Golden Pliers, fenders, and Portland


Text by SimWorks / Photo by Rie Sawada, Ryota Kemmochi


In the northern part of Portland, a vast rail yard located along with Willamette River represents an industrial city indeed. There is a bike shop called “GOLDEN PLIERS” in North Portland district and Kevin is the guy who owns the store.

“What? do you know him? Is he that famous?!” This is the conversation we had even in Philadelphia on the East coast far from the West. This type of conversation usually happens in our bicycle industry like saying the world is small.

An annual average rainfall days are more than 150 days in Portland where is located in NorthWest in the United States, that is to say, it rains mostly in a year.
Clear fine weather only focuses on summer time between June and September, so that when you get close to Autumn time, then you have to wait bright sunshine till next summer. If you compare the weather in Los Angeles, then they only have 35 average rainfall days. Such a big difference even though both cities are in the same West Coast.

Needless to say, the demand of their bike in Portland is different from the other cities.

It’s been a year since we started exporting our products to America in earnest. A small office and storage in Chris King company is getting busy with preparing and shipping tons of Honjo fenders in this season. As mentioned, we ship them to the places which rains a lot.

We do hand-carry all those fenders to the local bike shop in Portland, and having a great conversation about the future of the bike industry and stuff like that and we find something positive attitudes in the conversation all the time. Today, we delivered the fenders to Golden Pliers like we always do.

I would love to talk about how Crust Bikes develop the culture of 650b modern touring style, but it should be the next time. Anyways, all of their bikes wear damn fat tire and it’s called off-road explorer. Not only the drylands they ride through, but also the wet and muddy streets. What they need is absolutely fenders.
Kevin, always asked us to make a good fender.

This is how Kevin assemble his and his customer’s bikes below:

It takes time and completed to attach the fender on a bike, and it is very much important to have aesthetic sense not only just technic and knowledge. Honjo fender doesn’t have spare holes, so that you can set it at a perfect location depending on the frame, but where do you prefer to put it on?

In order to set the fender comfortably and beautifully, and moreover to prevent any defect on hundred miles of rough roads with spreading out the gravels, we absolutely need an experienced bike mechanic for sure. Kevin said that those bike building was the ART. Now, we like to think that he is an artist.

For #swFender hash tag contest, we gave him a prize. As an artist who updates the style, we would like him to strive forward and I wanted Japanese riders to pay attention to his ride style. Because, no matter what people say, Japan is also a rain country. right?

We don’t have many archives for the fender styling and fitting today yet, so we wanted to provide everyone to use as a reference looking through #swFender and #SimWorksByHonjo, but still not a lot of posts though. So, it will be amazing if you post your style of your beloved bike with Honjo fender with this tag.

Anyways, this is the place GOLDEN PLIERS that you definitely need to visit when you come to Portland.
Good coffee, fresh local beer on their tap.

Golden Pliers
1451 N Skidmore St Portland, Oregon