CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter

family-riding-bikes cropped


BIKE TO WORK MONTH – The Daily Commute
WASHCO RIDE OF THE MONTH – Mother’s Day Meander
SHOP NEWS – Group Rides, Sale, Online Fitting Appointments
TEAM NOTES – Coast Hills Classic Report & Pics
SURVEY – Register Your Bike?


I Need Your Help

by Roger Colwell 

In this space not too long ago, I wrote about my perspective on the advent of social media…how it affects our daily lives immeasurably and has changed the game, so to speak, with regard to business as usual.

If anything, there’s nothing “usual” anymore about business!

Since the time I was moved to first comment on the topic, I’ve become a believer…a convert to the power of social media, having an online presence, and actively engaging with you, our customer, to help better serve your needs and fuel the fire of your passion for cycling.

Sunset Cycles now has an active presence on Facebook, with many of our contests and store information shared in that space. We send out Tweets almost daily, sharing our thoughts and passing along cycling-related information. Our Google+ page has become more active, and remains a source for new customers on the west side of Portland who are looking for a quality bike retailer and repair shop.

Additionally, this Chainrings monthly newsletter, nearly two years old, sits at the top cycling newsletter heap in Portland. The features you’ve told us you love: Wrench Bench, Turning the Cranks, Washco Ride of the Month, and others, keep you abreast of newsworthy items, riding tips, and store happenings. I might humbly add that we’ve taken great pains to offer a visually stimulating cover design each month, setting the bar higher with every issue.

Now, we need your help. The social media machine runs only when it’s going down a two-way street. In other words, it works when you comment, give us (hopefully positive) reviews, and share your feelings with us on social networks. Google-Review-Buttonver2yelp-review-icon

Would you please take a moment to give us a short review on Google+ or Yelp? Can you share this newsletter with two or three cycling friends who might not subscribe? Will you visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter?

Together, we can build Sunset Cycles into an even more vibrant bike shop…one that will always remain locally owned, operated, and patronized.

As always, thanks for your support of Portland’s premier west side bicycle shop!



Thanks, Mom!

Original crayon on paper, courtesy of Austin, age 7

Original crayon on paper, courtesy of Austin, age 7

Without trying to sound like a sappy greeting card…we owe a lot to our Moms. They sacrifice so much, with often little given in return. Moms today are breaking the mold of traditional roles and showing us that life doesn’t stop when kids come along…it just keeps getting better.

As a family-oriented bike shop, Sunset Cycles celebrates the moms who patronize our store, whether it’s to help their young riders pick out their first bike…or carefully select a top-end racing steed that will see action in a local race. Goodbye Betty Crocker apron…helllooooo, Di2 shifting and aerodynamic forks! Women-Bike-Racers

Whether you’re a mom yourself or shopping for Mother’s Day for the special woman in your family, we’ve got you covered. Forget about the bouquet of flowers that will be dead in a weeknobuyoshi_araki_dead_flowers_in_vase_d5351284h–find something for mom that she’ll really love! Here are a few ideas from the shelves:

Women’s RBX Comp Jersey: The RBX Comp jersey cuts a flattering silhouette with its semi-form fit, keeping the jersey close, but not tight to the body. Engineered with DeflectUV fabric to protect you from harmful UV rays while you’re putting in the miles; VaporRize™ moisture transfer fabrics; three expansion pockets, one sweat-proof pocket; 8″ zipper. $90

RBX Comp Jersey

RBX Comp Jersey

Lithia Comp Gel saddle: Plush and comfortable, with sleek looks, this women’s gel saddle is light and soft enough for anything from longer fitness rides to casual weekend cruising. Women’s Body Geometry cutout is medically tested to reduce soft tissue pressure; Lightweight and supportive PU foam with gel inserts for increased comfort over longer rides; Sturdy fiber reinforced shell features women’s-specific tuning for all-day riding efficiency; Light and super durable hollow Cr-Mo rails; Tough, light and water resistant Micromatrix™ cover. $90

Lithia Comp Gel saddle

Lithia Comp Gel saddle

Purist Hydroflo water bottle: A 23 oz. bottle, thanks to ultra flexible walls, Hydroflo delivers a tidal wave of water. The secret is a next generation resin, engineered to be durable, super flexible and ultra clear. A fine-tuned design provides increased leak resistance and ensures the bottle stays in your cage, even on the toughest roads. BPA free. $15

Purist Hydroflow bottle

Purist Hydroflow bottle

Cateye Stealth 10 GPS computer: The Stealth 10 is a simple GPS enabled cycle computer that delivers your basic cycling functions fast. Easy set-up and easy to operate, the Stealth 10 is ideal for light training and everyday cycling. Includes a full-time backlight, auto-stop/start and programmable odometer. The Stealth 10 is waterproof, USB rechargeable and can be used on multiple bikes, so you’ll always be ready to ride. $120

Cateye Stealth 10

Cateye Stealth 10



If you ride a bike purely for pleasure or sport, you’ve probably thought about a way to incorporate your riding into a daily routine: Riding to and from work.

With the improving weather, bike commuting is certainly easier to do than in the dark, wet days of winter. And we all know the benefits: Better fitness, saving money, less automobile emissions, and arriving at the workplace feeling more energized and less stressed.

But there can be obstacles: How to deal with the sweat of the effort? How to carry clothes, laptops, and other business accoutrements? And what about the time savings?

Answers to these issues and others can be found in a variety of places. Here is a comprehensive list of tips to get you started. We especially like the Commute Solutions Cost Calculator. Locally, check out the Bike Commute Challenge for a fun way to join a friendly competition between businesses. sweaty bike commuter

One more link: This handy West Side to Portland downtown commuter map can help with route finding.

Of course, Sunset Cycles carries bikes made specifically for commuting and urban riding, along with clothing and accessories that will make the commute more enjoyable. For example, our Sirrus and Vita models from Specialized are reasonably priced beginning at $519. With features such as a flat bar for comfort, fender/rack/kickstand compatibility, and hydraulic disc brakes available on some models for improved stopping control in wet conditions, those miles to and from work will seem like a breeze.

Specialized Sirrus

Specialized Sirrus



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.

This month’s ride: Mother’s Day Meander

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

RATING:  ONE CHAINRING mom and kid riding

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, this month’s ride is targeted at families–especially those with very young cyclists. The short out-and-back route meanders over bike paths near our shop, making it the perfect family outing. If the full 8.3-mile distance is too much for young legs, just tailor the ride to suit your needs. Don’t forget a picnic lunch and a special gift for mom!

See the ride details here.



Group Rides

club ride

Time for a group ride!

We’re very excited to announce we now have TWO different rides beginning and ending at the shop–one on Saturday (9am) with our Sunset Cycles team members, a higher-paced training ride that ranges from 25 to 40 miles, and a shorter, more casually-paced ride on Sundays (5pm). Ask any sales associate or give us a call for more details.

Spring Classic Sale Extended

The heartbeats of European Spring Classic racing fans have been aflutter for the past month as the legendary races across Belgium, France, and the Netherlands heat up. While we’re a few thousand miles from Roubaix (5053 as the crow flies, to be precise), we can still feel our own heart rates soar with the excitement of a Spring Classic sale, presented by our friends from Specialized. Through May 31st, we’ll have a number of Specialized models on sale, including the Amira Compact and the Tarmac Pro SRAM Red, two of Bicycling Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award winners for 2013. Stop by the shop for a test ride before the deals are gone! spring classic sale

Schedule a Bike Fitting Online

Resident bike fitter Matty B. has upped the customer service ante by offering a unique “book your appointment online” service for all custom bicycle fittings. Bikes are only as good as the rider who is turing the pedals…and the rider who is turning the pedals can only give their best effort when they’re properly positioned on the bike. Schedule your fitting today…online!



The Sunset Cycles racing team has been busy this Spring at races around the state including Mudslinger, Bear Springs Trap, and Coast Hills Classic (mtb), and the Banana Belt Series (road). Races now occur just about every weekend, including the Chainbreaker mtb race on Mother’s Day weekend.

Terry riding in the pack

Terry riding in the pack

Michael Daggett attended the Coast Hills Classic with team members Dan L. and Terry R. and had this report and photos from the sidelines: “Since I didn’t ride I saw limited parts of the course but it sure looked like a fun one to ride.  It is private property so closed to riding except for this race which begs the question, “if it is not open to riding then where did the nice single track come from?” Coastal pirate riders? It was perfect weather, the class sizes were small enough  that you could see who were your competition and with ample passing opportunities I saw a lot of dicing back and forth. A small purse with 300 or so riders but they were giving $100 to the leader in each of several classes at the half way point. Gas money! Terry looked great and went out solid never letting up. He blew by a guy close to the finish with authority.   Dan’s class fired off the start with a guy going all out and Dan rolling by with a smile following with absolutely no look of concern.  I wanted to yell out “Hey Dan, this is not the practice lap, the race is on!” Sometimes ya gotta help out where you can.  At some point he got serious because the guy was no place in sight at the end of lap one with Dan in first.  Still looking like he wanted to stop, sip some coffee and whip out a chainsaw to improve the trail. This is a must-do race for next year. I have been in away from cross country races for a year or so and in that time it seems that 29ers have taken over.  So I had to come home and get approval for a new bike, offering my Epic to my wife as her bike…It worked.”



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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