Saturday, December 3, 2011

IT'S BIKE CRAFT! We will be there with a some very special bicycles showing off the custom build-ups and overhauls we specialize in.

Also, there are three certificates in the Bike Craft raffle good for redemption at A Better Cycle. check it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We will be closed Nov 24th and 25th for Eat Day and Buy Nothing Day.  Everybody get stuffed and save your cash for Buy Local Day November 26th.
SUPER SURPRISE SALE! Support Buy Local Day!
Nearly everything in the store will be on sale.  10% to 50% Off!  We have entirely to much inventory going into winter and we need to get rid of stuff.  Sale Saturday November 26th and Sunday November 27th only.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The best place to get holiday presents for your bike riding loved ones (including yourself) is the annual Bike Craft Fair. 

This year it's at Sandbox Studio and is 2 full days of crafty-goodness.  More details, check out the new Bike Craft website

Monday, September 12, 2011

Live the Revolution!

Sugar Wheel Works is throwing its 2nd Annual Live the Revolution benefit on September 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Ristretto Roasters. Sugar was born of the love for the hand-built bicycle wheels and its powerful ability to revolutionize rides, lives and communities.

The work begins with the small things. How the company operates is equally important as creating and building a quality wheel, which is why founder and owner Jude Kirstein is organizing a benefit for the second year that celebrates Portland’s love for bicycles and supports two great causes: the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s Safe Routes to School educational program and a program in Gresham started by two teachers called Wheelz

Sure to be a good time, the event will feature a wheel changing contest, a photo booth through RM Photo and a raffle to give away some sweet gear! With all of that and all the proceeds benefiting programs to get kids on bikes, it's definitely a party you don't want to miss! A good cause is definitely a good excuse to party.

When: September 16, 2011 — 6:30-9:30 pm
Where: Ristretto Roasters — 3808 N. Williams in Portland
Can’t come to the event and want to pre-order your limited edition t-shirt? Email T-shirt is $15. All proceeds benefit the Safe Routes To School Program and a program in Gresham started by two teachers called Wheelz. All T-shirts will be mailed for an additional $3 the week of September 5.
Support the growth of a healthy community. Be part of The Revolution.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Closed on Monday July 4th!

Heya! We'll be closed to the public for the day of Monday July 4th.

Normal hours will resume Tuesday bright eyed and bushy tailed at 10 am.

Cheers! abc crew.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

So, Google Sent a film crew to make a "mini documentary" (read: commercial) about us. Here it is. Thanks Google.

Google Places Portland - A Better Cycle from Agency Charlie on Vimeo.


Friday, June 10, 2011

This Truce won't last long.

I am just popping by the shop on my way to my sewing studio and then the Etsy/I<3Art/PNCA/MoCC all day craft party (where I'm leading the Mighty Ugly activity). And out of the corner of my eye I see something different on the Bike Craft Wall.

Looks just like any other day on the bike craft wall. 
"oooooh! Luke dropped off a new bag!" And this one makes me wish I'd worn my techier sport clothes so I could match.

But wait! That's a new Truce bag.

Red liner (and a teal pocket inside) are such a good combination.

One of my favorite functions is the "carry on" mode.
The shoulder straps tuck into the back so nothing's hanging loose and
you can carry it like a duffel bag.

We currently have two TRUCE backpacks in stock and this newest one is h-o-t.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fresh stock of baggage works

We are so fully stocked on bags for your bicycle riding pleasure. All pictured are locally made by a variety of small bag making companies. From saddlebag tool rolls (made by yours truly) to grocery panniers, and three styles of backpack, three style of hip pouch and now small duffels, our local bag making posse is well represented at A Better Cycle.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Come to C Bar on Saturday, May 21st to learn some basic bicycle maintenance!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

lights in unusual places.

Amidst the various Knog lights (we have the new Boomer USB rechargeables) and under the Planet Bike Superflash lights, we now have BAR END LIGHTS by SunLite. They look pretty unassuming in their little package, yet once installed are a rockin' option for your required rear red reflector. Watch the videos below to see the lights in action.

"Lights are required by law when riding after dark. You or your bicycle must have a white light visible at least 500 feet to the front, and a red light or reflector visible at least 600 feet to the rear. These are the minimum requirements." --from the Oregon Bicyclist Manual (wondering about the rest of the laws for bikes?Here's a link to the Oregon Bicyclist Manual.)

Sitting Pretty, Brooks are back.

Sometimes you get lucky and whatever saddle came on your bike is adequate. Other times you may want an upgrade. Brooks saddles are the leather saddle to buy. We had some VO brooks-like saddles, but they just aren't nearly as wonderful, so we're bringing the real Brooks back. In stock are four of the most commonly purchased Brooks saddles.

If you're not quite ready to commit to the Brooks, we have a fair selection of other sport saddles. And because saddles are such an amazingly personal thing, if you buy one and turns out it doesn't fit your sit bones and nether parts comfortably, you can bring it back in exchange toward a different style. (as long as it is still as good as new y'know. ask mechanic on the sales floor for details)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are you attending the Alice Awards?

I've been keeping an eye on the growing list of donors and awesome live auction items coming up at the BTA's Alice Awards.

A Better Cycle donated three packages for the silent auction. Two items I made exclusively for the event: a one-of-a-kind medium tool roll, and a one-of-a-kind mini quilt shown below. 
Are you going? I'd love to know. I wonder if they still need volunteers...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hip pouches, and a chicken!

I love getting new Bike Craft wares in stock! After having an appliqued Black Star hip pouch with Oregon on it hanging out for a while, Dave kindly traded us for this green hip pouch with a chicken on it! He's also coming by later this week to drop off stock from their current run of hip pouches. I'm hoping we'll get to have one or two of his backpacks on consignment once they are done too.

Also new are the Mini-You Pouch by new-to-Portland bag makers BLAQ Design. It's such a cute little size with a nice pocket and sturdy velcro. It'll be perfect for carrying your utmost essentials. The BLAQ pouches have a built in u-lock holster and they fit the mini-bulldog u-locks we carry.

Also remember, we're on Supportland so if you happen to stop by and purchase any of these hip pouches, you'll be earning points toward awesome rewards. (Supportland is like having 87 punch cards in one, shop local at participating businesses and earn points to redeem at any other participating business!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

87 local punch cards in one!

We are now part of the lovely Supportland network!

Basically, you get a free Supportland card at our shop (or one of the other 86 local businesses who are also on the network) and you earn points and rewards by shopping locally. For instance, when you get 10 punches at our shop, you earn a Bike Cozy tool roll! And once you've earned 250 points you could redeem them at our shop for $25 off your next tune-up!

Or if that flat tire is keeping you from enjoying our intermittent sunny days, you can redeem 75 of your Supportland points for a tube change (including a new tube).

Check out what Supportland businesses are in your 'hood.  From coffee shops to yarn stores and creative coaching, there's a big range of local awesome going on that you ought to get in on.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Brand New Mixte Bikes for Sale!

With more and more people in Portland riding bikes, and more and more people moving to Portland because they can ride bikes here, the local stash of used bikes and frames is depleting quick. Craigslist bike prices are rising exorbitantly as people hark back on their economics 101, supply vs. demand. So while we would love to have more used bikes to offer, it is getting harder and harder to find them, buy them, do all of our work and stay within a reasonable budget for you, our customer.

As you'll hear if you're shopping for a used bike at our shop... every used frame / bicycle that you see on our sales floor has been thoroughly checked over and rebuilt. As a matter of fact they have all been stripped down to a bare frame and fork, all wear-out parts are replaced, and anything that doesn't quite work right is replaced with wonderfully working bits. This level of scrutiny takes time, yet it is the only way we can guarantee that the used bikes on our floor will work as new (better than new in some cases!) We guarantee every bike on our floor.

So as the used bikes in town are harder to get a hold of, we have realized we need a replenishable source of frames and bicycles to build. Enter our brand new Origin8 "Mixer" frames and builds. I just rode this beaut around and it makes a wonderful city rider!

Most new bikes come from the manufacturer with pre-selected parts. To keep the price down the manufacturer has cut some corners and the parts are low quality. NOT SO with our build! We've spent time, energy and effort in selecting parts that we can guarantee so we know you're on a delightful, dependable ride. Details we think are important to mention are:
Hand-built wheels (built in house, limited lifetime warranty)
5-spd internal gearing and braking (nearly maintenance free! And you won't lose braking power in the wet weather)
Mounts for racks and/or baskets (A front basket would be perfect on this bike!)
Mounts and room for fenders (installation is free when you buy them with a complete bicycle)

And as with any complete bicycle you buy at A Better Cycle, you get complimentary cable adjustments (within the first 100 miles, so we can adjust the stretch) and a complimentary tune-up within the first year!

The model we have built up, on hand, is a 54cm. We have 4 sizes of this bike to build up, so if you're looking for a bike and think a step-through might be the one, we've got your size.

And we're just getting started! You'll be seeing more new builds as we assemble the bits and spec out additional frame styles.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Care Package for Bike to Eugene Challenge

We got an email in our inbox about a week ago from one of our customers, on behalf of the Environmental Law Caucus, a forum for environmental stewardship and appreciation at Lewis & Clark Law School.

Liv was asking for donations for their upcoming (Mar 3) Bike to Eugene Challenge, when a gaggle of riders will pedal 140 miles from Portland to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon. Being her neighborhood shop we're so pleased to put together a little care package for the group of bicyclists on their long ride.

We're hoping to do more for next year's ride, with a little more notice. Until then I hope the conference is awesome and we're looking for a full recap of the ride when they get back!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As promised, Truce is ready.

Two backpacks ready for you to come and check out. Like I mentioned last week, the detailing is really impressive. Reflective bits abound to add little pecks of visibility at night. The lines of the backpacks are smooth. The size of these "medium" backpacks leaves me feeling it would hold just everything I need on a day to day basis without letting me overpack. Not pictured are special cords (stowed in the top compartment) which attach easily to side buckles and can turn into compression straps if you find yourself out and about needing just a little more space.

Made primarily of reclaimed marine grade materials and USA made bits and bobbles, these backpacks show Luke's commitment to growing a sustainable company. Here's an excerpt from Truce's website:
Truce builds resilient, fashionable and environmentally responsible bags and accessories for men and women. Crafted with reclaimed and high-performance materials, Truce bags are sleek, durable and weatherproof. Our products are proudly made in the USA.
Truce prides itself on re-purposing high-performance fabrics that may have been otherwise discarded. Sails, waterproof drysuit cloth, and ballistic weaves are reclaimed and assembled with high-performance hardware at our shop in Portland, Oregon. At Truce, everything we make is a limited edition.

I'm really excited to be carrying Truce Designs. It just warms my little Bike Craft loving heart.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coming Soon! Truce Designs

Oh so soon, you'll be able to shop and compare not 1, not 2 yet 3 local bag makers at our shop. Soon, and very soon we'll have two backpacks by Truce Designs up on our Bike Craft Wall.

These bags are seriously detailed and well thought out. I spoke with Luke when he dropped the bags off earlier this morning and every detail on the bag has a reason behind it. One of the things I was ultimately impressed with is Luke's commitment to sourcing as many of his materials from US manufacturers as possible. From USA made buckles (all except the whistle buckle) to USA made zippers and reclaimed marine materials for the bodies, these backpacks are tight.

My snapshot does no justice to the superb craftsmanship. For beautiful photos and explanation of features visit Truce's website  and blog respectively.

We'll have, to start, the medium backpack retailing for $230. Save up your nickels and dimes boys and girls, until then we're drooling right next to you.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bike Craft Goods in the House

A little compendium of the current selection of Black Star goods and North St Bags we have at the shop..

Oregon pri-zide showing up with a brown applique on pine green cordura. Hip pouch with ready-made awesomeness, belt included.

A Tan (with yellow?) insides convertible pannier to backpack. This is the Woodward style from North St Bags.

The other North St convertible pannier in stock, wine with blue accents.

Black Star messenger bag, understated brown with the Black Star.

A leftie messenger bag, the bag goes on opposite most messenger bags. The advantage? When you're checking over your left shoulder in traffic, you can actually see what's behind you because the high bulk of the bag is over your other shoulder.

Same leftie bag with showing the green innards.

Black Star bags have reflective bottoms so cars behind can see you at night. (Not a replacement for a rear light, yet handy additional visibility.)

Aaron with the empty bag on.

Black Star Bags wallets! One of the ways Black Star reduces waste is by converting smaller scraps into useful objects like wallets. heart.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Remodel complete

While it still just looks like the mechanic area of a bike repair shop, we're real proud of our mini-winter-remodel a couple of weeks ago.

Stuff that was piled on Ian's floor, piled on Ian's bench.
Aaron and Clinton moved most/all of the other stuff that was taking up floor space. 

Where'd all the stuff go? Down on the sales floor, one of the many reasons we had to close for the process.

We all met Monday morning, caffeine in hand, to tackle the carpet removal.

With everything moved, it became so much easier to see just how disgusting the carpet had become over 3 years of mechanickery.

 It's so satisfying to see a transformation like this, tearing up the carpet and padding and tack bars and staples and all, ah. . . accomplishment!

 And suddenly a ninja appeared.

 Pry bars and hammers were necessary to get all the tack bars detached.

 After dozens of rounds of sweeping, Ian and Clinton decided the floor was sufficiently prepped for the floor sealer, which meant it was time to don shoe booties to avoid tracking any dust/dirt upstairs.

 Everything's back in place and we added some shelving units. And hopefully the new shelves will aide in better organization versus just more stuff.

Shelves! Oh, btw those stacked rims are all tubular rims that we would l-o-v-e to sell. Get in touch if you're interested ABetterCycle [at] gmail [dot] com.