Introducing the Bicycle Showcase: A place to promote and learn about great bikes

Posted on May 16th, 2018 at 4:33 pm.

We have so many great local bike shops and builders in Portland, and one of our main goals has always been to support them by spreading the word about their business and products.

Today we’re launching a new tool that will take that one step further. We call it the Bicycle Showcase. It’s a paid listing service ($150 per bike) and it’s a simple way for local bike builders and bike shops to spread the word about bikes they have for sale. Similar to our Job Listings, the idea is to get that triple-win we always strive for around here: Help local businesses thrive, support our work, and provide a helpful resource the community.

I personally love visiting bike shops and checking out the latest-and-greatest bikes. My hope is that this new service gives you the information you need to make a good choice about your next bike and/or just gives you an opportunity to ogle something cool during your lunch hour.

Our friends at Joe Bike (SE Lincoln and Cesar Chavez Blvd) jumped at the chance to create the first listing. Check out their very cool rendition of a Soma Wolverine below…

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After a decade of service in northwest Portland, 21st Avenue Bicycles is closing

Posted on May 2nd, 2018 at 3:45 pm.

Sign on the door of 21st Avenue Bicycles.
(Photo: Park Chambers)

Portland’s ever-changing bike retail landscape is taking another turn.

21st Avenue Bicycles, a fixture in northwest Portland since it opened in 2007, will close for good on May 12th. This storefront was previously Northwest Bicycles, which had been in operation since 1975.

Owner Park Chambers says he’s selling the building that houses the 2,000 square-foot shop and he’s decided the time has come to move on. Chambers, 48, told me in a phone call today that he suffered a stroke back in November. “Being paralyzed for a week” gave him time to reflect and he’s decided to simplify his life and focus on the two other bike shops he owns: Both of which cater to his main passion of mountain biking.

Chambers bought Fat Tire Farm, a shop on NW Thurman that specializes in mountain biking, in 1997. In June 2014 he opened Hood River Bicycles. He opened a suspension-tuning specialty shop called Traction Works in Portland in March 2016 and he moved that into the back of Fat Tire Farm last June.
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Metropolis Cycles in North Portland launches free commuter clinic events

Posted on April 30th, 2018 at 10:19 am.

(Photos by James Buckroyd)

Looking to get back in the cycling swing of things? Metropolis Cycles (2249 N Williams Ave) is hosting a free commuter clinic (that I’ll be teaching) on the first Monday of each month starting in May.
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Where to buy used kids’ bikes in Portland

Posted on March 13th, 2018 at 10:21 am.

This Lil’ Honey was new in 2012, but is ready for a new owner now.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Six years ago I scored a free 12-inch kids bike from my neighborhood mom group. It was the start of a journey — not just of riding, but of figuring out how and where to get bikes that work and that fit my constantly growing boys.
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Local bike shops come to terms with their industry’s ties to the NRA

Posted on February 23rd, 2018 at 12:01 pm.

(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“We will no longer purchase products from companies owned by Vista Outdoors. We will be donating proceeds from the remaining inventory we have of Giro helmets to Everytown for Gun Safety.”
— Leah Benson, Gladys Bikes

Revelations this week that several major bicycle brands are owned by Vista Outdoor — one of America’s largest sellers of assault weapon ammunition and accessories, and a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association (NRA) — has sent shockwaves through the Portland bike scene.

We’ve heard from several readers who now plan to boycott products from Bell Sports, Giro, Blackburn Design, CamelBak, Raskullz, and Copilot. But for bike shop owners who sell helmets, racks, packs and child seats, the issue is much more complicated. Some say they’ll boycott the brands until ties to the NRA are severed, others say they’ll steer clear of them in the future, and one was in such a moral quandary, they asked to remain anonymous.

Immediately after our story posted we heard from several Portland shops who said they’ll boycott all Vista Outdoor brands.

Clever Cycles, who doesn’t currently sell any Vista Outdoor products, wrote on Twitter that it’s, “Terrible to hear that a company pedaling child seats and safety equipment is also supporting an industry of terror,” and, “We are proud to not carry any products that @VistaOutdoorInc distributes.” Go By Bike owner Kiel Johnson shared that, “We won’t sell those brands either!” Mel Birgé who owns Recumbent PDX says, “I would never knowingly sell products from a weapons manufacturer. We didn’t sell Bell, Giro or Blackburn and now we won’t start.”
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There’s a new full-service bike shop near Mt. Hood

Posted on January 3rd, 2018 at 1:22 pm.

George Wilson (left) and Kevin McCarthy outside the new shop.
(Photos courtesy George Wilson)

The Mt. Hood area has been maturing as a cycling destination for years now with the establishment of the Sandy Ridge Trail System, the popularity of unpaved forest road riding, the mountain bike trail riding opportunities, and the much-improved (and bike-friendly) bus service. But one thing has been missing: a bike shop.

We’re very happy to report that that is no longer the case!

George Wilson, a former retiree who we’ve featured in the past for his bicycle advocacy in the Mt. Hood area, is opening Mt. Hood Bicycle this month in the Hoodland Shopping Center in Welches. Wilson is partnering with Kevin McCarthy on what will be a full service shop that will cater to locals and visitors alike. Both Wilson and McCarthy are certified bicycle mechanics and have decades of cycling experience between them.

We contacted Wilson via email today after reading about the shop in the Mountain Times. He said they’ll have a soft opening January 16th and are planning a grand opening in March.
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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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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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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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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…]