Free Workshop: Cycling in Comfort

What: Free Workshop on Bicycle Fit
When: Friday, March 27th at 7pm
Where: Our shop at 7628 N Paulina St.

With the warming spring weather and the growing number of cyclists in Chicago streets The Recyclery presents you a workshop lead by a bike fitter with over 25 years of experience. It is happening Friday, March 27th at 7pm. This time we will be talking about bike fitting. That may sound fancy and complicated but it really is not. It is all about making your ride comfortable and pain free by adjusting some lengths and angles on the bike. Although many people don’t realize it, poor bike fit is often at the root of whatever complaint that may be keeping them from doing more cycling.

During the workshop you will be presented different types of bicycles and mistakes people tend to do when adjusting them. We will show you some tweaks and tricks you can make to feel comfortable on any of them. An improper bike fit can cause serious discomfort including things such as a numb bum, burning feet, stabbing knee or back pain, sore hands, achy shoulders and a stiff neck. There are more things you should know than only proper seat height!

Join us at the workshop and learn how to be happy and healthy on your bicycle.

Hope to see you there!

Become an Official Donation Drop-off Point

Become a Bike Collection Point

Here at The Recyclery we are always in need of used bicycles which we refurbish and give away for the people in need. In order to organize our bike collection process more efficiently we would need YOUR help. If you have space for up to 4 to 6 bikes – please consider becoming an official donation drop-off point.


  • Donors will get in touch with you and drop off donated bicycle themselves!
  • Wait until you have at least four bikes (the more the better!), if it is very urgent we can come and pick up even fewer bicycles!
  • Call The Recyclery shop (at 773.262.5900) and we will come to collect the bikes within one business day!

If you need time to think about this more, consider helping us out for a short period only at first! Maybe only for couple of months during this bike season! If you for any reason decide against being an official drop off point, just let us know, and we’d immediately stop referring bike donors to you.

Last year we gave away more than 100 bicycles! With your help we can increase this ever more! Get in touch with us at 773.262.5900 or

Warm regards,

NOW HIRING Bicycle Mechanic

The Recyclery Collective: The Recyclery Collective is an educational bike shop that promotes sustainability by giving access to tools, skills and opportunities for collaboration.
Job Description: The Recyclery Collective is hiring a bicycle mechanic to fix bicycles for sale. The mechanic will work 20-30 hrs per week with a semi-flexible schedule. Wages are flexible based on experience. Working with one or more collective members, the mechanic will be responsible for:
-Evaluating bicycle donations for repair or scrapping
-Making necessary repairs to used (sometimes abused) bicycles in a timely fashion, ensuring they meet The Recyclery’s standards
-Helping to transport bike donations
-Reporting work to the Collective
-Maintaining records of bikes fixed and repairs made
-Maintaining cleanliness and organization of our shop and storage spaces.
Schedule: This position will continue through September 2015 with a possibility of continuation. Hours are somewhat flexible, but the mechanic will need to work around our existing educational programs. Shop availability for staff mechanic is Mon 9-4, Tues 9-12, Wed 9-5, Thurs 9-3, Fri 9-5, subject to change.
Working with the Collective: The Recyclery is run by a Collective which meets twice a month to decide issues impacting the direction of the organization and operates using a consensus process. These meetings are unpaid, and while the mechanic will not be required to attend, attendance is strongly encouraged.
Necessary Qualifications:
-Minimum of one year’s mechanical experience (in bike shop or equivalent experience)
-Experience working on a wide range of bikes dating back to the 1970s
-Strong work ethic, ability to self-motivate, and a willingness to ask for assistance
-Interest in furthering the mission of The Recyclery and upholding our safe space guidelines
Additional Skills Preferred
Valid drivers’ license and ability to drive vehicle.

An Interview with Mac


Mac MacDevitt, a recent transplant to Chicago from lovely Essex, New York, has been volunteering at the Recyclery for about a year. We pulled him aside during a recent volunteer day to ask him some questions.

How did you get involved with the Recyclery?
I moved to Chicago with my wife Darla because she got a job here. So I quit my job in New York State and moved. I had a big list of things that I really wanted to do here. One of those things was to learn how to fix bikes. I started volunteering at Working Bikes and I still volunteer there. Then one day, I went on the Recyclery website and later attended a volunteer orientation and then I decided I’d give it a shot.

What work do you do at the Recyclery?
I mostly fix bikes for the Freecyclery program.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I do like what I’m learning . That’s partly because there’s a lost of support from the various shop hosts. And I pretty much get to work on one bike from start to finish, even if it takes a number of sessions.

How do you get around?
I only really started riding bikes seriously when I moved to Chicago. I call myself an urban bike warrior now. It’s a great way to get around the city and the best thing is that it’s flat here. The bike really works for me to get around. When it’s not winter, I ride up here to do my volunteer shift, and I ride down to Working Bikes, which is about an 8 mile commute. I have a car but I try to use it as little as possible. I mostly bike and use public transportation.

Why did you want to learn how to fix bikes?
As an old guy who’s not working anymore, I really wanted to find a way that I can contribute to my small community when we go back to New York State. Up there, we have a lot of new CSAs, and all the farmers use bicycles to get around, so I plan to go back and have a little mobile bike shop and help the farmers keep their bikes in order. Then I get to be around that young energy, and I can be helpful in that, and not just a spectator. I’ll have a skill that I can bring to that community. 

Is there something in life you have yet to learn that you’d like to?
Actually, I’m leaving in April to go to Maine and build a boat for myself with a boat designer who I’ve admired for years. I’ve participated in building small boats before, but instead of making it up as I go, I’m going to be working with someone. Later, I’m going to use the boat for adventure cruising. I’ve sailed in places like Key West, the Outer Banks, and the North Channel of Lake Huron. I love sailing, and I’m really excited.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the world?
Just that the Recyclery is a great place. They’re doing great work, and they’re making a difference in the local neighborhood. The staff are kind, supportive, and helpful, and the shop is well organized, which is important for learning as a volunteer who needs to find the parts and tools they need.

March – April Overhaul Class

We still have spots open in our March – April Overhaul Class!

Unfortunately, we had to cancel our wheel-building class because of lack of interest. We will offer it again in the future. We’ll also be scheduling a Tune-up class very soon. If the overhaul class fills up or you want to know about future classes, subscribe to our email list and check the box for info on classes.

Overhaul Class
March 8 – April 12
Sunday afternoons 2-5pm

Our six-week overhaul class taught by Froilan. You’ll learn how to disassemble, reassemble, and adjust each major mechanical system of your bicycle week-by-week. We recommend the Tune-Up class before this one if you have never fixed a flat. Costs $180. Pay and register here.

No volunteer hours on Friday 2/27. come and watch movie instead!

We’re having another movie night at the Recyclery! On Friday, February 27th, we’ll be showing an ESPN Films documentary “Slaying the Badger” on Greg LeMond and his trials and tribulations in the Tour de France. Greg Lemond is a retired American cyclist, and with the news that Lemond Cycling Company is bringing back production of their steel road bikes, we thought it was a good time to show this fantastic film.

We’ll be having a potluck from 6:30-7:30 and the movie will be shown afterwards. The Recyclery can get a little cold this time of year, so bundle up, and bring a blanket if you’d like. We’ll have soup to share, but any sort of snacks or dishes you’d like to contribute would be greatly appreciated. This is a free event open to all ages.

Hope to see you there!

Leave your donated bicycle at Green Machine Cycles!

Yes, your donated bicycle will reach the Recyclery even if the Recyclery’s shop is too far North for you.

From now on you can drop off your donated bicycle at Green Machine Cycles at1634 W Montrose, in Chicago’s North Center/Ravenswood neighborhood.

green_maschine1 The Recyclery and Green Machine Cycles have recently partnered to expand the missions of both organizations. Green Machine Cycles is now a drop-off location for bicycles being donated to The Recyclery. You will still receive a tax deduction form for every bicycle you donate. There are no limitations on the kinds of bikes The Recyclery will accept.

Ezra Hozinsky, the man behind Green Machine Cycles, is a longtime Recyclery friend, supporter, and instructor. Therefore it was only logical for The Recyclery to approach him when contemplating expanding Bike Drop Off location partnerships.

Green Machine Cycles’s affordable and highly professional services are well regarded. Their emphasis towards sustainability in daily business practices is very dear to the Recyclery’s heart.

green_maschine2Green Machine Cycles provides sales of cargo-hauling, commuting, and touring bicycle solutions at a wide range of prices, as well as precise and timely repairs on all types of human-powered devices. Green Machine Cycles strives to make the most appropriate use of materials and energy at the shop, stocking products both for sale and use in-house that are energy efficient, respectful of natural and human resources, and geared toward the greatest longevity of use and ease of service.

February & March Classes

We have three upcoming classes–one Tune-Up, an Overhaul, and a Wheel-Building!  Pay and register here.

If the class is full or you want to know about future classes, subscribe to our email list and check the box for info on classes.

Tune-Up Class
February 15th & 16th
Sunday & Monday evenings 6-9pm

Our two-part bicycle tune-up class taught by Tzippy. This class will introduce you to basic bicycle maintenance. We’ll cover tool and component terminology, fixing a flat, chain maintenance, brake pad replacement, and basic shifting adjustments. Costs $75.

Overhaul Class
March 8 – April 12
Sunday afternoons 2-5pm

Our six-week overhaul class taught by Froilan. You’ll learn how to disassemble, reassemble, and adjust each major mechanical system of your bicycle week-by-week. We recommend the Tune-Up class before this one if you have never fixed a flat. Costs $180.

Wheel-Building Class
February 22, Sunday evening 5-7:30pm
February 25, Wednesday evening 6-8:30pm
March 1, Sunday evening 5-7:30pm
A three-session class taught be expert mechanic Ezra Hozinsky of Green Machine Cycles. We will cover spoke length calculations, lacing, advanced truing, and tensioning. Some wheel-truing experience is preferred. Check out a more detailed class description. Costs $120 plus the cost of materials (hub, spokes, rim).

Thank you Phil Wood for another donation!

Phil Wood did it again!

20150114Phil Wood donation-

Just about in time when we were finishing our hand cleaner, guys from the Phil Wood & Co. donated us another batch of their 100% natural and biodegradable hand cleaner!

It arrived today and our (and your) hands should continue to be clean.