In huge news, two Portland powerhouses have joined forces under one roof. Sugar Wheel Works and Breadwinner Cycles will now occupy the Breadwinner Cycles space. Check out the whole press-release below and if you haven’t seen our Shop Visit to both shops, check them out in the Related Sidebar column.
Coffee and bikes. It’s a timeless pairing and one that Breadwinner Cycles, the Portland-based framebuilding operation, has embraced with their new cafe and shop. It’d been since 2015 when I got to visit their facilities, which at the time were in Tony Pereira’s house. Tony and Ira Ryan make up Breadwinner, along with some of their employees. Last year, Breadwinner opened their new shop and an adjacent cafe, along the bicycle expressway off North Williams. Since then, it’s become a hub for people meeting for group rides, or laptop-toting freelancers, and tourists like myself wanting to peek into the process that is making a Breadwinner.
PLP takes a look inside Golden Pliers and Makeshifter Bags in their latest video. Don’t miss our Shop Visit of Golden Plier and Makeshifter Bags if you haven’t seen it yet.
While I was shooting photos at Breadwinner, Russ from Path Less Pedaled showed up to do their shop visit video, which is very informative, so check it out!
Finally! I finally made it to a Chris King Open House. Over the years, I’ve heard how much fun these events are. The events began on Thursday with an Industry Summit. On Friday we rode out to Chris King’s barn for lunch and Saturday, the doors at the Chris King factory opened to the public where visitors could take tours of the facilities, see the DropSet in person, check out the new limited edition colors – Matte Mango and Matte Turquoise – and ogle the bikes on display from 18 frame builders.
We’ll take a look at those tomorrow, but for now, let’s look inside the Chris King Open House!
I met Norther Cycles owner StarMichael back in 2015 here in Portland at the Bike and Beer festival where I shot one of his creations, a beautiful randonneuring frame. As with most of 2015’s content, when our server crashed, we lost the images. Bummer! So when Rie and the Sim Works crew said they were going to a few shops to deliver tires and racks, I tagged along, especially once I heard they were going to Norther Cycles.
This weekend is the Chris King Open House, an event open to the public for free. Coinciding with the open house are these two parties, beginning Friday night at the Chrome Hub, following up on Saturday is a party at the Athletic. See you there!
See you at the Chris King Open House this weekend! There will be a handful of bikes on display, as well as symposiums, and all are invited. All you’ve gotta do is RSVP on the Facebook event page. See ya there!
I Never Knew I Had a Sweet Tooth Until I Visited Sugar Wheel Works!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
I was introduced to Jude Gerace and her shop Sugar Wheel Works exactly three years ago. I saw a few photos of Jude and what looked like a bicycle laboratory on Chantal Anderson’s Instagram, one of my favorite modern photographers. She had shot photos of Jude and her space for Levi’s Commuter, but there was no link to an article or any more photos, so I started Googling. I was immediately taken to my friend Anna Maria’s website Pretty Damned Fast and was pleasantly surprised with more photos and even an interview with Jude, conducted by Anna Maria.
Matt from Wheel Talk pulled together a very nice and tight edit from Portland’s Bone Machine Crit from last month. Be sure to check out Matt’s photos at Wheel Talk.
It’d been a while since the last time I had been to Portland. 2015 or so, if I recall correctly. In that time, a lot has changed in the city, and over at our friends at the Vanilla Workshop.
While I was in Portland at the Workshop Buildoff, I did my best at documenting the space, a few people, and the party scene from the kickoff. Portland’s got a deep cycling culture, and seeing it come out for this party was a great way to spend a Friday night. Feeling the frenetic buzz leading up to the event, only to be released with the first can of beer opening was a real treat and one that I enjoyed watching unfold.
If you build it, they will come, and by “they” I mean women. Yet not the women we typically see the industry sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into R&D to make the perfect bike. No, this segment of the industry often gets the back-burner.
Let’s backpedal a little bit. Gladys Bikes is, as their Google profile so succinctly puts it, “a cycle shop for women.” The owner, Leah, felt there was a void in Portland’s current bike shop offering in one key way: they tend to leave out the hybrid, or commuter market, especially for middle-aged women. Particularly when it comes to bike fitting and saddle selection. Leah and her crew cater to this group, dare I say the “forgotten demographic” in the cycling industry.
These 120 film photos are from the archives, when I visited @VeloCult in 2012
It pains me to post this. Every time we lose a great bike shop, the community suffers and the IBD suffers. It’s scary to witness it happening at such an alarming rate, especially since we really do need bike shops who give a damn. I can’t weigh in too much since I haven’t been to Velo Cult in a few years, but I can say that I wish I would have stopped by earlier this month, instead I figured I’d roll through when I was back in October, to spend some quality time there, rather than drop in, strapped for time.
Writing about this is hard, so maybe the best thing is to leave it with the official statement and a reminder that you, the consumer, won’t realize what you’ve got until it’s gone. Support your local bike shop when you can and hopefully shops can adapt to this changing market and economy. To Sky and the team at Velo Cult, I wish you the best of luck with your online shop.
Read the full press-release below…
Just a few, short years back, when people shifted their nomenclature from “bicycle touring” to include the term “bikepacking,” there weren’t many brands or shops for that matter, that catered to outings such as overnighters all the way through extensive tours. At least not compared to today’s offerings. Just about every day I read about a new product that claims to make our time on a loaded bicycle easier, or more pleasant, and as you can imagine, there is a lot of filtering that has to happen in order to cull this seemingly endless parade of new products.
That’s where the local bike shop model comes into play. My favorite part about visiting any city are the shops that make these places tick and in Portland, Oregon, there are so many shops around that specificity is the name of the game for survival in the ever-struggling retail economy.
One of the ways shops – and brands for that matter – have found the key to survival is by carefully cultivating a selection of products that have been thoroughly vetted by either the shop’s staff or close friends of the shop. The only way to determine the feasibility of a product is to actually use it, right? I’ve noticed this happening a lot, the culling down of the bike shop. In many ways, this makes for an easier retail experience, from the customer’s perspective and the owner’s.
If you’re in Portland, roll through! See more details at Bone Machine Crit.
I’m in Portland for this, so if you are too, swing by!
A one-night bike show and party featuring 6 unique Speedvagen builds that will determine Speedvagen’s next Ready Made model. Join us for tours of The Vanilla Workshop, drinks, food, and to vote on your favorite build. See all the details at the Vanilla Workshop’s Facebook!
This Saturday, June 9th, Dustin Klein is leading a group ride from the Chrome Portland location, finishing back at the Chrome Hub for a premier of the “It’s Getting There” short film and free refreshments.
Roll out at 11:00 am
Finish approximately 2:30pm
Chrome Portland Hub
425 SW 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Bicycles are often the by-product of their environment, their peer group, and their community. Sure, that might be extending a lot of credit to an inanimate object, but over the years, it’s easy to see that people often kit out their bikes based on these conditions. For people like Annalisa, from Endurance PDX and the We Got to Hang Out podcast, her road bike is a by-product of her community in Portland.
Next door to Endurance PDX is a little company called Breadwinner Cycles. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Tony and Ira, along with a very talented team, build beautiful bikes, designed to be ridden hard on various terrain. The Lolo is their classic, rim brake road bike with room for chubby road tires and a beautiful paint job. Annalisa built her bike up with Chris King parts, another Portland, Oregon-based company and wheels built by none other than Sugar Wheel Works, you guessed it, yet another company that calls Portland home.
While Annalisa was in town doing bike fits at Golden Saddle Cyclery and interviewing Jen Whalen for their latest podcast, I took this Red 22 eTap-equipped roadie to the photo wall for some up close and personal photos.
Thanks to Annalisa for being such a positive and supportive voice in the cycling industry. I can’t wait to come hang with y’all later this summer.