Exciting growth is happening in the bicycle industry as custom handbuilt wheel building company Sugar Wheel Works joins forces with award winning custom bike builders Breadwinner Cycles for streamlined service and expanded expert quality. Both companies are based in Portland, Oregon, with headquarters mere blocks from each other.
for streamlined service and expanded expert quality. Both companies are based in Portland, Oregon, with headquarters mere blocks from each other.
“Our partnership over the last 10 years made this a natural progression,” says Sugar Wheel Works founder Jude Gerace. “We have common core values with an emphasis on quality and customer service. We started our businesses around the same time and have been helping each other grow ever since.”
Nearly every Breadwinner Cycles bike that rolls out the door features Sugar Wheel Works wheels. The new partnership means increased cohesion for the customers as the companies already share a common customer base.
A Smart Move in a Challenging Industry
Nationwide the bicycle industry has faced significant financial challenges in the last few years, marked by the closing of countless retail bike shops. Both Breadwinner Cycles and Sugar Wheel Works have long recognized the need to continually develop creative approaches to business operations in order to remain sustainable without compromising the quality of their products.
Breadwinner Cycles owners Tony Pereira and Ira Ryan are no strangers to joining forces for efficiency and strength in a challenging industry. In 2013, the two builders merged their successful independent bike building companies Pereira Cycles and Ira Ryan Cycles to form Breadwinner Cycles.
“We are thrilled to be joining forces our long-time partners Sugar Wheel Works,” says Tony Pereira. “Sugar has been building wheels that match the quality of our bicycles since day one. Bringing them in-house will help us improve on the custom experience our riders expect.”
“I can not think about the bicycle industry in Portland without thinking about Sugar and Jude” says Ira Ryan. “We have a tight knit community that is like a family – we have grown our businesses side by side over the years. It feels natural to know that we trust each other with our ‘babies’ that we have spent years growing and fostering. I am proud to call Sugar and Jude family.”
Sugar Wheel Works is Unique
Sugar Wheel Works is one of only a handful of companies that specializes in manufacturing handbuilt bicycle wheels. Their customized process matches the design of the wheel to the customer’s riding style, budget and even aesthetic preferences. Typically a customer chooses to purchase a handbuilt wheelset instead of a machine built wheelset for the superior quality and ability to tailor individual features.
Celebrating 10 Years: What’s Next for Founder Jude Gerace?
Owner Jude Gerace founded Sugar Wheel Works in 2009 when she realized there was a lack of companies that focused on quality, sustainable bicycle wheels. After 10 years of working with engineers, keeping up on industry developments and creating a detailed quality control process for building fine handbuilt wheels, Jude is leaving the company.
Jude Gerace has worked hard to build Sugar Wheel Works to the internationally known quality brand it is today. She is proud of founding and growing the company and is confident her role in that process is now complete. As a person of varied skills and interests, Jude is ready for her next adventure.
In her newly developing advisory business, Jude will incubate and foster the growth of other small businesses.
Sugar Wheel Works will retain that name and operations will now be housed at the Breadwinner Cycles headquarters. Current wheel builders will remain on staff. Through a partnership with United Cerebral Palsy job placement and coaching program, Sugar Wheel Works created a specialized position to meet the skill set of Dan Waugh, a young man who was eager to find a job after high school. Breadwinner Cycles is thrilled keep Dan on staff.
Business operations will not be disrupted during this transition.
To hear more about the transition from Jude Gerace, check out this excellent exclusive interview with BikePortland.org.