Bike Maintenance 101: the Daily Wipe-down

Here at Cycle Portland we love passing on our bike maintenance tips and tricks to help you keep your steed running smoothly as well as prolong the life of your components.  In this post we discuss an “after every ride” suggestion…

On damp, rainy days like today (and let’s be honest, like most Fall/Winter/Spring days here in P-town), it’s extra important to keep your bike happy and healthy to keep your commute safe, fun, and timely. If your bike is a year-round commuter like mine, one of the best bike maintenance things you can do to keep your steed in ship shape is to give it a simple wipe-down at the end of every day.

dirty rags for Bike Maintenance
The Wiper-Downers

Here’s our strategy: It’s as simple as keeping a designated rag (read: old teeshirt) by your front door to give your bike a quick once over when you get home. For the sake of both your bike storage space and your bike, towel it off a bit– as your shower curtains know all too well, air drying starting from dripping wet is nearly impossible in this climate. Get rid of dirt, salt and road grit that’s collected on your frame and moving parts, paying extra attention to exposed metal (I’m looking at you, tiny paint chips!) Keep an eye out for anything collecting on your wheel’s rims– you want to make sure your break pads have a good surface to grip without risking damage to the rim by grinding any debris into the metal. If you’ve got disc breaks, give those some extra love, too!

Contrary to popular belief, water on metal alone is not what causes rust, it’s a deadly combination of water, dead leaves, road top chemicals, sweat, and other particulates that do serious damage to your bike. Keeping your bike wiped down every day prolongs the life of your bike and the structural integrity of your frame in our climate. It also helps to keep you aware of bike maintenance issues before they become safety problems.

So get down and dirty with your bike this winter, because a happy bike makes a happy commuter!

Awesome New Bike Route Mapping Tool!

Whether you’re wondering how much water to take out on a long adventure or just curious about the mileage of your daily commute, is our favorite new tool for mapping out our routes. It gives elevation, mileage, along with a weather forecast for your trip!

Best of all, it is a global service, with routing capabilities in both Metric and Imperial measurements. We plan to use it in mapping out our next trips! Here’s a screen shot of their interface. It’s pretty intuitive!


Thanks to Botond Bocsi for telling us about this great site.

Neighborhood Profiles: Aprisa

This fall, we’ll be doing a series of quick portraits of some of our favorite neighbors here at Cycle Portland. We’re honored to be a part of the historic Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, and we’re just one of the fantastic small businesses in the area. We know our business thrives when our neighbors are prospering, so we thought we’d spread the love, sharing some of our other favorite hangout spots for before or after tour exploring!

Aprisa is one of our staffs’ favorite spots to grab lunch, whether that’s just a quick taco on the go or a hearty breakfast burrito to get us through the day, having this spot right across the street is a real treat for us. Everything we’ve had here has been tasty, and the friendly staff makes it an even better experience. Their salsas and veggies taste fresh, and if you have a few cents extra to spare, we highly recommend adding on their house guacamole!

Where the magic happens! Aprisa is across from the shop on the corner of Davis and 2nd
Their friendly staff are always happy to say hi!

Aprisa also offers convenient online ordering, in case you’re in a real hurry– you can order ahead of time by as little as 20 minutes so you can just grab your meal and run before or after your tour. For a complete menu, online ordering, and more information, click here for a link to their website.

Fall Tune-Up Special

As we enter rainy season here at Cycle Portland, a few of our staff have noticed a bit more skidding on our commutes, followed swiftly by more brake noise and the infernal wet jeans that come with riding without fenders. This means it’s time for our Fall Tune-Up Special. We may not sell anything pumpkin-spice flavored here, but we sure do get into that autumnal mood this time of year.

Come see us soon for a discounted tune on your noble steed– we’ll get everything cleaned up and running smoothly for the oncoming weather. We’re offering $5 off our most basic safety tune-up or $15 off our full tune.

On top of that, we’re always happy to fix you up with fenders that’ll fit your ride, because nobody deserves to live in wet denim. Come check out what we’ve got in stock, and we’re always happy to order something in for you if you’ve got specific needs.

Plus, come in between now and the end of November and if you spend more than $25, we’ll enter you in a raffle to win a Lumina Nite Rider. With 550 Lumens on your front handlebars, you’ll be ready for those dark winter commutes just in time!

Cheers, and happy pedaling!

Courier Mail: Reasons to Visit Portland


Our hometown got a charming writeup by an Australian based paper, The Courier Mail. Their reasoning sound pretty good to us, so we thought we’d pass it along!

Their favorite reason to visit is how easy our city is to explore. They recommend taking a bike out, and between our bike friendly public transit and the hundreds of miles of bike lanes around the city, we’d have to agree. Beyond that, these Aussies appreciated the Portland brew scene as well as the affordable pricing on everything from gourmet food to souvenirs. Oregon’s lack of sales tax sweetens the deal just a little bit as well! For a cheap, hip vacation to a city exploding with life, head our way any time of the year!

Click here for a link to the full article, if you want to read more of their suggestions!

We’ve got Lompoc Brews on Tap!



We’re proud to have Lompoc Brewing doing our shop taps, this week featuring two late summer pale ales. Lompoc brewing is a local institution, opened first in 1996. In the ensuing years, it has changed hands a few times, but their quality and their mission have remained consistent through the years. Lompoc strives to be a go-to neighborhood watering hole, with family friendly atmosphere and a constantly rotating cast of seasonal ales and lagers.

This week, we’ve got the Pamplemousse and their 207 Pale in. Pamplemousse is a delicious and refreshing citrus IPA. Four kinds of hops paired with real grapefruit juice makes it perfect for warm September afternoons. The 207 Pale is a limited edition brew, the winner of the Pride of Cascadia award as a part of the Timbers Army’s annual home brew competition. The winning beer gets brewed and served at local breweries including Lompoc, Widmer Brothers, and Base Camp Brewing. As such, this beer is a very exciting one-off, available only until we run out!

We have Hopworks Urban Brewery Jerseys!

We have limited sizing in both styles, give us a ring or come on in to see if we have one for you!
We have limited sizing in both styles, give us a ring or come on in to see if we have one for you!

Hopworks Urban Brewery is a local brand of beer that we at Cycle Portland have been proud to carry for years, and we’re now happy to carry their jerseys as well. Aside from their delicious, all-organic brews, HUB’s mission sets them apart from other breweries in town. Their commitment to sustainability, from sourcing their ingredients ethically to ensuring their pubs are eco-friendly, is impressive. Beyond this, their covered bike parking makes them an easy destination for local commuters all year round. They also have a small wrenching area, in case you blow a flat nearby!

As a small business ourselves, we are proud to be able to support our friends over at HUB by repping their jerseys!