How to Provide Bike Shop Services Without Dedicated Space
Some large companies have prioritized cycling and have dedicated on-site bike shops. While that’s amazing for employees who need a bike, a bike repair or help with their commute, most employers simply don’t have the physical space. But, no worries! There are creative ways to offer bike services without having a permanent real estate for it. Here are our favorites.
Good things come in big containers
Shipping containers are the Legos of building material. Then can stack, they can be taken apart, they can be repurposed, and they’re easy to get—there’s always a selection on Craigslist. We’ve long advocated for using a parking space or two (really, that’s all it needs!) for a shipping container bike shop or bike info center.
Shipping containers are also cheap compared to building out a dedicated space—about $4K for a used one (note: they come in different sizes). They can be loaded, transported via a truck, plopped anywhere, and then picked up again and moved if needed.
Our favorite bike shop shipping container is installed in South Africa, Whippet Cycling Co. It has three windows and bike window dressings that just beg passersby to drop in. Bike manufacturer Specialized has a “traveling” container it uses to display bikes and perform bike fits. And Austin has a seriously cool bike tour and rental container, complete with an awning and shop garage doors.
Swap square footage for wheels and an engine
With the help of Bikes Make Life Better, “Gili,” the affectionate name given to Facebook’s bike shop trailer, came into being.