Archive | November 2013

Tech Tuesdays: Fun with Flat Fixes

Remember to swing by for “Fun with Flat Fixes”: our first installment of Tech Tuesdays this November 12 at 5:30.


Look familiar? Hope isn’t lost. We’ll teach you how to fight flats this Tuesday November 12.

Join us for a free evening of mechanical instruction as we explore the ins and outs of “flat” bike tires. Accommodating all skill levels and ages, the hour long clinic will cover the basics of identifying flat tires and replacing them efficiently and easily. From slow leaks to catastrophic punctures, we will equip visitors with relevant vocabulary and hands on opportunities that will allow them to change their own tubes and tires at home.

This is a great opportunity to learn about your bike and grab some free advice from the guys behind the counter of the shop. Bring your questions. We are excited to help!


CHAINRINGS — Sunset Cycles Monthly Newsletter

Ride Leader Notes

A Milestone Worth Celebrating

by Roger Colwell

It’s a watershed anniversary for us as this month marks our 10th year in business! Reflecting on the past decade makes for a very fun exercise. In addition to the numerous transformations in our shop, the bike industry and society as a whole have experienced massive changes.

Roger at 2003 store opening

Roger at 2003 store opening

In our first two years of existence, we changed locations within Bethany Village, and by default, gained 1500 square feet in floor space. We expanded our repair service, and more than doubled the number of bikes on the floor to 175. In 2010 we added a custom bike fitting service to better serve our customers.

Our product lineup has changed quite a bit in the last ten years. At one time or another, we’ve offered Burley, Redline, Torker, Marin, Breezer, and Felt; as you might know, we currently carry Specialized, Orbea and Ridley (stop in for some great deals on these brands today!).

Adapting to the times, we launched a website, with consistent upgrades, and joined social media sites as we felt necessary. To tie it all together, we updated our logo to a more modern, clean look.

Our old logo

Our old logo

Within the bicycle industry, changes have run the gamut. Here are some highlights:

  • Advent of full carbon fiber “endurance” category road bikes (i.e. Specialized Roubaix)
  • Ubiquitous disc brakes (most recently hydraulic) on mountain bikes; now on road bikes.
  • Dropper seat posts and through-axle wheels on mountain bikes.
  • Mountain bike wheel sizing changing from 26” to 29” and eventually to 650B (a.k.a. 27.5″)
  • Lots of carbon fiber – bikes and accessories, including wheels, seatposts, stems, handlebars.
  • 650vs29Number of bike shops have consolidated from 5358 in 2003 to about 4000 in 2013.
  • More offerings of women specific bikes and accessories.
  • More technical and breathable apparel.
  • A move from 9-speed chains/cassettes to 10-speed, then to 11-speed.
  • Introductions of tubeless tires.
  • GPS devices and GPS-enabled phones.
  • Bike colors are more muted; lots of matte (black) and dark colors.
  • See more industry info HERE.

Of course, society has been a reflection of changes to our business and industry sector (or is it vice versa?). We serve a much more sophisticated and educated customer base, and continue to compete against online merchants. The way in which we interact with you has forever changed thanks to social media and text messaging. The increase in the price of gasoline (averaging $1.77/gallon in 2003) might have something to do with the rise in popularity of cycling, along with a greater emphasis on fitness and a more astute environmental ethos.

2003 cell phone

Alas, the more things change…the more they stay the same. Although tastes, colors, and flavors sway in the breeze, some things don’t change: The value of great customer service; the impact of human interaction; and the smile on someone’s face when they talk about their passion, be it cycling or something else.

Those smiles are why, after ten years, we are as committed as ever to providing you with the best possible cycling retail experience.

Thank you for making the past decade so special, and for helping Sunset Cycles become THE “go-to” shop on Portland’s west side.


WASHCO Ride of the Month

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: Sunshine on My Shoulders



A monster climb and a fairly long distance (60 miles) gives November’s ride a hefty 4.5 chainring rating, but when we get a sunny Saturday (c’mon…it could happen!) this month, you’ll be glad you treated yourself to this epic ride that starts and finishes at the shop.

See the ride details here.

Local Focus

Chris King Precision Components

No local focus of the bike industry in Portland would be complete without a tip of the cycling helmet to Chris King Precision Components, best known for top-quality headsets, hubs, bottom brackets and other bike parts. Spanning over 35 years as a pioneering brand and industry innovator, Chris King designed the first sealed bearing headset in the mid-1970s. Today, the King headset remains a benchmark for quality.


The company has recently started offering full wheelsets and continues their commitment to full bicycles with their seductive “Cielo” line, introduced in 2008.

Tech Tuesday

tech tuesday

As part of our commitment to our loyal customers, we’re happy to present a new series of in-store clinics we’re calling “Tech Tuesday,” held the second Tuesday of each month from November through March, aimed at helping you better understand your bike, how it works, and how to maintain it.


– Provide a free, once-a-month clinic, with different topics each month

– Offer valuable tips on how to maintain and repair your bicycle

– Clinics will include giveaways and exclusive in-store discounts

Schedule (5:30-6:30pm):

– November 12th: “Fun with Flat Fixes”

– December 10th: “Drivetrain/ Shift System Shakedown”

– January 14th: “Commuter Accommodations”

– February 11th: TBD

– March 11th: TBD

November Syllabus: “Fun with Flat Fixes”

A flat tire fix clinic for all levels! Learn about your bike and how to change your own “flat” tubes.

Vocabulary: Wheel vs. Tire. vs. Tube

– Diagnosing flats: Is it flat at all? Puncture? Abrasion? Pinch? Valve Shear?

– Mechanicals: Removing wheels. Unseating tire. Removing tube. Installing patch. Reinstalling tubes.

– Methods of fix: Adhesive vs. Glue patches. Replacing tube. Boots. c02. Pumps.

– Prevention: Proper inflation. Tires w/ Kevlar. Liners. Thorn-proof tubes.

– More: What to take on a ride. Knowing when to replace a tire.

– Involvement: Hands on opportunity & Q/A Session.

– Key products: Patches. Levers. Tubes. Tires. Co2. Pumps.

Shop News


Fluid. Magnetic. Wind.

If you ride on an indoor trainer, you’re probably familiar with these terms, which describe the most commonly used forms of technology found in stationary indoor trainers. At Sunset Cycles, we’re happy to offer the latest versions of all types from Kinetic Trainers by Kurt, including their new eye-popping “Rock and Roll” trainer which allows the bike to move as it does on the road!


The heartbeat of the American economy beats the strongest at small businesses. We sincerely hope you’ll join us in celebrating Small Business Saturday on November 30th, presented by American Express, by stopping in and doing your part to support Sunset Cycles, one of the 28 MILLION small businesses in the U.S.


Team News

Team member Kyle R. reported in late last month with a brief tale of his cyclocross experience at David Douglas:

“This is my 3rd race on my single speed, and second time at this park [David Douglas]. They changed the course by subtracting gravel (that ended at least one rider’s season), added a lot more fast grass and more wooded singletrack. The numbers were greatly diminished today, probably because of the race in Bend. So it was fast, relatively wide open, and fun. I started last (31st), because of fear and lack of faith and confidence in my ability. I passed a few guys on the first lap, while the leaders got farther and farther ahead. I passed a few more on the second lap, but by the end of that lap, I was totally exhausted and still had 3 laps to go. I had to start focusing on just riding the best pace I could, and if I caught people that would be a bonus. I kept passing guys and then got held up in the wooded section every lap (my fastest part of the lap), which was a bit frustrating. On my last lap, I had two more reachable people. So when the flat/paved section came, I poured on some power and flew by them, hoping to make them feel like, ‘there is no way to catch that guy.’ Well, it worked and I was gifted with a smooth sail through the woods on the last lap. Also, I got 10th, which felt good, too. I had an average heart rate of 166. Wow!”