Thieves steal seven bikes from Block Bikes in St. Johns

Posted on March 13th, 2019 at 12:14 pm.

Block Bikes owner Ben Helgren is on the lookout for seven bikes after being hit by thieves on Sunday night (3/10).

In a post on his Facebook page, Helgren said the theft happened after the shop celebrated its sixth anniversary over the weekend. “As a small local business, our margins aren’t as big as some of the other shops and this certainly makes a dent right as the season is starting,” he wrote.

The thieves grabbed seven, yet-to-be assembled Marin bikes from the shop’s storage trailer. Here are the models and sizes: Marin Muirwoods size XXL in Red/Gold/Green fade; Fairfax SC1 sizes XL and L in Black; Marin Four Corners sizes M and XL in Black; Marin Stinson ST7 size Med in Light Blue/tan.

Keep in mind the bikes hadn’t been built up yet, so it’s hard to know exactly how they’ll look when built — and it’s possible they might be resold as-is or for parts.
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Rock Creek Cyclery is a new hub for bike lovers in Hillsboro

Posted on February 27th, 2019 at 1:00 pm.

Martín Acosta inside the new space.
(Photos: Naomi Fast)

Naomi Fast is our Washington County correspondent.

Not everyone believes in the oft-quoted movie mantra, “If you build it, they will come.” But out in Hillsboro, the adage holds true — and not just for Hillsboro Hops baseball.

Less than two years after I wrote about a new separated bikeway that parallels Cornelius Pass Road between Cornell and Highway 26, a new bike shop has moved in less than a mile away: Rock Creek Cyclery.
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Bike shop news roundup: New shop, new owners, and more break-ins

Posted on January 2nd, 2019 at 1:23 pm.

Tom Martin is the new ower of TomCat Bikes on SE Milwaukie in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

They say the only constant is change; and that’s certainly true for Portland bike shops.

In 2018 we saw several high-profile closures with 21st Avenue Bicycles, Velo Cult and all three Performance Bicycle locations closing their doors.

But the news wasn’t all bad: A new shop opened on Mt. Hood and Golden Pliers, that opened in June on North Skidmore at Interstate, has quickly become a favorite of many.

We’re sure to see more evolution in the local bike shop scene this year. Before we get too behind on this beat, I wanted to share a few news updates that have been accumulating in my notebook…
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Bankruptcy leads to closure of all three Performance Bicycle stores in Portland region

Posted on December 7th, 2018 at 1:03 pm.

Signs are up at the Beaverton store.
(Photo: Andy Kutansky)

Some people hoped a bankruptcy filing last month by the parent company of the Performance Bicycle might not result in the closure of all stores across the country.

But today the list is out and the news isn’t good: Advanced Sports Enterprises says it will close all 102 of its stores in the United States. That includes locations in Portland (Mall 205, 9988 SE Washington St.), Tualatin (7690 Montgomery Rd.) and Beaverton (3850 SW Hall Blvd.). The closure leaves Portland with just one bike shop (Outer Rim Bicycles) east of I-205.[Read more…]

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:
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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