Archive | November 2012

Sunset Cycles Loses Lease

Sunset Cycles Loses Lease

Portland’s Premier West Side Bicycle Shop Consolidates Stores, Renews Focus

November 20, 2012–Beaverton, Oregon–Citing economic concerns and challenging lease terms, Sunset Cycles owner Roger Colwell has announced his intention to close the doors of his Beaverton location.

“A change in ownership of the space we rented left us in a tough spot,” said Colwell. “We had to choose between signing a lease that wasn’t in our best interests, or consolidating our resources and focusing on our Bethany Village store.”

As the premier bicycle store on Portland’s West side, Sunset Cycles offers bikes and accessories for every rider, from elite-level racers to weekend neighborhood enthusiasts and their families. Shuttering their Beaverton store, according to Colwell, helps his staff better serve their core customer and attract new business.

“The bottom line is we now will be able to concentrate on doing what we do best…that is, giving all of our customers a better all-around bicycle experience,” he said. “I’m as optimistic as ever for the future of the bike business and for Sunset Cycles.”

Shoppers looking for a bargain will benefit from the Beaverton store closing, where deep discounts of up to 60% can be found on bikes and accessories until January 31st, 2013.

About Sunset Cycles NW: Sunset Cycle’s friendly, knowledgeable staff and incredible selection make a trip to the shop a treat for hardcore cyclists and neighborhood cruisers alike. Experience for yourself why Sunset Cycles is one of Portland’s premier bicycle emporiums.

Questions can be directed to


CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter


RIDE LEADER NOTES – Vote for Sunset Cycles
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Cranksgiving, Washco Style
GEARHEAD – Light It Up, v. 2.0
TEAM NOTES – Our 2012 Team Roster
ONE LAP – Cycling-related news from around the globe
SURVEY – What are You Thankful For?



Vote for Sunset Cycles

by Roger Colwell 

Today is a watershed day in America, repeated for the 57th time in our nation’s history: The U.S. presidential election. Based on my entirely unscientific poll, opinions are about as divided on the outcome of the election as they are on other important cultural and social issues–Campy versus Shimano, racing versus touring, or wool versus lycra, to offer a few examples.

Regardless of which way your own political winds blow, be assured that there’s someone at the water cooler, coffee shop, or online who is ready to tell you exactly why your opinion is the wrong one…and why you need to change your mind.

Fortunately, the bike business isn’t quite as nasty as the current political mudslinging that’s been jamming the airwaves lately. Of course, as in most retail environments, bike shops need to stay up-to-date on the latest cycling technology, brands, and service techniques if they want to remain competitive. And I like to believe that this is something Sunset Cycles does very well…being the best we can be in order to help you with just about any cycling need you might have.

When it’s time to convene at a local or national bike expo, or share information with other bike retailers at a vendor event, I’m happy to set aside my competitive nature and benefit from the accumulated knowledge of other bike shop owners. One of my favorite things about these events is the sharing of ideas and approaches to retailing I might never have considered. It’s sort of a “bipartisanship of bikes,” if you will. We can all stand to learn many valuable lessons from those across the aisle, in a competing business, or on a different team.

So whichever way you’ve decided to mark your ballot, take a breath today, and better yet…go for a ride, preferably with a friend. It will clear your mind, give you a chance to leave behind differences, and afford an opportunity to discuss the real important things in life: Saddle height, gearing ratios, tubeless tires, tread patterns, heart rate training, fender placement….

Thanks again for your continued support of Sunset Cycles. I approve this message.




Winter Rules

Annual weight gain, or “AWG” as we like to call it, starts with a modern version of water torture: The slow drip of candy and sweet snacks that make their way into our homes and workplaces around October 31st. AWG ramps up a few weeks later, rearing its ugly head as tables strain under the weight of turkeys, potatoes, and pies; climaxing in an gastronomic nuclear explosion formerly known as “December,” with aliases known to include “New Year’s Eve” and “Superbowl Sunday.”

For many riders, AWG isn’t a laughing matter, taking the form of 15 to 25 pounds that either claim permanent residence on our bodies or take a Herculean effort to shed. For competitive riders, a simple 3 to 5 pound gain, while paling in comparison, can take extra effort to drop…effort that might have otherwise been channeled into a solid winter riding regimen.

Even if you don’t see yourself as a competitive rider, there are many benefits to reducing your sugar and fat intake this holiday season:

  • Climbing is easier
  • Increased endurance (riding longer)
  • Better cycling efficiency (riding faster with lower energy output)

So, how do you hold back the attacking peloton of AWG? Here are a few strategies:

  • Hydrate! Fat-laden coffee drinks (egg nog latte, anyone??), alcohol at office parties, and soda all add up to extra, excess calories. Replace a few of these with water for an easy way to cut the calories.
  • Back off on the carbs, which typically fill the holiday plate. Replace with veggies and lean protein sources.
  • Keep riding. Regular cycling will keep your metabolism kicked in, even if you’re letting up on the off-season intensity. Dress for the season to help you enjoy the miles.
  • Just say no. Don’t feel obligated to eat or drink at every social engagement. A glass of water or light beverage in hand doesn’t mean the party isn’t fun!



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: Cranksgiving, Washco Style


Time to dust off the bike trailer! This month’s 25-mile ride includes stops at three different Washington County food bank locations–Oregon Food Bank West, Our Place Christian Church, and the First Baptist Church of Hillsboro. Fill up the trailer or load up your panniers with non-perishables for a ride that will feel good for a variety of reasons. Note that much of this ride is flat and on heavily traveled roads…but it’s not really about the ride as much as it is about helping our neighbors who need it most. Thanks to Seattle’s CRANKSGIVING for the inspiration.

Here’s a link to full route directions and map.



Light It Up, v. 2.0

We could preach ad nauseum about the importance of cycling safety, especially during the dark winter riding of the Northwest. But instead of bludgeoning you with fenders, safety lights, and reflective gear, we’ll just highlight a few items we’ve been stocking lately that will make your riding more enjoyable.

The rechargeable CatEye Rapid 1

CatEye Rapid 1, 3, and 5

The Rapid series is an easy-to-use, inexpensive line of lights worth a look.

  • The Rapid 1 ($25) is a USB-rechargeable headlight (pictured here);
  • The Rapid 3 ($25), a 3 LED light with unique flashing patterns;
  • and the Rapid 5 ($30), a mount-anywhere light you’ll like if you need maximum visibility.

Endura Strike

Endura Strike Waterproof Gloves

Strictly speaking, they might not be ‘warm woolen mittens,” but the Strike Waterproof Glove from Endura might offer the best warm finger insurance this year. Features? Loaded with ’em!

  • Seam-sealed internal breathable waterproof membrane
  • Fast dry fleece inner
  • Stretch, wind-block fabric for dexterity and warmth
  • Deep neoprene wrist cuff to secure best fit
  • Double fleece wipe pads
  • Reflective piping and logo for visibility



Fourteen strong riders carried the banner of Sunset Cycles this year, doing battle at races throughout the region, participating in team rides, and acting as faithful Sunset Cycles ambassadors. We’ve featured a number of their stories here in Chainrings…tales filled with the drama and humor inherent in cycling. Now, we’d like to publicly recognize each of our Sunset Cycles team members by name and thank them for their contributions. Well done, gentlemen!

Andy Armstrong
Dan Lautenbach
Jeff Otto
John Bennion
John Oh
John Weathers
Mark Loder
Mark Nielsen
Mike Daggett
Paul Greenwalt
Peter Nielsen
Robert Bennion
Russell Weyant
Sean Lemoine



It’s time for another lap!



In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’d like to know what you’re most thankful for.

Twin Six at Sunset Cycles

Sunset Cycles has picked up Twin Six clothing just in time for the holidays. We have a wide range of Tee’s, bottles, and socks that will make great gifts for the “hard to buy for” cyclist in your life.

First and foremost we are two designers who love to ride and believe that the time is overdue for better cycling jersey graphics. We are Twin Six, the graphic revolution in cycling apparel. It is our goal to be the alternative to everything else.

The gear we pull on is a statement of our style, identity and self. The industry’s slow uphill grind to better graphics has turned riders into unwilling billboards, moving color explosions and unfortunate cartoon characterizations. Twin Six has seen enough.

Twin Six jerseys carry graphics with a fashion DNA. Styles that spring from real graphic trends, not the predictable regurgitation of last year’s predictable regurgitation. Twin Six is two determined graphic designers doing what we do best, so we can finally ride with pride.

All shirts Printed on high quality American Apparel tee’s. Here is a sample of the styles they have to offer. Stop in and check it out!

SKS Fender Review

Here is a review of the SKS Raceblade Long Fenders that one of our Sunset Cycles team members, John B did. We also did a write up on them last year. See that artical here.

John’s thoughts:

“This is my 3rd set of Road Fenders. I should start of by saying that I am very pleased. My other two sets are the Raceblade Classic and the SKS Chromo Plastic.

Here is what I like:

Best coverage of the three- no complaints of wheel wash from those behind me. Also the extra rubber end flaps are very secure. I have had problems with my Raceblade losing the rubber flaps. The coverage is great. This is not saying a lot compared to the Raceblades, but they are better even than the Chromoplastics which I had to add a plastic flap to help rid the rear spray issues.
The alignment is super easy- I have not had wheel rub or coverage alignment issues with the Raceblade longs, and I have had both issues with both my other two fender sets.
Easy Installation- No removing of screws. Just have to loosen the screw holding the brake calipers and slide in the two metal snap-on flanges, and remove your Quick Release Skewer Springs and inser the snap-on metal flanges. The only rub is in tightening the brake bolt. Use a torque wrench so that you don’t damage the frameset.
Weight- These are nice and light and dont require any bolt/washer/nut combos.

Here is what I don’t like:

You have to loosen the bolt on the brakes. It requires doing and with a carbon frame you may want to have someone help you with a torque wrench. It also makes it a bit easier to rotate my calipers. Not a big issue since road calipers self-center.
The metal flanges stay behind when they snap off. Not a big issue with the flanges on the axles, since they can be popped off easily but the flanges need to stay behind on the brakes. I like the solution and don’t have a better suggestion, but wish that the flanges didn’t have to stay on the brakes. They don’t but it requires more work to remove them.

I have been very pleased with my set. They worked really well in the rain based on my experience and comments from riding partners. I have not tested them on a cross bike, and I doubt they would work since the tires are bigger, but my framset (Fuji Cross Comp) has holes that would hold the flanges that attach to road brakes. (A XL version of this fender will be out soon)

Finally, to be candid, I also had my set installed by Matt at Sunset, and that may have helped, but if you have a torque wrench, they can go on very easily. But I liked having the shop install mine.” John B