Bike Craft in Portland

Arthritis Bike Classic – Route Overview

Sink into the landscape on the Arthritis Bike Classic this September 16-22.


You’ll relax at each overnight stay for two nights, which means more time to settle in and less time repacking every day!

Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeways… and beyond! Overnight along the amazing McKenzie River.

A wine country cruise with three wineries and spectacular scenery. Return to the same camp for another awesome night.

Bike along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway through historic towns on isolated country roads where sheep outnumber humans. Pool side camping in Albany with mini-golf and other fun activities.

Time stands still today as you settle into the ride and cruise through some of the smallest towns on secluded roads. Return to your luxury campground for another night of end-of-day bliss.

It’s a mostly flat day as you ride country roads back into wine country and an overnight stay at Champoeg State Park.

The final day is a luxurious pedal through more wine country, past hazelnut groves and around beautiful Haag Lake before returning to Champoeg for a final night celebration party.



Free Entry to Gigantic Bicycle Festival

This summer, head to Snoqualmish for an incredible party that’s all about music, camping and two-wheeled fun!

The Gigantic Bicycle Festival, August 18-20, is one of the coolest events around.

The lineup of music is incredible with start headliners like Star Anna, La Luz and more.

An Extraordinary Bike Arts Fest

Spend the weekend reveling in the killer atmosphere of being utterly surrounded by a sea of other bike lovers! You can even ride your bike there through their organized ride from Seattle with various route distances. Add to the mix movies

The festival weekend features a diverse, multi-faceted and regionally representative mix of live music, hand-built bicycles, visual and performance art, film, supported road rides, cycle tours, comedy, guest speakers, workshops, sculpture, cyclocross events and interactive installation pieces.

Free Camping + Entry!

As an exclusive for ORbike readers, you can get free camping and entry when you use this link. That’s a $70 savings for ORbike readers!



Cycle the Willamette Valley for a Cause!


Explore the Willamette Valley on routes of 10, 40, 62 or 100 miles on this excellent ride, then get ready for an awesome finish line party. All riders are treated to Rogue Beer, regional wine, a t-shirt, lunch and live music.

You’ll snake along beautiful backcountry roads as you weave through the abundant hops farms and vineyards of this historic region. In the 1930’s, Independence was home to the “Hops Fiesta” and while production has declined since then, the region is still a key producer of hops. It is so fun to pedal among the towering hop vines in their monstrous orderly rows.

This ride while raises funds for the National Psoriasis Foundation.



Electronic shifting: What’s the buzz?

Many who have tried electronic shifting it say it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It sounds mysterious, doesn’t it? Maybe even a little magical. But all that aside, what actually IS electronic shifting?

Here’s the lowdown.

Most bikes since the invention of shifting use cables—called mechanical shifting. When you shift, your hand is physically pushing a lever that moves a cable that is pulling against a taught spring in your derailleur. This means you’re doing the work of making your bike shift. Though it takes such little effort you hardly notice, it is a system with a lot of room for error both by the operator (ahem) and from wear-and-tear on the cables and housing which come out of adjustment over time.

Electronic shifting changes the game with battery-powered shifting. By pushing a small button that takes as little effort as pressing a key on your keyboard, the shifters communicates with a motor in the derailleurs for you. Motors, of course, need power to run them, so electronic shifting requires a rechargeable battery that needs to be charged every few months.

Motors, of course, (even little baby ones like these) also do the manual labor for us.

If you’ve ever thought your front shifter was a pain, electronic shifting makes that a thing of the past.

What makes electronic shifting so great?

The shifting is supreme.
Since a motor and software is telling your derailleurs how to work, it simply works every time. People who have tried it literally gush about how good it is. And that’s not just hype.

It’s low maintenance: it doesn’t go out of adjustment.
After your shop installs it there are no cables to stretch or housing to get clogged with mud or road grime, you don’t ever have shifting go out of adjustment. It’s been said that it’s so reliable that a downside is you have to remember to keep all the other regular maintenance on your bike up!

It’s less susceptible to damaged by the elements.
Since all the wiring is sealed, there is no rust, dirt, debris or anything else to damage. When it was first introduced, this wasn’t always the case, but given a few years time, the reliability in adverse conditions has been top notch. It’s become the go-to choice for racing cyclocross and mountain bikes since it can take the dirt and cleaning sessions that follow. This is why I’m pretty certain that much like disc brakes, it will be the upgrade of choice for commuters at some point.

With Sram E-Tap or Shimano DI2, you can have multiple sets of shifters on your bike.
Both these systems offer options to add shifters on your bike to places you might have not thought of—like the top of your road bars if you like to ride up high.

A great option for smaller or disabled hands.
For those of us with small (or in my case, arthritic) hands (I’m also looking at you Donald) most mechanical shifter hoods on road bikes are unwieldy and can be hard to function. Since there’s less inside, the shifters are smaller for hands—and making your bike look sleeker. For front shifting, the motor makes the big effort a thing of the past.

Ok. If it’s so great and wonderful, why doesn’t everyone have it?

It’s expensive.
While your old bike can be retrofit with electronic shifting, it might mean routing cables on the outside of the frame (modern frames hide the cables inside). So even if you can afford it, you might be looking at a better deal just by investing in a whole new bike. Which again, is expensive. But if you’re already in the market, it’s something to consider.

It’s really expensive.
Yeah, I mean it. This bears repeating because the cost is currently the main the barrier to why more people don’t have electronic shifting. It will take a few more years before this system becomes affordable and you start seeing it on more entry-level bikes. In the meantime if you crash hard enough to damage the shifters or derailleurs, you’ve got a big replacement cost on your hands.

An electronic shifting group is much cheaper on mountain bikes, but even then it’s still hundreds more, instead of potentially thousands. If either of those quantities seems like a lot to you, then you’re not alone, and electronic shifting may be a few more years out before considering.

Should You Make the Shift?

To many of us our shifting is a thing that just kind of works. Meaning we not only don’t understand how it works, but we also don’t always appreciate if it’s working properly since we wouldn’t know the difference. If that’s you, electronic shifting probably won’t impress you too much.

That being said, if you are in a bike shop or somewhere you get an opportunity to experience electronic shifting in your own hands, I’d recommend checking it out. Not only is how it works pretty cool, it makes a rad “pew, pew, pew” noise when it shifts that sounds like you’re driving a spaceship.

And no one can argue with that advancement!

Tori Bortman is ORbike’s resident bike mechanic. She is also an educator, consultant and the owner of Gracie’s Wrench. Tori’s book, The Big Book of Cycling for Beginners, is out now from Bicycling Magazine.


Ride to Defeat ALS!

Ride to Defeat ALS – 7/8 – Mt. Angel

Many of us hop on our bikes without a second thought, but for those who can’t pedal, there’s Ride to Defeat ALS, an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for people living with ALS, also known as Lou Gerhig’s Disease. This devastating
disease eventually takes people’s lives after a long and painful decline in mobility.

But there is great hope! There is so much that can be done to support people living with the disease, to make their lives more comfortable, to provide them with increased mobility options and to to support their loved ones who tirelessly
care for them. Those good efforts come thanks to the National ALS Association and Ride to Defeat ALS is your opportunity to support their impactful work.

This ride is a gorgeous odyssey through the hushed open landscape around Mt. Angel on the edge of Portland. Sign up for this important ride and be a part of the movement for those who can’t.




Cycle the Selkirk Mountains

WACANID | September 11-16 – Washington, Canada, Idaho

Cycle the International Selkirk Loop on this six-day journey that covers 370 miles and showcases the loop’s spectacular scenery – majestic mountains, beautiful lakes, rivers and North America’s longest free ferry ride. There are a few hills for extra reward, and the scenery is well worth every bit of climbing you’ll conquer.

It’s such a thrill to ride through two states and two countries on this exciting ride. The support is top notch and the other riders are friendly. WACANID is your chance to truly get away from it all on a ride you’ll remember for life.

  • Designated by the U.S. Department of Transportation as one of the “Top 10 Scenic Destinations in the Northern Rockies”
  • Named “Best of the Roads” by Rand McNally Road Atlas
  • Named the “West’s Best Scenic Drive” by Sunset Magazine

The weather is mild, the traffic is light and most of the ride occurs on secondary highways whenever possible. You may not see a car for miles and miles as you pass through friendly communities. If you’re looking for a new ride this year,
we think we’ve got just the one.


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