Common Cycle Fall Bike Maintenance Course

October 12th, 2012

This fall we’ll be teaching a bike repair and maintenance course hosted by our friends at Outdoor Adventure. You’ll get to know you bike from rear drop-outs to fork! Courses will run from 7p.m. – 9p.m. at the Outdoor Adventures rental space (336 Hill) and be taught by knowledgable CC volunteers and mechanics from local shops! There will be 6 sessions which will run from October 25th – December 6th, with a break for Thanksgiving.

Registration is now full. We will likely be offering another course in the spring, so stay tuned!


Week 1 (10/25/12): Get to know your bike

  • General bike maintenance
  • Oil a chain
  • Adjust seats
  • Talk about bike fit
  • Fix a flat

Week 2 (11/01/12): Derailleurs

  • How to adjust a drivetrain
    • cable tension
    • limit screws
    • derailleur position (front)
    • how to diagnose shifting problems
  • Shifters
    • Briefly cover different types of shifters and how they work

Week 3 (11/08/12): Brakes

  • Discuss pros and cons of different types of brakes
  • How to adjust calipers
  • How to adjust vbrakes and cantis
  • How to adjust disk brakes
  • How to recable properly (brakes and shifters)
    • different types of housing
    • sensible routings

Week 4 (11/15/12): Headset, Stem, Bars

  • Headset anatomy (first set of bearing in the class)
  • Overhaul threadless headset
  • Overhaul threaded headset
  • Discuss quill and threadless stem
    • I want my handlebars higher/lower and I have a quill/threadless stem. What are my options
  • Handlebars
    • Common diameters and shifter/lever compatibility

Week 5 (11/29/12): Wheels

  • Anatomy of wheel
  • Spoke tension
  • Differences between front and rear wheel
  • Lacing patterns
  • Dish, Round, True
  • freewheel vs cassette
  • Wheel and tire sizes (ISO diameters!)
  • Overhaul hub
  • How to true a wheel

Week 6 (12/6/12): BBs, Cranks, Pedals

  • Overhaul BB
  • External cup/internal cup BBs
    • pros/cons of square taper vs 2 piece cranks
  • Proper crank puller usage
  • How to install chainrings
  • How to install pedals
    • clipless/cages/platforms/straps/whatever


Fixit Stands!

September 20th, 2012

Fixing your bike is cool and so are shared resources! Common Cycle was part of a recently awarded Planet Blue Student Initiative Fund to install a Fixit stand and two Cyclehoop outdoor bike pumps. The Fixit Stand will be at the Central Campus Transit Center and a pump will be on Central and North campuses.

Read more about Fixit stands here and more about the pumps here.

Once they’re installed, Common Cycle will bring our Mobile Repair Stand out to the Central Campus Transit Center and teach folks how to use all these awesome new tools!

Calendar of Events

June 9th, 2012

Normally, we have our google calendar synced up with this site, but something’s gone wrong for now. Until we fix it:

6/8/2012 Green Fair at Main St (6p.m. – 9p.m.)

6/9/2012 Mission Zero Fest at the 700 block of Fountain St.

6/10/2012 Mobile Repair Stand at the Kerrytown Artisans Market

6/16/2012 Mobile Repair Stand with pot & box and friends

6/17/2012 Mobile Repair Stand at the Kerrytown Artisans Market

7/01/2012 Mobile Repair Stand at the Kerrytown Artisans Market

See you at the stand!

The Cutest Saturday

May 5th, 2012

This morning Common Cycle was thrilled to join Jonny Lennon and B3 Bike Repair for a morning of fixing bikes with kids!

Families showed up with bikes that needed work and  bikes to donate, and we taught bike repair basics to visitors of all ages. It was an amazing way to spend Saturday morning – Jon said we helped fix and distribute over 100 kids bikes!

We weren’t the only group helping out either – Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Sic Transit Cycles, Bike Ypsi, Safe Kids Huron Valley, and Word of God Community all provided support! The tremendous showing from the  Ann Arbor community made this event incredibly fun!

We took some pictures for everyone to enjoy!

Common Cycle Loves You!

February 13th, 2012

We Looooooooove You!

Here at Common Cycle we’re all about fostering bike love. If you received a spoke card valentine today, it’s our way of saying that we love that you’re riding your bike all year round and we’d love  to get to know you.

We provide free access to tools, education and other resources to make biking in Ann Arbor great. So, read about what we do, like us on Facebook or sign up for our Google group.

If you ever need help with your bike, we’ll be there – either at Outdoor Adventures this winter or at the Artisan market in the summer.

If you love working on bikes or you’ve always wanted to learn, come volunteer and we’ll share our knowledge and learn from you!

We hope to meet you soon!

All Hands Meeting 01/25/12!

January 25th, 2012

OA workshops have been back in action for a few weeks now and tonight we’re getting together at our usual time to discuss plans for Common Cycle’s upcoming project. Please join us at 7p.m. at the Outdoor Adventures Building!

OA workshops on hold for the holidays

December 14th, 2011

Our regular workshops at OA will be suspended through the holiday season and begin again in early January. Save up some energy and enthusiasm over the break so we can get to work restoring bikes in the new year!

Common Cycle needs your votes!

December 12th, 2011

Common Cycle is meeting this week with the AADL to develop our plan to place a fleet of restored bikes at the library for patrons to check out.

This past week we submitted an Idea to the GOOD 100 Challenge, which could provide $1000 to use as we restore the bikes this winter. The money would go towards cables, housing, brake pads, cassettes; anything we couldn’t scavenge from other bikes as our volunteers get the bikes into safe riding condition for the library.

The grant is awarded to the idea with the most votes. If you support this idea and know other who will, please vote for us and help us get the word out! Voting closes this Thursday, the 15th. Thanks for your support and your help!

Vote here!

We’re now accepting donations!

November 16th, 2011

Common Cycle is now accepting bicycle donations to restore over the winter at our OA workshops. These bikes will be given a new life as commuters around Ann Arbor, either sold as a CC fundraiser or used in a pilot bike sharing program! They’ll also be great  project for novice mechanics who wish to hone their skills in the off-season. Donations will be handled through the Jackson Rd location of Two Wheel Tango; please call them  at 734.769.8401 if you are interested in donating a bike. Thanks to Jimmy and Dennis at TWT for their support!

Inaugural Tweed Ride!

November 8th, 2011

Join us for Ann Arbor’s first tweed ride! We’ll be meeting this Friday, Novermber 11th at 6:00 p.m. the northeast  corner of Kerrytown Farmers Market and riding to Wolverone Brewing Company (@ 2019 W. Stadium). The idea is simple: Wax your mustaches, sew some elbow patches,  don your favorite tweed and corduroy, and hop on your sharpest looking bike! We’ll cruise around, enjoy the crisp fall air and socialize at Wolverine Brew Pub.

Most of all, don’t let your wardrobe stop you from having a good time! See you all there!

Want to read about similar events? Here are some links to sites we liked: