Catching Up with Bike Fixtation

A few weeks ago we let you know about the new Bike Fixtation vending machine and fixit stand in Uptown. We decided to get some more information from the owners of the Fixtation, Alex Anderson and Chad DeBaker.

CTC: How long has this machine been installed? 

Alex and Chad: We installed on Sunday, May 29th, so the kiosk has been available for about a month now.

CTC: Any problems so far with vandalism, missing tools, etc?

Alex and Chad: We haven’t had any problems with vandalism thus far. We designed the equipment to be pretty robust.  Early on, there was a problem with the inflator not going higher than about 80 PSI but we fixed it within a day. We check on the kiosk pretty regularly and test all major functions.

CTC:Where did the idea for this combination of vending machine and public work stand come from?Alex and Chad: The idea has been rolling around for a few years, but the need really arose when we were at Chad’s bachelor part in summer 2009, which was a bar crawl on bikes.  It was a Saturday night around 7 PM.  Someone got a flat but no one had a patch kit or a tube in that size, and no bike shops were open at that time of night.  We started thinking about how automobiles have lots of infrastructure and service stations available, but similar accommodations are not available for cyclists.  Generally we are adverse to having people pay for air, so we figured the kiosk could have an inflator that’s free for use.  We also wanted to give people the option to do small repairs themselves and install the parts they buy from us, so we designed our own work stand which includes tethered tools.   

CTC: Are you partnered with the City of Minneapolis or metro transit?

Alex and Chad: Metro Transit is the owner of the space, and we have contracted with them for its use. If you’d like a quote from them, here’s a good one: “The Uptown Transit Station is an ideal location to introduce this new bike kiosk as a service for bicyclists and our customers,” said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. “Metro Transit customers combine bicycle, bus and train trips thousands of times every week.”  The city of Minneapolis is generally enthusiastic about the idea, but there are specific regulatory requirements that we need to stick to in order to get new locations installed.

CTC: Any plans for additional installs?

Alex and Chad: We are currently pursuing a few different installation locations within the metro area. In addition to owning and operating the bike kiosk, Bike Fixtation also manufactures and supplies products that allow other businesses and organizations to create their own self-service kiosks.

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