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Thursday, December 16, 2010

New SE Bike Shop: Cránk

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 4:14 PM

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Portland's newest bike shop is just off SE 28th Avenue and it is immaculately designed. First of all, it's just pronounced Crank. I thought that because of the accent, it was supposed to be pronounced with some fake foreign feel, like "Crahnk" or "Craynk." No, explained co-owner Justin Tutor, "The accent is just for flair. Our graphic designer put it there."

Two light-up pedestals rise in the center of the store, turning a pair of sleek Fuji Feather fixed gears into near idols. Behind them, a $1,100 cyclocross bike hangs from the ceiling, frozen in the air jumping over an orange cross race barrier. A sort-of living room takes up one side of the store, where customers are invited to sit on sofas and maybe read the giant New Yorker book placed on a perfectly-sized red table. For a Portland bike shop, Cránk feels impossibly clean. The only thing that's missing is an espresso machine.

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Co-owners Chris Habert and Tutor are clearly enjoying the space after moving from their former bike store, Kinetic Performance, a minuscule 100 square foot shop squeezed into a gym downtown. Cránk celebrated its grand opening last Friday and Tutor says that the store is really about outfitting bike commuters, not just fixed gear freestylers. "Fixed gear and single speed commuters are really the way that Portland does it. There's only one bike in here I'd sell without brakes and whoever buys it I'm going to sit down for a conversation," says Tutor, who races road and track bikes during the season. Though fixies dominate the space, there's a fair selection of super practical commuter bikes for sale, like an eight-speed Fuji Cambridge replete with rack, fenders, and internal gearing on sale for $560.

While I poked around the space this morning, a FedEx worker in full uniform rushed in and asked if they have any single-speed cross bikes in stock. No dice, but he and Tutor talked racing and bike specifics for 10 friendly minutes. Both owners/mechanics have worked at other bike stores in town for the past couple years.

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A long workspace stretches out behind the counter and (ATTENTION ATTENTION) right now the store is offering to fix flats for free, minus the price of the tube. So now's the time to stop by, say hi, and score some complimentary manual labor.

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