If you want to learn the basics to bicycle maintenance then a number of free courses and workshops exist in London. They can help you reduce the cost of your bicycle maintenance by completing basic tasks such as replacing brake pads.
Below is a list of the free maintenance workshops and classes I’m aware of. Please do add any more you know of in the comments below and we can build a complete list.
Free bicycle maintenance workshops
Tower Hamlets Wheelers – Held once a month, the workshop gives you a chance to bring in your bike and have free assistance from volunteers for any repairs you need.
Hackney Cyclists Workshops – Diagnose any problems with your bike and get stuck in to the repairs with the help from maintenance professionals. It is free to use however donations are well received.
Islington Cycle Action Group – This open workshop runs on the fourth Wednesday of every month. There is a £1 contribution towards the facility.
Free bicycle maintenance courses
Evans Cycles – Covering punctures, brakes, gears and cleaning your bike, the free Evans Cycles classes are a good place to get your hands greasy. Update: I’ve been informed by a kind reader that Evans now charge £15 for their hour long classes.
Wandsworth Council Bicycle Maintenance Class – A free course for the residents of Wandsworth.
Cycle Confident Westminster & Newham – This is an excellent free bicycle maintenance course that lasts around 4-5 hours. You cover some of the basics and get to perform repairs on your bike.
Cycle Training UK – This company runs many of the cycle training sessions for councils. Most of them are subsidised and cost around £10.
SkyRides – As part of the SkyRides there are a number of free classes.
Lewisham Bicycle Maintenance Course – Basic course on looking after your bike. Costs £10 for local residents.
Dr Bike Kensington & Chelsea – The guys behind the excellent Bike Minded campaign also run occassional Dr Bike sessions – keep an eye on their site for the latest dates or drop them a quick email.
Another thing to look out for if you want to maintain your bike yourself but don’t have the space are bicycle collectives such as newly launched London Bike Kitchen. These are essentially open DIY workshops where you can bring in your own bike. They usually have some kind of yearly fee or a fee depending on the amount of time you use the facilities for.