Fan Mail!!

We love getting fan mail at the Fort Collins Bike Co-op!! This letter arrived recently from one of our fans at a local junior high school. We hope its author continues to be inspired by bikes and bicycling in her community.
Thank you letter

Building our community, one bike at a time…

At the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, we work on building community through bicycling. As we continue to fulfill our mission, we often meet opportunities to work on special and important projects.
Meet Olivia. This pint-sized dynamo came into the co-op to request our assistance with a school project: to learn how to build a bicycle.

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We paired her up with veteran velonteer and mechanic extraordinaire Dr. Tim Anderson and over the course of several weeks, Olivia built a bike with us.

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Working on wheels under Tim’s helpful tutelage.

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Making adjustments at the trueing stand.

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Tim helps Olivia make the necessary adjustments.

 
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Getting greasy! And repacking this wheel’s hub.

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Olivia discusses bike safety with Rick after finishing her bike build.

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Done!! Tim and Olivia show off the finished bicycle.

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Olivia with her family, her new bike and Tim at the co-op.

The All About Brakes Mechanics' Class

This past Thursday we learned all about brakes in mechanics’ class! After Ben led a stellar lecture we got a detailed analysis of sidepull brakes with Dave, cantilever brakes with Justin, v-brakes with Matt and disc brakes with Ben. Then we all got to hone our skills working on shop bikes.

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Ben starts off class with a great lecture on brake systems.

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Types of cable housing.

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Dave going over sidepull brakes.

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…more on sidepull brakes…

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Sidepull brakes on different cycles…

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Justin and Jack get into cantilever brakes.

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Ian works on a set of cantilever brakes with Justin.

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Ben…hydraulic disc brakes!

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Explaining disc brakes for myself, Ian & Jack.

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Close up on Ben’s disc brakes.

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Matt hones in on v-brakes.

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Matt and Ian talk v-brakes.

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At the end of class we get a chance to work on bikes. Here Derek and Ian explore brakes further.

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Molly repacks a hub.

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Wwwhhhhhheeeeeeeeellll!!

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Justin addresses the class.

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Winter Mechanics' Class!

We’re about halfway through winter mechanics’ class at the co-op and having a blast! Check it out:

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The class on wheels commences!

 

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Hub explanations to an attentive class

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Justin & Kalie work through how to check tubes.

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Wheel sizing with Dave & students.

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Ben talks wheels!

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How to true with Matt.

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Trueing away!

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Students working away at the trueing stand.

 

BIKE SALE!!

The Fort Collins Bike Co-op will now be open on Mondays beginning January 20, 2014 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm and we are having a sale to celebrate! Save 15% off of all retail bikes on January 20, 2014.
Mechanic services will also be discounted by 50%: instead of $10 per hour to work with one of our experts you’ll pay just $5 an hour this Monday, January 20th!
We are thrilled to be expanding our service times and availability for our customers. Come on in and celebrate Monday Open Shop hours with us!!

Biking through the winter

Cycling through the winter can seem daunting! Northern Colorado brings more than its fair share of  icy roads, blizzards, blowing snow, freezing rain and more. Add to this that the sun goes down by 5pm every day and it’s easy to see how a lot of cyclists find it simpler to garage their bikes than brave the winter riding.
Riding in winter can be so much fun, though, and in Fort Collins I’ve found that often the bike paths are plowed before the roads are! Cycling in Northern Colorado can also be perfectly safe . . . as long as the proper precautions are taken.
Cycling safety in the winter is fairly common-sense: use front and rear lights (at least!) to ensure maximum visibility. Wear light colored and/or reflective clothing. Keep a sharp eye out for traffic and try to use bike paths as much as possible.
Running your tires at lower pressure can increase traction (but don’t go below the recommended minimum)! Maintain your bike after every ride to keep brake and shifting systems functioning smoothly, and make sure to dry and lube your chain after wet rides.
Safety is only part of the equation: staying warm and comfortable is important too, especially in maintaining safety. Our friends over at REI, who kindly helped sponsor our 10th Anniversary Party with a generous donation of cycling accessories, have a vast offering of comfortable, warming underclothes, pants, fleeces, sweaters, jackets, hats, gloves and specialty items, like balaclavas and scarves and neck gaiters, to help keep your ride as comfortable as possible.
Cycling throughout the winter can be fun and adventurous. As long as the proper precautions are taken, you can cycle all year round.

Thanks Simon and Justin for an ingenious idea for recycling old tubes!

Check out our new bungee cords! Made of recycled innertubes and spokes volunteer Simon and shop manager Justin were hard at work crafting these awesome creations on Friday during Open Shop. Only $1 apiece, entirely recycled materials, and highly functional (all of us who are using them now think so). The author of this post likes them a lot better than commercially packaged products.
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Good times at Interbike

Our Shop Manager Justin had a grand time at Interbike over the last few days. A couple of pictures he kindly sent back…
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Yeah autographed SRAM gear!
 
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Justin looking awfully happy with the autographer, Mr. Tom Boonen (we hear they’re on a first name basis now).
 
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With Nelson Vails! Awesome!