Monthly Archives: March 2011

Blaq Design’s Spring sale: 20% off everything

Blaq Design is rolling out a whole new lineup for the spring. They sent us a memo instructing us that all their stuff is 20% off. So: their 2010 Blaq Packs, pouches, messenger bags, etc., are all 20% off at Joe Bike until sold.

Their new stuff, like these tool rolls, are so new that most of it hasn’t arrived at the shop yet.

Blaq Tool Roll, $36

Blaq Tri-Fold, $36

We do have their new Commute panniers, below ($230/pair; 20% off through 3/30).

Panniers from Blaq Design

Blaq Design is 100% designed and handmade in Portland.

Portland-made wood (or bamboo) fenders and bottle cages

They’re strong and sensible, lightweight and durable, handmade in Southeast Portland like a lot of our merchandise, and most of all darn good-looking: They’re Sykes fenders ($150/pair) and bottle cages ($65 each) made in a range of woods and bamboos. 

Sykes makes fenders to fit most wheel sizes, with our in-stock offerings ranging from 20″ (boxbike/ShuttleBug front wheel, recumbent bikes, folding bikes) to 26″ (mountain bikes, most hybrids, most longtail cargobikes) to 700c (road, cyclocross, touring bikes) in a variety of widths. Even fenders for 24″ wheels and 29ers are available by special order.

As for the bottle cages: depending on the type of wood, they’re about as light as carbon-fiber bottle holders. Yes, really. And so much prettier.

Now what? Well, now we do a Flickr dump of everything we’ve discussed so far. You can do your part by mousing over the images to read the different types of wood. You can help by imagining how each one would look on each of your bikes. And how good you would look riding on that bike.

Most of our Sykes accessories will be arriving in the store in a week or so. In the meantime, let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll see if we can’t order it. Sykes doug fir bottle cage, $65 

For more information on fitting, please see Call us at 503 232 1107 or email us at info.

Sykes fiddleback maple bottle cage, $65

Sykes zebrawood bottle cage, $65

Sykes white oak bottle cage, $65

Sykes blond bamboo bottle cage, $65

Sykes amber bamboo bottle cage, $65

Sykes mahogany bottle cage, $65

Sykes cherry

Sykes bottle cage, $65

Sykes doug fir

Sykes fiddleback maple

Sykes zebrawood

Sykes white oak

Sykes blond bamboo

Sykes amber bamboo

Sykes mahagony

A note on the origin of our Boxbike

Over 90% of all bikes sold in the US are made, painted, assembled, and packed in mainland China. Most of the rest are made in Taiwan. After a few stops along the way, the bikes arrive in US shops in about 90% assembled condition and require maybe 30 minutes of local labor (for conventional bikes) before they’re on the sales floor. Our Boxbike (not the handmade ShuttleBug–they are two different creatures) is based on a frame made in China. Everything else is done in Portland: powdercoating/liquid painting, the box, the optional canopy, and full assembly. There is thus as much domestic input with the boxbike as there can be, short of making the frame in the US. In fact, there is significantly more domestic input with our Boxbike than with any factory-made cargo bike on the market.

And by the way, this allows us to customize the bike for you to a much greater extent than with any factory-made bike. Thanks for reading this.

Oregon Manifest, here we come!

“The utility bike is the transportation mode of the future for millions of Americans who want to live healthier, more sustainable lives, but don’t think of themselves as ‘cyclists.’ The key to realizing this future is thoughtful, innovative bike design that fills multiple needs and fits into their lives.”

So reads Oregon Manifest’s 2011 challenge. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. And so Joe Bike has teamed up with Antload to enter the Oregon Manifest design competition, which will culminate in an exhibition of the work of some three dozen builders, along with a road test and vote in September.

Stay tuned for little bits of information from us about the bicycle-of-the-future that we’re building. And see for more information.

The ideal hub/brake combination for boxbikes: Nuvinci n360+Shimano IM-80

Joe Bike boxbike with Nuvinci n360

It’s an ideal combination for the boxbike (bakfiets): Nuvinci’s n360 CVT internal hub with Shimano’s beefy new IM-80 rollerbrake: a weatherproof, maintenance-free combination ideal for hilly terrain. The rollerbrake (it’s not a coaster brake!) stops heavy loads with better modulation than a disc brake and less likelihood of locking up. That makes it safer. It’s maintenance-free in that, unlike disc brakes, there are no pads to replace, there’s no rotor that can get bent, you can’t contaminate it with misplaced lubricant and, versus hydraulics, there are no lines to bleed. Heat dissipation? Enormous.

The IM-80 rear brake is standard equipment on our boxbikes. The n360 hub is a $200 upcharge over the Nexus Redband premium 8-speed hub.

What’s the difference in climbing ability? Roughly speaking, and with all other things being equal, the n360 gives you what might be called gear 0: the gear you find yourself wishing you had while climbing an especially steep hill. Same at the high end, too. We’ve tried to break the n360 in cargo applications and have failed utterly.

Save your copper: A brass bell from Portland Design Works

King of Ding (tm) from Portland Design Works

There’s no bike-related sound quite as exquisite as the sweet lingering ring of a brass bell living Doppler’s dream. We’ve always admired the Crane brass bell from Japan, but Portland Design Works has just introduced something even prettier and Portlandiar: King of Ding(tm), a solid brass bell with brass striker and alloy mount. $20. This is something to save up your copper pennies for. Or, you know, just whip out your debit card now. You’ll find it at Joe Bike, where you can stand there comparing the tones of all our bells until we ask you if you’ve “found the right one”, which might or might not be construed as a cue that it’s time to make a stand on the bell decision. Because there’s no Doppler effect in a bike shop.

Available by mid-March.

Fits 22.2 – 25.4 mm handlebars thus far.