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!

Common Cycle needs your votes!

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!

Bikes are freedom

Last night I was listening in on a conversation about the dangers of cycling with cars and was kindof surprised by the range of opinions that were expressed about cycling safety. Ideas from hyper-defensive riding (assume all cars are trying to hit you), to reasoning with drivers a their windows, to mandatory transponders that inform drivers a squishy human is near, and every possible solution inbetween surfaced as a way to keep cyclists safe. All this got me thinking about scary things that keep people off their bikes (cars, thunderstorms, fear of bears in the woods), and it reminded me of a great article I’d just read about why people ride. Click here to read it.

One thing that really hit home in the article was the diversity of cyclists it discussed (commuters, racers, just-plain-crazies, etc), and how for every flavor of cyclist the bike was a freedom enabler.  Be it geographical exploration, self-expression, or just exercise, bikes let people do what they want, how they want.  Anyway, that’s enough analysis from me.  Check out the article, or go ride your bike!