CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Building Our Store Atmosphere
WRENCH BENCH – Mounting Tricky Tires
TURNING THE CRANKS – Spring Cleaning
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Sherwood Wilsonville Lollipop
GEARHEAD – Fender Bender
TEAM NOTES – Jack Frost Time Trial Report
SHOP NEWS – Women’s Ride Day / PDX Bike Show
SURVEY – Spring Cleaning



Building Our Store Atmosphere

by Roger Colwell 

Nobody…and I mean NOBODY!…likes to shop in a store where clerks are pushy (or inattentive), merchandise is poorly displayed (or never available), and the general ‘feel’ of the store is…well, just a negative vibe.

This is exactly why we put great emphasis on building an extraordinary customer experience at Sunset Cycles. Just when we feel good about how we’re serving our cycling community, we try to regroup and ask ourselves what we could be doing better.

It’s an attitude we’re trying to extend to every part of the buying experience. From the moment you set foot in one of our two locations, we promise you’ll be greeted promptly and courteously (but not feel like you have vultures circling over your head). If you ask to look at something in particular, we promise to show you what we have to offer, and gently make our professional recommendations on an alternative or two. If your bike needs service or a quick inspection, we’ll take a look and help you determine the best course of action, without selling you services you don’t need (underbody clear coating or teflon-lined brake cables, anyone??). And when you’re ready to depart, we’ll ensure that your checkout process goes swiftly and smoothly.

The quest to build the best store atmosphere extends outside our doors, too. From how we share information with you–via this newsletter, our blog, website, Facebook, etc.–to our bike expo booth and our shop tent at events, our mission is to enhance your enjoyment of cycling. Period.

If we can do that by helping you find a new bike, great. We’re confident you’ll be happy on any of the brands we carry. If it’s by delivering the best custom fitting service available in Portland, fantastic. We’re sold on the service ourselves!

Building and improving our store atmosphere to better serve your needs is a mission that never ends at Sunset Cycles. Anytime you have suggestions on how we can better accomplish this, please let me know personally via email.

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

p.s.–Ladies: Don’t miss an exciting event at our our Scholls Ferry Rd. store in Beaverton on March 18th…see below for details on how we’re helping celebrate National Women’s Ride Day. r.c.



Mounting Tricky Tires

Sometimes, new tires (especially on racing bicycles) are a bit tight, making mounting new ones on your rims a tricky proposition. Our bike technicians are red hot and running this month with a short video lesson on how to make the job much easier with a handy, inexpensive tool.



Spring Cleaning

Springtime: The season when robins return to the gardens tweeting (no internet account required) their alarms, triliums make their spectacular forest comeback, and college basketball prognosticators wage water cooler bracketology war. But what about the cyclist? How does he or she jump on the Springtime springboard and tweak the systems that will ensure an exceptional riding season?

There’s no reason cyclists can’t benefit from a “Spring cleaning” of their own. Starting with your bike itself, then making considerations about your diet and mental well-being, here are a few ideas to rejuvenate your riding.

Your bike is an easy place to start. Winter riding can extract a heavy toll on your ride, so look to areas that might be a bit tired: Worn brake and shifter cables, tires that have seen better days, and brakepads rubbed to the nub by winter grit. Go deeper with your maintenance by having your Sunset Cycles technician inspect your bearings, chain and cassette. Just like a regular oil change for your auto, this basic seasonal tuneup will take you many more miles down the road.

Any Spring cleaning that doesn’t include an inspection of your diet wouldn’t be a Spring cleaning at all. Now is the time to take a look at what you’ve been eating the past few months and consider how you can improve “what goes in.” Start a food diary if you can–what you read after a week might surprise you. Cutting back on winter comfort foods (read: high carbs, fat, and sugar) can produce results on the scale and in the saddle. Scour your grocer’s produce section for new, seasonal releases. You might even consider a cleanse, fast, or other method of bridging the seasons from a nutritional standpoint.

Finally, Springtime is a great time to consider the mental component of your riding. While some adopt a “let the road glide under my bike” approach, other riders prefer to condition their brain for the rigors of the season ahead (especially if their summer includes racing or tough tours). Start by rising earlier with the increasing daylight…and getting to bed earlier. The connection with the morning often brings new perspective to your riding. Search online for new philosophies of training, performance, and mental conditioning. And re-evaluate goals you might have set at the end of last year, basing any changes on the quality and quantity of your winter training.



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: Sherwood Wilsonville Lollipop



This 40-mile “lollipop” shaped loop starts from our Beaverton store at SW Scholls Ferry Rd. & Barrows, and features only two climbs of note: one steep 3/4-mile climb (mile 6) and one longer ascent (NE Bell & Leander Dr.; miles 25-30). Enjoy the rural scenery and riverside views of the Willamette as you head south from our store, through Sherwood, skirting Wilsonville, and finishing with a ride through Newberg. A full route description, map, and elevation profile can be found here.



Fender Bender

If you live in the Northwest and wait for sunny days to ride…you’ll find very few days to get out on your bike. Riding in the rain (or on wet pavement) is much more pleasant with the addition of fenders to your bike. This month, we’d like to highlight a new model that’s really been turning heads in our store lately.

SKS Raceblade Long Fenders
The new Raceblade Long from SKS is already rocking the fender world. The Raceblade Long has the splash coverage of a full fender but with the benefit of a quick release fender set. An optional/removable 6″ flexible mudflap adds additional spray coverage. The fenders perfectly adapt to the radius of the wheel by changing stay length with adjustment pin, and the skewer mounting bracket offsets/angles outward for dropouts that are not flat (Ritchey style, carbon, etc). If the simple installation still seems a bit tricky for you, a nice bike technician from Sunset Cycles will be happy to assist you. Available for 700 x 18-23 tires in black & silver. $55. A cool product video:



Sunset Cycles at the Jack Frost Time Trial

Kyle Remington wrote: Sunday morning, Vancouver Lake, 38 degrees, wind calm and slightly sprinkling.  The majority of cyclist are in, as Dan puts it, their sperm helmets. Me, I’m nervous because I am in the worst shape in recent history, due to my love of my american lifestyle in December.  The turnout is real good, which is suprising with the weather conditions.  Me and Greg and a friend named Matt Kennedy are the only Sunset Cycle colors here today.  This is the 6th year that Greg and I have gone head to head in this race and the record is 3-2 Greg.  We both had a good warm up on stationary trainers and Greg started three and a half minutes ahead of me and Matt two.  Right before Greg started the rain/snow mix started falling.  Greg started and held steady with his 102 cadence and 177 heartrate that he has had the last five years.  Me, I’m held up, because i cant start my Garmin with my new big, fat, specialized, wind, and water proof gloves on.  Finally, I just gave up and got serious.  Head and side winds most of the way and a lot of “Am I there yet” thinking.  Precip stopped half way through, but felt strong almost the whole way.  Two fast looking triathletes past me on the last stretch, which helped me pick up the pace and finish strong. Did a cool down and shivered all the way home.  Greg got a personal record for himself and is now ahead of me 4-2.

The highlight of the day for me was seeing 70+ year old Clark Henry do the Jack Frost again after getting hit by a car this year.  The first year I did this event I met him and his rain gear was a Hefty garbage sack, with arm holes through the upper corners.  His bike was, and still is a Land Shark.  He recently got a sperm helmet after hearing the most time is saved with one of these.  Well, I went in search of him and found him just before his race.  I asked him if he was back to full strength after his accident this year and he told me, “Not really, I still take pain meds every night so I can sleep.”  He said, ” I broke all my ribs on my right side, punctured both of my lungs and bruised my heart.”  I don’t know what his inspiration is, but that is a bonified tough ol’ bird!

Added Greg Kempthorn: Sure it wasn’t 28 degrees? What is the wind chill averaging 24 MPH? Anyway, still a great time. I felt absolutely comfortable and relaxed at a higher cadence despite a 96% of max heart rate the whole way.  The last 6 years I ranged about 97 to 105 cadence.  No matter how many hills, squats, power intervals, etc, I am not a masher. Every time I dip below 95 RPM (maintaining the same speed) in a TT my legs burn and heart rate gets way too close to max. It is just not efficient for me. Maybe it’s just being relatively new to the sport and not having a lot of miles and experience.  This year did add a challenge as Kyle said, it began slushing right at the start. Kind of challenging mentally to TT in those conditions. I slowed WAY down on the second corner both ways assuming it had frozen precip waiting for me. I believe everyone got through safely though. Saw Kyle and Matt and did a little wave as they came by (really encouraging by the way). Experienced a little bit of cramping the last three miles due to VERY cold legs. I usually do a 4 mile run right after. But only managed 2 miles because my feet were so numb (water soaked right through my shoe covers). Ready for some warm weather or at least drier conditions. Kyle, we need to consider a disc wheel cover next year to add to our modified road bikes! Or what the heck, just get a full blown TT bike with a disc wheel like everyone else. Can you tell I am envious?

Congratulations to Kyle and Greg who finished 29th and 22nd in their respective categories.

Sunset Cycles team members prepare for the Echo MTB race

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.



Bike Show–24 & 25 March

Visit Sunset Cycles as we take the PDX Bike Show by storm March 24-25 at the Portland Expo Center. In addition to the cool things at our booth, you’ll find vendors of all stripes ready to show you their coolest new offerings. We’ve got some exciting things lined up for our own booth, so please stop by, say hello, and feel free to call the Sunset Cycles booth your own while you’re at the show.

National Womens Ride Day

Sunset Cycles will be hosting a Women’s Ride Day from our Scholls Store on March 18th at 11am. This will be a no-drop fun social ride with two route options (both will be mostly flat) and guided by a few of our Sunset Cycles staff/team members. Men are welcome, but must be accompanied by a woman!

Whether you’re an accomplished rider or a first-timer, Women’s Ride Day events will help you strengthen your relationship with your bike and with other women in your area who ride. We might even have a few free giveaways.

Please RSVP via our Facebook page.



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


About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

2 responses to “CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter”

  1. Bob says :

    The “Notes” and the Map for the Sherwood Wilsonville Loop don’t seem to match. It seems there is either a whole lot of detail missing between the Beaverton store and Morgan Rd, or it’s completely the wrong Notes. Roy Rogers Rd is not even mentioned in the notes, until the return trip. Tips or corrections would be appreciated.

    • sunsetpdx says :

      Thanks for the heads up, Bob. You’re right…something went wrong with the “Notes” section of this ride description. They jump from the start to the 8.45 mile mark. In the interim, you would leave our Beaverton store, heading south on Roy Rogers Rd. before cutting through Sherwood and heading in a SSW direction on Edy/Sherwood Blvd/Pine Streets. You then head west on Sunset, south on Baker, and east on Morgan. The Notes section should be accurate from there.

      For more details, just look at the Summary tab at the ride link for a highly descriptive map.

      Thanks again for bringing this to our attention!

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