CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Following the Trend
WRENCH BENCH – Taping Your Handlebars
TURNING THE CRANKS – An Intro to Orbea
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – North Plains Pyrenees
GEARHEAD – Pedal to the Metal
TEAM NOTES – Meet the Team Ride: An Unedited Recap
SHOP NEWS – Team In Training / Eugene Cycling Job Fair
SURVEY – Electric Bikes

Following the Trend

by Roger Colwell

One of the best things about being an independent bike dealer is the access I have to our customers. I wouldn’t trade the daily interactions for anything, as it really helps me stay in touch with the latest needs and concerns of the bike-riding public.

I always find it interesting (and I completely understand) when our customers ask me about trends I’m spotting or following in the bike business. As a long-time cyclist myself, I’ve always been curious about the “latest and greatest” in my hobby of choice.

With things in the bike business (and business in general) moving at the speed of sound, it’s difficult to follow every trend all the time. But there have been a few recent developments I find compelling.

First, I’ve witnessed an incredible upsurge in non-competitive road cycling, as evidenced by the popularity of challenging Gran Fondo events and multi-day cycling tours. Bicycle manufacturers haven’t ignored this trend: The trickle down effect is an increase in the types of bikes favored by Gran Fondo riders, such as Sunset Cycles’ new line from bike superstar ORBEA (see more below).

In the tech category, I’ve been impressed with the massive improvements in lighting technology. More lumens (read: brighter lights), with smaller batteries and lower price points put the strongest lights within reach of the tightest bike budgets. Another interesting item we might be seeing more of very soon: Disc brakes on road bikes as the standard rather than the exception.

I’ve also noticed a re-emphasis on custom services such as bike fitting, a topic we covered extensively last month. Cyclists have come to realize the value of a professional bike FIT is nearly as important as the quality of the bike itself.

Finally, I believe the electric assist bike category (a.k.a. “electric bikes”) is about to explode in popularity. A few vendors have shown us their offerings in this category lately, and what they have might surprise you. We would love to hear your opinion on this subject…let us know what you think in our POLL below.

Regardless of how the winds of change blow from cycling season to cycling season, a few standards remain firmly in place at Sunset Cycles: Attention to detail. An emphasis on quality for every product we sell. And an absolute insistence on delivering the highest level of service to every customer who walks through our doors.

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

Taping Your Handlebars

Thanks to our first rate bike technicians for this dazzling display of handlebar tape wizardry!

An Intro to Orbea

1930: Tucked away in the Basque region of Spain, Orbea, a company celebrating it’s 83rd anniversary in business, capitalized on its knowledge of metal tubing to craft its first bicycle.

2012: The bicycle brand that defines a region explodes onto the Western Portland bicycle scene.

It’s a piece of news worthy of shouting from our rooftop: Sunset Cycles is now the exclusive Portland-area dealer of Orbea bicycles. From the heart of the Pyrenees Mountains to the Tualatin Hills and Valleys, Orbea’s romantic story alone is enough to entice the dedicated cyclist and lover of beautiful bicycles in to our shop for a test ride.

But Orbea isn’t a brand to hang its helmet on its pedigree. In the Basque country, cycling is more than a pastime or leisurely pursuit–it’s a way of life. And that’s exactly why Orbea is worth your consideration if you’re contemplating a new ride to kick off the 2012 cycling season. Quality…Exceptional design…Attention to detail that separates a very nice bike from an extremely nice bike!

Orbea has it all, from delicious road bikes to gorgeous flat-bar commuters, and everything in-between: Sexy time-trial/triathlon bikes and buttery-smooth mountain steeds. These are rides of uncommon quality from a company that isn’t afraid to put it’s bikes on center stage: The Tour de France. The Olympic Games. The Ironman Triathlon World Championships. Orbea has taken wins and podium finishes at them all.

You don’t have to be a podium hog to appreciate the remarkable design inherent in every Orbea bike. If the devil is in the details, an Orbea bicycle is a wickedly evil sinful pleasure.

At Sunset, we’re carrying many different Orbea models:
–the ORCA, the brand’s flagship road bike
–the CARPE, a beautiful flat-bar city bike
–the DAMA, a road bike built for the discriminating female rider

Watch your inbox for more details on a special Orbea gala evening coming soon to our Bethany Village store. Or simply stop in anytime for a no-pressure, personally guided tour of some of the finest bikes available in the Portland area.


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: North Plains Pyrenees

NOT the North Plains Pyrenees!

Starting from downtown North Plains, this ride takes you on a loop that will test your winter fitness levels. It’s your choice which direction to go…the loop can be done easily in either direction. But “easily” is a relative term: The monster climbs and screaming descents of this route are sure to test your lungs, legs, and courage. The distance is short (21.8 miles) but the difficulty is high, with a cumulative elevation gain of 1463 feet. The cue sheet below is for a clockwise loop.

Start in North Plains at Commercial & Main Streets, heading east on Commercial.
Turn north on NW Glencoe Rd., which becomes NW Shadybrook Rd.
After approx. 3 miles, Shadybrook becomes NW Dorland Rd.
Begin 5-mile ascent. Road becomes NW Moreland Rd.
At 8.5-mile mark, turn right onto NW Skyline Blvd.
Just past 11-mile mark, turn right onto NW Logie Trail Rd. (alt. name: NW Beck Rd.)
Road begins descent (with a 1.5-mile climb thrown in for good measure).
Past 14-mile mark, turn left onto NW Johnson Rd.
Past 15-mile mark, pass Mason Hill Park on left.
Turn right onto NW Helvetia Rd. for short distance.
Turn left onto NW Jackson Quarry Rd.
Turn right onto NW West Union Rd. and continue approx. 2 miles back to North Plains.


Here’s a link to the route.


Pedal to the Metal

It’s one of the key contact points on your bike: The pedals. Yet many cyclists don’t give their pedal selection much thought, or rely on brands they’ve ridden in the past without trying something new. A couple of the brands we carry might be worth a second LOOK (pun intended)…

Look Keo Carbon
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up these pedals is the weight…or lack thereof. They’re nice and light (124g each), which can help if you’re a gram weenie trying to shave as much as you can from your ride. The large surface area of the platform provides a good base for your foot and helps avoid hotspots on long rides. Two cleat options give you either 9 degrees of float or a fixed position. Finished in a brushed black/carbon, they’ll look (2nd intended pun) sweet, too. $230.

Speedplay Light Action
Available in either Chrome-Moly (110g) or stainless (103g), the Speedplay Light Action pedals offer one of the easiest entry and release of any pedal in the market, which is good news for lighter weight recreational cyclists (women and kids, for example) or who might be new to clipless pedals. With a float of up to 15 degrees, your knees will thank you, too. A built-in grease port makes for easy maintenance, and the pedals’ light weight will improve your riding efficiency. $115 chrome-moly; $185 stainless.


January 28th–Meet the Team Ride: An Unedited Recap
by John Bennion

We had 14 riders, 5 of which were new. We started off after some brief introductions and an overview of the route. Temperatures upon departure were a balmy 32 degrees. Rob and Jeff led us up Kaiser to Brooks church which solved most of the cold temp issues. While Jeff and Greg worked on repairing Greg’s 1st mechanical problem, we sent an advance group down towards Jackson Quarry. The sun came out as we passed by Helvetia Tavern and we had “Gruppo Compacto” in the Quarry. Again Jeff led the charge up the hill. At the top we worked on Greg’s 2nd (?) mechanical, and one of the newbies worked on his rear derailleur. We “fixed” Greg and the new guy and headed down Mason Hill and up to Shadybrook. The group broke up on the climb up Pumpkin Ridge with Jeff and Wayne attempting to summit. The remainder broke into two subgroups. One opting for the paved bliss of the Pumpkin descent and the second opting for the Belgian style descent of the packed gravel of Old Pumpkin Ridge. Unfortunately we popped one newbie (Shorter Dan) on the descent and despite our searching we did not find him until we got back to the shop. The group I was with went out to Mountaindale where we worked on Greg’s 3rd (4th?) mechanical. We headed back to the shop with subgroups and had a nice push to Meek and a pleasant ride back through the neighborhoods with the occasional mock sprint (always a bad idea during the recovery portion of the ride). Somehow Greg made it back, but he left his bike at the shop. We spent 30 min or so chatting at the shop after the ride. Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves on the ride. John W came over to shop off his scar and the x-ray. Paul also made an appearance and met the new guys. Newbies were: Mark (Peter’s brother), Andrew, (Shorter) Dan, Russell, and Wayne. I think all are interested in the team. I got to know Russell the best and he is a stud. All the others seemed great too. Team guys were: Andy A, Peter, Sean, Mark, Bennion Brothers, Jeff, Dan, and Greg. Great day, good turnout.

NOTE: The Sunset Cycles Team will hold regularly scheduled rides from May through September every other Saturday at 9am, with departures alternating between our Bethany Village and Scholls Ferry stores. For more information on the Sunset Cycles Team, please ask a store employee.


Team In Training
Sunset Cycles is proud to support our employee Ashley, who is planning her current training around an upcoming century ride this summer with the folks at Team In Training. This is the third year of our support for Team in Training.

If you would like to join Ashley, or if you have your eyes on doing a triathlon this year, you’re in luck. For 23 years, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training (TNT) program has been unparalleled in training beginners to seasoned athletes to successfully cross the finish line of an endurance event. While raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, you will receive four to five months of training by certified Team In Training coaches and get a customized training schedule to fit your fitness level.

You get to enjoy a supportive group of teammates and weekly team workouts that promote team spirit. TNT also provides you with a personalized web page to make it quick and easy to fundraise online!

Teams are now forming for our upcoming summer season which includes the Pacific Crest Triathlon and America’s Most Beautiful Century Ride. Visit the TNT website or call 971-230-2292 for more information. AND, look for the TNT training ride from our Bethany location on Saturday, March 10th.

Eugene Cycling Industry Job Fair
We like to help out other bike shops from time to time, especially when we see an event we think is worth promoting everywhere. If you or a friend live in the Eugene area, here’s something you might like:

Collins Cycle Shop will host a job fair for those interested in a career in the ever growing cycling industry. Employment opportunities include working in a bicycle shop, manufacturing, shipping and receiving, warehousing, mechanic school, independent sales representative, fabrication, design and more.

“We are very fortunate to have been in Eugene doing what we are passionate about for over 60 years. We are well aware of how hard it is to get work for many of our residents. Hosting this is just the right thing to do,” says Jay Loew, manager of Collins Cycle Shop.

The purpose of this event is to create a network for those interested in working in the cycling industry. Although there may not be immediate openings available, we will share resumes with employers seeking qualified help. Employers attending this event include Specialized Bicycles,Giant Bicycles, Rolf Prima, Cyclone Bicycle Supply, Seattle Bicycle Supply, Castelli Cycling Clothing, Garmin, KOKI bags, and J&B West Coast. Those interested in job opportunities are encouraged to submit their resume to onsite HR staff on Sunday, February 26th from 1-5pm.  Music provided, courtesy of Skip Jones.

Bicycles and other merchandise will be relocated temporarily in order to accommodate space for this event at Collins Cycle Shop, 60 E. 11th Avenue, Eugene. Sales will resume on February 27.

For more information, call Jay Loew at 541-342-4878.


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


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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

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  1. Orbea « Sunset Cycles' Blog - February 13, 2012

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