A quick update

Summer is in full swing and the Mobile Repair stand is going strong. This past week, we hauled our MRS 5 miles to work on bikes at the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire.

First-time hauler Derek grinds up a hill coming out of Gallup Park. 


John explains Common Cycle to a visitor

There were a lot of really creative folks out displaying some crazy contraptions and tons of families out enjoying all the activities. A very fun time, and we’ll definitely be back next year.

We’ll have the MRS out at the Mayor’s Green Fair this Friday, and back at the Artisans Market on Sunday.

In other news, Common Cycle’s been in the news!  We were featured on Sharable and on Concentrate. It’s great to see the hard work and good spirit of our volunteers being recognized!

Flat tire repair kits now at the Ann Arbor District Library

Through a partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library, Common Cycle now offers flat tire repair kits at all five library locations.
Have a flat tire? Just need a little air? Stop by any of the five library locations and ask any public service desk. The kits have everything you need to get back on the road, including a pump, patches and glue, and a fabulous illustrated guide to fixing a bike tire (page 1 & page 2) by the talented Sally Carson. So fix those tires and go for a ride!

Flat tire kits

Bike Sale at Huron High and announcing Bike Labs!

Do you have a bicycle you’d like to get rid of? You can help the Ann Arbor Huron High School Band go to France by contributing your old bicycles to their used bike sale! Bikes can be donated or dropped off for sale or consignment for a 30% donation.

Drop off used bikes on Monday April 29 3-5pm, Monday May 6 5-7pm or Wednesday May 8 12-2 at the Huron High School Music Department (east side of the school, 2727 Fuller Rd).

Shop the sale Saturday May 11! For more details, visit the band trip website.

We’re also excited to announce a new Common Cycle Bike Labs! A Bike Lab is a community space with bicycle tools, out of which a series workshops where young folks can learn, teach and share their bike fixing skills. We’re piloting the program at the University Townhouse Co-op this year. Read more about it here!


Dinner and Bikes!

Common Cycle is hosting the Ann Arbor edition of Dinner and Bikes!  Join us for a traveling road show of yummy food and bicycle inspiration and a celebration of local and national bike culture at 6pm on May 7th at Morgan & York.  Seating is limited, so reserve your spot by purchasing tickets here.

Come enjoy a gourmet vegan and gluten-free buffet by chef Joshua Ploeg, while participating in an interactive presentation about the everyday bicycling movement by author Elly Blue and watching a near-complete excerpt from film-maker Joe Biel’s forthcoming documentary Aftermass, a history of bicycle activism in Portland. The tour is traveling with a food- and bicycle-themed pop-up bookstore, and authors will be available to chat and sign books after the event.

The Ann Arbor edition of Dinner and Bikes is hosted by Common Cycle, with generous support from Morgan & York, the People’s Food Co-op, The Lunch Room, and Silvio’s Organic Pizzeria. Thank you, sponsors!

About the crew:

Joshua Ploeg is the the traveling vegan chef. When not touring the world, he is a personal chef and delighter of secret cafe goers in Los Angeles. His adventure cookbook In Search of the Lost Taste is a smash hit, as is his controversial raw food cookbook, So Raw It’s Downright Filthy.

Joe Biel is the author of brand new book Beyond the Music. He founded Microcosm Publishing in his bedroom closet 17 years ago and now publishes nonfiction books, zines, and movies through Microcosm and Cantankerous Titles. In his “spare time” he makes documentaries on empowering topics from punk to bicycling. On this tour, he’ll be showing selections from Aftermass, a feature documentary about bicycle activism in Portland.

Elly Blue is the author of the newly released Everyday Bicycling: How to Ride a Bicycle for Transportation (Whatever your Lifestyle). She is the founder of Taking the Lane, a publisher of empowering books about unique aspects of cycling. Her writing has appeared in Grist, Bitch, BikePortland, Momentum, and the Portland Mercury, and her own blog. Her second book, Bikenomics, will come out in early 2014.

Aaron Cynic is an independent journalist and activist from Chicago. He writes regularly for Chicagoist and the Diatribe Media collective. His work has also appeared on Shareable, Truthout, Z Magazine and in numerous other publications and zines. When he isn’t documenting Dinner and Bikes through blogging, audio, video, and photos, he’ll be driving the van, managing our traveling bookstore, and smiling a lot.

Learn more about the Dinner and Bikes tour at http://dinnerandbikes.com/.  Check out the facebook page here.

Spring Maintenance and Repair Course

Registration for the course is closed. See you in the spring!

We’re pleased to announce that we’re offering another maintenance and repair course this spring!  There will be 6 sessions from 3/28/13 – 5/2/13 on Thursday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Outdoor Adventures (336 Hill St.). The syllabus is available here. No prior experience is required.

Each session will be taught by one or two Common Cycle volunteers, will include demos and hands-on work. Because of the nature of working under time constraints, participants will not be working on their own bikes during the course. Instead, we’ll have several demo bikes available for the class that no one has to ride home 🙂

Registration is limited to 12 participants. If you wish to register, please email ben@commoncycle.org. We are asking registrants for a $25 donation (can be made online and includes the price of a CC T-shirt at the end of the course) or a written statement about why you would like to enroll and a commitment to volunteer at the Mobile Repair Stand 2 times over the summer. Preference will be given to those who can attend every session.

Session Dates:

3/28/13: Maintenance Basics

4/04/13: Derailleurs and Shifters

4/11/13: Brakes

4/18/13: Headsets, Stems and Handlebars

4/25/13: Wheels

5/2/13: Bottom Brackets, Cranks and Pedals


Show your cranks and thanks at Cranksgiving

Cranksgiving is a food drive by bike benefiting Food Gatherers of Washtenaw County. The event will be held 11/17 from 12 p.m.-2p.m. at Zingerman’s Roadhouse. Riders will be given a shopping list and a map to local grocers. Participants are allowed as many runs as they want within the 2 hours. When you’re finished you can weigh in and see who hauled the most. Prizes and support provided by Two Wheel Tango, SIC Transit, Great Lakes Cycle and Fitness, Common Cycle and Zingerman’s Roadhouse. Bring a bike, yourself, a bag, and a lock!

Common Cycle Fall Bike Maintenance Course

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!

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

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!