FAQ

  • Should I come to open shop night if…
    • …I have a flat?
      Fixing a flat is a perfect reason to come to open shop night! We have patches to repair tubes, and some used tubes, but if you want a new tube you must bring it with you.
    • …I am not sure if there is anything wrong with my bike, I just want some advice.
      We are more than happy to look over you bike and suggest potential repairs or modifications to make it more comfortable and enjoyable to ride.
    • …my bike is making a squeaking noise or feels off?
      Sure. We are happy to try and help you find out what is making your bike squeak and offer some guidance to fix it.
    • …I don’t know the first thing about repairing a bike?
      No problem. We have experienced repair staff and volunteers at every shop night. Our goal is to help you learn how to fix your own bike. No previous experience is necessary.
    • …I don’t want to deal with a bunch of macho bike culture dudes?
      Most of our staff and users are everyday people just looking to fix up their everyday bikes. While we are a mostly male staff, we make a strong effort to convey an open and friendly atmosphere and open to everyone of any background and any bicycle. And if don’t for any reason, please let us know! Additionally about once a month our partners at Femmechanics host Grrrrease-time, a special open shop night specifically by and for people who don’t identify as cis-men, at SBK.
    • …I need to get this repair completed in one night?
      We cannot guarantee you will be able to repair your bike in one night. Oftentimes even simple repairs can take much longer than they do on YouTube. Also most of us are not professional mechanics, so there is a lot we don’t know and may have to refer you to a professional bike shop.
    • …I just want to pick up some parts?
      We have some low-cost used parts that you can use as part of a repair at an open shop night, and we stock some retail priced consumables such as cable and housing. We recommend going to a local bike shop for any new parts your bike might need.
    • …I want to borrow tools and bring them home?
      Sorry but we do not lend tools for use outside of our space. You are more than welcome to use any of the tools on our property during open shop night. Please clean and return them after use, and report any damaged tools to a staff member.
    • …I want to learn about fixing bikes?
      Great! We often have project bikes that you can help put together. You can also just hang out, watch and learn from others. Even if your bike is already tuned up, you can de-tune it and return it for practice! We also occasional host workshops, but mostly in winter.
    • …I want to buy a bike or advice on buying a bike?
      It depends. We occasionally have one or two bikes for sale, but it would be best to contact us first. We are happy to offer our advice on buying bikes and recommend local bike shops to find a bike that meets your needs.
    • …I just want to talk about bikes?
      If we are not too busy helping people with bike repair, than staff and volunteers are generally happy to bike talk. We also have events you can attend outside of open shop hours!
    • …I need help fixing my bike, but I can’t afford to pay anything?
      Not a problem! Our suggested contribution of ten dollars per hour is on a sliding scale. We are happy to accept more, less or nothing, whatever you can afford. We accept cash and Venmo.
    • …I want to sell or donate a bike?
      We never buy bikes, and we only accept donations of higher quality bicycles and parts in good working order (no department store bikes or broken bikes). Please contact us if you would like to donate a bike or bike parts beforehand.
    • …I need someone else to fix my bike?
      Sorry but we’re not a bike shop – that means we don’t work on your bike. Our general policy is to not to touch your bike. We point, advice and demonstrate while you work on your bike with our tools.
    • …I want work on my e-bike, e-scooter, or moped?
      Sorry but we cannot assist with electronic or motorized bicycles or scooters. We are only equipped to help with 100% human-powered bicycles.
  • Are there bicycles you don’t have the tools for?
    Yes, you may have a bicycle with rare or proprietary parts and standards that we do not have the proper tools to work on. If you think you may have such a bike, please contact us and describe your bike’s make, year, and model. We’ll do our best to figure out if we have the tools you need or not.
  • Do you work with the city of Somervillle?
    No. We are an independent co-op. If you want to learn more about official city bike advocacy, please check out the Somerville Bicycle Committee.
  • How do I become a volunteer?
    We’d love your help! Please indicate you’d like to be a volunteer on our sign-in form inside our shop, or simply contact us. We are always looking for help and you do not need to have bicycle repair skills to help – organizing, decorating, event planning, are all non-bike things you can help us do!
  • Where are you located?
    We are at 339R Summer St. a few blocks from the center of Davis Square. The R stands for rear – we are located in a large garage structure directly behind 339. Look for a small sign in the driveway and follow it down to our building, which has a larger sign above the garage. After entering the garage, you’ll see our shop space immediately to the left of the entrance.