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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Tested: Castelli gear to help you beat the rain

Posted on May 12th, 2017 at 9:57 am.

Castelli has you covered for wet spring riding gear.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

This year has been absolutely brutal weather-wise. So much water has fallen from the sky that it seems as though I can count on one hand how many times I’ve left home for a ride and not gotten wet at least once. The recent few days of sun have been a welcome change, but there are still a lot of rainy days ahead before the reliably dry late-summer-fall season.
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Industry Ticker: New ‘Atlas’ jacket from Showers Pass; Islabikes launches ‘cross tires for adults

Posted on February 22nd, 2017 at 12:07 pm.

New offerings from Portland-based Islabikes and Showerspass.

We love seeing local bike companies expand their product lines. It demonstrates that our bike economy is strong and that the spirit of innovation from our local bikey brain trust is alive and well.

Today we’ve got words and pictures of two new products now available from two Portland companies: Showers Pass and Islabikes USA.
[Read more…]

This ‘Spirit of ’77’ dream bike is awaiting a Trail Blazers player

Posted on February 9th, 2017 at 12:35 pm.

Introducing the “Seven Spirit of ’77,” on sale now at a local bike shop.
(Photos: River City Bicycles)

Portlander Dave Guettler is a huge Trail Blazers fan. He also happens to own River City Bicycles, one of the best bike shops in the country.

And now River City (located just a mile from the Blazers’ home court) is probably the only bike shop in America with a high-quality custom bike made specifically for a tall person who happens to play for the Blazers.
[Read more…]

Can Ikea’s “Sladda” bike bridge the bike-shop-or-big-box gap?

Posted on January 17th, 2017 at 1:36 pm.

One of the barriers to more cycling in America seems simple: More than 100 years after bikes ruled our nation’s roads, we still don’t have access to a bike with the right mix of features, design, quality, pricing and availability that could spur a real revolution. For years Americans have had to choose between bikes from bike shops (more expensive, higher quality, harder to find) or bikes from big box retailers like Target or WalMart (cheaper, terrible quality, available everywhere).

Ikea’s “Sladda” — which just became available to U.S. customers — could bridge that gap.
[Read more…]

Survive winter riding with these 30 pearls of wisdom

Posted on January 2nd, 2017 at 4:35 pm.

Sandy Ridge in the snow-6

The weather outside is frightful, but with the right gear and wisdom it can be delightful. This treasure trove of winter weather riding advice was inspired by an email thread from the hardy folks of “Unpaved” — a Google Group and Ride With GPS club that share and ride adventurous routes. It was originally posted in this form by Our Mother The Mountain and has been reprinted here with their permission. (Keep in mind, this advice is mostly tailored toward for big adventure rides, as opposed to commuting a short distance to work.)
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Winter riding in the Pacific Northwest can be a uniquely challenging affair. Whether exploring deep National Forest gravel roads, churning out paved base mileage, pounding grimy singletrack, or simply commuting — there are a few universal truths that will hopefully take a bit of the adversity out of the season. Initially compiled by Ryan Francesconi, the following list reflects the cumulative wisdom of the Unpaved community.
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Product review: The Knog Oi bike bell

Posted on October 28th, 2016 at 12:47 pm.

Black Knog Oi bell looks good next to a GoPro mount

Black Knog Oi bell looks good next to a GoPro mount.
(Photos and video by Ted Timmons)

I’ve been unhappy with bike bells in the past. I’ve found that standard ones take up too much room (for me) or rattle, and some don’t work well. So I’ve placed and replaced bells over the past few years, currently none of my bikes have a bell mounted.

Until now.
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Product review: The Islabikes Beinn 20 children’s bike

Posted on October 25th, 2016 at 10:44 am.

Testing the Islabike Beinn 20-4.jpg

When a kid has the confidence to do little tricks, it’s a good sign they trust their bike.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When he was finally ready, his bike was more than up to the task. That’s how I think about my five-year-old son Everett’s evolution to becoming a confident bike rider.

It wasn’t easy. He first learned to ride a regular pedal-bike (after learning on a balance bike) over two years ago. But for some reason he didn’t keep it up. He parked the bike and seemed afraid or nervous about it whenever we urged him to get back on the saddle. Even getting a shiny new red bike didn’t inspire him! I was completely at a loss. I was so frustrated that I just stepped back and stopped even talking about riding (absent dropping a few hints here and there).

Then one day while I was out of town, I got a text from Juli. It was a video of Everett riding his bike. “This just happened,” she wrote.

He got his bike out and just started riding it. All on his own. I guess he was finally ready.

And thankfully, his bike was too.
[Read more…]

Local company wants to make bike security a cinch

Posted on September 12th, 2016 at 12:30 pm.

Wilsonville-based Otto Design Works thinks most bike locks are too big and clunky – especially for people riding fast and light road bikes who want something slim and compact.
[Read more…]

Local company makes tote bag for front basket of Biketown bikes

Posted on August 8th, 2016 at 3:19 pm.

North St Bags bike share tote -1.jpg

North St.’s new “Townie Tote” model. It also comes in dark grey.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In just the latest sign that Portland has gone head-over-heels for bike share, a local company has added a Biketown-specific bag to their product line.[Read more…]