We are here to help you learn how to fix your own bike! Our bike mechanics run DIY workshop sessions supported by volunteers where we help you fix/accessorise/build your bike and answer your questions. However big or small your bike-related issues, get yourself down to our DIY workshop. Everyone is welcome, no experience are necessary (just a bit of time and an open mind)!
Things to Know Before You Come
What is different during Covid-19?
1/ Booking is essential. Please book a work stand slot here. We will have one empty stand which will be available for drop ins throughout the afternoon, and also for overspill if some jobs take longer than expected. Please don’t rely on there being an empty drop in stand free to use.
2/ We’re outside! (in our amazing new outdoor workshop space designed and built with the help of volunteers), to minimise risk of transmission. Stay warm! Drink tea! Please only go inside in the following situations, and let the session leader know you’re going in:
- To use the toilet
- To put bag away/get bags at end
3/ We’re wearing masks – please keep these on. If you need to eat or drink or take a mask break please move away from the workshop space before removing your mask.
4/ We’re social distancing – Please maintain distance from others in the outdoor workshop space as much as you can. If a situation requires that you get closer than 1 meter from another person, please check with them in the first instance if they are comfortable with that – they may prefer to move aside to create more space for you. Let’s all bear in mind and respect that everybody has different needs and risk thresholds, and build trust with each other as we work.
5/ We’re in the middle of a mental health crisis. After being locked down and only seeing people in very small groups for so long coming back to community spaces will be a big shift for some or all of us. Let’s look after each other. If you feel anxious or overwhelmed please do what you need to do to feel better, and ask for support. Let the session leader know.
This is another thing that we have changed during Covid. Everyone must pre-book and everyone has a specific time slot. The session leader will manage the check-ins. This might be frustrating at times – we have to do this to manage the Covid risk – so please bear with us!
Some jobs take longer than expected, so it’s best if you allow enough time to do the fix you know about, and possibly some fixes you don’t. To ensure we can help you repair your bike during the workshop hours, we don’t start any new jobs during the last hour of the open workshop. This is important because unfortunately we don’t have extra space to store any bikes overnight.
*If you have covid symptoms/have been in contact with someone with covid symptoms, please do not come to the workshop. Please stay at home.*
During busy sessions the workshop is filled with tools, parts, bikes, and people. We aim to create a safe and inclusive space for everyone so before you head over we ask you to take a look at our safer spaces policy.
Some of the essential points:
- Wear shoes that protect your feet;
- No unaccompanied children;
- Ask a volunteer if you don’t know how to use a tool;
- Ask a mechanic to double check your bike for safety before riding away.
When you come to use the workshop, we ask you to support Broken Spoke’s sustainability with a contribution between £25 and £5 per session (extra donations are always welcome!). Your contribution helps us provide you with guidance from our highly skilled mechanics and volunteers, pay the rent for our central Oxford workshop and generally keep the show on the road. In addition to workshop time your contribution includes the use of lubes, cleaners, gloves, rags, an apron, and access to bike repair literature.
We also have a fully stocked tea and coffee selection and a jar of biscuits available for when your blood sugar level drops or your patience runs out.
We’ve got a fully stocked bike repair tool kit (so you don’t have to fork out for a tool you’ll only use twice). Our tools are made by respected trade manufacturers such as Park Tool, Unior and Pedros (and sometimes by us). We also have lubes and cleaners, we use Green Oil ecological stuff as much as possible.
New bike parts
We keep a stock of new bike parts – the bits that wear out regularly that you might need to replace. We only stock good quality kit that will last. Our new stock includes (but is not limited to):
- Chains: 1-10 speed – KMC
- Chainsets: hybrid – Shimano
- Cassettes: 7-10 speed
- Bottom brackets: Square taper and external bearing
- Brake blocks: caliper, v-brake, cantilever – Jagwire
- Brake and gear cables: stainless steel – Jagwire
- Inner tubes and tyres – Schwalbe
- Wheels: double-walled rims, freewheel/cassette – Various brands
Used bike parts
We also have a massive stock of used parts from handlebars to headsets and everything in-between including vintage stuff, forks, frames and wheels. These parts often enable us to help you fix problems which would otherwise be irreparable (and they are generally much cheaper too).
If you have been to a drop-in session we welcome your feedback. We’ll read it and take it on board, we really will!