Archive for Category: Shop Tips

Shop Tip: Top tools to own for DIY at-home bike maintenance

By Jackie Mautner, Bicycle Mechanic So you’ve got a tool bag you bring with you for roadside repair, but what about when you’re home on a rainy day and itching to replace your badly worn tires, or fix that sticky headset? Here are a few tools that are sure to make working on your bike […]


Top 5 things to consider when buying a new or used bike

By Jackie Mautner, Bicycle Mechanic When considering purchasing a new or used bike, the following tips may prove useful in narrowing down your choice and finding the bike that’s perfect for you. These tips are not meant to be entirely comprehensive in terms of the subjects they touch upon, but instead provide a good starting […]


Product Review: Fortified Lights

By Tim Weeks, Bicycle Mechanic I was a little skeptical when we first brought the Fortified lights into our bike shop. “Theft-proof lights are just not a thing,” was my first thought. But over the last few months, I’ve changed my tune. These lights are USB rechargeable and bright enough for my needs. One of […]


Shop Tip- How to Select A Front Derailleur

By Gwen Koon, Service Supervisor This series of shop tips over the past several months was all about creating a basis for more in-depth knowledge.  Whether you’re working on a bike you already own or preparing to buy a new one, it’s very helpful to be familiar with all the different types of components.  Knowing their names, […]


Shop tip: types of shifters

By Gwen Koon, Service Manager This series of shop tips over the past several months was all about creating a basis for more in-depth knowledge.  Whether you’re working on a bike you already own or preparing to buy a new one, it’s very helpful to be familiar with all the different types of components.  Knowing their names, […]


Shop tip: overview of derailleurs

In our previous ship tip, Gwen wrote about cables, housing and accessories. In this tip, she will provide an overview of front and rear derailleurs. Introduction This shop tip is all about creating a basis for more in-depth knowledge.  Whether you’re working on a bike you already own or are preparing to buy a new one, it’s […]


Shop tip: cable, housing and accessories

By Gwen Koon, Service Supervisor Last month, Gwen wrote about the exciting world of brakes and levers. In this shop tip, she will review cable, housing, and accessories as a complement to her previous post. In the picture below, you can see a number of the different small parts which are used in setting up brakes and shifters. […]


Shop tip: types of brakes and levers

 By Gwen Koon, Service Supervisor Introduction This next series of shop tips over the next several months will be all about creating a basis for more in-depth knowledge.  Whether you’re working on a bike you already own or preparing to buy a new one, it’s very helpful to be familiar with all the different types of components.  […]


Product Review: Park CM 5.2 Cyclone Chain Scrubber

By David Kurishima, Retail Manager A year ago I would have rolled my eyes at the thought of writing a review about a chain cleaner. For years I always thought of these grimy plastic “tools” lying around our shop as nothing but a gimmicky toy akin to a Hot Wheels carwash play set, and I […]


Shop tip: replacing your chain

By Gwen Koon, Service Supervisor There are many reasons that you might need to replace the chain on your bicycle. Chains wear out over time, get damaged in accidents, or may become too rusted to function. Below, you will learn how to install a new chain on your bike. The most important thing to keep in mind […]


Shop Tip: Selecting and adjusting saddles

By Gwen Koon, Service Supervisor PART 1: SELECTION Choosing a saddle that is the correct shape for your body is an important part of making sure that you’ll be comfortable on your bike. It’s also something that a lot of people struggle with. Here are some saddle basics to help you along your way. A […]


Product Review: Cygolite Metro 550

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager There are many things you can learn about the nature and habits of Portland cyclists simply by looking at what they are buying throughout the year. One thing that has stood out to me at our shop in recent years is that, along with fenders (for obvious reasons), higher-end lights […]


Winter Riding Shop-Tip Medley

By Forrest Scott, Service Supervisor Hello Everyone! The first day of fall is just about a week away! Last Thursday’s blustery weather reminded me that it’s time to adjust my bike commuting practice to suite the changing season. And, given that it’s almost fall, we know that: Below is a collection of relevant shop tips […]


Product review: Jandd Frame Pac

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager Do your summer plans include a day ride on your road bike or shredding some trails on your mountain bike? How about a fully-loaded tour or a casual trip across town with nothing but your lock and keys? Well, consider this humble gem of convenience: the Frame Pac(k) by Jandd […]


Shop tip: The exciting world of disc brake maintenance

By Forrest Scott, Mechanic This month’s shop tip covers pad replacement and adjustment for mechanical disc brakes. Since the Avid BB7 model is increasingly common as stock equipment for commuting bikes, I chose to focus on this particular model for this month’s tip. Much of the information below is relevant to other mechanical brake models. […]


Shop tip: fun rides in Portland

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager For what will be my final shop tip, we’re going to step outside the bike shop and talk about sweet places to ride in Portland. These are just a few of my favorite under two hour rides I like to squeeze in before or after work. They’re all pretty mellow […]


Shop Tip: emergency roadside repairs

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager A while back we covered what tools are good to carry with you on your commute. This month we’ll talk about some tips and tricks for repairs when you don’t have the tools. All of the repair tips mentioned below are temporary, emergency only, and in some cases, barely better […]


Retail Product Reviews: WTB Saddles

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager At the Community Cycling Center, we are all about removing barriers to bicycling—whether it be providing access to affordable bikes and cycling education, or working to remove any of the innumerable cultural, economic or physical barriers that impede one’s ability to enjoy this active and healthful mode of transportation. Here […]


Shop tip: tire inflation, valve types, and picking the right tube

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager This seems like a simple subject, but it’s one of the more common questions we get in our bike shop and it’s surprisingly complicated.  Today’s shop tip will introduce all things tire related: casing, tread, valve types, decoding all those numbers on the side of the tire, picking the right […]


Shop tip: oil, grease, and solvents, what to use where

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager The most common question we get in the shop is, “What do I use to oil my chain?”  This month’s shop tip covers different oils, greases, and solvents and their best uses. Light Oil – TriFlow ($5), Phil Wood’s Bio Lube ($10), and Prolink are just a few examples of […]


Reviews of the PDW Spaceship™ 3 and Cosmic Dreadnought

Review #1 of the Spaceship™ 3 By Gwen Koon, Service Mechanic I picked up PDW’s Spaceship™ 3 a couple of months ago, an emotional separation from my old CatEye Opti-Cube from waay back in 2009 (may it rest in peace). The most important factor for me when it comes to headlights is (surprisingly) visibility.  I […]


Pack a pannier and save 25%

By Britt Appleton, Social Media Specialist During the month of September, buy a bag or pannier, fill your new bag with any new parts and accessories, and we will give you 25% off everything inside the bag. Also, pro tip, you can put a bag inside a bag, which means you can buy one bag […]


Shop tip: carrying stuff on your bike

Patrick Loftus; Service Manager Figuring out how to comfortably and safely carry stuff on your bike can greatly improve your riding experience. In this shop tip we’ll look at the pros and cons of various commute-friendly ways to carry stuff while riding your bike.   Backpack or messenger bag: This is the easiest and most […]


Product Review: Topeak Morph Pumps

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager It’s prime touring season, the perfect time to head out on two wheels for a long trip. Whether you are making a day-trip to the Gorge or riding cross country with the kitchen sink, you are probably going to find yourself far from a bike a shop and in need […]


5 bike safety tips for parents and kids

By Kelly Hansen, Community Cycling Center Program Manager As the sun comes out and more people of all ages hit the road on their bikes, the Community Cycling Center presents 5 tips for keeping adults and kids safe on bikes this summer: Perform a personal safety check. Before you even get on the bicycle, it’s […]


Shop tip: helmets – style and fit

Patrick Loftus; Service Manager This month’s shop tip will cover different styles of helmets, how to properly fit your helmet, and accessories that go well with helmets. General notes on bike helmets: All bike helmets meet the same minimum federal safety standards.  They will deteriorate over time due to UV and sweat exposure. It’s good […]


Reviews of the PDW Radbot™ 1000

By Gwen Koon, Service Mechanic The Radbot™ 1000 has absolutely knocked my socks off for one simple reason: in the two months I’ve had it, the Radbot has yet to spontaneously turn itself on while floating around in my messenger bag. This is huge, folks!  And, unlike most of its competition, the Radbot’s light continues to operate at […]


Shop tip: locking your bike

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager Properly locking your bike is the best way to keep it for a long time. Quality bike locks can be expensive, but they last for years and are much cheaper than buying a new bike. I recommend locking your bike at home, even if it is parked in a locked […]


Shop tips: Rim brake pads

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager If you’ve been riding your bike all winter, it might be time to replace your brake pads.  With all the water and grit on the roads, brake pads wear a lot faster in winter. If you let them go too far, you risk damaging your rims. In this month’s shop […]


Product Review: Mammoth Muffs

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager So if you read our past three product reviews I can only assume that you are now thoroughly enjoying your fully winter-ized bicycle complete with rugged tires, grippy pedals, and some locally-made water-proof panniers. Well, now that your bike is set, what about you? As a content winter cyclist or […]


Shop Tips: picking the right pedals

By Patrick Loftus; Service Manager How you contact your bike is crucial to your comfort, safety, and control. The three main contact points are the handlebars, seat, and pedals. This month’s shop tip will cover different types of pedals, their best use, pros/cons of each, and, for the true bike shop experience, my completely biased […]


Product Review: Redline Pedals

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager Well it’s fair to say that the care-free days of summer have long passed out of sight from the scope of your helmet mirror. No more Sunday Parkways in your Birkenstocks. No more putting off buying those fenders, and that sweet bike you picked-up at a yard sale and rode […]


Shop tip – riding in the rain

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager Just because the rain is around the corner doesn’t mean you have to put the bike away. Riding in the rain can be a pleasant experience, if you’re prepared. Wool, water proof/resistant shoes, and wearing multiple layers are great places to start. Today we’ll cover various strategies to keep you comfortable […]


Product review: Town and Country tires

By David Kurushima, Retail Manager Portland is home to 59 miles of unpaved roads. For some cyclists, these irregularities in our city streets might make for some challenging, if not dicey, moments in their daily commutes. For others, they can be a delightful detour opportunity. Regardless of one’s particular disposition towards these urban country roads, […]


Shop tip: tools to carry with you

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager Carrying a few of the right tools will help you get out of a jam, and might keep you from walking home or taking the bus. Beyond a helmet, lights, and a lock, here’s a list of recommended items to carry with you on your commute, in order of importance: […]


Product Review: North St. Panniers

By David Kurushima, Retail Supervisor We’re having a Pack-a-Pannier special in the shop! That means every Wednesday and Thursday in August, pack a pannier with accessories and take 20% off the bag and everything in it. If you’re reading this, I can bet we have two things in common: 1) You ride a bike, and […]


Shop tip: flat fix (patching a tube)

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager Last month we covered how to replace a flat tube with a new one. This month we’ll show you how to patch the tube. To patch a punctured tube, you will need a patch kit containing patches, glue, and emery cloth or sandpaper. Traditional patches tend to give a more […]


Shop tips: flat fix (replacing the tube)

By Patrick Loftus, Service Manager Being able to fix your own flat will save you time, money, and frustration. To replace a tube, you will need a tire lever, a pump, and, if you don’t have a quick release wheel, you will need a wrench to get your wheel off. Step 1: remove the wheel […]


Shop tip: cleaning your rims

By Patrick Loftus, Retail Service Manager Cleaning your rims is the least glamorous bike maintenance task, but will improve braking quality, prolong the life of your rims and brake pads, and keep your bike looking great, especially during the rainy season. It’s also a great opportunity to inspect the rims and brake pads for wear […]


Helpful tips for new urban cyclists

In conjunction with their annual Bike Commute Challenge, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance posted a couple of articles covering urban cycling b…


Demystify your patch kit!

The next session of our popular Urban Cycling class begins September 8th

A great class to take with a friend, our Urban Cycling class is designe…


Safety Resources for Parents

Developed for our Holiday Bike Drive, we’ve just posted our popular Bike Safety for Parents brochure online. Available in four languages thanks t…