Archive | May 2012

Customer Review (Stumpjumper EVO 29er)

Here is a nice review of a customers 29er he got a while back. Thanks for the feedback Jeff!

Specialized Stumpjumper HT EVO 29 review
By: Jeff Walton
Back in February I purchased my first ‘brand new’ mountain bike in many years. Up until this purchase, it seemed difficult to find a good frame with good components in a package that was either available, or reasonably priced.
The 29’ers were starting to peak my interest right about the time that Sunset Cycles conveniently opened their second store one block from my house. Roger and his staff introduced me to the Specialized line of bikes. During my many years of riding, I was not that familiar with the brand. So after a few visits and discussions with Roger, I set my sights on a Stumpjumper HT EVO 29 , but was not 100% sold on the decision.
Being an experience rider and salesman, Roger brought one in my size, convinced if I rode it, I would buy it. Roger was spot on. So after a quick demo ride, I knew I had to have it.
Two hundred miles later, the bike has nearly met every expectation and exceeded a few. My initial apprehension of the single gear up front was quickly dissolved with my first ride in Forest Park up to Skyline and back. With the 11-36 in the back and the 33 up front, I had plenty of range for both the climb and the decent. The SRAM shifting package [X0 compact derailleur, X7 shifter] is effortless and worry free. The shifting is responsive, accurate and smooth, even under moderate to heavy load.
The most impressive part of my riding experience is how fast this bike is. With the option of locking the Fox Float 29 Evolution RL fork out, climbing with this bike is as easy as any bike I have ridden. Downhill the bike is equally as impressive, where it hugs the single track as well as my 26” full suspension bike, even over technical terrain.
The only drawback has been the brakes. The Avid Elixir 7 SL system has left me wanting more from a company I have used for years. Initially the rear brake was send from the factory with air in the line, which led to a heart pounding decent when it completely went away on my first real decent. Roger and his team quickly resolved this, but the Elixir system does not impress. The system feels ‘squishy’ and fails to provide the same feedback I have been accustomed to with the Juicy series. With a bike of this caliber, braking confidence is a must.
At the end of the day what separates this bike from its peers is value. I could have easily spent much more for a bike of equal billing and performance. Given my total experience with this bike it is likely you will see another Specialize bike in my corral in the future.


If you have any feedback or reviews on bikes, accessories or anything cycling related we would love to here about it! Just send us a e-mail (


CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


TURNING THE CRANKS – Learning from the Europeans
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Taking it to the Bank(s)
TEAM NOTES – John Bennion’s Orbea Review
SHOP NEWS – Orbea Basque Night/Saris Racks/Tigard Ride
SURVEY – Your Dream Bike



Why Orbea?

by Roger Colwell 

Change isn’t easy, especially in a business that relies so much on history, tradition, and established culture. But when we were approached recently to carry a new bicycle brand, we didn’t hesitate for a moment. Why the sudden change? In a word: Quality.

Orbea is a brand that knows a thing or two about cycling tradition. As one of the oldest brands in the business, Orbea has been handcrafting bikes in the Basque region of Spain for decades (it’s the region’s largest cooperative company, and began as a rifle manufacturer in 1840). These guys were making bicycles when my father was just a kid!

While longetivity doesn’t always equate with quality, there’s something to be said about a manufacturer who can weather a few civil wars, a few world wars, and a globally changing economy. Just one look at the bikes Orbea produces today is enough to know that the detail put into every part of these beautiful rides is without compare.

We always strive to give you our very best, including selection. Adding Orbea bikes to our lineup was a “no brainer.” Come in for a test ride and find out for yourself. I’d like to extend a personal invitation to our special Orbea Basque Night, Thursday, May 17th from 6-8pm. We’ll have food, beverages, music, and an opportunity for you to take a look at Orbea’s bikes up close (SEE DETAILS BELOW). I think you’ll love what you see.

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



Learning from the Europeans

When you get down to the statistics (“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” aside), the gap that divides American and European cycling cultures seems wider than the Atlantic Ocean. From percentage of daily commute trips taken to cycling infrastructure to safety statistics, our European friends have us beat when it comes to the integration of the bicycle into daily life.

So, what can we learn from our European bros and sistas? What can we do to help integrate the bike more firmly into American culture? Here are a just a few ideas to help you feel more like a globally-conscious bicycle citizen:

1. Once a week, ditch the car and run errands on your bike. As one example, in the Netherlands, as many as 25% of all shopping trips are completed via bicycle. You can argue that Portland’s terrain doesn’t compare favorably to the pancake flat streets of Holland, but proper bike gearing (or electric assist bikes) make that argument fall as flat as Amsterdam’s streets.

2. If you lobby your governmental representative for just one thing, let your emphasis be on better bike paths, lanes, infrastructure, and public transportation integration with bikes.

3. Introduce a non-riding adult friend to cycling. The smile that adult cyclists wear when re-introduced to two-wheel transportation will be worth your effort.

4. Take the family cycling. A picnic is an easy way to start. Longer trips can come later when everyone is more comfortable with the concept of riding as recreation.

5. If you’re not racing yourself, go spectate at a local race. It’s the quickest way to mainline the love for the racing side of cycling.

6. Participate in a Gran Fondo, which are starting to crop up in America. Part race and part tour, these mass participation events can satisfy everyone from the casual rider to the hardcore racer.



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: Taking it to the Bank(s)


After many months of serving up challenging hill climbs in our Washco Ride of the Month, we’re going to suggest something completely different this time. The Banks-Vernonia Trail stretches 21 miles on an abandoned (paved) railroad bed between the two towns, with parking on either end and at 5 points along the trail. It’s a very slightly uphill ride from Banks to Vernonia, so go that direction if you’d like a gentle downhill finish. Perfect for a family ride or to introduce new riders to cycling.



Sunset Team member John Bennion took an Orbea Orca for a spin recently and had this review to share with us…

The Bike: The Orbea Orca SFR.  My set-up was the Orbea Orca Silver Frameset with the SRAM Force Compact Groupset and Shimano RS-30 wheels and Vittoria Diamante Tires.

The Good: Handling – This was the best part of the bike. I felt great on descents – stable and able to hold speed.  Turning was also very easy – able to take corners much faster/tighter. It’s a very comfortable ride – still get the vibe of the road, but not harsh. Handlebar – it was a winged handlebar – very comfy when on the tops. Rear Shifting – SRAM is great on the back – crisp and fast. Looks – Gorgeous frame – the seatstays and chainstays are beautifully shaped and seemed effective in reducing ride thrash. I loved the paint job and the aero seat mast in the silver and gold series is sweet. Weight – With the Shimano RS-30 wheels and no pedals and bottle cages – I think this weighed in at 17.1 lbs. Very nice – even with heavier wheels.

The Not-So Good: Front shifting – I am a Shimano guy, and my normal ride is Ultegra SL – and I prefer Shimano shifting to SRAM. I have heard similar statements from other users. Shifting with the SRAM on the front was not as quick as I had hoped even with the compact chainrings.

The Verdict: Great handling, especially in descents. I also really like the ride feel. I would buy it with Shimano groupset, and I would like to ride it with a nicer wheelset (Shimano 6700 or better). As far a lateral stiffness goes – I have a hard time comparing it to my normal ride (Trek Madone 5.2 Pro). It was less stiff, but I am not sure if that is because of the frame or the wheels, and it was not troubling in the climbing we did.  Definitely a great bike. I would love to get one.

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.



Orbea Basque Night

For one special night, the magical flavors, sounds, and sights of the famed Basque region of Spain are coming to Beaverton.

The iconic images of the Basque region–lush rolling hills dotted with grazing sheep, tiny hamlets connected by narrow roads, and the imposing Pyrenees mountains–are what many tourists envision when they imagine this northeastern corner of Spain. Digging deeper, one finds the true iconic image that connects the Basques with the world: The bicycle. For it’s here where one of the world’s finest bikes–the brand known as Orbea–is designed and built, based on a decades-long heritage of experience, tradition, and craftsmanship.

Sunset Cycles NW is honored to be the sole distributor of Orbea bicycles in the Portland metro area. On May 17th from 6 to 8pm, we will be open to the public for an exclusive evening of the food, beverages, music, and bicycles inspired by this region and bicycle brand.

You are invited to Sunset Cycles Bethany Village location to browse Orbea’s full line of bikes. From the hip “Carpe,” a modern flat-bar commuter bike, or the women-specific “Dama” (engineered for the discerning female rider), to the sexy “Orca,” a race-ready speed machine inspired by the Euskaltel-Euskadi professional cycling team and Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sánchez, there is an Orbea model for everyone to peruse. While inspecting the delicious bikes available, guests are encouraged to sample the selection of Spanish-themed snacks and beverages. Perhaps the Basque-influenced music will even inspire European travel planning…or at least the dreams of a continental vacation.

Please RSVP at 503-531-9254 or

Team In Training Ride

Our store employee Ashley is part of Team In Training Oregon/SW Washington raising money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We recently found that Saris Racks is raising money for the same cause by donating a portion of the sale of special edition Bones 3 racks. Sunset Cycles is taking it a step further by donating the profit of the sale of this rack to my Team in Training fundraising. Purchase this rack and be part of the fight against blood cancers! To see if this rack will fit your car go to or give us a call at 503-531-9254.

Click here for more information on how to support Ashley and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Tigard Community Bike Ride

On Saturday, May 19th from 10-noon, join other riders for a community, family-oriented 10-mile from Tigard City Hall to Cook Park and back. It’s fun, non-sponsored, and FREE, with all ages and abilities welcomed.



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

New Scholls Hours

Staring May 14th our Scholls store (16305 SW Barrows Road, Suite 200 Beaverton, OR 97007) will be opening at 11am during the week.

Mon-Fri 11-7 

Sat 9-6

Sun 11-5

New Fit Offering

As summer approaches and the majority of us start to get back on the bike we may be feeling the toll that the off season took on us.  Something not feel right, did you just get new shoes, or maybe had a injury in the off season?

What we have decided to offer is a fit assessment. This will be around a 30min session with you on your bike on our trainer and we will check saddle height, setback, reach and drop. We will make minor adjustments to these if that will solve the issues or suggest a complete fitting if needed.

Off the bike we will assess your shoe, cleat, and insoles, often the source of seemingly unrelated pain.
The process takes about 30 minutes at a cost of $25.00. The $25.00 fee can be used towards ant level of fit scheduled within in 90days.

Email or give the Bethany store a call @503.531.9254 to set up a appointment.