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Bike Fixtation self-service bike repair kiosk opens for business

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July 6, 2011

A new extended-hours, self-service bike kiosk has just been installed in the Uptown Transi...

A new extended-hours, self-service bike kiosk has just been installed in the Uptown Transit Station above the heavily-used Midtown Greenway bicycle route in Minneapolis

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Last year, Bicycling Magazine said that Minneapolis was the number one biking city in the U.S., and the city's Bike Walk Twin Cities program says that four years of bicycle counts throughout the city show a 33 percent increase in the use of two-wheelers by its citizens. Anyone in need of emergency repair while on the heavily-used Midtown Greenway bicycle route can now pop into the Uptown Transit Station and take advantage of a new extended-hours, self-service bike kiosk. Users can pump some free air into tires, use the tethered tools to make repairs, or head for the vending machine to buy basic bike parts.

The brainchild of keen cyclists Chad De Baker and Alex Anderson, the Bike Fixtation kiosk is equipped with a free-to-use universal bike repair stand, bike tools and self-contained tire inflator. The bike stand is said to be of a design that prevents opportunists locking a bike to it, and features a useful set of aircraft cable-tethered bicycle repair tools.

A bike mounted on the Bike Fixtation repair stand awaiting some emergency attention

The installation also benefits from a bike-centric vending machine, where users can use cash or credit card to purchase basic bike parts - such as bike tubes and tire patch kits - and other bike accessories - like lights, water bottles and tools. The kiosk also offers healthy snacks and thirst-quenching beverages.

At the moment there's only one Bike Fixtation in the city, but the company is currently in negotiations to open a second kiosk at the Wedge Community Coop, near the intersection of Franklin and Lyndale Avenues.

We think this is an excellent idea to serve an ever-growing cycling community, and will be watching closely for news of more expansion. It's somewhat reminiscent of Australia's Green Pod structures, that offer secure bicycle parking, showers and lockers for urban cyclists.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
8 Comments

Great idea. Sad but the tools will disappear. Tethers will be cut.

VoiceofReason
6th July, 2011 @ 04:46 pm PDT

Surprised to read that Minneapolis is the no. 1 bicycling city in the US. Never been there but heard it's a city of extreme variations in weather. Wondering also how St Paul rates, or is it considered in the same stats. Credit to these forward-looking bike enthusiasts!

johnniesazzler
6th July, 2011 @ 06:40 pm PDT

Handy - and a good idea, but I prefer to carry a good little all in one tool kit, so that short of a catastrophic failure like a frame breaking, I have all the gear I need to make repairs on the spot.

Patch kit and spare tube.

Chain breaker, specific spanners, hex keys and screwdrivers.

Spares valves, joining links, etc., etc., etc.

Mr Stiffy
6th July, 2011 @ 06:55 pm PDT

Not quite the same thing, but see also www.bikepark.com.au, in Melbourne, Australia.

johnniesazzler
6th July, 2011 @ 09:44 pm PDT

I suppose one way to prevent theft of the tools is to have them fitted with RFID tags. Because they're tethered, they normally can't go far from the central pillar. If someone cuts the cable and moves a certain distance away from the pillar the doors of the kiosk would lock closed. 8-D

With more and more kiosks opening it may eventually be worthwhile having a central supervisor station with video cameras and free telephone communication (a-la the elevators) to solve problems such as replenishing empty dispensers, and check on security.

I also think the system should be designed to accommodate recumbent machinery (particularly trikes), as well as bicycles with electric motors and batteries, which are fairly awkward to lift high. Possibly have a telescopic post to bring the tools down closer to the floor.

But as has been said, carrying one's own toolkit is the best option.

joeblake
7th July, 2011 @ 02:05 am PDT

The Seward Co-op, also in Minneapolis, has tethered bike tools and in two years they haven't been stolen (to my knowledge at any rate). Also, while Uptown has more crime that Seward, that kiosk is just feet away from a busy bus boarding gate--I doubt anyone will make off with the tools. Hopefully that isn't just the optimist in me.

Theft from a kiosk at the Wedge on the other hand, now that I think is more likely.

Addy Free
7th July, 2011 @ 01:47 pm PDT

very nice but in germany (osnabruck) they allready have this for a longer time, with tires only I think, because it's from schwalbe.

Jelmer ten Hoeve
7th July, 2011 @ 11:43 pm PDT

It would be great if all taxi cabs were equipped to carry a bicycle. Having a part failure and having no way to get the bike to a comfortable place to make the repair is a pain in the chops. The blistering Florida heat makes it lousy to do a repair on a side walk.

Jim Sadler
1st May, 2012 @ 12:08 pm PDT
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