Bike co-ops assist individuals in need of bike repair and maintenance. They often sell new and used bike parts as well as refurbished bikes, and offer formal bike repair and bike assembly classes.. Visitors can learn repair skills both for breakdowns on the road and for home repairs. Staff and instructors are normally volunteers.
Costs to users
Some bike co-ops charge users a set fee of between US$5 and US$20 per hour for "shop time," which is the use of their space and tools. They tend to waive the fees for low-income users. Bike Pirates in Toronto is one example of a co-op which uses a pay what you want strategy. They request that each user make a donation.
The cost of new or used parts is usually added to the shop fee, but is typically substantially below retail prices. Some workshops stock new items such as brake pads, inner tubes, and bearings.
Parts may be sourced from public donations. Children's bikes are often donated when they are outgrown, and abandoned bikes are sometimes obtained from police stations, street cleaning firms, or from large institutions such as schools and universities.
Bike cooperatives can now be found worldwide. The Bike Collective Network wiki includes a list of hundreds of co-ops scattered throughout a few dozen countries. The list is sorted by country and by province or state.
- Bicycle library
- Local bike shop
- Maintenance and repair (in Bicycle): discusses self-service, full-service, and roadside assistance.
- "Frequently asked questions » How much does it cost to fix my bike at Bike Pirates?". Toronto, Canada: Bike Pirates Bicycle Club. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
How much does it cost to fix my bike at Bike Pirates? That depends on you. [...]
- "Community Bicycle Organizations". Bike Collective Network wiki. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "St. Petersburg Bicycle Co-op welcomes range of devotees". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Dean Narciso. "Bicycle co-op helps local enthusiasts learn to do repairs". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "The wheels behind Village Bicycle Cooperative". westlakebayvillageobserver.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Thriving Village Bicycle Cooperative sponsors 'history-mystery' ride in Bay Village". cleveland.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Village Bicycle Cooperative moves into new home at Bay Village Community House". cleveland.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Katherine Purvis. "How to set up a bike repair co-operative". the Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "How to start a bicycle collective". Bicycle Times Magazine. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- "Durham Bike Co-op raising money for renovation". newsobserver. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Duregger, Michelle (30 April 2010). "The Anti-Shop". Bicycling. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
The Recyclery is Oklahoma City's first bike co-op, open three days a week. Everything is free--tools, advice from bicycle-savvy volunteers, workshops, parts and frames. It's stocked by donations from community members and a couple of bike-shop employees, and is run by volunteers.
- Forbes, Rob (28 April 2009). "Bike Kitchens: Building Community, Bikes". Yes! Magazine. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- Crane, Gabe (Spring 2007). "The Rise of the Bike Kitchen". Next American City. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012.
- Cross, Kim (20 February 2015). "The Fixer". Bicycling. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
The popular connotation is that co-ops are for urban twenty-somethings who want a fixed-gear bike. But they're more for people who don't know anything about bikes, want a community to connect with, or want a cheap and super-easy mode of transportation.
- http://sheldonbrown.com/measure.html Precise measurements are often needed so bicycle parts will assemble correctly. It is usual to perform many of these measurements with special tools which you aren't going to carry around in your on-road toolkit. Also, some of these tools have only a single use, and they can be rather expensive.
- http://www.readingbikehub.org/ This is another example of a bicycle co-op in Reading, Pennsylvania. A great shop that offers weekly rides and repair classes for kids and adults alike.
- Bike Collective Network: An umbrella association of bike co-ops and other organizations.
- Community Bicycle Organizations: A list of bike co-ops worldwide, sorted by country and by province/state.
- International Bicycle Fund community bike programs directory. Many of the groups in this directory, though not all of them, are co-ops.
- Bike Workshops Research. Research into bike workshops led by Simon Batterbury, University of Melbourne.