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May 28th, 2014 WW Staff | Bike Guide
 

Bike Guide 2014: Urbanist Bike Shops

bike_2014(urbanists_velo)VELO CULT - IMAGE: Jerek Hollender


The UrbanistsUrbanist Bike Shops Bike Courier Meghan Mack

The Muddy: Rides and Shops | Cyclocross Pro Molly Cameron

The Speedsters: Rides and Shops | Track Champ Zak Kovalcik | Hardest Bike Ride in PDX 

The Weirdkeepers: Rides and Shops | The Unipiper

The Longhaulers: Rides and Shops | Cycling Tourist Ellee Thalheimer | Bikepacking to the Coast

BMX: Rides and shops | Goods BMX's Shad Johnson

Portland Bike Gear | PDX Airport Carpet Wear | Full Bike Shop Directory


SHOP

21st Avenue Bikes

916 NW 21st Ave., 222-2851, 21stbikes.com. 11 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

A premier service shop, and we don’t just say that because it’s the closest place to roll a flat-tired and brakeless commuter from our office. Situated in a row house-dense neighborhood beyond the Pearl in Northwest Portland, this midsized shop sells a nice selection of Surly, Salsa, Specialized and Globe bikes, plus helmets, Ortlieb bags and Brooks saddles. It’s also valuable as a source for rentals (versatile Globe commuters for $30 per day) and services. Fixing a flat runs only $13 including the tube (see what every bike shop in town charges for flat repair in the directory on page 47), and they’ll rebuild your wheel in-house for $50. MARTIN CIZMAR.


A Better Cycle

2324 SE Division St., 265-8595, abettercycle.blogspot.com. 10 am-8 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-7 pm Saturday-Sunday.

In the last two years, vast swaths of Southeast Division Street have been taken over by condos and fancy bars. We’re therefore extra appreciative of the holdovers, like the adult theater, vegan deli and this worker-owned bike shop. The shop’s staff doesn’t always show up at the precise opening time, and they might seem a little huffy about fixing something only a lazy idiot (me!) couldn’t do himself, but they have fair prices, stay open later than most places and keep the spirit of gritty Portland collectivism alive in the newly boutiquey Little Pearl. The shop also carries some used bikes and frames, and its reputation for custom builds is very good. MARTIN CIZMAR.


Bike Commuter Sellwood

8301 SE 13th Ave., 505-9200, pdxbikecommuter.com. 10 am-7 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm Sunday.

If all goes well, this Southeast Portland shop could be Sellwood’s answer to Hollywood’s Velo Cult bar/bike shop. The 6-year-old shop recently applied for a license to serve beer, though owners Naihma and Eric Deady say that even if Bike Commuter starts pouring pints, it won’t be “as fancy” as Velo Cult, and that it will remain family-friendly. They also say they might move, since the current spot, an old brick building that once housed Sellwood’s city hall, isn’t exactly spacious. But it’s an unpretentious shop that’s committed to cycling as a practical method of transportation, and that’s reflected in the selection of commuter and city bikes. There are also a handful of used bikes for sale, as well as bike rentals by the hour, day and week. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Bike Gallery

Downtown at 1001 SW 10th Ave., 222-3821; Woodstock at 4235 SE Woodstock Blvd., 774-3531; Hollywood at 5329 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-9800. There are also locations in Beaverton, Lake Oswego and Clackamas. Bikegallery.com. Hours vary.

Trek is usually listed as the most popular brand of bike in Portland. And pretty much all of those Treks come from one of Bike Gallery’s six stores. Founded in 1974, a year before Trek was, and sold to a California Trek megadealer in 2012, the store carries the Trek family, including Electra, plus familiar brands like Cannondale, Kona and Raleigh. The shop is novice-friendly—an entry-level Trek might set you back $550 and they’ll make sure you take a proper test ride to determine that it’s the right size—but serious enough to have a nano-enhanced carbon fiber Cannondale ($13,000) in stock. MARTIN CIZMAR.


Bike N’ Hike

400 SE Grand Ave., 736-1074, bikenhike.com, 10 am-7 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-5pm Sunday. 

Bike N’ Hike is located in the cluster of Southeast outdoor stores so thick it deserves to be called Tent District or Gaiterville. Inside, you’ll find a wide range of racing and commuting gear, racks of children’s gear and a vast selection of clip-in cycling shoes. Bike N’ Hike has a large repair shop, racks of bikes and, on a rainy day, as many as six employees waiting to help. LAURA HANSON.


Clever Cycles

900 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 334-1560, clevercycles.com, 11 am-6 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-5 pm Saturday-Sunday.

When you ride, you encounter challenges, such as rain, hauling cumbersome objects and how to power your blinkers. Most shops offer basically the same solutions to these problems, in the form of pants or racks or batteries. The always unique Clever Cycles is where you go for a second opinion. Clever sells things like assless rain chaps, weird one-wheel trailers and a huge selection of generator lighting. Inviting displays, good light and approachable employees keep Clever accessible to would-be rookie commuters, while still serving the existing community with new products and gear. The shop is known for carrying a wide array of folding and European-style city bikes, but there’s a little something odd for anyone here. LAURA HANSON.


Community Cycling Center

1700 NE Alberta St., 287-8786, communitycyclingcenter.org. 11 am-7 pm Sunday-Friday, 10 am-7 pm Saturday.

Easily recognizable by its huge mural, a rainbow explosion of violin-playing unicyclists and winged kids on trikes, this nonprofit was founded in 1994 and has grown steadily since. All proceeds from the homey shop—filled with a huge selection of used bikes, both refurbished and as-is—go toward programs in low-income areas and affordable-housing communities aimed at getting more folks on bikes. The CCC also runs a huge bike drive every winter, in addition to summer bike camps and after-school bike clubs for kids. Sign up to volunteer, and you’ll get access to the tools and stands in the community repair shop. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Coventry Cycle Works

2025 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 230-7723, coventrycycleworks.com. 10 am-8 pm Tuesday, 10 am-6 pm Wednesday-Saturday, noon-4 pm Sunday.

If you think of recumbents as geezer bikes, take a gander at the showroom of this nearly 30-year-old shop. Filled with an impressive array of colorful rigs of both the two- and three-wheel variety, Coventry Cycle Works will try to sell anyone on the benefits of riding a “bent” (no uncomfortable saddles, no flying over the handlebars, thrilling speeds on the descent) while catering to people physically unable to ride an upright bike. For regular cumbent riders, this is also one of your best sources for folding bikes. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Crank

2725 SE Ash St., 610-8356, crankpdx.com, 10 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday.

With the dim industrial lighting and open floor space, this full-service bike repair shop right on the Ankeny corridor looks more like a great bar than a place you’d drop off your bike for a tune-up. Ask anyone with hex keys, and they’ll say there isn’t anything they can’t work on. The prices are generally reasonable, too: A full tune-up will set you back only $80. Given the focus on repairs, there’s only a sparse selection of gear on the walls, though they’re happy to order products for pick-up. LAURA HANSON.


Cycle Path

2436 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 281-0485, cyclepathnw.com, 9 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 1-6 pm Saturday.

Cycle Path is a self-described “high-end bike retailer” on the edge of Irvington. The store’s offerings start at $1,500 for last year’s Salsas, though they’re better known for custom builds, a large selection of locally made Breadwinner bikes, high-end American-made titanium Moots mountain bikes and Pinarello carbon frames. Cycle Path offers a variety of city and mountain bikes, custom wheels and bike-fitting service. Oh, and the owner hopes to transition to a new store with a bar by the end of the year. LAURA HANSON.


Gladys Bikes

2905 NE Alberta St., 971-373-8388, gladysbikes.com. 10:30 am-6 pm Wednesday-Friday, 10:30 am-5 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

Run by super friendly Wisconsin transplant Leah Benson, Gladys is a woman-focused bike shop that’s committed to helping female riders find bikes that fit. The shop doesn’t carry much in the way of fully built, ready-to-roll rigs—though it is the only Oregon dealer of Papillionaire, which makes gorgeous and affordable Dutch-style city bikes—but instead offers top-notch bike fitting services and semi-custom builds. There’s also an innovative saddle library program: $25 gets you unlimited access to the shop’s collection of bicycle seats, which you can check out for a week at a time. Find one you like? That $25 goes toward the price. The shop, which moved to a larger Northeast Alberta Street location in May, offers an enviable but not overwhelming selection of Northwest-produced clothing and accessories, including cycling caps from Seattle’s Double Darn, panniers from Portland’s North St. Bags and skirts from Vancouver, Wash.-based Sweet Spot Skirts. Also expect in-store yoga classes, open shop nights and fun dress-like-your-bike events. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Hollywood Cycling

5258 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-1671, hollywoodcycling.net. 11 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 pm Sunday.

Given that it’s directly across the street from the massive Bike Gallery flagship store, it’s a wonder tiny Hollywood Cycling is still around. Ask owner and sole employee Bill Donohue, though, and he’ll say he’s happy in his location because he can undersell his neighbor’s accessories and “give more bike for the buck.” The store is small, but carries a variety of road bikes and basic accessories. If the storefront says “open,” but the store is locked, simply give the door a few hard knocks. LAURA HANSON.


Joe Bike on 39th

2039 SE Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., 954-2039, joe-bike.com, 8 am-8 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday.

A bite-sized shop on the corner of Southeast Cesar Chavez and Lincoln, Joe Bike makes the most of its limited space by displaying Norcos, Spots and Surlys all the way to the ceiling and stationing employees at movable desks. They’re so efficient they even have room for a fitting room and a maintenance shop. Joe Bike is known for a large selection of local fenders plus fun products like leather can-holders. The shop helpfully displays much of its inventory online. LAURA HANSON.


Meticon

5927 SE Foster Rd., 771-1737, meticonbikes.com, 12 pm-7 pm Tuesday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm Saturday.

Located down on busy Foster Road, 6-year-old Meticon is mostly a service shop for Fo-Po residents who stop to pet the house cat while waiting for their flats to be fixed or perusing a small selection of rebuilt used bikes. LAURA HANSON.


Metropolis

2249 N Williams Ave., 287-7116, metropoliscycles.com, 10 am-7 pm Monday-Thursday, 10 am-6 pm Friday, 10 am-5 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Located on North Portland’s main bike artery, Metropolis doesn’t need to lure customers with a big sign or racks of Day-Glo bike jackets. This is primarily a no-frills, somewhat scruffy repair shop, meaning the selection of accessories and bikes is sparse (mostly Raleigh and Felt), but the employees are busy helping year-round commuters, racers and, yes, suburban girls looking for something nice to ride to the farmer’s market. LAURA HANSON.


North Portland BikeWorks

3978 N Mississippi Ave., 287-1098, northportlandbikeworks.org. 11 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-4 pm Sunday.

With a scrappiness that would seem to fit better on crunchy Hawthorne Boulevard than on twee Mississippi Avenue, this nonprofit bike shop is particularly notable for its open workshop nights. On these evenings—there’s a general night the second Tuesday of every month and one for women and trans cyclists every Wednesday—the public can avail themselves of BikeWorks’ space and tools. Otherwise, there’s a good selection of Linus city bikes, well-priced Jamis rigs and plenty of utilitarian accessories, as well as reversible wool hats from California-based Pace Sportswear, hand-painted Japanese bells and bike lights shaped like pigs or pandas. REBECCA JACOBSON.


River City Bicycles

706 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 233-5973, rivercitybicycles.com. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-5 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

Your all-purpose stop, whether you’re a dedicated roadie or hardcore mountain biker or someone who hasn’t pedaled in years. The 15,000-foot emporium features bikes from more than 20 manufacturers, tons of clothing and accessories, and a very well-stocked service department—meaning repairs happen fast. Head around the corner to the outlet (534 SE Belmont St.), where you can score sick deals on everything from bike frames to sunglasses. The main store has free espresso drinks—be sure to tip the barista. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Sellwood Cycle Repair 

7953 SE 13th Ave., 233-9392, sellwoodcycle.com. 10 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Your quintessential neighborhood bike shop that just happens to be owned by a legendary cyclocross racer. Erik Tonkin, who can often be seen wrenching in the back, has operated the shop since 1991, and the focus has always been on providing first-rate mechanical services—in other words, you won’t find much padded Lycra here. The shop, unsurprisingly, does quite a bit of cyclocross business, with an especially big selection of Kona bikes, but it also carries rigs for roadies, mountain bikers, commuters and kids. Sellwood Cycle does a brisk trade in used bikes—they’ll take your old frames and parts on consignment—and also offers bike rentals, including cyclocross bikes for $50 a day. REBECCA JACOBSON.


Splendid Cycles

407 SE Ivon St., 954-2620, splendidcycles.com. Monday, Thursday, Friday 11 am-6 pm, Saturday 11 am-5 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm.

You know those truck-sized cargo cycles that iron-legged men and women use to deliver pizza, soup and cinder blocks? This little shop in an inner eastside warehouse is where those beasts come from. Splendid’s front door faces the entrance to the Springwater Corridor trail, and they’ll fix a surprise flat, but mostly this shop is where serious cargo haulers buy Bullitt front loaders, Xtracycle longtails and Surlys that can carry twin toddlers under cover. Planning to get a late-night tamale delivery business going? They can probably build that for you, complete with a rechargeable heating element and electric assist for the big hills. The shop also offers an unusually large selection of Brooks saddles and “retina ripping” hub-powered lighting set-ups. MARTIN CIZMAR.


Universal Cycles

2202 E Burnside St., 943.6152, universalcycles.com, 6 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 8 am-6 pm Saturday-Sunday.

Universal Cycles is an expansive and well-stocked bike superstore on East Burnside. The company is predominantly an online retailer—they carry 30,000 products on their website—but counts the 19,000-square-foot Portland location among a handful of emporiums. It’s reminiscent of a Dick’s Sporting Goods (low ceiling, fluorescent lights, tiled floors) and carries hundreds of bikes, plus all sorts of gear and helmets, and has a service shop in the back. When you can’t find something in stock at your neighborhood store, Universal probably has it. Universal opens at 6 am on weekdays and offers free coffee to commuters.
LAURA HANSON.


UpCycles

911 NE Dekum St., 388-0305, upcyclespdx.com. 11 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-6 pm Saturday, Sunday by appointment only. 

You know those slick rebuilt vintage Peugeots you see locked up outside the inviting little shops and taverns of Dekum Triangle? This incense-scented blue shed is the sort of place they’re refurbished and serviced. UpCycles carries few bikes or accessories, but they’ll build up a custom ride from a Pake frame, rehab that 1972 Bianchi Celeste or lube the chain on your kid’s 10-speed. MARTIN CIZMAR.


Velo Cult

1969 NE 42nd Ave., 922-2012, velocult.com. 10 am-10 pm daily.

You could very easily mistake Velo Cult for a regular bar on a Friday night. The front section of the massive Hollywood bike shop is very much a tavern, with a photo booth, a long bar, several large communal tables, 12 taps and the appropriate glassware to pour an imported Belgian strong pale ale or a Pilsner. And yet, if you make your way past the boisterous crowd of people in racing caps with their right pant legs rolled up, you’ll see there’s a huge assortment of bikes and gear in the back and, just before 10 pm, one lonely mechanic replacing the day’s last brake pads. MARTIN CIZMAR.


West End Bikes

1111 SW Stark St., 208-2933, westendbikespdx.com, 10 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm Saturday, noon-5 pm Sunday.

West End Bikes is an upscale shop for the type of urban cyclist who wants to be fashionable while commuting to work—perhaps even wearing those Narra Wool pants and brown leather shoes with toe-clips for the rest of the day. West End sells designer cycle clothing from Levi’s, Burberry and Parker Dusseau, and for the serious roadies, it also boasts the only Oregon shop offering Specialized’s Body Geometry fitting. The shop carries Specialized, Globe, local company Beloved and more, plus a small selection of mountain bikes.
LAURA HANSON.


Western Bikeworks

1015 NW 17th Ave., 342-9985, westernbikeworks.com. 10 am-7 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-6 pm Saturday and 10 am-5 pm Sunday.

Boasting an impressive amount of real estate for the Pearl—the building used to house a car dealership, of all things—Western Bikeworks has an airy and welcoming 10,000-square-foot showroom. There’s an especially impressive selection of high-end road bikes (think Cannondale, Bianchi and Felt), but also a fair number of options for commuting or mountain biking, as well as a good supply of apparel and accessories. If something’s out of stock, they can get it for you: Western started out as an online retailer, and it still operates a massive website. Stop by the in-store cafe for a cup of Oblique coffee and a cupcake from Sweetpea Baking. REBECCA JACOBSON.

 
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