The Alamedan: Alameda Business Buzz: Changing Gears Bike Shop, June 12, 2015


Changing Gears has all the bike bells and whistles of a typical bike shop, with a large selection of new and used parts as well as new and used bikes, which come with a 30-day warranty. They also have an “as-is” section of fixer-uppers (minus the warranty, of course), and Changing Gears mechanics offer repairs, adjustments, overhauls and tune-ups for a reasonable price.

But anyone who visits the shop can see that something more, something special, happens here. As mechanics and volunteers interact – sharing stories and advice, working on a bike project together, discussing options with customers – it’s clear that Changing Gears is building a community. Customers are allowed to participate by watching mechanics repair their bikes or doing it themselves for free at one of the community repair stations.

Volunteers can help at the shop in return for credit toward used bikes and parts or to earn community service hours. Luck said that adult volunteers come mostly from the East Bay, especially Oakland and Alameda, and youth volunteers come mostly from Alameda.

The shop also provides on-site job training for those who want more experience with selling and maintaining bikes, and from time to time, Changing Gears also leads or hosts bike field trips, volunteer events and Eagle Scout projects.