More Bike Repair courses!

We’re running hands-on bike repair courses for beginner and intermediate learners! To see the full course descriptions or to register, visit the Bike Edmonton courses page

Bike Repair 101: Hands-on intro to Bike Maintenance

Friday, May 31, 6:30-9:30pm at the South Community Workshop. In this hands-on workshop, our most popular class, you will gain confidence and save money by doing simple repairs yourself as well as preventing expensive parts from wearing out. Bring your bicycle so you can learn techniques specific to your components, or you can work on one of Bike Edmonton’s bikes. This is a great place to start if you have little or no experience working on bikes. Registration required.

Bike Repair 201: Derailleurs and Shifting

Friday, June 7, 6:30-9:30pm at the South Workshop. Do you struggle with getting into the right gear or with a chain that falls off? This course will get you started on how to diagnose the problem, find the right replacement parts, and tune your derailleurs for easy shifting. Bring your own bike to treat it to a shifting tune-up and a new set of cables and housing, or work on one of Bike Edmonton’s bikes.

This is an intermediate course. You don't need to be an expert with tools to get the most from this class, but you should have enough experience to know how to use common bike tools. Registration required.



Casino volunteers needed May 29-30

Please help us by volunteering at our upcoming casino event! You do not need any experience or knowledge of casinos or games to volunteer at Bike Edmonton's casino event. By volunteering at this event, your 6-8 hour shift is equivalent to a $2200 donation to Bike Edmonton, or about $315/hr, and meals and snacks are also provided to volunteers.

Bike Edmonton uses licensed charitable casino events to raise funds for our activities. About once every 20 months, we staff a casino with volunteers for 2 days and raise about $75,000.

We need about 18 volunteers to take 2 shifts, or more if people only take 1 shift. To sign up, please click here. If you have any questions, please email us at info@bikeedmonton.ca

This year our casino dates are Wednesday, May 29, 2019 and Thursday, May 30, 2019, and there are shifts available in the daytime or afternoon/evening. We are at the Starlight Casino at West Edmonton Mall (8882 170 St NW). We have professional advisors to provide training and guidance in every aspect of the event. Training will happen at the start of your shift (the tasks are all straightforward).

Hands-on Repair and Maintenance Courses

Register for Bike Edmonton’s introductory and intermediate, hands-on Bike Repair courses to learn more about your bike! Please visit our website, the courses page to find all the details including course locations and prices. Please note that courses can fill up quickly.

Bike Repair 101: Hands-on intro to Bike Maintenance -May 17, 2019 - registration required

In this hands-on workshop, our most popular class, you will gain confidence and save money by doing simple repairs yourself as well as preventing expensive parts from wearing out. Bring your bicycle so you can learn techniques specific to your components, or you can work on one of Bike Edmonton's bikes. This is a great place to start if you have little or no experience working on bikes. You don’t have to have experience with tools to sign up. We’ll cover:

  • drivetrain cleaning and lubrication,

  • flat tire repair,

  • basic brake and gearing adjustments, and

  • how to spot small problems before they become big problems.

Bike Repair 201: Headsets and Bottom Brackets - May 17, 2019 - registration required

Well maintained headsets and bottom brackets make for a safe, efficient bike ride. Whether you're preparing for a winter of riding or tuning up your bike so it's ready to go in the spring, this course offers some essential training. Learning how to maintain these essential bearing mechanisms is a perfect launching point to more advanced bicycle mechanics. Discover the simple elegance of bearings, whether in a cartridge, cage, or rolling free. Bring your bike to learn about your own components and see how it ticks, or work on one in the shop. Please note that this class will cover common cup and cone. 

Prerequisite: You don't need much mechanical experience to take Bike Edmonton's 200 level classes, but if you haven't worked on bikes before, we recommend that you take our Bike Repair 101: Hands-On Intro to Bike Maintenance class first to learn basics like removing wheels and tires.

Bike Repair 101 and 201 courses

Bike Edmonton has 2 bike repair courses scheduled at our South Community shop. Registration is required.

Bike Repair 101: Hands on intro to Bike Maintenance

Friday, March 29, 2019 6:30pm-9:30pm. $30 plus tax. In this hands-on workshop, our most popular class, you will gain confidence and save money by doing simple repairs yourself as well as preventing expensive parts from wearing out. Bring your bicycle so you can learn techniques specific to your components, or you can work on one of Bike Edmonton’s bikes. This is a great place to start if you have little or no experience working on bikes, and will cover: drivetrain cleaning and lubrication, flat tire repair, basic brake and gearing adjustments, and how to spot small problems before they become big problems.

Bike Repair 201: Wheels and Hubs

Friday, April 5, 2019, 6:30pm-9:30pm. $35 plus tax. The hub of the bicycle wheel is the heart of the bicycle. You'll learn to recognize problems, learn preventative maintenance/adjustments, and discover the simple elegance of cups, cones, and bearings. You'll get hands on experience with intermediate hub overhaul, cassette and freewheel removal and installation. This is an intermediate course. You should have enough experience to know how to remove the wheel from the bike. We recommend you take Bike Repair 101 beforehand, though it's not necessary to get the most out of this workshop.

For more details or to register, please visit http://yeg.bike

Take a tour of the newly renovated Bike Edmonton North Community Workshop

Thank to tremendous efforts from our volunteers, donations from MEC, and project leadership by longtime Bike Edmonton champion Alex Hindle, we have renovated our north workshop. Have you visited yet? Click on the image below to take a virtual tour of the shop!

We’ve expanded our indoor storage capacity from about 20 bicycles to over 100, even while creating more secure space for merchandise and a more open workspace for repairs, as part of ongoing sustainability initiatives to increase revenues.

Even with all the contributions of supporters, however, these renovations represent a significant financial investment for us. As a supporter of the work we do, please consider donating to support our work.

We budgeted $10,000 for these renovations, and are asking for your support to ensure it is a success. The vast majority of our spending has been planned to be resilient against future changes and needs: assets that can be easily moved and re-used in any space, protecting the future value of our investments if we were to relocate at any point in the future.

Even a one-time donation of $10 goes a long way for an organization such as ours. If just half of our membership donated $10, we would meet our fundraising goals.

Click here to donate today.

Cold weather cycling trivia

There’s a lot of good information available about how to cycle in the winter, from what to wear to what and how to ride. In large part, the best advice boils down to: dress for being active and outdoors using the clothes that you already own, and tweak things as you go along, and consider winter tires or studded tires, which provide extra security. Ride a bit more slowly and cautiously, and enjoy the fresh air, boundless sunlight, and sparkling landscapes.

We run seminars and workshops at the start of every winter on winter cycling and making do-it-yourself studded tires for as little as $5.

The City of Edmonton has a webpage full of info on winter cycling, and offers their own free presentations at various events throughout the year (including winter).

If you’re new to winter cycling, or newly considering it, check out to those links first! The information in the rest of this post is mostly technical trivia: tidbits of information that are interesting to think about for tinkerers, but not especially important to know just to enjoy your experience with cycling in winter.

Temperature and Tire Pressure

People often ask: “As the temperature drops, will my tire pressure drop?”

Short answer: not enough to worry about.

Longer answer: yes, but it’s almost certainly insignificant. For every 10°C that the air temperature drops, you lose 3.41% of your starting pressure at 20°C (regardless of the actual value of your starting pressure or your tire’s nominal volume).

e.g. If you start at 100psi at 20°C, then you'll be at 96.6psi at 10°C, 93.2psi at 0°C, 89.8psi at -10°C, and 86.4psi at -20°C. And you'll have 103.4psi at +30°C.

So if you inflate your tires at 20°C and then go for a ride at -20°C, you'll lose 13.64% of your room temperature pressure.

If your tire was inflated to 55psi, that would mean it drops down to 48psi. If you’re riding a fat bike and you had inflated to 10psi indoors, at -20°C, it would drop to 8.6psi.

For most of us, even this 40° change in temperature isn’t very significant. That is: if you don’t want to care about it, you don’t need to. If you do want to care, you now have the math to care very precisely!

Note that the rubber of a tire can also harden at cold temperatures. Winter tires are more forgiving here, thanks to being a softer rubber compound, but all tires will become more stiff and won’t roll as well in extreme cold.

Grease

Does grease get thicker in the cold?

It sure does. Temperature sensitivity depends on your particular lubricant, however. Some fare better than others. We haven’t conducted extensive testing ourselves, so don’t have specific recommendations, though many greases will have published technical data sheets that specify their temperature range.

We tested a standard bike grease (no temperature specs were available) at -26°C and found it became more viscous, but was still malleable. We also tested a high-performance grease (rated for -29°C to +293°C), and it was stiff as cold taffy, despite still being within its specified temperature range.

What does this mean for me and my bike?

It means that things may get sluggish and unresponsive, and pedaling might take a bit more work. However, changing out the grease in your hubs and other components is a significant amount of work (and, for some components, not feasible at all), and we don’t currently have any particular suggestion of an ideal grease, so basically: just accept it. Or run a test of several greases yourself and let us know your results, and we’ll update this page.

Many people will experience sluggish or unresponsive shifting at the temperatures we’ve been seeing recently (both with external derailleurs and with internally-geared hubs), and freewheels and freehubs that stop engaging and instead freely spin while you’re trying to pedal forward (i.e. cranks turn, but the wheel doesn’t, similar to backpedalling). This is due to pawls in the ratcheting mechanism becoming frozen, and not springing back to engage. A simple trick: lift the rear end of the bike off the ground a few inches and then bounce it down on the back wheel. This can often shock the pawls back into action so you can keep riding a bit farther.

A reality check, though: in the past 10 years, Edmonton saw an average of fewer than 2 days a year where we reached -30°C, and then it was usually only for a couple hours in the very early morning before warming up during the day. Recognizing that during the coldest month of the year (January), the average daily high is -4°C, you really don’t need to focus your life or transportation around one or two days of the entire year.

For those times when it gets really cold, embrace it and enjoy the fact that you’re burning a lot more calories, or you can just take the bus or drive until it warms up again in a few days. Both are perfectly reasonable options.

Locks

Some times locks can become finicky in the cold. We have dry powdered graphite lubricant at both of our workshops that you can come and use. If there’s a lot of corrosion, you can try adding in a few drops of a liquid lubricant such as Triflow as well (which we also have at our workshops), which will help move the graphite deeper into the lock and get things really moving well again, and prevent further freeze-ups, even in the coldest weather. Beware of using too much, however, as it will mean that every time you pull your key out it will have a coating of graphite and Triflow and can stain your clothes!

Hunger

Make sure your mug fits snugly enough that it can’t bounce out if you hit a bump!

Make sure your mug fits snugly enough that it can’t bounce out if you hit a bump!

If you’re still riding, with stiff tires and stiff grease and several layers of clothes, you may find your biggest problem is indeed the number of calories that you’re burning.

We recommend a bar of good dark chocolate to replenish your energy, or your favourite high-energy snack. And a handlebar-mounted insulated, sealed travel mug with a hot beverage is a wonderful thing if you find yourself thirsty on your ride.

Almost every Friday morning from 7-9am you can get your mug filled up at Coffee Outside at Ezio Faraone Park, and spend a few minutes with other cyclists.

A lovely way to start the day, especially in the middle of winter!

Message from the Board of Directors

Greetings from the 2019 Bike Edmonton Board of Directors. We are excited to announce an almost-full complement of individuals on the board this year committed to supporting the cycling community, within the broader context of community development. In pursuit of growing Bike Edmonton, the Board has set a number of key strategic goals to increase our revenues, build our volunteer capacity, expand our outreach programming, and increase our communication with our members and the broader public. We would like to hear your feedback and your ideas and encourage your response to periodic surveys on how we might achieve our strategic goals.

In addition to our other goals we are also developing a logic model to evaluate our current mix of programming. We anticipate this will help us make improvements to the services we currently offer and perhaps identify ideas for new programming. It would be great if we could develop more programming to support youth, students, and other target groups and partnerships with community organizations.

If you are interested in supporting Bike Edmonton there are different opportunities to get involved: through volunteering with the Board or its committees, in our community bike workshops, attached to some of our programming or many projects, or by providing your feedback and input. In addition, if you’d like to support us financially or sponsor a program, please contact us.


Winter Cycling Seminar this Sunday, January 27, 2019!

We’ve changed the date for our winter cycling seminar! Join us at the Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse this coming Sunday, January 27, 2019, from 1 pm to 4 pm for our winter cycling seminar.

Whether you are new to cycling in winter or an experienced snow rider, come & join in on this workshop to learn how to keep riding your bike through the winter in comfort, safety, style and fun. Learn about the many clothing options you have, riding techniques, gear, maintenance techniques and accessories that will keep you rubber side down. Whether you chill easily or overheat, whether you want to ride far or just to the market, you’re sure to get some advice that works with your lifestyle.

Registration is $15 + GST. For more information and to register, visit https://apps.bikeedmonton.ca/ Register early to secure your spot! Please note that cancellations require 1 week notice for a full refund. Cancellations after that are non-refundable. Please email info@bikeedmonton.ca for further information.

January 2019 Bike Repair 101 and 201 courses

You can register for one or both of our upcoming bike repair courses, Bike Repair 101: Hands on intro to Bike Maintenance or Bike Repair 201: Derailleurs and Shifting at apps.bikeedmonton.ca . The Bike Repair 101 course is Friday, January 11, 2019 at 6:30pm. You don't need any mechanical knowledge to attend. You'll learn to fix a flat, maintain your chain, tune your brakes and shifters, and spot problems before they can ruin your day. The Bike Repair 101 course cost is $30 plus tax. The Bike Repair 201: Derailleurs and Shifting course is on the following Friday, January 18, 2019 at 6:30pm. This intermediate course will get you started on how to diagnose shifting problems, find the right replacement parts, and tune your derailleurs for easy shifting. You don't need to be an expert with tools to get the most from this class, but you should have enough experience to know how to use common bike tools. We recommend you take Bike Repair 101 beforehand, though it's not necessary to get the most out of this workshop. Bike Repair 201 costs $35 plus tax and receive new shifter cables and housing. Bringing your bike to the courses is ideal, but if you can’t, the instructor will try to find a bike for you to work on that is similar to your bike. For more information, email us at info@bikeedmonton.ca

Bike course gift ideas for your wishlist or for your bike friends!

Still looking for gift ideas? Treat yourself or someone you like to a mid winter bike course or workshop! Please visit the Bike Edmonton courses page to register or read more about the upcoming Bike Repair 101, 201 courses, the Studding Tires for Winter Cycling workshop and the Winter Cycling Seminar. If those don’t tickle your fancy, stay tuned for our upcoming UpCycle Bike Jewelry workshop where you can make jewelry from used bike parts. The UpCycle Bike Jewelry workshop will be held in the first 2 weeks of February, just in time to DIY your own Valentine’s gift. Courses and workshops cost between $20 and $35 plus tax. Special rates for Bike Edmonton members. Participants can also buy a reduced price membership or membership renewal.

2018 Annual General Meeting

The Bike Edmonton Annual General Meeting (AGM) is Sunday, October 14, 2018, from 1-3pm at the Downtown Edmonton Community League (10042 103 St NW).

Everyone is welcome to attend. Our Board of Directors and executive director will present the annual report and membership will vote on our annual budget. We will also be having elections to fill several positions on the Board of Directors.

If you are interested in helping to set the direction of our growing organization, or know someone that can lead us towards a better city for cycling and walking, please visit our nominations page. Candidates can also be nominated from the floor at the AGM. Directors will be elected by our membership at the AGM.

Bike Edmonton Launch Party and Fundraiser

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On Saturday, we will be changing our name, and we want to thank you for supporting us as we continue our work. Join us to celebrate nearly 40 years of our work promoting cycling & supporting all the people who want to be able to bike safely and comfortably in Edmonton. Our name is changing to reflect the broader mandate that we've been pursuing for many years already, but our programs, services, and focus remain the same: removing barriers to cycling and pushing for a better, healthier, safer, happier city for everyone.

We'll also be raising funds to pay for some important upgrades to BikeWorks North, which has been operating for nearly 8 years now. We've identified some major improvements to better the experience for patrons and help us get more people riding.

The party begins with a leisurely group ride, departing from BikeWorks South (8001 102 St) at 5pm. You can also just meet us at Dirtbag Cafe (10505 107 St) downtown from 6-11pm, directly on the 105 Ave bike lane.

Rock Jungle Boulders is generously donating the space, as well as providing discounted $7 bouldering (includes shoe rental, if needed) until 8pm.

We have two casks coming in from Town Square and Situation Brewing, representing the best bike-able brewery locations YEG has to offer!

• DIY screen printing: we're not selling shirts, but bring your own fabric and we'll help you screen print our new logo on it! • DIY button making • Bike-part jewelry making • Silly games on bicycles • Live music by Robert Clinton and Paul Bellows • Yoga stretches for cyclists led by Peter Macfarlane of The SATTVA School of Yoga

This event isn't ticketed, but donations to fund important upgrades and improvements to BikeWorks North are encouraged. We'll be changing the layout to be friendlier and easier to navigate, as well as addressing some safety, comfort, and security concerns. We'll also be constructing a bike hanger, similar to one which already exists at BikeWorks South, which will quadruple the storage space we have for bicycles. This is critical to improving revenues at the shop, and will help us better serve people who are looking for bikes to start riding.

Some bike routes to the Bike Edmonton Launch party and fundraiser this Saturday, Sept 8, 2018.

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Here are seven bike routes you can follow to come to Dirtbag Cafe this Saturday for Bike Edmonton's Launch and fundraiser. We thought that this is the best way for us to say, "you're invited!" If you want a guided ride to Bike Edmonton Launch party and fundraiser, meet at 5pm at BikeWorks South. Our ride marshals will take you on an easy paced journey to the party if you don't regularly ride or haven't been part of a group ride before, or enjoy a slow ride with company, this is a great opportunity. All you need is a working bike. Our ride marshals will lead you, making sure we stick together as we enjoy the journey. During the ride we'll use some of Edmonton's most exciting cycling infrastructure. The route might include parts of the following maps. We hope you find a pleasant and beautiful path to the party! Click on each ride title to open map.

Ride Like A Commuter from BikeWorks South to Dirtbag Cafe and Rock Jungle Boulders, 10505 107 St NW.

Ride from the South side through Mill Creek Ravine, starting at the velodrome and taking the funicular. Note that you take a hard right coming off of the Low Level Bridge as the path that directly goes to the lower elevator is not on Google maps, yet.

Riding from the North side along the river valley trails, with funicular! Ride is from Gold Bar Park to Dirtbag Cafe and Rock Jungle Boulders, 10505 107 St NW.

From the East, staring at the Commonwealth Stadium, enjoy commuter trials and avoid downtown construction all the way to Dirtbag Cafe and Rock Jungle Boulders, 10505 107 St NW. Make sure you turn RIGHT after crossing the living bridge, go down the hill, then turn LEFT towards Boyle Street. Signs will guide you how to get through the area once you’re approaching MacEwan Station. (It's straightforward, but not straight.)

From the West, starting in Westmount, bike lanes all the way, wherever possible, right up to Dirtbag Cafe and Rock Jungle Boulders, 10505 107 St NW.

Oliverbahn: From West of 149 st, you’ll take bike lanes and quiet streets all the way to Dirtbag Cafe and Rock Jungle Boulders, 10505 107 St NW. Please note that the map has an unneeded loop. You don’t have to ride the little loop shown at the 142st bridge. Just cross that bridge.

Bike Repair 201 Derailleurs and Shifting this Friday, September 7, 2018

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Bike Repair 201 Derailleurs and Shifting course is this Friday, September 7, 2018 at 6:30pm. This intermediate course will get you started on how to diagnose shifting problems, find the right replacement parts, and tune your derailleurs for easy shifting. You don't need to be an expert with tools to get the most from this class, but you should have enough experience to know how to use common bike tools. We recommend you take Bike Repair 101 beforehand, though it's not necessary to get the most out of this workshop. Bike Repair 201 costs $35 plus tax and receive new shifter cables and housing. Register at edmontonbikes.ca > services > courses. For more information, email us at info@edmontonbikes.ca

Bike Repair courses coming up soon

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You can register for one or both of our upcoming bike repair courses, Bike Repair 101: Hands on intro to Bike Maintenance or Bike Repair 201: Derailleurs and Shifting at edmontonbikes.ca/services/calendar/. The Bike Repair 101 course is this Friday, August 31, 2018 at 6:30pm. You don't need any mechanical knowledge to attend. You'll learn to fix a flat, maintain your chain, tune your brakes and shifters, and spot problems before they can ruin your day. Bike Repair 101 course cost is $30 plus tax. The Bike Repair 201 course is on the following Friday, September 7, 2018 at 6:30pm. This intermediate course will get you started on how to diagnose shifting problems, find the right replacement parts, and tune your derailleurs for easy shifting. You don't need to be an expert with tools to get the most from this class, but you should have enough experience to know how to use common bike tools. We recommend you take Bike Repair 101 beforehand, though it's not necessary to get the most out of this workshop. Bike Repair 201 costs $35 plus tax and receive new shifter cables and housing. For more information, email us at info@edmontonbikes.ca

Isaak Kornelsen Memorial Ride and Parklet

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On Friday, August 24, 2018, join us at 5:30pm on the South side of Edmonton City Hall (Sir Winston Churchill Square) for a memorial ride in honour of Isaak Kornelsen. The ride will proceed slowly and in legal order to the Memorial Parklet for Isaak Kornelsen at 10151 82 Ave. This ride is both a celebration and remembrance of Isaak’s life, as well as a demonstration in support of dedicated, safe cycling infrastructure. The destination memorial will take the form of a parklet, a small urban park set up temporarily in two metered parking spaces. The parklet will be a one day public space on Whyte Ave in honour of Isaak Kornelsen.

Isaak’s life was tragically cut short on August 27, 2012, at the age of 21 while cycling on Whyte Avenue. Isaak was a Strathcona High School valedictorian, University of Alberta Philosophy student, and runner for both the Golden Bears and Edmonton Thunder. But most importantly, he was a sincere and loving individual who brightened the lives of everyone he met.

The parklet is designed to symbolize various aspects of Isaak's life, and the ideals he upheld. By portraying these ideals we aim to inspire people to think more deeply about the world they live in, and to leave with a renewed yearning to discover and experience what the world has to offer.

Creating a one-day parklet installation on Whyte Avenue will not solve unsafe cycling conditions on Edmonton's busy streets; however, it can raise awareness for the need to better balance all modes of transportation in Edmonton.

Adjustment to shop rates

BikeWorks shop fees haven't changed for many years (at least 15 that we can remember): $2/hr for members, and $5/hr for non-members. That fee provides you access to our repair stands, our tools, and help from our volunteer mechanics, as well as basic maintenance consumables like chain lube and cleaners. As of August 1, 2018, we will be increasing our shop fees. The new fees will be $3/hr for members, or $8/hr for non-members.

Membership fees remain the same: $15 for low-income/student, $20 for regular memberships, and $40 for household memberships, with discounts for multi-year memberships. If you purchase a membership at the shop, your shop fees that day are included (i.e. you don't pay the hourly fee on the same day you purchase a membership).

Our focus remains on maintaining accessibility and ensuring that people of any means can equitably access our services, while ensuring the sustainability and future of the organization.

Heritage Days volunteers needed next weekend

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Please help EBC! We are still short volunteers next weekend for monitoring bike parking at Heritage Festival in Hawrelak Park. Sign up here to volunteer.

Help thousands of cyclists! No experience necessary!

Your job will be to monitor locked bikes at one of the EBC bike compounds.

This festival has been one of our most effective outreach and fundraising events in the past, with tens of thousands of people arriving on bicycles over the course of the weekend. We receive a large amount of donations at the festival, which helps run our programs.

Volunteers get to relax, enjoy the festival, and sample some of the amazing food offerings (patrons often donate food tickets to our volunteers!).