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Two non-profits team up for new coffee/bike shop on SE Powell

Two non-profits team up for new coffee/bike shop on SE Powell

He’ll have much more room in the new space.
(Photo: Braking Cycles)

How much good can bikes do under just one roof?

How about a coffee shop up front where homeless and at-risk youth learn job skills and a bike shop in the rear where they learn bike repair skills? That’s what Braking Cycles and Bikes for Humanity PDX have planned for a new venture coming to SE 33rd and Powell.

We shared the story of Braking Cycles in 2014, right when social service worker Rhona Maul was starting up the new venture. Braking Cycles is a project of Transitional Youth, a Beaverton-based non-profit that helps homeless and at-risk youth integrate into the community. For the past three years Maul has been working to make her dream of having a stand-alone shop for the program a reality. Now she’s just $12,000 away and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to get there (watch the video below).

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The partnership with Bikes for Humanity came at an opportune time. That organization — which provides refurbished bikes at low-cost, repair services, and bike maintenance education classes — has faced a few years of rough finances as it adjusts to life without its founder.

Future location at SE 33rd Place and Powell.

“They are low on cash, so the beauty of this situation is, we are moving in with them!,” Maul, “It helps them out and gives us a great partnership in space as well.”

Bicycles for Humanity volunteer Andrew Shaw-Kitch said the new arrangement will allow them to continue to operate their shop, school, and headquarters in one half of the shop, while Braking Cycles operates out of the other half.

Once the renovation is complete (assuming the crowdfunding is successful), youth who participate in the Braking Cycles program will go through a six-month paid apprenticeship program where they’ll learn how to pull espresso shots and pull bottom brackets with equal aplomb.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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After roller-coaster year, Portland Design Works looks ahead to 2017

After roller-coaster year, Portland Design Works looks ahead to 2017

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.
(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

Just over eight years since he founded Portland Design Works, 37-year-old Erik Olson is about close out one of the toughest ones yet. In the past six months he’s endured the departure of his co-founder and business partner, lagging sales thanks to a global downturn in the bike industry, pesky counterfeiters, and an unexpected cross-town move. Despite these hurdles, Olson is sanguine about the future.

“We’re moving in the right direction as a company,” he shared from the floor of his warehouse on Southeast 21st Avenue during a visit yesterday. They’re located just a stones-throw from the new Lafayette Street Bridge (which he and other employees use with their bikes every day) and the Orange MAX line.

New packaging from Bern for the Asteroid rear light.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

New packaging from Bern for the Asteroid rear light.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Back in May, Olson settled his company and four full-time employees into a new 3,800 square-foot warehouse and office space. They were previously based in a much larger space on Northeast Hancock (you might have noticed the PDW mural on the west-facing wall as you pedaled up Williams Avenue just north of Broadway) — that is, until a wealthy donor with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art decided they wanted to buy the building and move in. It was a lot of work to get everything packed up and out with relatively short notice, but in the long run it’s been a positive thing for the company.

Unlike the separated spaces and dark interior offices of their old building, the new offices have lots of natural light and all the employees are close enough to easily talk and exchange ideas — a key ingredient to PDW’s success.

The relatively small brand has established itself in the industry by offering a line of thoughtful and distinctive products. They seem to be in that sweet spot where they’re small enough to be able to quickly dream up new products and improve existings ones, while being large enough to keep inventory high and costs low. Part of the reason for that, Olson shared, is all the products are made in small factories in Taiwan, instead of mega-factories in China.

One of their latest projects is a new collaboration with Bern helmets. Starting in January, the Massachusetts-based company will package, market, and sell the PDW “Asteroid” taillight with a custom mounting kit that snaps into the goggle port at the back of all their helmets. Olson thinks the partnership will raise the profile of PDW due to Bern’s reputation and strong presence on the East Coast – where PDW isn’t as well-known.



Then there are companies “collaborating” with PDW illegally without their consent. In a sign of the times, and perhaps a sign of PDW’s success, rogue actors have started to make a counterfeit version of the PDW’s popular Danger Zone rear light then set up shop on That’s led to a frustrating drain of time and resources in what amounts to whack-a-mole. PDW Marketing Manager Jocelyn Gaudi says they often first track the fakes down after reading a negative online review.

Olson showed me one of the fake lights from a company called “Raypal.” It looks similar enough, but the materials and finish are very poor. Olson has a list of about 40 of these bogus resellers and so far emailing them cease-and-desist letters hasn’t completely solved the problem so he’s got an employee who monitors the web for fakes on a daily basis.

“Weren’t you sort of flattered to be copied?” I asked. “Heck no! I was pissed!” Olson replied.

Combatting counterfeiters is one reason PDW is moving toward a new system where they only sell to “authorized resellers.” This is a big move for a small company that now has to get 1,300 existing bike shops and other dealers to fill out an application form and make sure they all follow some basic rules. The new program will likely cause a dip in sales as unsavory dealers are cut off; but since those who pass the test will be required to sell PDW products at a set minimum retail price and present the products in a professional way, it will ultimately strengthen the brand by weeding out discounters while raising revenue from trusted dealers.

Beyond their lights (which got a boost in lumens this year thanks to the trickle-down of light technology), fenders have become PDW’s bread-and-butter. With the Full Metal Fenders in their top sales spot, they now have a polycarbonate version dubbed “Poncho Fenders” that come in at about half the price.

While they continue to tighten up their product line, raise the integrity of their sales channels, and oversee a major update to their website, Portland Design Works is on a strong course for 2017. They’ve come a long way since opening up shop in a leaky tin shed (which they shared with Ruckus Composites, another Portland bike company who has found their stride) eight years ago.

Gaudi, the marketing manager, wanted me to ask you, dear readers, what type of products you think PDW should make next?

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

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The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?

Stephanie Noll is researching an important question for bike tourism in Oregon.

Stephanie Noll is researching an important question for bike tourism in Oregon.

Trail projects — many of them spurred by a demand for bicycle use — are being dreamed up, funded, and built all over Oregon right now. There’s tremendous momentum for all forms of cycling — from singletrack dirt trail riding that’s become popular at Sandy Ridge to rail-to-trail riding on paved paths like the Banks-Vernonia State Trail. Trails are the backbone of Oregon’s bike tourism engine that pumps $400 million a year into the state economy.

Despite all the projects and people that make up Oregon’s outdoor trail ecosystem, there’s no statewide group that can present a united front for lobbying, promotion, fundraising, and so on.

This problem has been identified by Travel Oregon and they’ve hired a consultant to look into it. At a meeting of their Bicycle Tourism Partnership meeting in Bend today, Stephanie Noll (former deputy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, now a private consultant) shared insights from her ongoing research into the topic.

Noll has conducted 20 interviews with trails experts throughout Oregon where she posed the following question:

What hurdles does Oregon face in building and maintaining a world class network of trails, and how could we work together to address those hurdles?

The number one response was the need for a coordinated effort to get more funding (big surprise!). The other top feedback was a need to convene existing trail groups to learn from each other and creating a cohesive vision for a statewide trail network.

Noll also shared examples from Washington, where a much more evolved approach to trail advocacy exists.

Washington Trails Association website.

Washington Trails Association website.

The Washington Trails Association was started 50 years ago, has 33 full-time staffers and 13,000 members (whose donations provide most of the funding). On the biking side of things, Washington’s Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has 25 staffers and chapters all over the state. There’s also the Washington State Trails Coalition that convenes a wide variety of groups including ATV users, boaters, and equestrian advocates. It’s an enviable ecosystem that feeds off the state’s dedicated Recreation & Conservation Office — Washington’s governmental arm that does the heavy-lifting of getting federal grants, among other things.

With this advocacy ecosystem, Washington seems far ahead of Oregon when it comes to trail planning and development. It could also be one explanation for the fact that Washington has 110 officially designated rail-trails and Oregon has only 20.

Oregon has a lot to be proud of when it comes to bike trail advocacy. Travel Oregon has been a stalwart supporter of the trails for over a decade as the founder of the Oregon Bicycle Tourism Partnership (which first met in 2004), creator of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program, funder of the website, and much more. But they’re a government entity beholden to many other (non-bike-related) priorities.

If Oregon wants to become the premiere state for cycling on off-highway trails, it might be time for a new entity to help tie all the existing threads together and weave a more beautiful tapestry of riding opportunities.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Former PBOT staffer finds niche with bike-powered greeting card biz

Former PBOT staffer finds niche with bike-powered greeting card biz

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Dulken after a visit to one her customers yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bikes at Work series. Read more here.

You might not know her name, but you have probably seen Diane Dulken’s work around town. And if her plans work out, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

Dulken, a former reporter at The Oregonian who worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s media relations department from 2013 until July of last year, is now putting her effort into Sunnyside Art Studio. It’s a return to doing art, mixing in her love for cycling, and sharing it all with the city she loves that goes back nearly two decades.

In the late 1990s when Dulken was a board member with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance she created a marketing campaign for the city’s first artistic bike racks. That work earned her an Alice Award from the BTA in 2001.

These days Dulken spends part of her work week creating greeting cards and delivering them by bike to retail stores throughout Portland. She named her business Sunnyside because it’s the name of the school she volunteers at (as a teacher’s aide), it’s the neighborhood she lives in, and “It’s spreads a bit of joy and irony because we live in one of the rainiest places.”

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It was her work with students in the art program at Sunnyside Environmental School in southeast Portland that inspired her to create her first cards eight years ago. Dulken says she’s always been an artist but, “My palette got a lot brighter working with the kids.”

Among the 30 designs she currently has on offer is one that includes a bicycle and the message, “The world looks better from here.” That design was commissioned by the City of Portland for use as a thank-you card for participants in the recent Open Streets Summit.

For Dulken, using her bike to power her microbusiness isn’t an advocacy or marketing ploy, it just comes naturally. “It’s the opposite of an obligation. If I had to drive, that would be an obligation.”

If you or your company wants to support a friendly local business that goes by bike, Dulken specializes in custom holiday cards and now is the time to get your order in. You can find Dulken’s cards at Oblation Paper & Press (516 NW 12th), City Market NW (735 NW 21st), the Reed College Bookstore (3203 SE Woodstock), Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts (820 SW Washington), and a few other locations.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Portland’s Nutcase Helmets acquired by private equity firm

Portland’s Nutcase Helmets acquired by private equity firm

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Nutcase founder Michael Morrow in 2011.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after being founded by a former Nike employee, Portland-based Nutcase Inc. has been acquired by Bravo Sports Corporation.

The move brings Nutcase under an umbrella of 23 other brands owned and/or managed by Bravo Sports that includes well-known names in the skateboarding market like Kryptonics, Sector 9, Pro-Tec, and Vision Street Wear. Bravo also owns children’s scooter brand Pulse Performance Products, holds major licensing agreements with Marvel, Nickelodeon, Disney/Pixar (and others), and holds exclusive rights to license, manufacture, and market E-Z UP tents. Bravo Sports is backed by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.

Nutcase was founded in 2006 by Michael Morrow. Over the past decade the company has grown steadily and has become a leading helmet brand known for their focus on eye-catching designs. After establishing a strong foothold in the U.S. market, Nutcase made a big push into Europe in 2013 and now has distributors in over 40 countries worldwide. In February of this year the company hired its first-ever CEO and a few months ago Nutcase made the decision to drop their motorsports helmets to focus exclusively on bicycling helmets.

Nutcase helmets are currently sold by a network of 35 sales reps who oversee the brand’s 600 dealers nationwide.

Nutcase will join 23 other brands in the Bravo portfolio.

Nutcase will join 23 other brands in the Bravo portfolio.

“This acquisition allows us to continue to be at the forefront of the urban cycling revolution, while also providing our reps access to a robust network of authentic active lifestyle brands in the mountain biking and skate realm,” said Nutcase Marketing Manager Meghan Sinnott in an email to us this morning. “This is all incredibly exciting for us.”

In the press release announcing the acquisition Bravo Sports CEO Leonardo Pais said, “Protection is one of our key areas of growth… we are proud to be able to offer Nutcase as a bicycle helmet for riders of all ages worldwide.”

Nutcase Founder and President Michael Morrow said now is the perfect time to take Nutcase to the next level. “This merger will allow our product design, brand marketing, and sales organizations around the world to continue to innovate in the bicycle helmet market, with an emphasis on integrating creativity and technology to meet the safety needs and lifestyle aspirations of riders worldwide.”

Transom Capital says its approach to company management is a “value creation process” based on the acronym ARMOR which stands for: “Acquisition, Restructuring, Monitoring & Operations, and Return.” Transom says they provide operational support, “without overwhelming the management team.”

Nutcase’s 14 current employees work in an office on the second floor of the Ford Building at the corner of SE Division and 11th. Sinnott, the marketing manager, tells us, “Very few” positiosn will be elmintated and that, “Those whose jobs have become redundant are aware their positions will be changing in the next few months.”

Bravo says the company will remain in Portland.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Cargo trike company B-Line takes over delivery for SoupCycle

Cargo trike company B-Line takes over delivery for SoupCycle

Coming soon to your front door.(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Coming soon to your front door.
(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Bike-powered business, urban freight delivery and local food production have come together in a very exciting way in Portland.

Today two local companies that have built strong niches hauling cargo with pedal power — B-Line and SoupCycle — announced they’ve joined forces. From now on B-Line’s electric-assist cargo trikes will distribute meals for SoupCycle, a company with over 600 customers throughout Portland.

It’s an intriguing collaboration that shows the maturity of Portland’s bike business ecosystem and it comes just days after the University of Washington debuted a new “Urban Freight Lab” in partnership with major retailers and shipping companies with an aim to make downtown deliveries more efficient and friendlier for humans and the environment.

For SoupCycle and B-Line, the move allows both of them to do more of what they do best.

SoupCycle started in 2008 when (former) owner Jed Lazar began cooking up delicious soups and delivering them by bike to “soupscribers” with his humble cargo trailer. The business took off as Lazar expanded his delivery territory (known as “souplandistan”) and hired more riders. Lazar sold the business to employee Nate Schlachter in 2014 and the company became certified as a B Corporation in 2016. In the past eight years they’ve delivered about 180,000 servings of organic soup, bread and salad.

B-Line, also a B Corporation, got rolling in 2009 and immediately saw themselves as much more than just a human-powered delivery company. The company employs 18 people — 15 of whom pedal the large trikes (that also serve as advertising vehicles via the billboards on all sides) to clients in the central city. It’s a much more humane way than motorized trucks and vans to solve the urban “last-mile” freight delivery challenge that Portland and many other cities face.

B-Line CEO Franklin Jones told us seven years ago that he wanted to, “Create a different type of city… a new model of distributing goods in urban areas.” Slowly but surely he has done just that.

It all came together when Jones moved B-Line into the The Redd, a collaborative space at Southeast 7th and Salmon streets in the Central Eastside devoted to boosting the local food economy by connecting farmers, chefs, and entrepreneurs. B-Line is the anchor tenant at The Redd and SoupCycle moved in this past summer. “By giving B-Line oversight of our distribution and logistics,” Schlachter said in a press release about the partnership, “we can focus on our core competency as a fresh food producer, and continue to grow by pursuing new business opportunities.”

Learn more about how pedal-power is playing a role in Portland’s local food ecosystem via The Redd’s website.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Amid growth surge, Ruckus Composites makes two new hires

Amid growth surge, Ruckus Composites makes two new hires

The newly-expanded team at Portland-based Ruckus Composites.(Photo: Ruckus)

The newly-expanded team at Portland-based Ruckus Composites.
(Photo: Ruckus)

Ruckus Composites has come a long way since we first visited their shop seven years ago.

Back then company founder Shawn Small worked in a rough shop space in the Brooklyn neighborhood that he shared with another company (Portland Design Works, which has grown quite a bit itself since those days). A mechanical engineering grad who’s now 32 years old, he worked alone with just his tools, machines, and big ideas to keep him going. Part bike lover, part mad scientist (he used to write our “Bike Science” column), and part entrepreneur, Small has definitely managed to keep going.

As he approaches a decade in business he announced two new hires today which brings the Ruckus staff up to six full-timers (not including himself).

While he envisioned a company that would make a full suite of bicycle components — and maybe even a line of bicycle frames — Small has zeroed in on one niche: carbon fiber bicycle frame repair. Since finding that focus around 2012, Small has invested in training and tools to make his operation as efficient as possible. Many of the 60-70 bikes that come through the shop each month are fixed and returned to their owners within 1-2 weeks. That’s possible in part because of things like the shop’s graphic design prowess and vinyl plotter that allows them to create and print frame stickers and graphics themselves.

Another competitive advantage is their ability to 3d-print replacement parts like derailleur hangers. It’s a complicated process; but with a lack of standardization in the bicycle industry, it’s a must. “We’re the only shop in the world that does that,” Small said during our visit to Ruckus’ central eastside industrial shop space last summer. On that note, Ruckus has also grown because of a lack of competition. The company finds customers through traditional marketing and has also become the go-to source of repairs for many carbon bike manufacturers and large bike shops. When a carbon frame cracks under warranty, it’s usually much cheaper to have it repaired than to scrap it and send out a new frame.

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Shawn Small and employee Graham Adams at Ruckus HQ in 2015.
(All photos below by J. Maus/BikePortland)
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Each bike is given a thorough inspection to find damage.
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A top tube after being repaired. Once complete, you’ll never know it was repaired.
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One of Ruckus’ 3d printers.
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For Small, Ruckus doesn’t exist to simply fix broken bikes, they aim to make broken bikes better. All the carbon used in repairs is imported from Sweden in rolls just one-third of a millimeter thick. Small says it’s the best carbon fiber available because of its stiffness and purity. Beyond keeping people riding, Ruckus sees their mission as a way to keep carbon bikes out of landfills. “We give once broken frames a new life, fulfilling our fundamental concept of ‘remade in the USA,’” reads a company statement released today.

Small estimates about 4,800 bikes have come through Ruckus’ doors for repair. And none of the repairs have failed.

That’s a seriously good track record that has helped lead to serious growth for this small business. But it’s not all serious at Ruckus. If you’ve seen the Ruckus Test Team at the local races (hard to miss with their perenially outlandish team kit) or if you follow them on Instagram, you’ll know that the people behind this brand are as silly as they are smart. Last year Small built a 28-foot long, 40-pound carbon fiber glider and entered it into the Red Bull Flugtag flying competition. He’s also gained a bit of celebrity for launching a hot dog into space.

It’s all about having fun and being open to new ideas. In a statement today about the new hires, Ruckus said they plan to continue to expand their technical expertise and educate more bike shops around the country about carbon repair. “We are also thinking heavily,” the statement continued, “about what sort of bike should be on the first Mars Colony.”

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Western Bikeworks absorbs Athletes Lounge to expand into triathlon market

Western Bikeworks absorbs Athletes Lounge to expand into triathlon market


Six weeks after closing its doors for good, Portland’s only triathlon shop has found new life in an unexpected place: Another bike shop.

Early Saturday morning Western Bikeworks announced an agreement with Athletes Lounge. Western Bikeworks has locations in northwest Portland and Tigard and is one of the city’s largest bike shops. In addition to their two retail locations Western Bikeworks does a robust online business as one of four e-commerce bike brands owned by Portland-based Velotech Inc (they also run, and

According to a statement, Athletes Lounge owner Gary Wallesen and an undisclosed number of his former staff will now be employed by Western Bikeworks in order to, “expand the areas of expertise” into trisports. Wallesen has also been hired to spearhead a new e-commerce site at in the coming months.

Here’s more from Western’s statement:

“In our effort to help people have great experiences on a bike, we are constantly re-evaluating our existing expertise and community involvement,” said Western Bikeworks General Manager Colin Ross. “This addition allows us to better serve triathletes by tapping into the wealth of knowledge that Gary and his crew bring along. We look forward to further expanding our growing customer base and community investment.”

“I am very excited to be part of the Western Bikeworks team of professionals. The addition of triathlon will be great news for the large and active multi-sport community,” added Gary Wallesen, former owner of Athletes Lounge.

Western Bikeworks will incorporate Wallesen’s expertise and extensive experience in this community to provide an excellent selection of both triathlon-specific bikes and swim products. He will also work closely with the existing management team, and 3 Dots Design, on a remodel of our flagship Portland store to provide a world-class shopping experience for multi-sport athletes, and anyone else who wants to have the best experience possible riding a bike.

As we reported in August Wallesen decided to close his shop due to a lack of business. He also blamed online shopping and local shops who offer deep discounts as part of what made it hard to turn a profit.

Want more local industry news? Browse our Industry Ticker archives.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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Builders and brewers star at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest (photos)

Builders and brewers star at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest (photos)

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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.

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I had to sample this new beer from Base Camp Brewing Company. It was made with the fresh hops we picked in the Willamette Valley during the Fresh Hop Century.
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I took a walk around the show floor to meet a few of the builders and get a closer look at what they had to offer…

Breadwinner’s Special Edition “Take the Long Way Home” B-Road

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Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan of Breadwinner Cycles brought something new to the show this year: a special edition of their “B-Road” model that will only be on sale until October 21st.

“We built and designed this as our gravel bike,” Pereira shared with me at the show tonight, “but it’s really our most versatile bike. It’s a quiver killer. If you can only have one bike it’d be a good one to have.”

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Nice touches include Shimano Icetech Freeza rotors and Chris King hubs.
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Complete the package and spring for this Silca Super Pista Ultimate Floor pump painted to match for an extra $579.

This special B-Road comes with a new colorway, matching frame pump and all the features and spec that have made this such a popular bike: room for cushy 44 mm tires (or 32 mm with fenders), USA made components from Chris King and Thompson, disc brakes, stainless thru-axle dropouts, handbuilt wheels from Sugar Wheel Works, rack and fender braze-ons, Silca Super Pista Frame Pump painted to match, Brooks saddle, Shimano Ultegra groupset, and more.

Price is $5,695 and delivery is guaranteed before Christmas if you get your order in by October 21st. Learn more on their website.

Introducing Page Street Cycles

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Joseph Ahearne (Ahearne Cycles) and Christopher Igleheart (Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks) have well over half a century of bike building experience between them. They’ve also shared a shop on North Page Street for the past five years. As the two have started working on projects together (like a recent batch of six bikes for Box Dog Bikes in San Francisco) it was a natural move to start up a new brand.

Page Street Cycles is the official name of their new collaboration and so far we like what we see. Ahearne’s brazing and rack-making combines perfectly with Igleheart’s TIG welding and expertise in fork making. And both builders’ quirky yet classy approach to bike making plays very well together. They displayed two Page Street adventure bikes that looked like they were ready for anything.

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This Page Street Outback bike was spec’d with Pinion central gearbox — like an internally geared rear hub that fits into the bottom bracket.
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The power generation was done the German-made Velogical Rim Dynamo. This method allows builders to use lighter wheels while still generated enough power to keep devices (via a USB outlet in the stem cap) and lights fully charged.
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A thoughtful parts spec.
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Christopher Igleheart won best t-shirt.

Supplying the trade

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Tony Tapay (left) and Mike Cobb of Framebuilder Supply.

Portlander Tony Tapay is the man who sells the ingredients used in the concoctions these bicycle craftsmen cook up. Tapay is the owner of Framebuilder Supply, a company that sells tubing, lugs, and other frame parts.

After giving framebuilding a try himself several years ago, Tapay found that just getting the raw materials he needed from a local source was a pain. Building bikes was also very hard work that he couldn’t see ever scaling up into a long career. “So I decided I wanted to be Levi Strauss. He once said that, ‘I can be a gold miner, or I can sell jeans to gold miners.’”

Two years ago Tapay launched Framebuilder Supply and the business has seen strong growth ever since.

Framebuilder Supply has clients all over the country ranging from well-known small builders like Breadwinner and English, to garage hobbyists who just build a frame or two.

Building bikes in the Cully neighborhood

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Thursday’s Elk Hunter is design for hauling a kill out of the backcountry.

John Norstog is the man behind Thursday Bicycles. He lives on a half-acre in the Cully Neighborhood of northeast Portland where he builds a wide range of bicycles — from his backcountry-ready “Elk Hunter” model to youth BMX bikes.

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John Norstog.

“I have a narrative approach to building,” Norstog shared with me. “Every bicycle I build has a different story.”

Norstog is a retired employee of the Navajo Nation in Idaho where he advised the president of the tribe. Asked how the name “Thursday Bicycles” came about, he said, “Thursday was always a slow day on the reservation, so I’d go home and build bikes.”

A unique manufacturing approach

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Circa’s townie.

Rich Fox hasn’t stopped chasing his bike making dreams since he launched Circa Cycles two years ago.

His unique approach relies on aluminum tubing that’s bonded with aerospace grade structural adhesive to proprietary lugs. His manufacturing process is much quicker and cheaper than traditional methods because his building process doesn’t require heat (no welding), paint (his frames are anodized), heavy tooling, or excessive labor. He estimates he can build a complete, custom-fit bike in less than 10 hours — five to ten times quicker than a traditional framebuilder.

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Rich Fox.
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Fox sees himself as a systems and product platform developer instead of a craftsman. Using a trackpad instead of a torch, he leans on his background as a designer at Nike and Ziba. Circa has a showroom in northwest Portland where customers can pick their style and colors and get a fully custom bike delivered in less than two weeks.

These are just a few of the builders and bikes you can see at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest. The show is on all day tomorrow (10/8) at the North Warehouse (723 N Tillamook Street at Interstate). See the event website for more details.

CORRECTION: We Misspelled John Nortstog’s name in the original post. We regret the error.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

The post Builders and brewers star at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest (photos) appeared first on

Industry Ticker: New bikes from Islabikes, new bag from North St

Industry Ticker: New bikes from Islabikes, new bag from North St

North St. Bags' new Morrison backpack/pannier and the new Cnoc 20 from Islabikes.

North St. Bags’ new Morrison backpack/pannier and the new Cnoc 20 from Islabikes.

Portland is full of seriously top-notch bike companies. Two of our faves are North St. Bags and Islabikes. They’ve both released new products and we’ve got the scoop and photos below…

North St. sews, designs, and sells their bags out of a storefront just off inner Southeast Clinton. You’ll also find their growing product line at hundreds of retailers nationwide. This week they introduced a new waterproof bag called the Morrison. It’s combo backpack and pannier that retails for $189 and comes with loads of great features. Below are a few more pics and more info from North St.:


Take it off your rack and use it as a backpack too.

Take it off your rack and use it as a backpack too.

Morrison bag is equally capable as a pannier.

Morrison bag is equally capable as a pannier.

The Morrison backpack and bike pannier is designed to protect the essentials against the foul weather and integrate with the bike rack seamlessly while also having the benefit of being worn as a backpack when off the bike. The waterproof pannier integrates a classic hook and simple bungee cord mounting system to secure the bag on the bike. Easily stow the lightweight shoulder straps safe and out of the way for a hassle-free ride. Once the cyclists parks their bike, simply detach the hook and wear as a backpack. Made from fully waterproof nylon, this waterproof bike pannier also features a drawstring closure, waterproof flap and padded laptop sleeve to store and protect all of your necessities.
The Morrison Backpack Pannier Features:

● Waterproof
● Converts from backpack to bicycle pannier in mere seconds by tucking straps inside pocket and connecting the bungee hook mount
● Easy access external zipper compartment and side sleeves for quick access items
● Internal Velcro mounts enable adding or swapping out pockets as needed
● Bright lining makes finding items fast and easy
● Internal padded laptop sleeve
● Built with 1000 denier CORDURA® nylon shell fabric
● X-Pac™ VX21 waterproof ripstop nylon drop-in liner
● Dimensions: 5″ x 11″ x 17.5″ – 1100 cubic inches /18 liters
● Weight: 27.3 oz / 773 g
● MSRP: $189

And Islabikes is a UK-based company that has its USA headquarters on SE 7th near Division. They are children’s bike specialists and they’ve just come out with two new models to fit their ever-expanding range of little customers. Check out the company press release and photos below:


The Rothan balance bike.

The Rothan balance bike.

Leading children’s bicycle brand, Islabikes, introduces new models, Cnoc 14 Small and Cnoc 20 as well as a host of updates that include new colors, graphics and Islabikes’ own custom designed tires.

Whether learning to ride a bike or competing in a children’s cross race, Islabikes are made withthe young biker in mind. The first of two new models includes the Cnoc 14 Small which is specifically designed for the tyke who’s confident enough to start riding but isn’t quite big enough for the Cnoc 14 large. The Cnoc 20 on the other hand, is targeted at riders around the age of 5 who are physically taller than average but benefit from not having the added complication of gears.

The development of the Pro Series led to enhanced specs among all models of the standard range, with the Creig and Luath receiving noteworthy updates. The Creig now comes with a new narrow/wide aluminum chain ring paired to Islabikes’ low Q Factor chainring. This works in conjunction with SRAM’s GX 10 speed rear derailleur, providing reliable, simple shifting. The Luath, like the Creig, now goes 1 x 10, offering a lightweight feel as well as 11-36 cassettes to maintain an excellent range of gears.

The Luath 24 and 26 have also been upgraded with smaller diameter handlebars, designed to improve grip and provide shorter reach to the brake levers. Islabikes have retained fender compatibility on the Luath by developing a new stealth fender mount in the rear of the seat tube, which is not only easier to fit, but also looks cleaner. Islabikes also renovated their frames across the board such as the new low Q Factor chainring, first unveiled on the Pro Series. The new lower bottom bracket heights are superior to already low stand over heights, making pedaling more comfortable and efficient for the child.

In addition to their detailed construction, Islabikes now feature their own newly developed tire featured in the Rothan, Cnoc and Beinn models. Designed with the same multi purpose tread pattern seen in the Pro Series, these upgraded tires are designed to grip well on grass and light tracks but also offer low rolling resistance to aid smaller riders. Each tire is sized proportionally to the dimension of the bike and has 72tpi casing, which delivers a more comfortable ride. Reflective sidewalls provide additional safety and remove the need for spoke reflectors, while puncture protection keeps children rolling trouble free.

Learn more about Portland-based bike companies in our Industry Ticker archives.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

BikePortland is supported by the community (that means you!). Please become a subscriber or make a donation today.

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