Remembrances of Chain Reaction

This Saturday at the Big Bear from 10-3 there is going to be a used bike sale. Which reminded me of the place I used to get my used bikes, Chain Reaction. Chain Reaction was a product of the non-profit group Shaw-Eco Village, and the bike shop was at the corner of 6th and R, then moved over to North Capitol. It was a great place where I could go to and get my bike fixed. The location was especially helpful when I had this heavy 3-speed and my rear wheel was bent and torn up. The prices were good and low and the young men working in the shop would fix it that day, so I could walk back home, do what I needed to do, and walk back to pick it up. I had bought a serviceable but ugly womens 3-speed for about $40 some dollars and a womens hybrid for about $150.
Now the shop is gone and the Bike Rack is the closest thing, but sadly they don’t work on bikes like mine. So if I need my bike fixed I’ll have to do it myself or drag it up to Adams Morgan or Capitol Hill. So I’ve been learning about fixing bikes.
So I have fond memories of Chain Reaction, though the shop was small and cramped, it provided a service that I really needed.

6 thoughts on “Remembrances of Chain Reaction”

  1. There’s a small bike repair shop in the video store on 14th street just north of N street. They’ve been around for maybe a year or so now and it looks like a decent place to get a bike repaired.

  2. If you guys ever need a bike repair, my boyfriend does it from our house and we are in shaw. i promise he won’t charge much and he has most of the necessary tools.

    you can email me at meghanbogden at gmail dot com

  3. The Bike Rack is kind of elitist and snobby if you ask me (“High Performance bikes ONLY! Doing a 100k soon? No? Then begone.”) and sometimes they run out of things like bicycle wheels (?!?). I wish Chain Reaction was back, but I still go to CityBikes up in Adams-Morgan. They’re surly there but they fix things quick.

  4. There’s a bike co-op in Mt. Rainier (a short ride up Rhode Island from the Shaw area) that’ll fix up bikes on a donations basis. They also have old bikes to claim/work on and some mechanics workshops, so you can learn skills instead of getting attitude from bike store mechanics. Hours on the website:

  5. Agreed on The Bike Rack comment. I was excited when I learned they would open, but not when I learned they wouldn’t work on my 3 speed bike. I truly don’t think their mechanics how to work on older bikes. It just doesn’t seem to be part of their business model, or even something they respect. And that’s too bad.
    Paul or Mark at City Bikes are both good with 3 speeds. And so are the people at the the bike shop at that hardware store in West End, across from Trader Joe’s.
    anon ’cause they know me, please.

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