Best Place to Restore Your Own Bike

Critics' Picks

West Town Bikes

2459 W. Division

West Town Bikes, which calls itself a “community bicycle learning workshop,” offers classes and workshops for adults, many of them free, along with youth programs like a bike club where kids can pimp their own rides. One of the most useful programs is open shop, Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons, where you can use the shop’s tools to maintain your own bike. Volunteers are on hand to help the clueless, and while things will go much faster if you already have some idea what you’re doing, it’s entirely possible to complete a project without any previous experience. These are, in my experience, attended almost exclusively by guys; if that freaks you out, every other Wednesday evening there’s also an open shop for women and trans people only, with female mechanics. West Town Bike’s newish retail shop, Ciclo Urbano, stocks parts so you can buy replacements as you’re working, a convenience that the previous location on North Avenue didn’t offer. Open shop is free, but donations are encouraged.