Category Archives: Shop

Riding in the Rain: Tips for Staying Warm and Dry

bellwetherRiding all seasons in Seattle can be a challenge. Between the blustery rain, mischievously hidden muddy, potholes, wind storms, and slippery, wet leaves, it becomes a bit more of a challenge to stay enthusiastic about bike commuting. For those of you who are first time all-season commuters, or those who are sick of having an uncomfortably cold and wet commute, this post is for you.

The most essential piece of winter riding wear is, of course, a breathable, waterproof rain jacket. These two things seem like they would be contradictory… However- just know you should be looking for a jacket with vents for breathability. There’s no point in having a waterproof top layer if you are sweating so much you still get wet. The shop is offering Bellwether’s Aqua-No Alterra Jacket for $150 as a suitable winter riding jacket. The jacket also features reflective accents  to help keep you visible to cars, as well as adjustable vents and a removable hood.

rainlegsAs a commuter, I’ve never enjoyed the idea of riding in rain pants as they are often way too cumbersome, and overly expensive. Rainlegs, however, offer a less expensive, a little bit sillier, more efficient way to keep your legs dry while riding in the rain. As long as you are riding with fenders, your thighs are really the only part of your legs that are at risk of getting soaked in the rain anyway. The coolest feature about these waterproof chaps is that you can wear them rolled up around your waist and pull them down once it starts raining. At $50 a pair, Rainlegs are a great addition to any winter riding wardrobe.

lgonWhat’s worse than running into the grocery store to grab a few items and coming back to find your saddle completely soaked? For those of you who ride with a leather saddle, it’s pertinent to protect it from the rain. For those of you who ride with a synthetic one, it’s still an annoyance when it gets rained on. Brooks offers a $10 solution to this problem with their waterproof seat cover. A great winter riding accessory, the Brooks Rain Cover can easily be rolled up and stored under your saddle while not in use.

winter wool capIf you’ve been by the shop lately and haven’t checked out our selection of Toast Tea Threads caps, I highly encourage it. Locally made by Ricky Rodriguez, Toast Tea Threads caps offer a way to keep your ears warm while riding in cold weather. These wool caps are designed to be worn under a helmet, or all day long.   Find out more about Toast Tea Threads at or stop by the shop to check out our Toast Tea Threads caps in person.

winter riding 002GL4720Another essential winter riding accessory is gloves. I avoid riding with cold and numb hands at all costs. Even if it means buying 2-or more pairs. At Bike Works, we have 3 glove options. High-Vis Cordura Nylon Defeet gloves feature visibility and durability for $20 (picture above left). Wool Defeet gloves are slightly warmer, and will stay warm even when wet. These go for $25. Both Defeet glove styles also function in addition as glove liners and can be paired with the Louis Garneau Monsoon Glove to make an extra warm, and waterproof glove. The monsoon glove goes for $40 and is totally worth it.


Riding in the Rain: Demystifying Fenders

A fender is essentially a covering for your bike tires that protects you from the rain. Riding with fenders will prevent the rain from splashing a streak of muddy water up your back, over your shoes and on your face. While there are many types of fenders, the most important thing is finding the right fender to fit your bike.

The fenders that offer the most rain coverage are called full fenders. At the shop we carry Planet Bike’s $40 Hardcore fenders which look something like this:

full fenders

Full Fenders. Note the amount of clearance between tire & frame.


It is important to note that full fenders can only be mounted properly when your bike has enough clearance between the tire & frame and when your bike has the proper eyelets (pictured right) to mount the fenders onto.

For bicycles without eyelets or clearance; don’t worry! Planet Bike’s speedEZ Fenders exist for you. These fenders clip onto the bike’s seat stays (pictured below) and front fork with bungee-type attachments.


Mountain bikes with a suspension fork can Shockboard: SKS’ fender designed to work specifically with suspension. The Shockboard has an attachment that expands up inside the bottom of the fork that then allows the fender to slide on and off (pictured below).

shock blade and speed ez

If you are looking for a simple solution to keep that streak of muddy water off your back then look no further than the SKS X-tra Dry rear fender. It simply attaches to the seat post. This type of fender virtually fits any type of bike and is a quick, inexpensive way ($20!) to get the rain off your back.

The Bike Works’ bike shop also carries used fenders. Full fenders cost $15 for a set and clip-on fenders cost $5 each. We will also install any new fenders for an extra $15 if you don’t want the hassle of installing them yourself.

Get outside and enjoy riding in the rain!

Giving is a Chain Reaction: Steve

Steve 039

Say, “Hi” to Steve next time you are at the bike shop.

I first heard of Bike Works in 2009, when my friend Muuqi began working here.  I was living and working as a bike mechanic in Oregon, and was amazed to hear about an organization dedicated to empowering youth and adults through bike mechanics and bike recycling.  Less than a year later, when Bike Works was hiring a manager for its bike shop, which earns funds to support Bike Works’ programs, I visited Seattle and interviewed for the job.  I’ve never wanted a job more than I wanted that job.  Turns out they wanted me too and six years later, I’m still here, as motivated for this work as I was then.  I want to share why I’m motivated to work here, and why I’ve given a portion of my paycheck back to Bike Works for the last six years.

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Bike Works got Solarized!

The Bike Works community bike shop on Ferdinand Street just got a whole lot greener.

Last week, a stellar crew from Artisan Electric came in and installed a new solar array on the roof of the shop. On a sunny day, our electric meter runs backwards, meaning we are producing more electricity than our shop uses and are pumping that excess out into the power grid!
solar install 3 solar install 1

Best of all, this solar electric system was FREE as part of the Solarize Seattle Central/Southeast project!

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