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.


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.

Working on wheels under Tim’s helpful tutelage.


Making adjustments at the trueing stand.


Tim helps Olivia make the necessary adjustments.

Getting greasy! And repacking this wheel’s hub.

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

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

Olivia_Time family
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.

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

Types of cable housing.

Dave going over sidepull brakes.

…more on sidepull brakes…

Sidepull brakes on different cycles…

Justin and Jack get into cantilever brakes.

Ian works on a set of cantilever brakes with Justin.

Ben…hydraulic disc brakes!

Explaining disc brakes for myself, Ian & Jack.

Close up on Ben’s disc brakes.

Matt hones in on v-brakes.

Matt and Ian talk v-brakes.

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

Molly repacks a hub.


Justin addresses the class.


Around & About the Co-op…

One of our fine mechanics, Gil, working with Rachel on her newest project. Rachel came in and picked up an as-is bike…
…and is turning it into a sweet ride!
Doug and Justin stop by to check out Rachel’s handiwork.

Quick n' Dirty Week 8 – Bike Fit

Most people view bike fitting as a scientific discipline, especially those who treat cycling as a sport. Why don’t you view the following images of several bike fitting professionals in action and then decide for yourself.
Do you want this bike fitting professional to massage your shoulders while you’re getting your bike fit?

We’ll, if you’re paying $175 and you’re already riding on a trainer without a shirt on, why not? It’s included in the package, right?
Maybe this is standard procedure. It appears that this second bike fitting professional is tickling the knee of this male cyclist, sporting the always classy, bibs only look.

“Knee, tell me which way I should move his saddle.”
And yes, ladies, bike fitting is for you too. You can pay these two gentleman $100 to inspect your buttocks and say things like “from the way you’re moving your pelvis, it’s clear that we need to go the custom route.”

Enough fun. Here’s the handout – QnD_Fit. There is some truth to Bontrager’s 3 basic measurements and KOPS, but the best way to figure out what fits you is to ride a lot on many different bikes.

Quick n' Dirty Week 7 – Brakes

Disassembled Side Pull BrakeIt’s brakes, not breaks! Every cyclist should now how to adjust brakes because in most cases, YOU NEED them to finish a ride. I once witnessed Bike Co-op founder, Rafael, use a piece of bark in place of his brake pad when it mysteriously disappeared mid-ride. A lesser mechanic would have called it a day and walked back down the trail. Instead, Rafael rode that piece of bark all the way down Hewlett’s Gulch. The point of this story is that you should learn to work on your brakes! They won’t stay properly adjusted forever.
During class, we introduced the most common brake styles and discussed common brake issues with wear and adjustment. We also discussed some of the fundamentals of cable routing. Check out the handout – QnD_Brakes.

Quick n' Dirty Ed – Week 4 Wheel Work

Week 4 focused on wheel work. Working on wheels is one of the more difficult tasks mechanics face at the Bike Co-op. There’s a lot that can be done to fix a damaged wheel, but it’s just as important to know when to call it quits. Make sure to read the troubleshooting page! It has a lot of advice from Tim on how to prioritize wheel work to avoid working on wheel that has a fatal flaw.
Check out the handout! QnD_Wheels

Quick n' Dirty Bike Ed – Week 3 Hubs

Five strong cyclists braved the first and only rainy day of 2012 to attend the third installment of the Quick n’ Dirty Education Series. We discussed the pertinent details that every Co-op volunteer should know about hubs. Here’s the handout – QnD_Hubs. For those who didn’t attend, I hope you have high-quality, sealed-cartridge hubs so you can roll on trouble-free until the next time we cover this subject. Next week, we’re going to cover wheel truing, spoke replacement surgery, and minor rim repairs. See you there.