Top 4 Underrated Tools

For this week’s post, we are bringing you our Top 4 most underrated, and undervalued tools. These are the tools that you’ve always seen as overpriced or superfluous, but we explain their true benefit and why they pay off in the end. You may notice, we don’t recommend one brand for every tool. This is for two reasons: one, as a small business, we are not tied to any tool company or brand; and two, there really is no brand that wins out in durability, usability, and price for every tool they make. But you don’t have to believe us, come down and check out the different options yourself at Cycle Portland.

Picking Your Tire Lever

Pedro’s vs Park Tool

Tire Lever
Pedro’s Tire Lever

Quality makes a big difference, even for some of some of the smallest tools. Design and plastic composition in tire levers become apparent after changing even one or two and become amplified after a few hundred tire changes. The Pedro Lever slots in the groove much better with a wider and better designed profile. The stiffer cross section mean less flexing and breakage when taking off a stiff tire.




Choosing Your Multitool

Crank Bros vs budget 6 toolCrank Brothers Multi-tool

You’ll notice a couple things you’ll notice when you finally need to pull that multitool out of its deep, dark corner of your saddlebag. First, you’ll notice the length and design of the handle. Getting the leverage to really tighten down that offending nut often takes more than a one-inch handle. Second, you’ll notice the construction of the whole contraption when it starts to loosen up and fall apart. For whatever reason, the bolt fastening method of those cheap-o tools will rattle apart after about five uses. The Crank Brothers set is a lifetime tool. Spend the money and you won’t regret it.


Start Your Toolkit Right with a Proper Long-handle SetPark Tools Wrench Set

When picking a good set of hex tools to start your toolset, what are the important things to look at? Long handle for leverage and hard to reach places, connected with metal vs plastic, having a ball-style on one end. Between tightening crankarms, removing stuck pedals, and accessing hard to reach brake bolts, long handle hex wrenches are indispensable. Combine that long handle with a ball-style end and you’ll able to tighten any bolt on your bike stress-free.

Note: Know what to use the ball-style hex for and what not to! Its perfect for adjusting a tough-to-access brake calliper or bottle cage. Just don’t try to lossen a rusted bolt as your more likely to round out the bolt head.

Why You Can’t Do Without Cable Cutters

Why should you invest in a genuine cable cutter rather than using snips to cut your cable housing? Trust us, you will regret every minute of your experience trying to cut shifting cable with snips. Shift housing is made up of long metal wires that run the length of the tubing. Attempting to cut these with snips leads to terrible cuts, poked fingers and a lot of frustration. Take it from us, it’s a $20-$35 tool that is worth its weight in gold!prod-tools-pedros-cable-cutter-2-wr

5 Best Cost-Effective Upgrades for Your Bike


This week’s post will suggest the five most cost-effective upgrades to make your ride the most enjoyable experience of the day. Spending $300 to upgrade your crankset or to shave a couple dozen grams from your bike won’t make nearly the difference in enjoyment per dollar that changing your grips or finding a perfect saddle for your shape. Mechanic Mike is here to tell you his top five favorite upgrades for the money.


Upgrade your Grips or Bar Tape

IMG_2279Beautiful selection of Cinelli Gel grip tap in stock right now.

Not only will this give your bike a totally sweet new look, finding the right grips for your riding style will make you a much happy camper. Riding long days in the saddle without gloves and downhill mountain biking with gloves need two different types of grippy-ness. Sometimes leather grips are the right material for riding with minimal callouses and long life of your grips. Things to think about when choosing your grips: style of riding, weather conditions, gloves vs no gloves, or come in to Cycle Portland to ask for our recommended grips for your riding. It is a cost-effective upgrade to your bike ride. 

Find the Right Saddle for your Seat

IMG_2274We have this beautiful Cardiff in the window waiting for its forever home!

Not every saddle works for every person, but it makes sense to put energy into finding the right saddle for you. There are a couple saddles that have a wide appeal among cyclist, a couple leather saddles among these options. Stock saddles are chosen based on the cheapest price for the bike manufacturer and the look of the saddle. Neither of these considerations pay off for your sit bones. Come in for a saddle consultation and upgrade today.

Tires Rule Everything A-round MeIMG_2249

Great selection of Marathons on this wall.

Nothing ruins a ride like getting a flat tire, and nothing prevents flats like the appropriate tires. We love a pair of Marathon Plus’s for pretty much every riding application, but there are some riding that requires specific tires. Fine tuning the bike’s connection to the ground produces some of the most favorable improvements for your daily ride and costs less that $50 a tire.

Cockpit SwapHandlebars

Our selection of handlebars  in the shop.

Finding the best height for your handlebars and possibly even changing your handlebars could reduce the pressure you feel in your hands, wrists and shoulders. Mechanic Mike has even found that by switching handlebars, he has eliminated pain in his neck and back. Even raising your stem by an inch or changing your handlebar bend by 15 degrees, can change your approach to riding.

Basket Game

Cycle Portland single-speed wald basketWe love Wald Baskets at Cycle Portland!

Having a place to drop your bag, carry home groceries or even to put your sandals and shirt after a swim in the river makes your bike more functional, beautiful. There was a time when all bikes came with a basket or rack to provide a trunk of sorts for your bicycle. Trust Mike when he says you’ll find ways to fill up your basket nearly every ride.

We are here to help you have a great ride, daily from 9am – 6pm!

For all your cost effective bike upgrades visit us at 117 NW 2nd Ave, Portland OR

Utropstecken! Cycle Portland media love from the Swedes

Similarly grey winters, exquisite edibles, and a love for urban exploration by bike.

Portland and the Swedes are a match made in impeccably-designed heaven, and our counterparts across the pond agree!

Cycle Portland has been named a must-experience from the ünderbar writers at Hallen, a Swedish foodie travel magazine! You can check out the spread from the magazine here: Hallen-Sweden-FallWinter 2014.

And you, too, can share the microbrews, culinary creations, history, and exploration with friends and family all over the globe – Cycle Portland gift cards are available here!


Your Bachelor & Bachelorette Party in Portland – On Bikes!

Cycle Portland is getting MORE media love! Be still our bikey hearts!

We’ve happily hosted many a bachelor & bachelorette party in portland over the years, and now Martha Stewart Weddings has recommended touring with Cycle Portland as an essential addition to your big day. Though many choose our Breweries By Bike tour for their day of fun festivities, all of our offerings provide a great way to explore the city with those you want to surprise.

Whether with family members, wedding parties, friends, and/or out-of-town visitors, our tours bring people together through reveling in all our lovely city has to offer! Love and bikes – a match made in Martha Stewart (and Portland) heaven.

Thanks for the love, Martha!

Cycle Portland – Your Best First Date With Portland!

Want to get up-close and personal with our beautiful city, its history, favorite local spots, and best biking routes? According to the wonderful people over at, a first-hand travel guru and booking site, Cycle Portland is the best possible intro to the City of Roses, and we humbly agree!

From bicycle boulevards to sea captains to champion coffee roasters and brilliant breweries, Trivago and Time and the LA Times and others say our year-round tours offer a terrific two-wheeled taste of all that Portland has to offer. You, too, can explore whichever uniquely-Portland topic suits your fancy by booking a tour with Portland’s original bike tour company (us!) here.

We love spreading smiles and bike love to visitors and locals alike. Thanks again for the praise, Trivago!

Cheery Ho! Cycle Portland Media-Love from Across the Pond

All of us here at Cycle Portland are honored to be profiled in the media yet again! A recent article from Cosmopolitan UK lists their top must-visit Portland staples, and we made the list. Huzzah!

According to the article, our Essential Portland Tour is the “perfect way to get your bearings” and experience Rose City’s bike culture first hand. We humbly agree.

As Portland’s original bike tour company, we’ve always known that exploring our local shops, food, and sights is indescribably different from atop a bicycle, and we continue to be delighted to share unique experiences with locals and visitors from around the globe.

Thanks again for the tip of the hat, Cosmo UK!

2008 – Kaboom

2008 After waiting months for the 1st of the year to come around, I registered my business with the state like an afterthought and completed my first website. I had already started collecting bicycles and gear for a fleet and the 2007 garage sale season had rained bikes upon me. After taking some time to hone my mechanic skills, I bought liability insurance and completed my first “official” bike tour. I started volunteering for the Community Cycling Center and attended dozens of bike related events. I went to the Car Free Cities Conference, the National Handmade Bike Show, the Oregon Manifest Show, Cirque de Cycling, and raced my first Cyclocross season ( single speed YEah! ) under my own business name. I set up guerrilla style on the Eastbank Esplanade and talked with commuters and tourists about my Ideas. I was picked to show a custom bike in the greener homes and gardens expo. I checked out road races, attended BTA workshops on bike commuting and gave my own workshops wherever I could find a host with space for participants. I volunteered for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance Bicycle Safety Education Program and saw the next generation learn the rules of the road. I rented bikes out of my basement for a while, and ended up buying a short school bus to move bikes around and act as a support vehicle for longer distance bike tours. I got to be on the KBOO bike show and experienced my first Filmed By Bike Film Festival. A busy year for sure and my first whole business season of leading bike tours and showing off Portland’s bike infrastructure. Just the beginning.