New to Portland...what bikes should I buy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New to Portland...what bikes should I buy?

    I just moved into town and I'm trying to figure out what sort of opportunities Portland offers for different types of cycling.

    I see that there's a velodrome that looks decent, so I was thinking about a fixed/ss that could possibly double as a commuter. Not sure I'd want my track bike getting grimy in the rain, though...

    As far as mountain biking, I love 29'ers, but the opportunities look limited, especially as I do not own a car to drive an hour+. Is it worth having a mountain bike in town (South East) if I don't have a car?

    thanks for the help guys

  2. #2
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    Great just what Portland needs, another Fixie rideing hipster. Hey, I have an idea, ride your fixie down to Stumptown, and sit out front reading liberal periodicals, while wearing tight jeans, a laterally striped shirt and a beanie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mise En Place View Post
    Great just what Portland needs, another Fixie rideing hipster. Hey, I have an idea, ride your fixie down to Stumptown, and sit out front reading liberal periodicals, while wearing tight jeans, a laterally striped shirt and a beanie.


    track.....bike....

  4. #4
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    Sorry for the rant.

    On a serious note, SE Portland is close to some fun trails, the trails I like best are more suited to 26 inch wheels, like the trails above Sellwood Bridge, Marquam Trail (but thats poaching gasp), and the higher trails at Forest Park like Newton. But most of Forest Park, Powell Butte, Tabor, are all cool for a 29er if thats what you like. IMO all those trails are riding distance from anywhere in Portland. I lived in SE and made the ride to Forest Park all the time, and Powell Butte is 30 minutes on the Springwater.

  5. #5
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    Sorry, wrong forum. There really isn't any "mountain biking" in Portland.

    If you're not committed to driving to trail heads you should definitely stick to riding your track bike at the velodrome. Most people also ride them around town as a way to avoid costly maintenance for things such as brake pads, cables and housing. And to appear hip.

    The road biking is pretty good in the outlying areas and easily reached from the within the city limits. Come autumn, Portland also boasts one of the most vibrant cyclocross scenes outside of Belgium. So a cyclocross bike might be a good choice.

    But while you are straining your heart rate on the cyclocross bike shoulder-to-shoulder with some guy with a mustache, I'll be up high in the mountains enjoying epic world class singletrack on my 29er.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Muesl View Post
    Sorry, wrong forum. There really isn't any "mountain biking" in Portland.

    If you're not committed to driving to trail heads you should definitely stick to riding your track bike at the velodrome. Most people also ride them around town as a way to avoid costly maintenance for things such as brake pads, cables and housing. And to appear hip.

    The road biking is pretty good in the outlying areas and easily reached from the within the city limits. Come autumn, Portland also boasts one of the most vibrant cyclocross scenes outside of Belgium. So a cyclocross bike might be a good choice.

    But while you are straining your heart rate on the cyclocross bike shoulder-to-shoulder with some guy with a mustache, I'll be up high in the mountains enjoying epic world class singletrack on my 29er.
    That is pretty much a perfect description of the riding scene in and around Portland, minus the world class singletrack part. Epic views, lots of variety, but all the multiuse hiking trails are pretty mediocre as singletrack.

  7. #7
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    lol you guys are either uninformed or just dont like riding mountain bikes, there is some super fun riding all around town. have fun on your hip 29ers.

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    ???

  9. #9
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    Lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Mise En Place View Post
    lol you guys are either uninformed or just dont like riding mountain bikes, there is some super fun riding all around town. have fun on your hip 29ers.
    I wish I'd been drinking milk when I read this, so I could have coughed it up through my nose.

    That was funny.
    The Lee-Man

    A witty saying proves nothing. -- Voltaire

  10. #10
    Daniel the Dog
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    Please tell me where the good riding is right around Portland. I won't tell anyone...

  11. #11
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    Mise is correct, there are great riding opportunities around town. Forest and Washington Parks have miles of singletrack. YOu just have to put up with the dirty looks and holier than thou comments from hikers as your poaching their single-use trails. Just remember when riding those trails to ride them with no control or thought of other users well being: you're a mountain biker, you have an image to uphold!
    This aggression will not stand, man.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mise en place View Post
    great just what portland needs, another fixie rideing hipster. Hey, i have an idea, ride your fixie down to stumptown, and sit out front reading liberal periodicals, while wearing tight jeans, a laterally striped shirt and a beanie.
    aaaaaa....hahahaha....ha!

  13. #13
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    Wow! What a sour thread guys....rains must be on the way. Truth is OP without a car or access to a car you won't be hitting up any of the epic trails Oregon has to offer.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by changed View Post
    see that there's a velodrome that looks decent, so I was thinking about a fixed/ss that could possibly double as a commuter. Not sure I'd want my track bike getting grimy in the rain, though...
    You will get your track bike VERY grimy if you ride out to the velodrome a lot. Just so you know, Alpenrose is quite a few miles from SE Portland, and you have to ride across the most bike-UNfriendly part of town to get to it (which I know because my daily commute takes me through that area). You also have to climb more than 500' to get to Alpenrose, and then descend back down those 500' (probably unwise to do this long term if you don't at least have a backup brake BTW). So unless you have knees of steel, you'll either need to have the thing geared too low for good track riding, or go with a dual-cog setup.

    As far as mountain biking, I love 29'ers, but the opportunities look limited, especially as I do not own a car to drive an hour+.
    Here are your opportunities:
    • 1/3 mile of legal singletrack at Forest Park.
    • 27 miles of fireroads at Forest Park. Kinda boring in the summer, but IMO they get a lot more fun when it's muddy and dark in the wintertime. And there is NO shortage of climbing in Forest Park. It may not be very technical, but it's plenty vertical.
    • Riverview (see recent threads), a newly legal MTB area across the river from Sellwood. Not that much mileage -- you'd be hard pressed to get more than an hour or two of fun out of it -- but a good start and it should keep getting better.
    • 2-3 miles at Mount Tabor Park in SE Portland
    • A couple miles out at Powell Butte, legal only when it's dry (essentially from sometime in the spring or early summer until sometime in the fall).

    Is it worth having a mountain bike in town (South East) if I don't have a car?
    Not unless one of the following is true:
    1. You decide won't get bored riding in Forest Park and at Riverview all the time.
    2. ... or you get a Zipcar membership and decide to shell out $70 every time you want to go do some real mountain biking in the mountains.
    3. You make friends with fellow mountain bikers who have cars (unfortunately there aren't as many MTBers as you might think for a city of this size) and help pay for gas money all the time.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  15. #15
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    This is a weird thread.

    Alpenrose- There is almost no one who races there that actually gets there on their track bike. An actual track bike and a fixed gear for commuting are fairly different. Alpenrose is fun, but you would just store your track bike over there and ride over on a geared bike.

    The mountain biking in Portland is VERY poor (anyone telling you otherwise either hasn't ridden good trails before or is messing with you). That said you can get a few minor local fixes, as has already been mentioned. I think Powell Butte is one of the best options in town, and isn't too bad on a rigid SS. Also the easiest to get to in SE. The Riverview cemetery trails (above Sellwood Bridge) are (for now) geared more towards the downhillers, with steeps and a few decent drops. Not very fun for those of use who like cross country riding. This seems to be the MO in Portland though, as most who claim to be mountain bikers are more interested in shuttling and just bombing gnarly downhills (it's also one of the main reasons in my opinion the MTB community has such troubles getting inroads with the city and parks dept.)

    Mt. Tabor has recently banned bikes on most of it's trails, and even when legal these trails are not much fun to ride.


    So without a car, I would recommend getting a road bike and a cyclocross bike. That said it wouldn't be too hard to make a few friends and catch a ride up to some more serious trails.

  16. #16
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    Oh, and as I posted in the other recent Portland thread, here's a good example of why we have to fight tooth and nail for even what little trail access we have. You'd think teaching kids to mountain bike would be a GOOD thing, right? Not to some people in Portland. Scroll down to the third reply to this story about teaching kids to mountain bike:

    BikePortland.org Blog Archive NW Trail Alliance is getting kids on mountain bikes (and you can too)

    This guy says, "Introducing children to mountain biking is CRIMINAL. Mountain biking, besides being expensive and very environmentally destructive, is extremely dangerous." .... "Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area. They are inanimate objects and have no rights." ... "Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, drives wildlife and other trail users out of the area, and, worst of all, teaches kids that the rough treatment of nature is okay (it's NOT!). " ... among other things.

    So here's what we have to deal with in Portland. A couple of the great things about Portland are the earnestness of seemingly everyone in trying to make the world a better place, and that we're kind of the Island of Misfit Toys in the sense that you can live whatever lifestyle and believe whatever you want.

    The dark side of this is that after earnestly making up their mind about how the world ought to be, some people go around condemning everyone else who doesn't conform to their own personal, individualized moral code -- no matter how "out there" that moral code is. People sometimes get REALLY, REALLY ANGRY about things that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow elsewhere.

    Guys like this Mike Vandeman are why Portlandia is a documentary, and unfortunately he is not alone (in his hatred of mountain bikers, let alone in his violent judgmentality). BTW, I followed the link to his website, and he also appears to want to kick ALL humans, not just cyclists, out of a lot of natural areas.h
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 09-28-2012 at 09:33 AM.
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

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