CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Have it Your Way
WRENCH BENCH – Chain Installation Trick
TURNING THE CRANKS – The Value of Variety
GEARHEAD – Minoura iH-100
TEAM NOTES – An Open Casting Call
SHOP NEWS – Coloring Contest Results
SURVEY – Cross Training?

Have it Your Way

by Roger Colwell

In challenging economic times, it’s important for every business to make their best effort to stand apart from their competition, focus on their strengths, and improve in areas where improvement is needed. The bicycle business is no exception…with plenty of choices on where to buy a bicycle, consumers can shop around, choosing online retailers or big box stores instead of locally-owned shops. Of course, there are risks inherent in that buying strategy, but they are options, nonetheless.

That’s why we’ve been constantly striving to treat all of our customers (and potential customers, whenever possible) with customized services that they’ll only find at a smaller shop. Frankly, we take no small measure of pride at Sunset Cycles in the individual attention we give to everyone who walks through the door.

And we’re always trying to raise the bar for the quality of service we provide. Along those lines, we’re very excited about the newest service we offer. For years, local cyclist John Forbes struggled to find the perfect fit on his racing bicycle. These struggles led him to an interest in the science and art of bicycle fitting, which eventually developed into a passion that he transformed into bicycle fitting expertise. When it comes to ensuring your position on the bike is just right, you might say that John is the Michelangelo of the MTB or the Renoir of the road bike.

John understands that each bicycle rider deserves customized, individual attention and solutions. It’s an attitude that fits well with the mission and approach of our entire staff.

Whether you’re in the market for a new bike to kick start your 2012 goals and resolutions, or if you just need your current ride position maximized for comfort and performance, I invite you to visit either of our two locations and discover how we can help you get ‘dialed in.’

Thanks for your continued support of “Beaverton’s Bike Shop.”

Chain Installation Trick

Installing a new chain on your bike is pretty straightforward. If you choose to go it alone (note that the mechanics at Sunset Cycles are more than happy to assist you!), here’s a handy trick that can save a bit of frustration.

Items needed: New chain, chain link remover/insertion tool, old spoke or heavy gauge wire.

Step 1: Remove old chain from bike with tool.
Step 2: Clean cassette and chainrings to give new chain a clean new home.
Step 3: Using old chain as a guide, determine proper length for new chain and thread onto bike.
Step 4: Using old spoke bent into a “C” shape, hook ends of chain together between pedals and rear hub, leaving three links dangling from each end. This is where you will insert the pin to close the chain.
Step 5: Insert pin to close the chain on the end links.
Step 6. Remove bent spoke, lubricate new chain as needed, and enjoy your ride!

The Value of Variety

If the staff at Sunset Cycles had a nickel for every rider we’ve heard utter “I hate running”…well, we’d have a lot of extra nickels to manage. In some riding groups, even muttering the “R” word is a punishable offense.

It’s a poorly-hidden secret that many cyclists have turned to riding as an escape from other forms of cardiovascular exercise. And some riders simply love cycling so much that they hate the thought of missing a day in the saddle.

But what about the notion of cross-training? Is there actually any value in replacing a ride with a alternative workout? The short answer: It depends.

Specificity in training is typically the quickest path to success IF you are focused on a very specific cycling goal: Category wins or an epic tour finish, for example. For the rest of us (read: majority of the riders on the road), the battles will come from within or from our riding partners sprinting for bragging rights to be the first to the city limits sign. For these riders, cross-training cycling is likely just one of many types of exercise you already enjoy. For you, cross-training will likely pay dividends.

So, where do you start? Begin by making a commitment to the number of times per week you can supplement your riding. Start with two days and adjust from there. Then, list the areas of your body that can benefit from cross-training exercises. Finally, narrow down a list of activities or exercises that will give you the most bang for your buck–if you only have 30 minutes, twice a week, narrow down your list to a series of 8-10 exercises that will improve your flexibility and general core strength.

The list of activities and exercises to consider is a long one, and you’ll need to find the mix that keeps your head in the game. One person’s nirvana-inducing yoga is another person’s nightmare; a trip to the gym or fitness studio for some hardcore core work can be triumph for one rider and torture for another. Maybe it’s the perfect chance for you to try something new: Pilates; plyometrics; Bikram yoga; and TRX all come to mind. Even the oft-dreaded “R” word might be worth another go.

Cross training. Simple, yet effective, whatever its form. It can help you become one with your bicycle instead of turning a ride full of headwinds and mountain climbs into a battle royale. This winter, while the rain is still falling and the dreams of a podium finish or metric century cookie break are many calendar pages away, incorporate a few of these ideas to help make your spring and summer riding dreams a reality.


Each month in CHAINRINGS, Sunset Cycles previews another great Washington County bike ride. With the varied terrain available in our area, each ride is certain to be a winner.

Our ride rating category is simple, ranging from one CHAINRING (easiest) to five CHAINRINGS (most challenging). Here’s the criteria:

One chainring: Flat ride, minimal climbing
Two chainrings: Rolling hills, short climbs
Three chainrings: Moderate hills, possibly some short, steep climbs
Four chainrings: Challenging terrain with numerous, longer climbs
Five chainrings: Very difficult terrain with numerous, steep, long climbs

This month’s ride: Roy Road Roller

Starting from our Bethany Village shop, this ride’s relatively short distance (50km/31 miles) offers great scenery, some lightly traveled roads, and just enough rolling hills to get your heart pumping. Use caution riding on West Union Road, where narrow road shoulders require extra attention to vehicular traffic.

Head west on NW Central Dr toward NW Bethany Blvd
Head north on NW Bethany Blvd toward NW Laidlaw Rd
Turn left onto NW Laidlaw Rd
Head west on NW Laidlaw Rd toward NW West Union Rd
Turn right onto NW West Union Rd for approx. 8 miles
Turn left onto NW Glencoe Rd for approx. 2 miles
Turn right onto NW Zion Church Rd
Continue onto NW Cornelius Schefflin Rd
Turn right onto NW Roy Rd for approx. 4 miles
Turn right onto NW Harrington Rd for approx. 2 miles
Turn left onto NW Dersham Rd
Cross Sunset Hwy.
Turn right onto NW Mountaindale Rd
Turn left onto NW North Ave into North Plains
Turn right onto NW Glencoe Rd
Turn left onto NW West Union Rd and retrace route back to Sunset Cycles



In the past few months, we’ve been selling quite a few of this month’s Gearhead highlight: The Minoura iH-100 mobile phone handlebar mount. It’s a handy bike accessory that puts the power of your smartphone in a convenient place. With many of us turning to our mobile devices for GPS navigation and as a replacement for our traditional bike computer, it just makes sense to mount your phone where you can best use it. The iH-100 makes that easy.

By adjusting the angle of the iH-100, you can even capture video footage as you ride. It’s compatible with the iPhone and many other brands of smartphones, with a recommended phone dimension of 58-68 mm x 9-15 mm. The clamp removes easily for security. $39.95.


An Open Casting Call
Sunset Cycles is looking to expand the universe’s quantity of pure awesomeness by sponsoring more bike racers. We want to grow our racing team significantly by adding mountain, cyclocross, and road riders (men and women) that are just as interested in having fun on their bikes as they are in being competitive.

Our “Meet The Team” ride will leave at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 28th from our Bethany Village location, and will last about 2-3 hours depending on the weather. Join us for the ride, meet our current roster of awesomeness (and shop employees), and learn about the benefits of riding under the Sunset Cycles banner.

Choose the Jersey
We need your input on our new shop jersey design. In this set of proofs there are 6 potential jersey front views and 3 rear views. Got a favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment.


We recently held our first annual Coloring Contest, open to kids 12 and under. Competition was fierce…we received some exceptional entries. After heated debate and long deliberations,  we have chosen our winners, who receive a Specialized Small Fry or Youth Helmet of their choice. Our winners (mouse over the winning entries below for the artist’s name): Simone (age 4); Stephanie (age 6); Colette (age 7); and Katie (age 9).

Thanks to everyone that participated! Keep an eye out here for more upcoming contests.


Speak, oh ye denizens of the Sunset Cycles world! Give us your opinions on this month’s question…

In Turning the Cranks above, we wrote about the value cross training might have on your cycling.


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

5 responses to “CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter”

  1. John Bennion says :

    I like the White shirts with black shorts. Upper left looks best!

  2. Dan Anderson says :

    I like fronts #2 & #5.

    Regarding the open call, what kinds of riders are you looking for specifically? I raced cross with the beginner men last year & plan to start there again this year (and possibly transition to master’s C…I was pretty close last year), but you don’t appear to have riders near my ability level on your roster. Is that where you’re trying to expand? And also, do you bring beer to the cross events?

  3. bgddyjim says :

    I was a runner for a decade before I got into cycling just last summer so to cross train I ride down to my running club (12.5 miles), then run (7-10 miles) then I ride back home – the long way (17.5 more) – that’s on Saturdays. On Thursday’s I’ll ride 16-20 and then meet a friend for a 5k run – I ride every weekday and take Sundays off. Best summer/fall of my life.

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