Clevercycles Blog

  • What's new at Clever Cycles?

    Lots!

    IMG_0255Urban Arrow is here! At this moment we've assembled only two, the Family model, and we're putting them through paces to learn what only riding teaches. First impressions: MEGA FUN, SUPER SEXY, SLICK AND SOLID! The company calls these the first true urban car replacement, and while we think any bike or pair of shoes or maybe even a bus pass can be that for many, if you need to go anyplace in town at a good clip with a passenger or two and stuff, in comfort, safety, and style, this is it: the smart Bosch mid-drive means you can work as little or as much as you want. Look for a more detailed review with video soon, or better yet, come on down with the kids and try it yourself. Guaranteed big smile.

    Loads of Xtracycle Edgerunners in stock. These have been hard for us to keep in stock: a huge hit as a family bike. In addition to the accessibly-priced 24D specification, we have the first 2014 EdgeRunners factory-built with the popular NuVinci N360 continuously variable transmission. Either are well matched to our Stokemonkey electric assist.

    Babboe Curve trike (and City bike): with the beloved Christiania trikes sold out and future supply uncertain, we ordered a trike from Babboe called the Curve. It seats 4! First impressions: heavier, but more stable at speed than Christiania, very solid, handsome, and a good value with smart specification.
    Ladcykel Curve LS 9 B

    Simcoe Bikes. simcoe-web-greystsideWe brought these in to complement our popular Linus bikes. Both Simcoe and Linus are clean, stylish revivals of mid-century town bikes at attractive prices. At the moment we have only 2 3-speed step-throughs to check out, but we'll build up the even nicer 7-speeds we received today real soon now. First impressions: a solid step nicer than already-nice Linuses in most ways, but also a bit more expensive. Essentially, both are marvels of cost engineering, and you get what you pay for. If you've evaluated Linus or Public bikes before and thought "almost but not quite!", check out Simcoe.

    Thanks Martina!

    March was Clever Cycles co-founder Martina's last month working in the shop. We wish her success and happiness in her new endeavors, among them Forge Portland and the COG Space.

  • Brooks Saddles: 20% off with 1-year happiness guarantee

    Brooks saddles are 20% off through Sunday, 20 April. Limited to (ample) items in stock. This applies also to the new vegan-flavored Cambium models, made from rubber and cotton instead of leather. If you don't like your purchase for any reason, return it and we'll offer a refund for 30 days, and store credit for a full year!

    Brooks saddles are the only kind we've ever stocked, minus a few trifling exceptions. Their lack of any padding, their vulnerability to rain (except new Cambium sort), and their costs beginning over $100 make our exclusive attachment to them seem odd to some, contrary even. Yet we persist because they really are more comfortable than padded saddles. Counterintuitively or not, when your sit bones press down into padding, the padding presses up into adjacent soft tissue, trapping heat and wreaking all kinds of numbing, chafing havoc. Brooks saddles are comfortable through suspension rather than padding, offering a firm supportive surface that remains cool and lets your clothing slide easily rather than rubbing your skin. They get even more beautiful and comfortable with use, and they're not much harder to care for (or break in) than a pair of leather boots. Since saddle pain is probably the single most common comfort issue in bicycles, we think a Brooks saddle is an eminently worthwhile investment for any daily rider, whether in fact or aspiration.

    Brooks B17 Select after about 6 months' use. Was pink raw leather, now honey, will slowly turn ebony.

    Still, sometimes we doubt ourselves, as when we ran a promotion last year on Brooks saddles, we offered a 1-year return policy on saddles sold during the promotion. We were a little worried that if the sale prices led people to buy with less care and deliberation than appropriate, that we would see a large number of returns months down the road. We sold a lot of saddles that week. We never saw a single return!

    So, effective immediately and indefinitely, we will now offer a 1-year satisfaction policy on all Brooks saddles, offering store credit after our 30-day refund policy runs out. If you're not local to Portland, just use the code "happy" to receive the discount in our Brooks department.

  • How to fold and unfold a Brompton bicycle

    We love introducing people to Brompton folding bikes in person, but we often ship them to customers who may never have touched one, in places without any local dealer. While folding and unfolding and simple adjustments aren't hard, the first time can be a little daunting, so we worked with Russ & Laura from The Path Less Pedaled to create this instructional video with our newest staff member Amy. We think they all did a great job! For extra added authenticity, Amy had never touched a Brompton herself a few days before the shoot, but she looks like a pro! And so will you.

    Some people get competitive!

  • Enter Urban Arrow

    Three years ago, at the European bicycle industry trade show Eurobike, a stunning new family cargo bike appeared: Urban Arrow. Six are on their way to us right now. We are taking pre-orders.

    Urban Arrow Photoshoot (en) from epe on Vimeo.

    While we and many others love the supremely relaxed ergonomics and practical feature completeness typical of the Dutch family bikes we introduced to Portland, the fact that Portland isn't even nearly flat like Amsterdam means that their local appeal is skewed toward the very strong. Simply put, upright comfort and hill-climbing cargo capabilities are hard qualities to combine especially when the bikes themselves tend to be very heavy.

    Urban Arrow changes all this. It joins a lightweight frame, a giant passenger compartment, typically Dutch friendly ergonomics, a superior Bosch electric mid-drive with disc brakes, dynamo lighting, and NuVinci N360 continuously variable gearing in an iconic design by Wytze van Mansum.

    We've been trying to get these bikes since 2010. The company has understandably been keen to keep the product close to home in Europe to identify and resolve the first-generation problems typical of any ambitious new product before going big internationally, so we've left many business conversations empty handed. But now, finally, after some substantial specification changes and major awards later, Urban Arrow is coming to Portland!

    Normally we would hesitate to accept pre-orders on not-inexpensive items before we'd received any, but we're making an exception for these elusive, hotly desired bikes. Perhaps you too have been on the hunt for years. It's unclear how quickly we'll be able to receive more after these six are sold.

  • Got Dutchtub?

    Relaxing with her daughter in the Dutchtub on a chilly February afternoon, Juliette had her 50mm f1.8 lens handy near sunset.

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