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.



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About sunsetpdx

Bicycle Shop Owner

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