Local retailers respond to Trump’s 25% tariff on electric bikes

Posted on August 9th, 2018 at 10:24 am.

E-bikes, like this one crusing on the Eastbank Esplanade, have become very popular in Portland. A new tariff could chill the market.
(Photo: Will Vanlue for BikePortland)

“Our forecasts predict that a 25% tariff will cause a 65-75% drop in sales as consumers postpone their purchases until sanity returns to our trade policies.”
— Wake Gregg, The eBike Store

In their ongoing effort to achieve more “fair and balanced” trade conditions with China, the Trump Administration has finalized a list of $16 billion worth of products that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff that will go into effect August 23rd.

Among those products are electric bicycles and e-bike motors. Bikes imported from China previously had no tariff. The tariff on motors will be 29 percent as the new tariff will be added to the existing one 4 percent. People for Bikes, a national bike industry advocacy group, fought the move, but has so far been unsuccessful.

This is bad news for the e-bike market. As we shared last week, sales of the pedal-assisted bikes have been a major bright spot for bike companies and retail shop owners. Here in Portland, we have a thriving e-bike scene and shop owners report brisk sales. There’s been a sense that — after years of challenges due to an educational and cultural bottleneck — the U.S. market for e-bikes had finally matured. And like many bike trends, Portland is at the tip of the spear.

Here are reactions to the new tariffs from three local shop owners:
[Read more…]

Velo Cult to host big used bike sale and a final goodbye from local framebuilders

Posted on August 7th, 2018 at 3:21 pm.

(Image: Velo Cult on Instagram)

You didn’t think Velo Cult would go quietly, did you?

The legendary shop, tavern, and community event space sadly announced the closure of its brick-and-mortar retail operations last month.

If you missed the farewell party and still need one last fix of the bike-loving vibes this place was famous for, there are two events you should put on your calendar right now: A used bike sale this Friday through Sunday and a big bike show on August 18th.
[Read more…]

Velo Cult will close retail shop to focus solely on e-commerce

Posted on July 25th, 2018 at 7:26 pm.

Velo Cult was a central meeting place for bike lovers of all types.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Velo Cult owner Sky Boyer in February 2018.

Velo Cult — a bike shop, bar and community gathering and event space in the Hollywood Neighborhood — will throw one final party this Saturday. Owner Sky Boyer has decided to close the brick-and-mortar space to focus his efforts online.

Boyer moved his business from San Diego to Portland in 2012 and quickly became a major cog in the local bike scene. Velo Cult has hosted all types of events and meetings and the shop changed the bike retail landscape locally and nationally. In 2013, Outside Magazine named Velo Cult one of the top 10 bike shops in America.

In the end, it appears the complexities of running a brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce business, mixed with requirements for running a bar in a 10,000 square-foot space, proved too big of a challenge.
[Read more…]

Golden Pliers, a bike shop and cafe, opens on North Skidmore at Interstate

Posted on June 25th, 2018 at 2:35 pm.

Inside the new Golden Pliers.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Owners Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman.

Portland’s newest bike shop quietly opened its doors on Friday. Kevin Purcell and Becky Newman are the people behind Golden Pliers, a small shop and cafe at 1451 N Skidmore (just east of Interstate) that will focus on repairs and carefully selected accessories.

Purcell is a former service mechanic at River City Bicycles and more recently, manager of 21st Avenue Bicycles, a shop that closed its doors last month. Newman is the owner of Makeshifter Canvas Works, where she handcrafts bags, apparel and other accessories — many of which are now sold in Golden Pliers.
[Read more…]

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…

[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.”
[Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]