Chicago cyclists don’t have to load the bike into the back of the car to transport it to a repair shop. Joe Ebervein founded the mobile repair shop ON THE FLY BICYCLE REPAIR about seven years ago, and he services clients’ bikes at their homes from his truck, fully loaded with tools and replacement parts. TURIN BICYCLE (Evanston) does customized bike fitting and has a full service department, offering a standard tune-up for $80, a deluxe tune-up for $110, or a complete overhaul for $200. THE PONY SHOP, also in Evanston, has a comparable full-service repair department. Logan Square’s BOULEVARD BIKES has a devoted following among the Critical Mass set, with avid cyclists complimenting the approachable staff, reasonably priced repairs and tune-ups, and a bike wash for city dwellers who do not have access to a hose. The Woodlawn nonprofit BLACKSTONE BICYCLE WORKS offers a full range of services, from basic tune-ups to overhauls, and all of the proceeds are funneled back into the project, which teaches local youths how to repair bikes and run a small business.
YOJIMBO’S GARAGE has street cred in spades. The owner, Marcus Moore, co-founded the XXX amateur bike team, the largest in Chicagoland. The Lincoln Park shop mostly sells track and road bikes but can repair any kind. UPTOWN BIKES repairs and rebuilds bikes using new and used parts; services range from fixed flats to complete tune-ups. The main service department at GET A GRIP CYCLES is at the Irving Park location, but the store takes fitting appointments at its Fulton Street outpost. JOHNNY SPROCKETS, in Lake View and Edgewater, offers a free, no-obligation estimate on repairs. Although PERFORMANCE BICYCLE (Chicago, Northbrook, Schaumburg, and Naperville) is a chain, the many locations stock a large number of parts for DIY repairs, and each has its own repair shop. Experts also recommend Wicker Park’s QUICK RELEASE BIKE SHOP, RRBCYCLES (Kenilworth), and AMLINGS’ CYCLE & FITNESS (Niles) for their excellent customer service.
Customers from as far away as Europe and Saudi Arabia have their vintage cars shipped to COOPER TECHNICA on Goose Island for restoration. David Cooper, the owner, who does much of the work himself and has been in the business for 20 years, specializes in European sports cars from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Cooper restores vintage parts when possible and has an in-house shop to build restoration parts by hand if necessary. He is currently working on a 1937 Delage and a 1948 Delahaye (both French cars), two Alfa Romeos from the 1940s, and a 1937 Packard. “I’ve focused the business on cars that are valuable enough to justify the restoration work, so they tend to be rare, valuable, important, and interesting,” he says.
Impassioned Volkswagen lovers can bring their old buses, bugs, and other models to VINTAGE WORKS AUTO BODY (Marengo), where the owner, Tony Kasper, says he has anywhere from five to 13 Volkswagens at the shop at any given time, from the 1950s up to modern styles. DREW’S GARAGE (Schaumburg) can service and perform light restoration on classic cars such as Austin Healeys, Fiats, Porsches, Oldsmobiles, and, believe it or not, DeLoreans—but, sorry, no flux capacitors.
MOTORCYCLES AND SCOOTERS
Air-cooled BMW motorcycles are the specialty at ACE MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER, which can also repair any vintage European brands, including Triumph, Norton, BSA, and Moto Guzzi. The West Loop shop also repairs vintage and modern gas-powered scooters, including Vespa and Lambretta. If an older bike needs a specialty tool or part that the shop does not stock, Ace is affiliated with a tool-and-dye shop to have those pieces fabricated for the job. In Pilsen, MOTOWORKS CHICAGO repairs and restores BMW motorcycles and vintage and classic scooters, particularly Vespa scooters and Japanese brands such as Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki. In Irving Park, ALL BRAND MOTOR WORKS fixes modern Japanese, German, and American bikes, including Harley-Davidsons.
“When I was younger, we would fix a deck by taping it up or gluing it. A lot of kids do that until it falls apart,” says Steve Negovan, who works in the skate shop at Belmont Army in Lake View. “But the deck is wood, and a combination of the elements and banging it against things means a split deck becomes a hazard.” The other components can be replaced to extend the life of the board. BELMONT ARMY sells sets of wheels and two bearings that range from about $27 to $35. BUCKTOWN’S UPRISE has a devoted local following. FA SKATES AND SNOWBOARDS (Mount Prospect) recently moved from Arlington Heights. Skaters often donate their used parts to the shop. “If a kid doesn’t have any money, he can throw one on from the donation box, because we want them to keep skating,” says the assistant manager, Justin Chatroop. L’MYREO’S SKATE SHOP in Edison Park and WINDWARD SPORTS in Lake View also offer repair components. At all of these shops, customers can purchase the components and do the repairs themselves—and the staff will help for free.
Illustration: Charles Wilkin