Riding in Bend is serious business: a quick Google search of "Bend bike shops" brings up 20 different locations. Even with so much competition, these shops thrive thanks to the efforts of their knowledgeable and passionate staff members. These gearheads keep the chains running smoothly for Bend's cyclists, but what turns their wheels? We asked three local bike mechanics how and what they like to ride.
Adrian Higham, Hutch's (Westside), bike mechanic
Biking Style: "I prefer riding mountain bikes. I personally ride a longer travel, more aggressive, enduro, free ride-type bike. That's kind of where my expertise is. I'm versed in road bikes as well, but this is a mountain bike town. There's more going on with mountain biking—you're hitting jumps, slashing turns. It reminds me more of snowboarding or skiing."
Wheels You're Lusting For: "That's tough because there's so many good bikes now. I'm waiting on the new Specialized Enduro to come out. It's probably going to drop in the next month or two. I'm excited for that. I kind of wish we had more downhill terrain to ride the big bikes on. Bachelor just opened up, so I'll be shredding up there a bit."
Tory Sox, Bend Velo, service manager
Biking Style: "Personally, I do a lot of mountain biking. I also do a little bit of gravel biking and road touring. I kind of do everything. I got a commuter bike that I ride to work and all that stuff. But the one I like doing the most is definitely mountain biking. I mostly ride cross country, endurance-type stuff."
Wheels You're Lusting For: "Any decent full suspension mountain bike today is pretty bitchin'. Right now I'm riding a Knolly. Bend Cyclery sells them. It's f-ing awesome. All high-end mountain bikes are pretty much awesome right now. If you're going to spend $5000 on a mountain bike, it should be awesome. (laughs) I'm also in the process of learning how to build frames and weld, so I'll eventually be making my own bikes."
Matt Hickey, Sunnyside Sports, service manager
Biking Style: "Dirt. (laughs) I get bored on the road. I never get bored on the dirt. It's always dynamic and different every time you go. Because the conditions are always changing, it's kind of a mental game where you have all these different factors and you have to put them together like Tetris to see what works."
Wheels You're Lusting For: "I actually just bought my dream bike: the Ibis Mojo 3. I've got a couple rides in so far, and I'm extremely impressed with it. As someone who's worked in bike shops for a few years, I've ridden a lot of nice bikes. This one was beyond my expectations. It's very playful and maneuverable, while stable. It's just a fantastic ride."