Archives of stories on Portland Framebuilders

The Portland connection behind the limited edition ‘Sequoia Merz’ bike from Specialized

Posted on May 24th, 2017 at 1:36 pm.

The Sequoia Merz from Specialized.
(Photo: River City Bicycles)

One of the most well-known bike brands in the world has just released a limited edition model (only 200 will be sold) that has a Portland framebuilder’s name on the downtube.

The new Sequoia adventure road bike from Specialized Bicycles has the name “Merz” emblazoned on the frame in honor of the work of Jim Merz. As you might recall in a story we shared of a bike tour Merz took in 1972, he was one of the first custom framebuilders to set up shop in Portland. After getting his start here in the early 1970s his work caught the attention of Mike Sinyard — the man who started Specialized. It was 1982 and Sinyard needed help building his “Stumpjumper” mountain bike frames which were taking the country by storm.

When “The Big S” wanted to bring back their Sequoia road bike to capitalize on today’s big adventure riding/gravel bike market, they contracted with Merz on the design. Below is an excerpt form an interview with Merz recently posted on the River City Bicycles website. In it, Merz explains how he first met Sinyard:
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Industry Ticker: Norther’s Klickitat, limited edition Breadwinner, and Western Bikeworks big remodel

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 9:40 am.

The latest from Norther, Western Bikeworks, and Breadwinner.
(Photos by Anthony Bareno (left), Western Bikeworks (middle), Breadwinner Cycles (right).

Portland’s local bike industry is always in flux: coming, going, making it, and breaking it. Because business is a key part of our local scene, we try to keep an eye on it all. Here are three bits of news from local makers and sellers that you should know about.
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Bike shop news roundup: Two moves, one stays, Breadwinner’s new cafe, and a heartwarming story

Posted on April 12th, 2017 at 11:58 am.

Kenton Cycle Repair’s new location off Denver Ave.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Lots of news to get to so let’s jump right in shall we?

There’s been a lot of shuffling of bike shops in Portland in the past few years. There are several reasons we see bike shops move or go out of business. There’s always a pendulum swing and shake-out in a city whose enthusiasm for cycling sometimes outpaces its actual support of it. Rent increases are another major culprit. Bike shops aren’t exactly cash cows and most owners operate on very thin margins. Finding the right space with the right size at the right price is not easy — especially in a city where landlords and developers would rather own multi-story residential buildings.

With that, here are the updates we’ve got for you (scroll down to get all the details):

  • Upcycles moves out of Woodlawn
  • Kenton Cycle Repair moves into much larger space
  • Metropolis Cycles changes plans
  • Announcing the Breadwinner Cafe!
  • East Portland shops step up to help

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Industry Ticker: Renovo’s ‘John Day’ gravel bike

Posted on March 21st, 2017 at 10:26 am.

Made in Portland.
(Photos: Renovo Hardwood Bicycles)

Renovo Hardwood Bicycles has come a very long way since we first profiled them nine years ago. The company has added staff, inked major partnerships, and significantly expanded their offerings.
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Builders and brewers star at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest (photos)

Posted on October 8th, 2016 at 12:06 am.

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Head over to the North Warehouse on Interstate and Tillamook to gander at beautiful, Oregon-made bikes while sipping locally-made beer.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Handmade Bike & Beer Fest got off to a solid start tonight in north Portland. This event, hosted by the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Assocation, has teamed up with the Oregon Brewer’s Guild this year to offer a wider variety of craft beers to go along with the craft bikes.[Read more…]

Breadwinner rolling with new model and ‘Editor’s Choice’ award

Posted on May 10th, 2016 at 2:53 pm.

One of the best says Bicycling Magazine.(Photos: Breadwinner Cycles)

One of the best says Bicycling Magazine.
(Photos: Breadwinner Cycles)

Three years after two of Portland’s most well-known bicycle builders joined forces the duo is starting to hit their stride.

Breadwinner Cycles, the company founded by Portlanders Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan in 2013 are coming off a huge month. In April their speedy “Lolo” road bike was named an “Editor’s Choice” by Bicycling Magazine and they launched a new mountain bike model.

The editors at Bicycling test all the best bikes in the world but they gave only 20 of them Editor’s Choice honors. They considered 100 bikes in all and whittled that down to 75 before deciding on 41 bikes (21 mountain bikes and 20 road bikes) that “rose above ‘great’.”
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Portland-based Zen Bicycle Fabrication is closing its doors

Posted on February 25th, 2016 at 12:41 pm.

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A bicycle frame manufacturer based in north Portland has decided to call it quits. According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News magazine, Zen Bicycle Fabrication “has discontinued operations and is in the process of vacating its premises.”

Zen launched in 2011 by company owners David and Jen Woronets. David was head of production for Vancouver Washington-based Ellsworth Cycles before going out on his own with Zen. According to BRAIN, the decision to close was based on a lack of business. “We built our facility based on maintaining a certain capacity, and we had too many months below that figure to continue… We wanted to maintain a 100-piece minimum order, but much of the interest is in runs of 10s and 20s,” Woronets told the magazine. The company had nine employees when it launched in 2011 but that number has since dwindled to five.

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Industry Ticker: Ti Cycles 25-year Retrospective coming to Velo Cult

Posted on August 26th, 2015 at 1:04 pm.

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Industry Ticker: The Vanilla Workshop launches ‘Urban Racer’ model

Posted on June 2nd, 2015 at 8:10 am.

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The new Urban Racer from The Vanilla Workshop, the latest in Sacha White’s Speedvagen line.
(Photos by John Watson)

Sacha White, the southeast Portland-based maker of fine bicycles who has sat among the top American framebuilders for years, has just released a new bike: the Urban Racer.
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Industry Ticker: Renovo launches ‘Ready-To-Ride’ line

Posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 11:20 am.

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Stepped up production means you can get a Renovo in just a few weeks, instead of a few months.
(Photos: Renovo Bicycles)

Welcome to Industry Ticker, a new column where we’ll share news from the local bike industry.

Southeast Portland based hardwood bicycle makers Renovo are moving beyond custom frames with their new “Ready to Ride” line. Now you can get one of their bikes with just a few weeks wait.
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