Clevercycles Blog Clevercycles Blog 2014-12-21T02:35:23+00:00 http://fishpig.co.uk/magento/wordpress-integration/?v=3.1.1.18 http://clevercycles.com/blog/ <![CDATA[WorkCycles at Clever, year eight]]> workcycles kr8 cargo bike

We unpacked another shipping container from WorkCycles one sleety morning recently. Most US bike shops order all their stuff from US distributors, who themselves import shipping containers full of stuff, mainly from Asian factories. But for nearly 8 years now we've been importing containers directly from WorkCycles in Amsterdam.

WorkCycles are very tolerant of the vagaries and punctiliousness of our ordering process, but it's still a pain in the butt, frankly. Beginning to end, it can take 6 months or more for a container load to be specced for Portland conditions, any special orders developed and quoted with deposits taken, manufactured in a few different facilities, consolidated, packed, paid in full (no terms), shipped to the east coast (longer if through the Panama Canal), to pass customs, be transferred to rail, and finally to arrive in Portland on a flotilla of paperwork and obscure charges from customs brokers, shippers and their agents.

And then we have a large volume of expensive merchandise that can take quite a while to sell through. Because 90% of Americans who see them immediately try to pick them up, look at the price tags, cluck and scratch their heads, and say something polite, or not.

We do it because our specialist focus in family transportation by bike is way ahead of the national curve, so no national distributor could sustain the volume necessary to make it worthwhile, yet. We're not the only US WorkCycles importer, but we're the longest standing after the recession and "Dutch bike invasion" (fad) blew over. Meanwhile, we're proud to see how design features typical of WorkCycles have begun to be less unusual on the few utility bikes designed expressly for the US market: things like steering stabilizers and dynamo lights and center stands and balloon tires and frame-fixed front carriers and internally geared hubs.

We do it simply because they make the best things of their kind. This has never been clearer than with WorkCycles house-designed lines Fr8, Gr8, and new Kr8, now in stock. (The names are bilingual puns, pronounced freight, great, and crate in English, and fracht, gracht (canal), and kracht (power or fervor) in Dutch.)

Fr8

The Fr8 will carry 2 child passengers plus groceries as well or better than the best longtails (Xtracycle EdgeRunner and Yuba Mundo), and up to 4 in a pinch. But it's only as long as a midtail (Kinn Cascade Flyer or Yuba Boda Boda). Unlike these others, it's a true step-through frame, and like all WorkCycles house designs to date, has an ingenious one-size-fits-most scheme, invaluable on utility bikes commonly shared within households.

Gr8

workcycles gr8 cargo bike
Fr8 lite? Pretty much. Lighter than a similarly specced WorkCycles Oma, with arguably sweeter handling, striking industrial design. About 4" shorter overall, still plenty stout and roomy for one passenger on the back with space left over for stuff on the large front carrier.

Kr8

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Let's have a moment of silence for the beloved Bakfiets.nl Cargobike that has been probably Clever Cycles' most iconic offering, inspired dozens of competitors good and bad, and is now finally entering "Craigslist classic" status, at least in Portland, where numerous specimens are now serving their 2nd or even 4th owner families, rock solid. Indeed, about 15 years ago this bike pretty much invented the concept of using the old long-john cargo bike format specifically as an urban car replacement for families with young children. Superseding it at Clever is the new WorkCycles Kr8.

The Kr8 is essentially an evolutionary improvement on the Bakfiets.nl Cargobike, an homage. It's a little bit better in dozens of ways. It's a bit lighter. It fits one more child. It handles even better. It fits people of widely divergent heights better. Better stand. Better seatbelts. You can change a rear tire without removing the wheel... We think it's prettier. Read more on the WorkCycles blog, Bakfiets-en-meer.

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2014-12-03T20:32:13+00:00 http://clevercycles.com/blog/2014/12/03/workcycles-at-clever-year-eight-3/ admin info@clevercycles.com
<![CDATA[Who says poetry doesn't pay?]]> Poetry

If you write a haiku on a theme of autumnal/wintry Portland bikey love, put it on the social media of your choice tagging us, and then come tell us about it, we will let you take a scratch card giving you 10-40% off everything, capped at $1000 off! Who says poetry doesn't pay? One per customer. In-stock items only. Expires at close of business that day, until 24 December. Non-transferable, not to be combined with other offers or literary forms. NO LIMERICKS! Some inspiration is here on the Cycles of Life blog.

Rental fleet sale

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Only once a year, every year, we sell used bikes on Black Friday. Each of our rental bikes have made many dozens of Portland visitors happy in 2014's warmer months. Instead of putting them into hibernation, we tune them up and sell them. Our rental fleet includes Bromptons, very rarely found used in good shape much below retail. For this reason mainly, there's always a line outside our door when we open that day. First come, first serve, in-store sales only. Prices will be set only the day before, and disclosed only in person.

In addition to Bromptons (M and H type, 6-speed, dynamo lights!), our fleet includes the last beloved Bakfiets.nl Cargobike we may ever sell, as our supply chain pivots to the WorkCycles Kr8 as current best-in-class. There's a Yuba Mundo equipped with Nuvinci hub and dynamo lights, a couple WorkCycles Omas, and several Breezer Uptown 8s at rock-bottom prices, outstanding value for no-nonsense transportation.

Staff bikes on the block

In addition to our rental fleet, Clever staff are selling off some of our excess personal bikes. Don't think kickstands and fenders and bells up the wazoo: We weren't always the way we are now, bike-wise. Same loves, different lives! A gallery of most of these bikes is below.

How about Todd's 1997 Waterford-built Rivendell Road, 57cm with funky-functional parts mix including drillium triple crank? How about a full custom 1999 fillet-brazed Sycip all-rounder with S&S couplings and Schmidt dyno, Campy cranks, Phil and King and Nitto and Paul and eccentric BB and ... currently set up as a flip-flop? 90's Specialized Stumpjumper Comp frameset in Tange Prestige, hot pink and 22"?

Eva's offering up her Cannondale Synapse Carbon Feminine 5, 54cm, 2009. Fast and light: does not accept kickstand or full fenders, but rides like a thoroughbred out the gate. Just tuned with new cables, housing and bar tape. She's also selling her single speed steel road machine, reliable and fun, suited up with fenders, kickstand, bell, front basket, tasteful pink bling and one gear for extra freedom.

Dean's polishing up his Surly Karate Monkey Xtracycle kid/cargo machine, purpose built and ready to ride. Spec'd to the gills with dynamo lights, 11-sp Alfine internal gear hub, and kiddo-ready stoker bar. Todd recalls that Dean was carrying his daughter on the back in 2006 when we spotted a For Lease sign in the 900 Hawthorne building. That same daughter later enjoyed a Batavus kid's bike, full-featured Dutch in 20" wheel size: dynamo lights, 3-speed internal, chaincase, rear rack, hand and coaster brakes. Finally there's a Specialized Epic Marathon full suspension mountain bike, so squishy. Please, take me to the mountains!

Free with gift card purchase

We've got lots of gift options, but if you can't decide, just purchase a Clever Cycles gift card and we'll give you a free gift to give in addition to the gift card.Check out these packagesgrowler we've put together.

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2014-11-23T23:06:29+00:00 http://clevercycles.com/blog/2014/11/23/black-friday-cyber-what-haiku/ admin info@clevercycles.com
<![CDATA[Introducing Vanmoof]]> We remember the first time we saw a Vanmoof, in 2009. But then, everybody remembers seeing one the first time: they are strikingly different, with a massive top tube that extends beyond head and seat tubes, the ends then plugged with head and taillight. They must be on to something 5 years early, because 3 of the 5 entrants in 2014's Oregon Manifest design competition for the "Ultimate Urban Utility Bike" also play with this visual and functional design element. We believe that a distinctive look in bikes is as naturally desirable as in shoes, but the early Vanmoofs were a little too spare in function to hold our interest. This has changed completely now with the current, third-generation product line.

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The Vanmoofs we stock now feature:

  • 8-speed Alfine gearhubs: all the range a Portlander needs in town, super smooth and sealed away from weather
  • Disk brakes: keep your rims pretty, stop consistently wet or not
  • Powerful LED lighting, hub dynamo powered: no need ever to turn them off
  • Full chaincases: who needs a belt, really, when your chain stays clean and off your clothes?
  • Anodized aluminum frames: no paint to scratch, no rust, just honest passivated metal
  • Clever, attractive front and rear carriers
  • Full metal fenders, kickstand, brass bell, OF COURSE.

We could go on. All of the above come in right over the $1K mark, which is pretty great value. A little less gets you a 3-speed. A little more, a nifty ABUS chain lock integrated into that top tube. A lot more gets you the Vanmoof Electrified, which is the freshest, cleanest, almost even pure electric assist bike we've yet seen:

The battery is in the top tube. (See, it's not so massive just for looks!) It's a 2-speed automatic, 2 speeds proving surprisingly adequate when a motor is added. It has no throttle. What these things mean together is an unprecedented ergonomic simplicity. While other electric bikes add complexity in operation, Vanmoof takes away: you can even ride no-hands uphill with no restriction of function except braking. While it's extra clean in operation, it packs a lot of technology inside, including bottom-bracket torque sensing, remote keyfob power switch and GPS anti-theft tracking! Super lightweight for an electric bike, too.

What we can't convey in words is the ride, very distinctively Dutch in relaxed, smooth, even stately uprightness. One key is the exceptionally low bottom bracket, meaning that it's easy to get a foot down at stops without needing to lean the bike.

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2014-10-17T16:10:41+00:00 http://clevercycles.com/blog/2014/10/17/introducing-vanmoof/ admin info@clevercycles.com
<![CDATA[Faraday Bicycles]]> Faraday Porteur Electric Bike

Come on in and test ride the Faraday Porteur so we'll have an excuse to stop riding it ourselves!

You can now reserve a bicycle from Faraday's second production run (shipping late 2014). Simply contact Clever Cycles to save your place in line and guarantee the earliest delivery possible.

We know that they are onto something, because all our our staff keep wanting to ride it everywhere. This is the electric bike that you'll want to ride too.

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2014-08-28T20:14:56+00:00 http://clevercycles.com/blog/2014/08/28/faraday-bicycles/ admin info@clevercycles.com
<![CDATA[Big clearance sale]]> It's like a yard sale, only it's 100% new bikes that are starting to feel in the way of other stuff we'd like to stock more of. See something you like? Come on in to the store or give us a call. We want to help you find the best bike to match your needs.

Surly Straggler

It's like the beloved Cross Check, except disc brakes, extra tough undercoat, a tiny bit longer wheelbase, and brifters instead of old-school bar-end shifters. Also way cool purple glitter paint. This is the first drop-bar bike we've ever carried whose drop bars and shifters are too expensive to replace right away with swept city bars. Which goes a long way toward explaining why we're clearing them: we are an urban transportation shop, not a sporting goods shop. Of course, anybody who tells you you can't commute on a cyclocross bike, especially an awesome one like this, is totally lying. (The following colors/sizes are in stock: Glitter Dream: 46, 50, 54cm; Black: 58, 62cm) Regularly $1775, now $1525.

Breezer Greenway

Quality and performance in an affordable package. Greenways are light, their hydroformed aluminum frames will never rust, and their wide-range gearing mean they are ready for anything. Dynamo lighting, rack and fenders included. (The following sizes/colors are in stock: Satin Blue XL) Regularly $849, now $750.

Breezer Liberty

Wide-range 27-speed drivetrain can handle any terrain you throw at it. The Liberty is fully equipped with dynamo lighting, rack, fenders, and a rear mount kickstand. (The following sizes/colors are in stock: Blue Grey 48, 52cm). Regularly $1100, now $750.

Linus Libertine

Linus makes a road bike? Yes, and it's a looker, straight out of 1979 through a gauzy lens. Light butted chromoly, downtube shifters, leather tape, match-finish metal fenders... (The following sizes/colors are in stock: Steel Blue, 51, 55, 59cm). Regularly $939, now $800.

Breezer Uptown Infinity, step-through frame

Nuvinci continuously variable internal wide range gearing, dynamo lighting, full chaincase, wheel lock, fenders, rear rack and fenders. In Extra Small only, black/copper. Regularly $1220, now $800.

Pilen Lyx Portlandia

Tough, beautiful, full-service Swedish city bike suits riders above 5ft 7in. 8-speed Shimano internal gearing, LED dynamo lighting, fenders, Brooks saddle, huge rear rack, wheel lock. (The following sizes/colors are in stock: Diamond frame 56cm: Red, Blue; Step-thru frame 56cm: Blue). Regularly $1649, now $1400.

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2014-07-23T00:31:11+00:00 http://clevercycles.com/blog/2014/07/23/big-clearance-sale/ admin info@clevercycles.com