Bike Fixtation: The Bike Repair Vending Machine That Sells Parts, Tools, And Snacks

Say goodbye to bike shops. Minneapolis's Bike Fixtation will sell you the parts you need to get your bike back on the road, and give you the tools to make your repairs right there.

Bike Fixtation

It's happened to every biker. A flat tire in an inconvenient place on your commute, and the nearest bike shop is a long walk away. Most casual bikers don't carry extra tubes or tools with them; and so any repair work on the road can mean an end to a bike ride, and potentially leaving your bike locked up somewhere slowly rusting as you forget about it in your frustration. That's why the idea of the Bike Fixtation is so brilliant: a place for you to buy new parts and then install them yourself.

The Fixtation is really just a vending machine, but with bike parts instead of snacks (though there are some snacks in case you're getting hungry on your ride). What makes it most convenient is the bike mount and tools—attached with aircraft cables to prevent theft—alongside the vending machine. You can replace that flat or adjust your brakes yourself without dealing with the characters who usually are employed at bike shops. Of course, you may not know how to replace a popped tube yourself; now is certainly the time to learn, so you can take full advantage of the Fixtation when it moves into your city.

Sadly, right now, only one Fixtation exists in the world, and it's in the bike-friendly Minneapolis (though a second one is also in the works in the city, and Times Up! operates one in—where else—Brooklyn). You can contact Fixtation to buy a unit, but until the company expands more broadly, bikers everywhere else will have to wait jealously for the company to take off enough to expand and give them their own Fixtations.

[Hat tip: Autoblog]

[Image: Bike Fixtation]

Morgan Clendaniel can be reached by email or on Twitter.

Read More: A Working Version Of A DIY Bike Lane, Projected From Your Sweet Ride

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10 Comments

  • Luis Gonzalez

    All the negative comments below are a sad commentary on who we are. The spirit of this design is to help people in emergency situations. Let's just nit-pick it to death.

  • Michael Brown

    Unfortunately, this thing is likely to cause even more frustration to the already daunted cyclist due to the tools not being secured via rotational connectors.

    Is it just me, or does anyone else here (who makes home and car repairs themselves) see the inherent flaw in trying to use a screwdriver that has been tethered down the way these have without a way of getting off more than two or three full revolutions before having to let it rebound from the recoil of the cable, then repeat?

  • Ken Peters

    Bike shops are part of the cycling experience, why does this article seem to disparage them? That would be a stunningly flawed approach for the Bike Fixtation brand to take, and I hope they aren't approaching it in that way. Far better and more effective ways to brand and market this product. Also, why the Coca-Cola red and white vending machine look? Cons outweigh the pros of trying to look like somebody else's vending machine.

    There is an idea somewhere in this concept, but it hasn't been realized yet.

  • Joshua Putnam

    For many consumers, bike shops really are a very negative part of the cycling experience. It's unfortunately common for shop staff to be dominated by young male racers who openly disdain practical, lower-cost bikes and components, who treat women and older men as second-class riders.

    That's certainly not true of all bike shops or all shop mechanics, but it's a common consumer complaint that's been written up in consumer publications and cycling trade journals repeatedly for decades.

    Bike shop owners would be well-served to have middle-age women mystery shoppers come in for a basic flat tire and rubbing brake, and record how those women are treated when there's a more interesting customer in the shop at the same time. It can be a real eye-opener.

  • Mike Sullivan

    "...without dealing with the characters who usually are employed at bike shops."

    Why the opprobrium? At least they provide a valid service, unlike, say, an unconscious hyper of illusory trends.  The only way this scheme earns a dime is if you carpet a three-block radius with tacks and glass shards and make the little window out of bulletproof glass.

    And "bike-friendly Minneapolis"?  Well, cyclists say there's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

  • Stuart Bogue

    It seems a nice idea,but pretty farfetched to think it would replace bike shops(which the author seems to indicate would be a good thing).A good bike shop offers much more than emergency repairs and are a valuable resource for a great many cyclists.Like the owners of this machine,they have every need and intention of getting paid for the services they provide

  • John Eric Holloway

    While the vending machine and bike stand are great, this idea has two flaws. 

    One is that those tools probably won't be around for long. Even "aircraft cable" is easily cut with a typical bicycle cable cutter, the thief's tool of choice because it's so easy to conceal. Second is expecting to have these fixtations around to depend on. How many would you need and at what intervals? Unless you get a flat within easy walking distance of one, you're still out of luck. Rather than depending on someone else's tools being there for you, you're much better off carrying your own multi-tool, mini-pump, tire levers and a tube, all stowed in a handy container and carried with you. Sure it's a hassle to deal with a flat, but having your own tools and being able to fix it yourself is empowering. 

  • John Herndon

    A "biker" is a dude on a Harley roaming around the country in search thrills and spills.  A "cyclist" is a person who rides a bicycle.  Next time, talk to a cyclist when writing about bicycles.

    John
    Roadie

  • Sanyu Nagenda

    Burning Man could definitely use one of these in the Deep Playa! Naturally it would have to be free of charge though, as BM runs on a gifting economy.