Electric Bikes in Portland and Bend, Oregon.
This summer we made plans for some family fun (my sister-in-law’s birthday) in Portland. Being one of the big bicycle hubs in our country, I knew some two-wheeled excitement would be mixed in. Also, after meeting Kim from Let it Ride Electric Bike Tours in Bend, Oregon last year, I thought a short blast south would fit-in too. As you will see, we spent much time with family and the bike world while out of town.
Once the basic trip was planned, I went to work to see what E-bike shops there would be worth visiting. Of course they all were, but two just didn’t happen, both I hear would have been well worth it. EcoSpeed and Splendid Cycles were on my list, but time and the such kept us from their doorsteps. Too bad, yet maybe next time we visit I can check them out.
We ride many types of bikes, but I generally limit my reporting to vintage bikes, folding bikes and electric bikes. I decided E-bikes would be the theme of this visit, so most of the shops we hit are strong in that direction. One thing I did notice in town was that there must be many E-bikes around (to be able to support such a large selection of E-bike shops), but I didn’t spot that many on the roads and bike paths. When there are so many bikes about, it is hard to see them all in detail. I’m sure we saw tons of electric bikes, but just didn’t pick them out amongst the throngs of two wheel activity.
In all reality the first bike shop we visited was Velo Cult. They were one of our favorite San Diego bike shops until they moved to Portland a few years back. They are mostly into commuters, touring bikes and the European stuff, although from their take on beer, music and parties, it makes you wonder how they have any time for bikes. They had a few electric-assist converted cargo bikes on the floor, yet E-bikes aren’t their number one concern. Don’t miss their parties and beer selections—said to be the best in town. Also, you can sit with the mechanic who is servicing your bike at one of the many repairs stations while you sip your brewski.
One other thing I want to mention before I discuss the E-bike shops we visited is my neglect to spend time with a Portland Facebook friend who is heavily into E-bikes and their variants. It turns out that even though he lives there, we went to more E-bike shops in town then he has. I am sure after he reads this he will make amends and see them all. Sorry Robert, next time I’m sure.
This was our first bike shop to stop by on our E-bike quest. They are listed on the Pedego Electric Bikes dealer locater. They have been in the on-line bike accessory business for 10 years, but this retail location and bike sales are new to them. It is a great shop, but they had a limited amount of E-bikes on hand from Pedego. Their store manager said they are changing that, and agreed with me that for Pedego, rentals are big business.
As we ride rental Pedego E-bikes in many cities, I was expecting to do the same here. By now they may have made the move, but we did do a lot of E-bike riding through other shops during our trip. I did like the selection of bikes and accessories at Universal Cycles, and they are enthusiastic on their future with electric-assist bikes. At this time they are the only Pedego dealer in Portland, so I expect they will ramp it up to match the giant success of that brand.
This fairly new E-bike shop is bristling with activity. Each time we were there the customers seemed to be flocking in. The couple that runs the store are very knowledgeable and friendly. I found their tech and wrench guy to be fully tuned into their bikes. I spent too much of our vacation talking E-bikes there, but enjoyed every minute.
What worked out great is they agreed to set us up on some EG electric bikes for a ride to the new Portland Train Museum. After our time in Bend, we headed back to Cynergy E-bike to take them up on the offer. The birthday sis came along and the three of us had the best time riding to the museum. We got a good Portland soaking on the way back and loved it. We were wet, but comfy and smiling. See below for my review on the three EG bikes we rode.
Field Electric Bikes
When we walked in the door, great tunes were flowing on vinyl from the old-school turntable and stereo on the counter. This shop is a little cluttered, but one of the best we visited. The enthusiasm was as cool as the music while we met the owner (he is also the head tech). While some of the other shops were great, this one gets my vote for interesting bikes and the whole Portland bike thing.
Don’t miss the video below of the shop and some of the stuff we saw there. I can’t believe time kept me off the Solo Wheel, yet next time we go back to Portland, that will be my first goal. He had a chopper bike on the stand that was getting converted to electric and I would think anyone would drool just a little thinking about being able to ride it.
This shop is large and caters much to the cargo and folding bike crowd. They are mostly E-bike oriented to the cargo bikes, as the electric-assist can be so helpful when hauling the kids or a big load. I was also glad to see the large selection of folding bikes they offer. I had to take my shop video in two parts because their floor space is spread out and the selection of bikes is monstrous.
Bend Electric Bikes
We had a great time in Bend, even staying over two nights in a log cabin in the woods (high desert they call it). Visiting Bend Electric Bikes was a thrill, as they really do some customs and cool machines. They have a wide selection of E-bike brands and conversion kits. The crew was fun to hang out with and really knew their stuff. Their personal E-bikes are worth checking out.
They do rentals and tours, which is cool because the area they are in is so scenic and history oriented. Like the other E-bike shops we stopped at, time went by so quick. I wanted to stay around and soak up much more of the shop and the people there. I do hope we can make a return visit with more time to browse, ride and talk. They gave me an awesome sweatshirt with their shop logo on it, can’t wait till this winter so I can wear it proudly—thanks guys,
Let it Ride Electric Bike Tours of Bend, Oregon
I met Kim (their GM and head tour guide) at the Pedego dealer meeting last winter. She extended a serious invitation to come by for one of their world-class E-bike tours and this had been matching my idea of a fun vacation activity. We had the best time and want to go again. I wrote a full post here about the great experience. Several people told me it was the best article ever on E-bike tours, so who am I to argue? I won’t go into all the details here, but check the link below to get the full rundown.
The eBike Store
This is one serious E-bike shop. The special work they do has to be seen to fully appreciated. While we were there they were in the process of finishing a full remodel on their new location. With many years of experience at their old shop, it really showed in the quality of the customs and their showing of E-bike knowledge. Their customer base is large and we met a few with glowing words flowing on the satisfaction they’ve received (both in service and bike performance).
It seems that Portland has some great shops to fill their needs when the E-bikes come out to play. This shop is right up there when it comes to selection and expertise. I was duly impressed at each turn of this well set-up E-bike shop. Another fun stop was ours and we hated to leave.
Make sure to see all the videos
These links will take you to much more about what we saw and did. They fill in the many blanks in my text as I can only write so much on each post.
Thanks for getting your Oregon E-bike on, Turbo Bob.
“After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable.”—H.G. Wells.
Universal Cycles on the web and Facebook
Cynergy E-bikes on the web and Facebook
Field Electric Bikes on the web and Facebook
Clever Cycles on the web and Facebook
Bend Electric Bikes on the web and Facebook
Let It Ride Electric Bike Tours of Bend, Oregon on the web and Facebook
The eBike Store on the web and Facebook
EcoSpeed on the web and Facebook
Splendid Cycles on the web and Facebook
Velo Cult on the web and Facebook
My full post of our fun at Let It Ride Electric Bike Tours at Bend, Oregon. This includes videos of both our E-bike tours.
My review of the EG electric bikes we rode at Cycergy E-bikes. It includes videos of the bikes and rides.
See Universal Cycles in this video
See Cynergy E-bikes in this video—there are others of the bikes and our ride if you look for them.
See Field Electric Bikes in this video—there are others of his bikes and the Solo Wheel on my site too.
See Clever Cycles in these two videos.
See Bend Electric Bikes in this video.
See Let It Ride Electric Bike Tours of Bend, Oregon in this video. There are also a bunch of them from our rides.
See The eBike Store in this video.