Portland's Bike King Rises to the Top

Portlanders know how much they love their bikes, but now the rest of the world is learning to love Portland's best bicycle components thanks to the manufacturing expertise of Chris King Precision Components.

The company employs nearly 100 workers in a 70,000-square-foot, Northwest Portland warehouse, but its sophisticated aluminum, steel and titanium bike frames and components find their way to bike makers around the world. King's components are so well respected that they are often found on the bikes of elite cyclists competing in races such as the Tour de France.

Business Oregon has worked to help the company find even more customers around the globe. Chris King's company joined five others from the industry at the EuroBike 2012 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Business Oregon provided the company with a $5,000 STEP grant to help finance its appearance As a result, the company reported an estimated $39,000 in on-site sales at the show and said it anticipated another $327,000 in the coming year.

Closer to home, in 2012, company founder King participated in a White House manufacturing roundtable. The company was chosen in part due to its renowned dedication to sourcing locally, reducing waste and creating a healthy environment for employees. King moved the company, founded in 1976, from Redding, CA, to Portland in 2003.

The company's raw materials are sourced from domestic suppliers who, in turn, get their own natural resources from North American mines. In addition, the company recycles as much waste material as possible including the soy-based oil used in its manufacturing process. By squeezing aluminum scraps and letting the oil leach out, the company says it is able to capture and reuse 98% of the oil.