bike collection. And I could go on and on.

And now the trend continues thanks to two shops who have mastered video marketing: 21st Avenue Bicycles and Well Tuned Fast (WTF) Bikes.
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