Chicago Bike Repairs
We service all makes and models, new or old. Road, track, mountain, cross, hybrid, comfort, tandem, cruiser, 3-speed, and coaster brake bikes. BMX and kids bikes too.
We service what others won't.
Flats to overhauls - and everything in between. All component adjustments and repairs. Parts and accessories installations. Free Estimates
Professional repairs across the board. And we understand that money is tight, so we always try to repair existing components or systems and will only recommend parts replacement when necessary for your safety or the long term health of your bike. When your repair is done, we'll give it a test ride then give you a call. No appointment necessary.
Save $5 on any bike repair over $35
Offer not valid with other service discounts
Samples of the repairs we offer:Bike Tune-up / Overhaul
Brake & Gear adjust or repair
Hubs and Headset (fork) adjust or overhaul
Crank (bottom bracket) adjust / overhaul
Wheel building and truing (straightening)
Frame and fork straightening
And much more...
We carry a full line of parts for most bicycles. Everything from bearings and cables to brakes, gears. headsets and bottom brackets, etc.
We have parts for new bikes and older bikes including older european bikes which most shops no longer work on. Classic names such as Peugeot, Mercier, Gitane, Bianchi, etc.
We also carry a variety of tires and tubes from 10" to 28" and all sizes inbetween priced from $15.00 and up.
Frequently asked questions from our viewers
Department Store BikesWhat is the difference between a bicycle shop bike and a department store bike?
Once you roll your new, poorly adjusted, non-warranted bike home, then the real expense begins. The first stop will come when you have to take the bike to the local bike shop to have it adjusted properly.
The local shop will not do this for free as they do with the bicycle you buy from them.
The next expense will come steadily as you bend and break the various components on the bike. This is not a prediction, it is a guarantee. Bicycle shops repair department store bikes 10-1 over quality bikes.
The parts are made cheaply and of sub-par materials so they can attract the first time buyer with a low price.
Please note; Some department stores are now offering slightly better quality bicycles but it's still 'buyer beware'.
If you want a bicycle, go to a bike shop. That says it all. Department store bikes have one advantage over bike shop quality bikes... price. You can get a bike for less than $150. That's where the advantage ends. If your objective is to save money, then a bicycle shop bike is still cheaper in the long run.
Helmet Age and SafetyMy friends say I should replace my trusty 10 year old helmet. Why?
Old, yes. Trusty, NO! You should replace your helmet every 5 years or so because the shock absorbtion materials can degrade over time. By now your helmet probably has the absorbtion factor of 3 slices of lunch meat. Besides, the new ones are lighter, cooler and fit much better.Which helmets are the safest? Helmets made for U.S. sale after March 10, 1999 must meet the US Consumer Product Safety Commission standard, so look inside the helmet for a CPSC sticker and for the Snell's B-95 and/or N-94 sticker. Proper fit is also an important safety issue. Also consider replacing your helmet every 5 years or so because the shock absorbtion materials can degrade over time. And remember, the safest helmet is the one you wear EVERY TIME YOU RIDE. Murphy's Law wise, the one time you don't wear it, could be the one time you need it the most.
LightsWhy do I need lights in Chicago? I can see just fine using the street lights.
First of all, it's the law. You are required to have a headlight and a rear reflector (we recommend a flashing rear light). Secondly, although you can see where you're going on most streets, not all the drivers can see you.Flashing lights demand attention. so you'll be seen. And since most cycling lights now use LED's, you won't have to spend part of your life savings replacing batteries all the time. In fact, a lot of lights can now be recharged using a USB port on your computer.
GearsI have like a gazillion speeds on my bike. Why do I need so many?
The more speeds your bike has, the easier it is to ride over different kinds of terrain. More speeds also mean easier transitions between speeds when you shift gears allowing you to maintain a comfortable pedaling rate and pressure without having to 'catch up' as much after each shift. More Info
Quick Release WheelsI'm not sure I'm using the quick release on my wheels properly. Can you help?
That's a pretty common question and one that needs to be fully answered and demonstrated for safety reasons. We recommend that you bring your bike in so we can show you exactly how to work your quick release wheels and/or seatpost properly.
WD40Can I use WD40 to lubricate my bike?
No, nein, nyet, nope, no way Jose. Get my drift? WD40 is NOT a lubricant, it's a solvent, and it can loosen frozen nuts and bolts. It can also stop squeaks, but then so can butter. For external surfaces such as chains, pivot points on gears and brakes, and for cables, etc. use a good machine oil, a lightweight motor oil or one of the synthetic lubricants.
Tire PressureHow often should I check the air pressure in my tires?
If you ride your bike regularly, you should check your air pressure once a week. If you only ride once in a while, you should check it before each ride because tires can lose air just sitting around.
Oiling Your ChainHow much oil should I put on my chain?
As little as possible. Too much oil causes a buildup of oil and dirt on your chain which can cause excessive wear on the chain and other parts of the drivetrain. You should be able to see the chain links clearly and they should leave just a little bit of oil on your fingers when you touch them. If your fingers come away all blackened and/or with a thick greasy 'paste' on them, it's time to clean your chain. More Info
Chain lubricationHow often should I check the air pressure in my tires?
Talk to 10 people and you'll get 5 or more different answers. As a rule, a good quality 'machine' oil is the best. It provides a durable surface coating and it's natural capillary action allows it to penetrate deep inside the chain to the pivot points where it's needed the most.A lightweight motor oil will also work quite well and has good penetrating qualities. Some of the synthetic spray lubricants on the market today are a bit easier to use and also work quite well but make sure they contain some kind of penetrant so they will soak in like natural oil does. And remember, don't over lubricate. A thin coating of lubricant on the outside of the chain is enough to protect the surface and usually indicates that there is enough lubricant inside.
New ChainA friend said I might need a new chain. How do I find out?
Just bring your bike in and we'll check out your chain for you. It's important to replace your chain when it gets worn. If you don't, you can cause excessive wear on the crank chainrings and the teeth on your freewheel (the cluster of gears on your rear wheel). Replacing a chain averages $25 - $40, a new frewheel or cassette, $40 to $60, and chainrings, ouch ... you don't want to know. As you can see, it's more economical to replace a worn chain than the other items plus the chain.
Seat CablesI have a quick release seat and am afraid it will get stolen. What can I do?
You can take the seat with you. That's the safest way, but it's a pain. You can also replace the quick release mechanism with a binder bolt (a nut and bolt) or you can buy a seat cable. Seat cables are permanently fastened to the seat and to the frame to secure your seat and still allow you to raise and lower your seat if you chose.
Fixing a FlatCan you tell me a good way to fix a flat?
We get this question a lot, so we made a special section for it.
Select Tech Center in the Service link on the top of this page for expanded information. More Info
Brake SquealWhen I apply my brakes, they make a loud squealing sound. Help, it's embarassing.
Brake squeal is caused by the brake shoe(s) 'chattering' against the rim as it passes between them. It can be caused by a buildup of foreign material on your rim, a problem which can sometimes be solved by cleaning your rims with rubbing alcohol. It can also be caused by brake shoes which have become solid and shiny on the braking surface which can be treated by sanding down the surface of the shoes to reveal the original rubber surface. If these methods don't solve the problem, bring it to a bike shop. Whatever you do, don't put oil on the rim (yes, people have actually done that).
Wheel AlignmentMy wheels wobble from side to side and hit the brake shoes. What can I do?
If your wheels are out of alignment (true) or in other words move from side to side between the brake shoes and maybe rub against them, take them to your local bike shop. That wobble can be the result of one of several problems but can usually be repaired by adjusting the spokes, but that isn't something you should tackle yourself since it's a relatively complicated procedure.
My Chain Slaps the ChainstayAnnoying, but reparable?
Your freewheel is probably sticking. When you coast, it continues to turn, which causes the chain to sag until there's enough tension to stop it. The large sprocket uses more links, so the chain doesn't sag as far before snapping back. Flush your freewheel with a solvent such as WD40, allow it to dry, then lubricate it with a light oil. Make sure to flush the oil through the freewheel until it comes out the other side to assure that the oil fills the freewheel completely. It becomes more complicated if you have a cassette system and you should take your bike to a bike shop.
Cleaning Your BikeI clean my bike at a car wash. Is there anything I should be careful of?
Don't point the spray hose directly at the hubs, bottom bracket (crank), or headset because you can displace the grease in the bearings. Also, since some seatposts are open on the top, be careful not to spray water up under the seat since it could seep down inside the frame and cause rust.
Cleaning ChromeMy chrome fenders and steel handlebars look like shrines to rust. What can I do?
A common way to clean a rusted chrome surface such as a fender is to use a fine steel wool. However, when you use this method you have to use a lot of elbow grease and you still end up with a slightly dull surface with some amount of scratching not to mention the messy 'dust' left over from the steel wool. That's because you are physically scraping off the rust.When you use the aluminum foil method you are dissolving the rust chemically so you don't need to rub nearly as hard and since the aluminum foil is softer than the chrome, you are left with few if any scratches. This method also allows you to get the rust out of some minor pitting without having to dig into the surface. The aluminum oxide that is created by friction when you rub the surface of the chrome leeches the rust away and when combined with the water you added creates it's own polishing compound so you end up with a clean, smooth, shiny surface. Keep in mind, if the surface is severely pitted or some of the chrome plating has peeled off, there is a limit to how much you can do. with steel wool or with this method. Step by Step 1- Cut the aluminum foil into small squares. 3" by 3" should do. 2- Wipe down or wash the surface to remove any surface dirt. 3- Dip a square into some water or sprinkle some water on it and spread it around on the surface of the foil. 4- Cup the wet square over the surface you want to clean so you get a nice even coverage. 5- Start rubbing a 6 or 8 inch area and remember you don't have to rub very hard. As you rub, you'll feel the surface get smoother and smoother until the foil just glides over it. You will also notice a light brown paste building up. This is the polish that results from the chemical reaction. 6- When the surface is nice and smooth and you have polished it, take a clean cloth and wipe the polish off. 7- Once you finish cleaning and polishing the item you need to cover the surface to protect it from the elements. At a minimum you can wipe it down thoroughly with a clean cloth. Since cloth inherently contains some amount of oil, this will give you at least some protection.