Quality of life! (shorter hours starting July 1st!)

Here at Comrade Cycles we find ourselves in a unique position. We spent the past 28 months since opening the shop (and many more leading up to it) working long hours and eschewing rest & relaxation in favor of our dream of self-employment within a bicycle shop that empowers its workers through shared equity in the business and empowers its customers to go further on two wheels than they ever imagined. Be it cross country bicycle touring, cross town commuting, or getting on the podium in the Chi Cross Cup, we’ve been here to keep you rolling. In this time we’ve learned quite a bit about what it takes to make this ideal possible and sustainable for ourselves, our customers, and the cycling community. One of the most important things we’ve learned is that you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long. In order to ensure that we maintain the same quality of work and customer service, maintain our passion for bicycles by getting saddle time ourselves, and (most importantly) maintain relationships with our friends and loved ones, we will be cutting back our hours. Beginning tomorrow, July 1st, we will be open the following hours:

10am-8pm Monday
10am-7pm Tuesday through Thursday
10am-6pm Friday and Saturday
11-5 on Sunday

We will also continue to close as necessary for bike races and general quality of life time, though not without sufficient notice to you, our wonderful customers, whom we are eternally grateful towards for allowing us the ability to live a dream of ours. This coming holiday weekend we will be closed Friday and Saturday, the 4th and 5th. Additionally we will be closing the following weekend on Saturday and Sunday, the 12 and 13th, during West Fest on Chicago Ave. Once again, to anyone who this may reach, we thank you for your love and support over the past two years. We certainly would not be here today if it were not for each and every one of you.

Gift ideas this holiday season

Looking for some gift ideas for that cyclist pal in your life? Here are a few philanthropic ideas from your favorite comrades.

For the friend that has everything, consider making a donation in their name to one of Chicago’s many non-profit organizations working to improve cycling in our city. The first three organizations also accept bike donations, so if you have a disused bike that’s taking up space, consider giving a bike in their name as well.

Blackstone Bicycle Works
6100 South Blackstone Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 241-5458

Donate to Blackstone through its parent non-profit The Experimental Station (be sure and specify Blackstone as your donation’s recipient).

Blackstone Bicycle Works is a youth education program of the Experimental Station. In the context of a full-service bike shop dedicated to promoting ecological practices and empowering youth, Blackstone teaches mechanical skills, job skills, and business literacy to boys and girls from the underserved Woodlawn neighborhood and Chicago’s broader south side.


The Recyclery Collective
Sales are held on Saturday mornings from 10am until noon.
7628 N Paulina Street
Chicago, IL 60626
(773) 262-5900

Get your friend a cash donation in their name, or buy them a gift certificate for a series of classes.

The Recyclery Collective seeks to build community through the restoration of donated and discarded bicycles. We share resources and knowledge in order to support an affordable, independent, and sustainable mode of transportation. In this spirit of education and mutual aid, we encourage discussion about how our transportation choices affect the health of our communities and our environment.

westtown

West Town Bikes

2459 W Division Street
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-4870

The over-arching goals of West Town Bikes are to promote bicycling in the city of Chicago, to educate youth with a focus on under-served populations, and to foster and serve Chicago’s growing bicycling community. While maintaining headquarters and a workspace in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood, WTB is a city-wide service provider for youth programs in the city of Chicago.

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Bikes N’ Roses

Bikes N’ Roses is a youth-led non-profit organization in Albany Park that is working to create a happier, healthier community by promoting the use of bicycles instead of cars. We believe biking is good for your health, your wallet, the environment, and that biking can be a primary means of transportation. Bikes and Roses is dedicated to teaching people how biking can benefit them and the whole community of Albany Park.


Active Transportation Alliance

We must give thanks to the Active Transportation Alliance for all the work they’ve done to improve cycling in Chicago and the surrounding area. Why not help them continue their good work with a donation in a friend’s name?

The mission of Active Transportation Alliance is to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, environmental stewardship and resource conservation.

Fall hours start October 1st

Closed Sundays! As of October 1st, we resume fall/winter hours (11-7 weekdays, Saturday 10-6) and will be closed on Sundays until 2014. This will give us Comrades a chance to get out to Cyclocross races, allow us some quality time together outside of the shop, and give us a break from the 60+ hours a week each of us has been toiling in the shop this past season. 2013 has been an amazing year thus far (it’s still 70 degrees outside and we’re busy as ever), and you’ve outpaced our expectations for a bustling summer season. Thanks for your support and, of course, come out and see us race at this year’s Chi Cross Cup.

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Closed Saturday July 13th and Sunday July 14th for West Fest

We will be closed during this year’s West Fest, a street festival which takes place in front of the shop between Damen and Wood on Saturday July 13th and Sunday July 14th. We love a street fest as much as that guy in sandals over there, but swarms of folks makes Chicago Avenue impassable for our regular customers, so we figured we would take the rare opportunity to have a few quality of life days in mid summer.
Huzzah!

New staff and Rusty’s departure

Who says you can't braze while wearing a purple cast?

Who says you can’t braze while wearing a purple cast?

With Rusty moving on to mountain biking country in New Mexico, we’ve added Rosanna to the staff at the shop. Not only is she an accomplished bicycle mechanic with nearly a decade of shop experience, she is also a licensed race mechanic and a studied frame builder. So basically, you want her to work on your bike as soon as possible. She has been a great friend of the Comrades for many a year and we’re excited to have her helping out.

Repair Schedule

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Spring is here and we’re swimming in repairs, but we’ve been able to keep the turnaround time to a minimum. We always have time for a same-day quick repair on simpler jobs to get you back on your bike. On bigger jobs like a tune-up or wheel rebuild, we’re never more than a week away from having your bike back to you. You can also schedule a drop off time if you can’t be without your bike for more than a day. Come by for a free assessment and we’ll figure out what you need and get you scheduled for a time.

As always, airing your tires, lubing your chain, and assessing what repairs your bike needs are free services. If you’re not sure if you need a tune up or not, we’re happy to sort out what you need and go over it with you.

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New products

We’re extremely excited to have picked up Kona Bikes this spring. The Kona line up of bikes is extremely diverse and has opened up quite a few bike options for us where we wanted to be able to offer more. We’re focusing on their commuter friendly and road line and have a size run of Honky Tonks, Paddy Wagons, and Dews with plans to bring in some of their cyclocross bikes closer to fall. And of course, we can special order any of their bikes, so check out their offerings on the Kona website.

Need some fly kicks but can’t stand the thought of not clipping in? Problem solved, comrades. Giro Republic shoes have a walk friendly sole for looking good, and a recessed cleat area for clipping in. We’ve got a size run of these puppies in the shop, and they’re available in black, gray, and white (our three favorite colors). We also have a good stock of Giro road and mud friendly shoes as well, so come by and have a look.

Gilles_Berthoud_Saddle_Cork_M_15e2f04Gilles Berthoud saddles are another addition to the shop. Berthoud saddles are handmade in France and offer the feel and look of a hand made leather saddle with a few added benefits. The hardware on the Berthoud is recessed into the leather and positioned away from the seating area of the saddle — this can be a great option for riders who ride further back on the saddle and have problems with the rivets on other leather saddles. They are also purportedly waterproof, making them a great option for Chicago’s weather. The saddles are expected in early next week. We have also expanded our stock of Brooks saddles and accessories, if you don’t see it in the shop just ask (we don’t have room to display them all!).

Schmidt Son 28 dynamoWe’re amping up our stock of dynamo lighting components. We’re stocking a few different dynamo hubs including the Schmidt SON hub and the Sanyo H27, and can have a SRAM or Shimano hub in stock within a day. We’re also now stocking the Supernova E3 Pro and Busch & Mueller light sets. Maybe you haven’t heard but we’re pretty geeked on dynamo lighting and we think you should be too. They’re definitely worth the investment — they’re as bright as any battery powered option without the chance of the batteries dying or needing to recharge them.

We continue to increase stock of our gravel tires and accessories. Come on by and check out tires from Challenge, Clement, Continental, and others.