We are the Bikes Not Bombs Shop and Training Center

Posted by Sam Archer on

Did you know... Bikes Not Bombs is a full service bike shop?

It’s true! In addition to teaching bike mechanics and shipping containers of bicycles and parts to our international partners, we run a full service bike shop with both new and refurbished bikes, parts, and accessories, right here in Boston, MA. Our staff are a diverse group of expert mechanics and bike lovers, whose experience and skills power all of our bicycle operations. Our mission to use the bicycle as a vehicle for social and economic mobility for Black, brown, indigenous, and other oppressed and marginalized peoples is accomplished in large part through the efforts of our shop staff.

We also serve an important role within our broader community as a place where everyone who needs help with their bike, regardless of their background or circumstances, will be welcomed. Many people have been historically excluded from cycling and other types of outdoor recreation because of their identities, and we intentionally welcome and serve them in our shop.

Come visit us and you will find everything from used bottle cages to new e-cargo bikes, a broad range of products and price points to meet our community of cyclists where they're at, and support them as they explore the world of bicycling. We have all the accessories and equipment you need to do whatever you want on a bike, at any budget. Whether you're just getting on the road and need reliable wheels, or you're ready to go all in on the custom bike of your dreams, we're here to help you reach the next stage of your life's cycling journey. And by making us your choice for bicycle sales and service, you're also supporting our youth programs, advocacy, and international partners.

Some frequently asked questions and answers about the shop:

Why do you sell fancy, brand new bike stuff that not everyone can afford?

We are not only social entrepreneurs, we are also enthusiastic cyclists, and we believe there is an inherent good in the bicycle. While we serve many people of limited financial means to help them access all the benefits a bicycle can bestow, we also serve many people who do have the means to afford bicycles, but are unable to access bicycle culture for other reasons. Histories of exclusion and oppression based on race, gender, class, and ability exist in the cycling industry and culture, just as they do in society at large. By intentionally serving people and places that have historically been excluded from cycling, we are helping people to access the breadth and depth of the world of bicycles, and fostering a supportive and inclusive bicycling culture in our community. Could our customers go someplace else to find new bikes and parts instead? Sure, and many do! We don't discourage anybody from exploring bike culture through other local shops, many of whom are also our supporters. But we believe it's equally important and impactful to make our own bike shop state of the art, because we don't think that you, our customers, should be excluded from the whole of the bike culture.

It's all about helping you do exactly what you want to do with your bike. We'll give you advice to optimize for your uses and your budget, and we'll only recommend products and services we think are right for you. We'll make it easy for you to find and outfit a bike you'll love to ride. Our knowledgeable salespeople and mechanics will be here to explain the "why" behind various products and help you find precisely what you need. We are riders and we love to tell you about our favorite accessories and hear your stories too. And we'll never try to push you to buy before you're ready.

How much do bikes cost in your shop?

Refurbished bikes are typically priced between $500 - $1,000, though they can go as low as $400, and some rare and exceptional refurbs will be priced higher. All refurbs are priced based on the quality and condition of frame and components. We have a ton of basic and unique bikes in all styles and sizes, including hybrids, road and mountain bikes, kids bikes, plus the occasional cargo bike.

New hybrid bicycles average around $750, with single speeds currently as low as $379, performance bikes between $800 - $3,000, and electric bikes from $2,000 - $5,000.

Why aren't used bicycles cheaper than that?

While all our refurbished bicycles are made from previously used donated bicycles, we take great care in selecting them for their good condition and overall quality. Our mechanics and volunteers perform hours of skilled labor on each bicycle, removing all of the components from the frame, cleaning and lubricating everything, and replacing any components that are broken or heavily worn. The bicycle is then expertly reassembled with selected new and used components, test ridden, and tuned to perfection. Our refurb pricing is designed to cover the cost of the parts and labor it takes to completely overhaul each bike. We believe all our bikes will give you a value far beyond what is reflected in the sale price.

What can I do if I can't afford to buy a bicycle?

As a social enterprise, part of our mission is to create career pathways for our Youth Apprentices, involving them in running a sustainable business and giving them real work experience. In part, that means charging customers a fair price for our services. That said, we understand that "fair" can be highly dependent on personal circumstances. If you have need of a bicycle and think you cannot afford it, come to us anyway. We will not refuse to give you advice and help. The last thing we want you to do is to have to cheap out and settle for an easily broken, unrepairable BSO (bicycle shaped object). Even if you cannot afford to buy a bicycle from our shop today, we can help direct you to our other programs or partnerships, or just help talk you through the costs, so you can start planning ahead. Finding the right bike is not always a quick and easy process, but experience has taught us that taking the time and effort to find the right fit, for your body, your budget, and your intended uses, is what leads to a satisfying long term relationship with cycling.

So what are you waiting for? Come explore the world of cycling through our shop, and let us give you something back for supporting our mission. Visit Bikes Not Bombs Shop today!

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