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The Teal Bombshell

Our newest consigned bike is gonna love you back. And shred.

All the sexy details:

Sweetpea Bicycles 'Bombshell' Mountain Bike

This is the only hand built Sweetpea mountain bike out there, and it rides and looks just as good as you'd expect. It's a collector for sure, but also a rad bike that's ready to shred. 

Price:  $2500

Frame: Handbuilt Columbus Steel

Fork:  Fox F32-100mm shock with 15mm axle.

Geometry: 43 cm bb to top, 59 center to center actual, 31.5 inch stand over height

Wheels: 26" Reynolds Canyon

Drive train: Shimano Deore XT 2x9

Brakes: Shimano Deore XT Hydraulic Disc

Headset: Chris King

Stem: Thomson 90mm

Handlebar: 36cm Salsa Poco, short reach

Saddle: Comes with Saddle Library card ($25 value) so you can choose the one that perfect for you.

Curious? Stop on by. Test rides are welcome and encouraged. And, yes, we will ship.

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First Annual Semi-Custom Reunion

In case you haven't noticed, we love building people's custom dream bikes. There's something special about sitting down, figuring out exactly what a person wants out of a bike and then guiding them through the process of picking out every part and color to ensure that they're getting a bike that fits their body, riding style and personality perfectly. We get to know these people and their bikes incredibly well through the process -- so much so that they become more than just customers, they're friends of shop and the bedrock of the community that makes this place tick.

And so, it was such a treat to see so many of them together in one place on February 25 when we hosted on first annual gathering of Gladys' Semi-Custom Bikes and their owners. Check out some of the photos!

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Say Hello to Our Newest Mechanic!

Welcome to Gladys, Kathy!

Before joining us at Gladys Bikes Kathy was a worker owner at Citybikes for 7+ years, where she honed her skills as a mechanic by working on all sorts of different bikes and with all kinds of people. When she's not working on bikes you might find her writing papers about legal cases (she's currently pre-law and in the process of applying to law schools), singing lead in her band, designing and sewing clothing, skateboarding all around town or cooking up the most delicious vegan mac and cheese you've ever had. 

We feel pretty darn lucky to have Kathy as a part of our shop and can't wait for you to meet her too. Be sure to say hi the next time you're in!

 

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Your new favorite pair of pants are here.

We've waited patiently (ok, maybe not so patiently all the time), and they're finally here: LEVI'S COMMUTER JEANS FOR WOMEN.

As far as we can tell, these are basically the unicorns of the pants world -- they seem to look good on an extremely diverse array of body types and sizes. Come on by to see them in person!

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Three Bike Shops in Love

Once upon a time two bike shops fell in love...and then they went ahead and fell in love with a third bike shop. 

This is their story.

Many of you may remember that last year Gladys Bikes fell in love with another bike shop, Kenton Cycle Repair

Well, over the year our love has only grown, and so have our hearts such that there was room for yet another bike shop in our lovefest, Cat Six PDX. 

So, why on earth would three bike shops in relatively close proximity choose to promote each other's shops? Well, beyond the fact that we all just really like one another, we decided that collaboration is way more fun than competition. 

In that spirit, on Valentine's Day our three shops (along with some friends) will be taking to the streets to give out Valentine's gifts to about 200 lucky bikes, and also through the end of February whenever you purchase something from one of our shops, you'll get 10% off at the others. Why? Because we love you too.

xoxo,

Gladys Bikes, Kenton Cycle Repair and Cat Six
 

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New Year, Same Us

2014 was our first full year in business and, oh, what a year it was. We expanded to a new location (moved there by bike with your help!), began our partnership with Sweetpea Bicycles (swoon), brought on some amazing new staff (you know who you are), tried out cyclocross with a group of first-timers (what, what CX Curious Club!), helped 200+ butts find comfort through the Saddle Library, fell in love with another bike shop (hey there Kenton Cycle Repair), helped get many folks on sweet new bikes, planned some ridiculously fun events (Dress Like Your Bike anyone?), and even got some cool accolades in the process (don't worry, it won't go to our heads).

Thank you (again and again and again) for your support and enthusiasm this past year. I cannot wait to share what 2015 holds with you all. Here's to spending another year learning, growing, playing and riding bikes with all of you! Happiest of New Years!

-Leah

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Saddle Speed Dating

Your butt will thank you.

Your butt will thank you.

Saddle Speed Dating

This event is like getting to go on a bunch of first (saddle) dates in 1 night. Get one-on-one time with many saddles in one night so you can QUICKLY see which one you have an interest in investing in for the long haul.

When: Tuesday, April  14, 6:30-8:00pm

Where: Gladys Bikes

Who: Anyone who is interested in getting a saddle/seat that feels better on their bike. We have almost as many 'male' saddles as we do 'female', all bodies are equally welcome.

How does it work?

1. Arrive promptly at 6:30pm for a brief introduction to your many potential saddle love matches.

2. Talk 1:1 with our experts about what you're looking for in a saddle and we'll help you pick out up to 5 saddles to try for 10 minutes each.

3. Because no saddle --no matter how pretty, expensive or aerodynamic-- will feel perfect if it's not set up properly, after you find your saddle love match you'll get a FREE quick fit with Gladys' fitter extraordinaire, Natalie Ramsland. During the quick fit she'll dial in your seat height and position to make sure it's set up to support your body as best as it possibly can.

***Space is limited to 6 participants so that you get our full attention and the quality time you need with your saddles. To reserve your spot email hello@gladysbikes.com. ***

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Custom Schmustom

The bike world plays fast and loose with the term "custom bike." And why not?! It conjures up sexy images in our mind of beautiful paint, elegant details, and a world in which there are only tailwinds. But the word "custom" can be used to describe anything from getting to pick a new paint color for a Surly frame to having a frame designed to accommodate your unusually long femurs. And it's all good stuff, but it can help to know what custom can mean and, critically, how you can get some custom-y goodness no matter what your budget or current bike status.

So, in the next couple of weeks we are going to dig a bit deeper into definitions and present a point of view regarding custom that is no-nonsense and inclusive. I'd like to invite you to ask all of your burning questions about custom bikes and I'll give you my best answers (and most opinionated opinions).

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Exotic Like Moon Boots

I spent the last week in Duluth, Minnesota. I probably can't describe with my lingering California accent can quite how cold it was. Suffice it to say: Dude. It was gnarly cold.

I've been spending a little chunk of winter in Duluth every year for the past ten years or so (one of the many benefits of marrying a Minnesotan) and I typically have the same internal monologue.

Natalie: Wow. Snow is so beautiful! I bet I could live here...

Natalie: But you can't really bike here in the winter.

N: But you can cross country ski, snow shoe, and get all Nordic!

N: You get awfully grumpy when your toes get cold.

N: Buck up! You know you've always wanted a pair of moon boots.

N: But what about your bikes?

N: Yeah, you're right. I'll never leave Portland.

This last trip was different, though. I saw WAY more bikes. A Litespeed (unlocked?!) outside the food co-op, a cargo bike parked downtown, and lots of fat tires out on the trails. I went for a favorite run in Hartley Field and saw so many fat, happy tracks in the snow that I felt a certain tug at my heart. I could love these trails, not more, but in a different way on a bike. I could bike here. I could live here.

The known truths are relearned: there are more ways to have fun on a bike than there are days in a lifetime. I could live anywhere and find myself at home on a bike. A Portland girl can always vacation in moon boots.

 

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There's A Danish Word For That

As robust as the English language is, I am always a bit relieved when it comes up short. How nice to think that when we search for a word to explain some nuance of the human experience, that some other language might have just what we need.  For example, it is greatly comforting that the Japanese have a word for looking worse after a haircut.  The word "age-otori" reassures me that I'm not the only one this happens to.

I want you (and everyone you know) to know about my favorite untranslatable Danish word, "hygge." If all we had was the English word "cozy" your life would be less rich I am sure. So, let's hear from the Danes about hygge:

I've got a pretty firm grasp on cozy. It's hot chocolate and sock knitting. It's big sweaters and long novels. But the word "hygge", perhaps because of its foreignness, suggests that we should try to translate it. We should try to cultivate a hygge atmosphere. We should explicate its relational quality. It is having a sip of your friend's hot chocolate and knitting a sock for your brother. It is wearing your boyfriend's sweater and reading a favorite passage out loud.

Hygge. Say it often. Say it together. And let a new kind of coziness be found in its translation.

 

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Bike Fit 101

Does my bike fit me? 

This is one of the most common questions we get asked here, and so we're planning an event dedicated to providing you with some answers, tips and tricks.

Join us on November 25 for Bike Fit 101 when Natalie Ramsland, Gladys' resident bicycle fitter, will be on hand to answer all of your burning questions about whether or not the bike you're riding is really the right size for your body!

  • Learn what it means to have a bike fit your body, and why it's important
  • How to tell if a frame is too big or small for your body
  • Quick tips for adjusting your saddle height and fore/aft (front-to-back position) to best support your body
  • Check out and  adjust your handlebar position and/or know if your bars are the right size

WHAT: Bike Fit 101

WHEN: Tuesday, November 25, 6:30pm-8pm

WHERE: Gladys Bikes

HOW: This event is limited to the first ten people who RSVP to hello@gladysbikes.com. This will be a hands on event, so BYOB -- bring your own bike, that is. 

COST: FREE

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Winter Service Specials

Winter Specials

Take advantage of our special rates November 1 - January 31: Cheaper prices and super fast turnarounds, oh my!

Winter Overhaul Special: $125 (save $75)

  • Hubs/ Headset overhaul
  • Clean/ replace drivetrain (parts additional)
  • Clean/ replace brakes (parts additional)
  • Install new brake and shifting cables (parts included)
  • Install any new parts/ accessories you'd like
  • Clean up the entire bike so that it sparkles and rides like new --- or better!

Winter Tune Up Special: $50 (save $25)

  • Inspect & adjust braking and shifting
  • Inspect and adjust bearing systems (hubs, headset, bottom bracket)
  • True wheels
  • Light cleaning of frame, drive train and wheel rims
  • Tighten up all bolts
  • Lube chain and cables
  • Air up your tires and get you on the road



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Levi's Commuter Jeans: The wait is (almost) over.

 

The rumors are true: Levi's Commuter line is coming.

Since the men's collection was released in 2012, we've been waiting patiently (ok, sometimes not so patiently) for the women's versions to come. We've been dreaming about crotches that won't wear holes, of pockets that are deep enough for our keys, of denim that doesn't soak up rain like a sponge, of jeans that are made to happily coexist with a lifestyle that involved lots of time in the saddle. 

Well, we're happy to report that Levi's will be releasing their Women's Commuter line in Spring 2015 at a limited number of retailers around the country -- including Gladys Bikes! We can't wait. Stay tuned....

 


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Cleverhood Rain Cape: Why I Broke Up With My Rain Pants

cleverhood.jpg

I never really loved my rain pants. It was a relationship of convenience. Okay, you could say I used them for their durable water repellancy,  but in my defense they were really not bringing much to the relationship. I'd pull them out during the heavy spring rains, only to lament how sweaty-wet wasn't really any more fun than rainy-wet. Or, I'd pack them along in those uncertain days of early fall, only to find myself wondering, mid-downpour, if it was worth stopping by the side of the road to fiddle with my shoes and cuffs and pull them on.

Our time together was just marked by too much friction. You know what I mean?

So, when I first met the Cleverhood Rain Cape, I was smitten. I saw a future me that was drier and more fashionable. I saw a one-piece, throw--it-on-over-anything groove. I saw the words "Electric Gingham" and knew that basic black would never again be enough for me.

In the early days that the Cleverhood and I spent together, I wondered if my love for rain capes would only to prove proportionate to the disappointment of muggy rain pants.  But we've been through some stormy times now, and I can say with certainty that the rain cape has never let me down.

I suspect that everyone thinks their love story is unique. Enough about mine. I'd be happy to introduce you to your very own Cleverhood here at the shop.

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In Search of a Love Match for Wanda

Complete bike pictured below.

Complete bike pictured below.

Meet Wanda, The New Albion Starling

Wanda is freshly built up and on the market for a owner. Come on down to the shop to get to know her better.

LIKES:

  • Meandering rides on city streets with no particular destination in mind
  • Taking the long way home from work
  • Cruising through puddles on Spring day
  • Trips to the farmer's market, followed by rides home with a basket filled with produce
  • Anything by Loretta Lynn
  • That feeling like you're flying that you get when you ride downhill from Pittock Mansion or Mount Tabor

PERSONALITY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • For $900, she's a steal
  • 1x8 gearing makes it perfect for city riding, with nice low gears to get you up the hills (and higher ones for flying down them)
  • Strong steel frame makes for a smooth and stable ride
  • Mixte style step through allows for a great deal of stand over clearance for a wide variety of rider heights (approx. 5'3"- 5'8")
  • Lots of clearance for fenders and racks, meant to haul anything you need it to rain or shine
  • Robin's Egg Blue for the win!
  • Stem and handlebars can be set to the height and length that are perfect for you, so it fits just so


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What We Talk About When We Talk About Rain

It's unambiguous at this point. The rainy season is here. Actually, any real comment on the rain of the last couple of days will sound like an overstatement and feel like an understatement. It seems like there's an unspoken agreement that we have in Portland to just sum it up with a "Boy, howdy!", hoist our rain pants, and carry on.

There's value in that. In fact, a stoic regard for the rain jives nicely with happiness research which indicates that lowered expectations actually promotes happiness.

But my suspicion in this: We are kind of faking it. You know, to seem nice and well-adjusted. I suspect that part of us, by late-February/early-March is no longer hoisting up and carrying on. And so, with my years of experience coming to terms with the rainy season, I'm going to offer another set of complimentary perspectives to take for a spin.

1. Wet and dry is a continuum of experience. Let go of attachment to your concept of "dry" and "wet" as stable states. Reflect on permeability in the interpenetration of all things when your socks begin to feel moist. 

2. "The vase is already broken." Or, more aptly, "Your rain gear is already leaky." Those clever Buddhists have observed that, since everything comes and everything goes, we should appreciate the time that we have with things that are in a state of wholeness. Your shoe covers hold out water admirably now, but let's not be too surprised or dismayed when your socks begin to feel moist.

Then again, if actual, non-Buddhist dryness is your thing, come by the shop and we'd be happy to show you some of our favorite new rain gear.

 

 

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Synethestics

I love a science fun fact almost as much as I love to share them. Today's fun fact is this:

Our sense of taste is connected not only to our sense of smell but also to how our ears hear. Nerves running through your ear called the Chorda Tympani connect the taste buds on the front of your tongue to your brain. So it is possible to damage your ears and have your donuts taste funky. Or even more awesome??

$20 each, but more delicious as a baker's dozen.

$20 each, but more delicious as a baker's dozen.

Which brings me to something else that I'm excited to share. We've got donut bike bells. Treat your bike, and your ears, and Portland's bikeways to the sweet, sweet sounds of donut. 

(We also have border collie, speedometer, and octopus bells, each tangentially relevant science fun facts, I'm sure!)

 

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Welcome, Amanda

We'd like to welcome our newest employee to the shop: Amanda Lee Harrison!

In addition to being a solid mechanic, she was collegiate racer at Portland State University, and a fervent supporter of women in all aspects of cycling. 

We're so happy to have you here, Amanda!


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We're officially an award-winning shop!

Remember back in July when we said we got nominated for an award? 

Let's pretend I'm not hold the award backwards in this photo, ok?

Let's pretend I'm not hold the award backwards in this photo, ok?

Well, we won! So, we can now officially call ourselves the Best Women-Focused Shop in the USA! (according to the folks at Interbike, at least)

The goal of opening up this shop has never been fancy trophies or important-sounding accolades and we definitely still have a lot of room to grow and improve, but I must say, it feels pretty darn great to be recognized and appreciated for all of the work that we have put into making this shop a place that serves and resonates with so many folks -- especially within our first year of business. 

That said, I also want to take a moment to recognize some of the amazing work that other women-focused shops around the country are doing:

  • BFF Bikes in Chicago has a great racing team that reaches out to many women and helps to draw attention to the sport of women's cycling, in addition to operating a rad shop. 
  • Pedal Chic in South Carolina is a trailblazer and an inspiration -- the first women-focused shop in the country -- admirably active in their community and obviously passionate about all that they do.
  • The Unlikely Cyclist of Orange County is always reaching out to new roadies, and has a seemingly never-ending list of rides for women to join in on.

And beyond the shops that officially call themselves women-focused, there are so many other great ones in the country that are doing a great job at serving women and people of all genders. Let's keep it up, folks! 

Also, I want to offer a HUGEBIGENORMOUSNEVERENDING thank you to the staff here:

  • Jim Ashley-Walker, Gladys' lead mechanic and the most amazing combination of talent, precision, humility and kindness all rolled up into one person. Thanks for providing our customers with top-notch service and making this place what it is, Jim. 
  • Natalie Ramsland, Gladys' in-house bicycle fitter, co-owner and framebuilder at Sweetpea Bicycles, big ol' brain filled with knowledge that she's always willing to share with customers. Thanks for all that you've shared, with customers and the shop alike. 
  • Ashley Mitchell, mechanic, workshop leader and head plant water. Thanks for quietly making shit happen, and making it look easy. 
  • Amanda Lee Harrison, mechanic and salesperson, and the newest addition to the Gladys team. Thanks for already helping to spread the cheer, fill our brains with ideas and keep the enthusiasm going!
  • Gladys Advisory Board. Y'all keep this place interesting and relevant. Thanks for your support. 

And finally, thanks to all of the customers, friends and family who have supported us from the beginning and who remind us every-single-day why we love what we do. 

Here's to many more years!

Best,

Leah

p.s. Did I mention that in addition to the shop winning an award I got the chance to meet my style icon, Gary Fisher? BEST. DAY. EVER. 


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