Bicycle Inflation in Paradise?

Around here, too. I have seen outrageous prices being asked for bicycles at garage sales and especially on Craig’s list. Not as high as this, but still too darned high. Glad I got my bike off the trash heap.

Portland, Oregon, the current darling of America’s food and environmental writers, is arguably the county’s most bicycle-obsessed city. Bike use was up 28 percent in Portland between 2007 and 2008, and on the Hawthorne Bridge, a main thoroughfare, bikes now make up 20 percent of all vehicles. The New York Times estimated in 2007 that there were 125 bike-related businesses in Portland employing 600 to 800 people. There’s even a store in the city that sells only tricycles.

When I arrived in Portland last month, the first thing I wanted to do was buy a bike and get around the way the locals do. Since I wouldn’t be in town for too long, and it wasn’t clear that I’d be able to take the bike with me when I left, I wanted something extremely cheap.


8 replies
  1. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    David Chant here in Toronto also got annoyed by the lack of a decent city bike that could compete with the BSOs at Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart.

    He’s an art dealer, not a bike shop owner or mechanic. But he set out to see how cheaply he could get made a decent city bike. By having it manufactured in Bulgaria with a Chinese frame he got the cost down to $309. He’s now selling them for that price at his art gallery. Take a look at:

    To me, it looks like a good bike. But I don’t know about buying a bike from an art dealer who doesn’t have things like mechanics or warranties.

    Further information at the I Bike TO site at:

  2. Eric
    Eric says:

    I nice looking bike! Hard to find bikes like that in the US anymore much less at a reasonable price. It even has a chain guard? And fenders?

  3. Eric
    Eric says:

    “bmx style frame.”

    You think that bmx style frames make for a good commuter bike?

    Besides, if you follow the link and read the article, you will see that it is a guy looking for a USED bike at a reasonable price and can’t.

  4. Chris
    Chris says:

    Eric, did you follow the link to see the picture of the Gary Fisher bike?? The style of the frame is bmx and the geometry of the bike is very friendly for riding in general. Besides, the beater bikes links that were posted are brand new bikes also right?? Why point out my post with a nasty “Besides” line. Spare me a tube, will you ??
    You liked those bikes, why not the Gary Fisher??

  5. Dave Chant
    Dave Chant says:


    I am the afore mentioned Dave Chant of Beater Bikes. For the record I own an Art Gallery, I am not an Art Dealer. I make no money from Art but it does make a great place to sell bikes out of.

    Also I worked as a bike mechanic when I was in school.



  6. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    Sorry, Dave

    I freely admit to not knowing much about how art sales work. I’m used to Canadian Tire franchisees being called dealers and assumed that if you owned the store that’s what you called yourself.

    From all reports, your bikes are far and away better than Canadian Tire bikes.

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