The Daily Bike, July 11, 2011

The idea is bloody genius. Public bike workstations aren’t completely uncommon, but stations that are attended by a vending machine

The idea is bloody genius. Public bike workstations aren’t completely uncommon, but stations that are attended by a vending machine filled with bike parts, tubes, patch kits, energy bars, and drinks? There’s only one.

The Bike Fixtation is located at the Uptown Transit Station in Minneapolis, a major hub for transport and local to a rails to trails greenway that runs through the heart of the city. It’s the brainchild of Chad DeBaker and a friend, who developed the idea more than a year ago and installed and launched it barely a month ago.

“There’s a lot of people that have the need for emergency bike repairs but nobody’s filling that niche,” DeBaker said.

Since it opened, the vending machine has had hundreds of sales. “We’ve coupled bike parts with snacks and drinks and stuff like that. A big portion of our inventory is dedicated to tubes. There’s a lot of different sizes out there…but we also have patch kits, some lights, sunscreen, and then we have a multitool. We’re always playing around with inventory, but we’re seeing sales of pretty much everything.”

DeBaker has been flooded with calls from all over the country since word of Bike Fixtation got out, and it makes sense, not just for municipalities but schools and parks, especially when you learn the price: about $7,700. In a high traffic area, it’ll pay for itself in a year.

Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal.
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Showing 12 comments
  • Craig Rowe

    Genius is right. Perfect for here in Vegas. I need to make a call.


    Holy crap, that’s fantastic! I love that there are areas that have enough bike traffic to warrant such a station being viable. Great going, Chad. I wish you massive success.

  • nick

    only one? there has been one of these in madison for awhile now.

  • Ryan Surface

    While not quite as full service as the one featured my LBS – Aaron’s Bicycle repair in West Seattle has a vending machine of tubes, patches etc out front when they are closed. scroll to the second picture (Feb 2005) for a shot of the vending machine

  • Chris Smith

    That’s an awesome idea. I wish there were some of those nearby me.

  • Erick

    This is great. I need to put a couple of these on the local river trails here in SoCal.

  • Niteye

    What a truly brilliant idea. We’d certainly like to see some more of these , particularly in the UK. The times I have been out riding and been caught short by a snapped cable or a puncture. I do hope these machines don’t get vandalised and that the idea becomes a cost effective reality the world over.

  • Tyler

    Wow I would love to see these in my area. So brilliant, I can’t understand why they don’t exist everywhere. It makes so much sense. I really hope they don’t get vandalized too and that they are eventually in every major city.

  • Domenica Cresap

    Brilliant! This needs to be in every city! Inspiring!

  • Rivers

    Awesome. I live just north of there and I didn’t know this existed. I don’t see myself having a use for it since I work at a bike shop, but I will definitely go check it out!

    Go Minneapolis!

  • Jesse

    Wow, that is a great thing having vending machines sell bike parts. Phoenix and every city with people who ride regularly definitely need one of these. I find myself with a flat always while I’m on the go and when getting to a bike shop isn’t an option at the moment. This is a great article too very informative.

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