Closed for the Holidays!

Dear friends!

As we approach this holiday season we will be closed on December 24th – 26th and again on December 31st – January 1st. Thanks for stopping in for bike mechanic work, accessories, rentals, tours and our new Sock Hop business which is now open via the interwebs! Make sure to come in before for that last minute gift (or after if you forgot some people). Our socks make the perfect present for family, friends or yourself!

Happy Holidays!

The Cycle Portland Staff

New Portland Guide Book – Featuring Cycle PDX!

Cycle Portland featured again! – in Portland Family Adventures! Looking for a handy guide book to find your way around Portland? Jen Stevenson’s Portland Family Adventures is the perfect companion for traveling families looking for museums, hikes, tours, and more. With all the guides and recommendations available for visiting Portland, it’s hard to figure out which ones have done the research and exploration necessary to really know our multi-layered city. Stevenson has clearly done that hard work. You can trust her recommendations to steer you to the very best family friendly attractions and activities!


Our city tours are another great way to get your bearings and see some of the businesses, monuments, and neighborhoods that make Portland so special. Our guides are always happy to answer questions and give you their advice on their favorite spots around town. You can set up a reservation anytime on our website, or give us a call at 844-PDX-BIKE (844-739-2453) if you have any questions!

“What to do in Portland,” put Cycle Portland Bike Tours and Rental on your list!

Here at Cycle Portland, we love to share a local’s perspective with Portland’s visitors. But even more than that, we love to get people on bikes and out riding! Laura Chubb’s article, “What to do in Portland, From Microbreweries to Third Wave Coffee,” covers all of your Portland essentials. From taking a bike tour around downtown, to window shopping, to the food cart scene, Laura’s list featured on the Independent is an excellent place to start when planning your trip to the Pacific Northwest!

Cycle Portland Bike Tours & Rentals specializes in putting together fun, creative rides that are great for people looking to explore Portland, OR by bike!

Sign up for Laura’s Essential Portland Tour here! Happy riding!

Highlights from an afternoon with the NZ Herald

Shandelle Battersby crossed the dateline and the equator back in August to experience the best that summer in Portland has to offer.

We occasionally take it all for granted out here in the Upper Left–plenty of hoppy beers, ideal cycling environment, and beautiful scenery. Shandelle Battersby from the NZ Herald came to visit Cycle Portland this summer to bring the good news back to the lands down under. After signing on to our 2pm Brews Cruise, the group set out to explore some of the exquisite beer culture that peppers the different neighborhoods on the east side of the river.  Read about her time on a typical brewery tour and check out the list of our favorite breweries to explore on your own while visiting Portland! Just swing by our shop to pick up a bike for the best way to explore town.

“On a sunny Sunday afternoon in mid-August, the 35C+ temperatures of the past few days have eased slightly and our group of four — me, two girls from California, and Guthrie Straw, our affable and knowledgeable guide — set out from Cycle Portland’s Old Town HQ for the shadier eastern side of the river.”

“I think these Portlanders might really be on to something with this beer and bicycling thing …”

Brews Cruise
Brews Cruise Guests



If you’ve braved the rain and gone for a ride you’ve noticed that stopping can be tricky when it’s wet. You need more stopping time to come to a full rest. Decreased traction and the performance of rubber brake pads on metal rims are just a few of the obstacles you can overcome to stay safe on the road.

Change How You Brake

Slow down gradually. In wet weather, it takes longer to slow down or come to a complete stop. Start braking well before you would in dry conditions, especially when approaching a corner. This will keep you from slamming on the brakes too late, and it’ll give you enough time to slow to a safe speed.

Drag both brakes lightly on the rim when you come to a stop. This will help to clear excess water off the surface of the rim. Remember to give yourself more time and space.

Don’t brake on painted lines or smooth metal surfaces such as sewer caps, grates or rails as they are slick when wet.

Change Your Brakes

Replace old brake cables. You probably won’t realize it when it’s dry, but in wet conditions, you’ll notice that old cables make your brakes significantly less responsive. This can be a scary feeling when you’re headed down a steep descent, and it can make you lose control of your bike.


You can upgrade your wet weather braking system by installing Disc Brakes, if your bike is compatible. Disc brakes can be more reliable long term in wet weather and for longer rides such as touring.

However, a properly adjusted set of modern V-brakes can deliver a similar level of raw braking power to a cable disc brake, given regular care and attention.

Traditional rim brakes are still the most affordable and easy to maintain and replace, Disc brakes are more expensive to purchase and can be more expensive to maintain, but offer a great proposition for those looking to stop with little effort in the rain (or otherwise).

Change Your Pads

Wet rims degrade brake pads faster because the rain attracts grit to the rim which grinds down the pads like sandpaper. Always make sure you’ve got plenty of rubber left before you begin your ride.

Gauging the thickness of your pads is made easy as most pads have lines cut down the middle of the pads. If the lines are gone it’s a good indication that need to be replaced.  If it is an older bike that has not been ridden in a while check to make sure that the pads are not cracked and brittle. Old pads will be slick, stiff and dangerous in the rain. Pay attention to how close your brake levers come to your handlebars when braking. If the levers are almost touching your brakes need to be tightened so they have more breaking power.

IMG_1491 IMG_1488










Left: Old brittle pads in need of replacing Right: Kool-Stops 

If you ride in wet conditions often, you might want to consider purchasing pads specifically for wet riding. Mike loves all wet weather pads made by Kool-Stop, such as Thin Lines. Checking the safe functioning of brakes is an important part of our $30 Safety Tune, which also includes nuts and bolts check, chain lubing, and adjustment of gears and wheels. Drop by your bike for service anytime, no appointment needed! Ride safe!



Holiday Hours For End Of The Year

Greetings Friends!

Just a quick note that we’ll be spending time with friends and family December 24th, 25th, 26th, 31st, and January 1st. We’ll be open as usual during all other days and rocking’ tours and rentals as normal.

We appreciate all that you do, and wish you all the best this holiday season!



Picking The Best Fenders For Wet Riding – Cycle Portland

As the weather gets wetter, and excellent storms brew on the horizon many of us (who haven’t already) start looking for ways to avoid the good ol’ “mud on the back” conundrum. Though they may look so at first glance, not all fenders are created equal, and some fit much better with certain needs. At Cycle Portland we have a great selection of the best fenders for wet riding to choose from, and can even install them for you at affordable, everyday prices. Bring your bike in and we will match you with the fender that fits your style and needs.

How to choose your fender:

Fenders are not only a good investment but represent a huge visual aspect of your bike. Three things to keep in mind when choosing a fender for your bike are style, size and function. The three main styles are Full Fenders, Partial Fenders and Clip-Ons. You’ll want to buy fenders that are big enough for the largest tires you plan on running on your bicycle, but not so large that they impede their utility on smaller tires you may choose to install.  As for function, there exists a spectrum between “good enough for a quick shower” and “Hello my name is ‘I ride through tsunami’s'”. Read below to find out which may work best for you, and why finding the best fit for your needs is key to a great fender experience.

Full fenders:

This is a set of two, front and back, that wraps most of the way around top and sides of tires. Quality fenders have two sets of stays (rods that attach to the bike frame) for stability that require mounts near the hubs on the frame. The full fenders also require clearance between the tire and the fork and seat stay. This style is perfect for the daily commuter to keep you dry. Full fenders also help to keep debris out of your chain and chainrings which can prolong the life of your bicycle, and how often you need to clean it.

Best Wet Weather Fender

Our staff favorite full fender at the shop is the Velo ORANGE  (pictured above) hammered aluminum fender. It is worth the investment for its style and function. One thing we really like about the VO’s is that while they’re a bit more complicated than others to install, once they’re mounted properly they provide years of hassle free use, and look great on almost any bike.

Best Wet Weather Fenders Portland

Cyclone (our local bicycle supplier) just released a great alternative to Velo Orange’s fenders which is an excellent option for the VO look at a fraction of the cost – We’ve examined these and it appears that they use the exact same process as VO’s for manufacturing. They also come in suave matte black, silver, and copper (our favorite). You have to see these in person to capture how awesome they are, so drop by if you’re in town!

Partial fenders:

These are similar to the full fenders, but they don’t cover the entire wheel. This is a good option for a bike without sufficient clearance between the fork or seat stay and the tire such as road or racing bikes. The partial fender covers the back of each tire but nothing on the front, just catching the back splash. We like the SKS Velo Urban model for a quick install and slim fender profile.

Best Fenders Partial


A clip-on fender attaches to the seatpost (or seat rails) and extends over the rear tire. Good for keeping a stripe off the backside, this is a great just-in-case accessory. For sudden summer rain storms, or the all out-dump in winter, keep a spare at the office for a wet ride home. The clip-on rear fender has plenty of skeptics because it really only serves one purpose––you won’t keep your front, shoes or frame protected. There are, however, a few clip-ons for the front as well as the back tires that offer a little more practical coverage.

We love the Planet Bike SpeedEz Road Clip-On fenders, they are super sturdy (for clip-on’s) and easy to install.

Should you Mud Flap?

Yes! Mud flaps can be added to the base of your fenders (the back) to ensure ultimate water protection for you and the cyclist friends behind you – something that really makes a difference in Portland. This accessory gets added onto fenders; those that can take mud flaps will have pre-drilled holes, or if you’re crafty and don’t mind a little overlap you can drill your own. Most full fenders usually come in “mudflap” and “non-mudflap” versions, with the mudflap versions costing a little more. In our experience, it’s almost always better to go with flaps as they are such a great way to be a considerate commuter around town, in addition to keeping you a bit drier.

Wet Fender Mud Flaps

And of course you can always read up on what the ever pragmatic Sheldon Brown had to say about fenders.

If you haven’t equipped fenders for for the winter, or want to find out more just drop by and we’ll get you set up with a great solution!