About that Bike Area…

We have a bike nook, we have lots of members who ride bikes, but we don’t yet have a properly set up area for bicycle works in the space. I’d like to propose we make it.

What’s missing from the current setup, you ask?

To start, we need an appropriately sized workbench to lay gear down on. We also need appropriate and sufficient hand tools to do basic mechanic work, ideally organised in a way that’s easy to put back and see if something is missing. Of course there’s also the issue of a risk assessment (cue groans of delight) because people do in fact lose fingers and gain dermatitis in weird and unexpected ways working on bikes, which ties into things like antifatigue/antislip matts and suitable mechanics gloves (nitrile sans accelerators). Basic ancillary parts like cables, tubes, and bearings could also be provided but require storage and upkeep, with the possibility of an online shop benefitting the Space if demand requires it. A supply of bike-safe antiseize and grease would be good, and would prevent taking Metals stuff away from their area.

We have knowledgeable members who are willing to give the area structure and continuity: I’ve organised some bike related events and am constantly working on my bikes in the space. @charlesmein did great work reorganising the bike stuff into its existing shape, @EdwardE has helped out with bike events, and @Louis_Parker is new but keen to get involved, and I expect there are others, not including the several professional bike mechanics among our ranks.

@directors I’ve possibly asked previously but what are the steps for a Bike Area to be created, with techs and all?


What I’d like us to have is a sturdy workbench with a small vice mounted to it, with a pegboard/silhouette board against the wall housing basic hand tools, a stool or other chair with rollers, a vertical storage bin for small parts, an anti fatigue mat, grease and degreaser, boxes of gloves and rags, brushes and a bucket to catch drips, and a waste bin. Additionally @Louis_Parker has offered to lend a wheel truing stand so we can put the one we have back in the museum we took it from.

We also have a parts washer waiting for its time to shine. @scythian - will you be keeping it for/in Metal, or do you not have the space?

A bit of an aside but the other night looking for cleaning spray found some kind of cleaner or lubricant in an incorrectly marked bottle.

It’s really important that we never put chemicals in containers that are incorrectly labeled as it could cause an accident.

Perhaps adding proper products and containers in a suitable store would be an idea.

3D printing is the same. IPA (fuel) not in a flame store (air) next to the printers (heat source).


I’d be happy to have it, but the only place we have left is under electric boxes. There was a hope to fit it somewhere in the snug…

This gets my vote, having stuff like a small stash of inner tubes, a box each of shifter and brake cables and housing and some decent tools would enable us to do 95% of jobs on bikes and shouldn’t be hard to set up and maintain

Edit: also keen to become a bike tech, both in the current unofficial chalk board designation and if it becomes and official thing

Edit: When we added Ceramics it went like this:

  • Figure out what you need in terms of Space (m2)
  • Figure out what you need in terms of budget to get the area going
  • Bring all this to a Members’ meeting to discuss / vote


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What’s in the space the old lathe used to be in? Struggling to picture it now.

Old lathe used to be by the current bike zone… red square…

There is currently nothing allocated by the front door - not sure that is a good spot for bike area or not - you guys tell us…

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Good shout y’all!

@EdwardE thanks for offering, welcome to the prestigious bike tech team :partying_face:

I think the current location of all the tools etc works quite well. We just need some form of bench and better storage as @hernehillier says. That bench could quite easily go by the wall next to the exposure unit. Or a table on wheels always gets my vote for a nice flexible work area!

Next to the front door would also work brilliantly @asander1 especially with bikes coming in and out.

Both locations are good options. Just need to pick one and fully finish setting up now!

I did start a tools page for the bike zone, with a list of tools and what else we need to acquire to have a small stock of parts and spares. But since then thanks to donations and list of tools and lubes has grown significantly!

Basically to summarise lets do a bike night ASAP, get some beers and bikes on the go and fully make a plan and action it!


Definitely up for a bike night. I think in terms of more space a folding table could be good, means we can be out of the way when not in use but deploy a work top to put parts/tools on when we’re working. As for a sturdy workbench + vice, I’m not sure how often we’d need that and then if we’re not using it very often could we not just use the metal area for that kind of job when it comes up? Just trying to avoid unnecessary duplication of equipment.

Also, on the parts front I dropped off a few tubes the other night, I swear they’ve been breeding in my cupboards (how did I end up with 6 spare 26" tubes? I only have one 26" bike???)

I’d strongly suggest the area by the door over the current area. Reasons:

  • Closer to the door so less dirt and water being brought into the space by bikes (and deposited along the red fire route in A1).
  • Not having to be in the way of a fire route or in another area’s immediate work space. Current nook partially blocks the fire door or slightly encroaches on screen printing.
  • Would make hosting bike repair nights easier, as workspace be located in main room.

Having worked in the industry for many years, I think a vice in the bike area would be preferable. We’d want to avoid the need to go to Metal, because that’s how tools get misplaced, and a small vice doesn’t take up much space or add much weight.

FWIW, I use my vice/anvil at least once a fortnight on various projects, from disassembling stubborn hubs to knocking out stubborn bearings without destroying my worktop surface.

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Good point with the vice.

I like the look of the spot by the door, I think the “for sale” old lathe is there atm but that’s temporary.

That would technically put bikes (often not clean) in the “clean room” but provided we limit chain cleaning to an outdoor activity that should be absolutely fine.

The old lathe will be gone soon… so that’s not an issue,

But there may be other proposed uses for that Space, so best if you guys can add to the next Members meeting to discuss…