Elgin installs two new bike repair stations along Fox River Trail

Bike riders on the Fox River Trail in Elgin have a pair of new spots to get some air - for their tires.

The Elgin Sustainability Commission has purchased and installed two Dero Fixit bike repair stations with air pumps, one at Festival Park and another behind the Gail Borden Library.

"These allow on-the-go bike repair, maintenance or air pumping," Sustainability Analyst Mikala Larson said. "It's part of our goal to build out more bicycling-friendly infrastructure in Elgin."

The Sustainability Commission has six subgroups, including the Transportation and Mobility subgroup responsible for the bike repair stations. The subgroup is chaired by Tom Armstrong, who cut the ribbon unveiling the station in Festival Park on Monday.

Armstrong said one of the reasons the locations were chosen was because those spots are frequent turnaround points for riders from the north and south.

"A lot of people will ride from towns like Crystal Lake in the north and then stop at the library or the park, use their facilities and then turn around to head home," he said.

Riders can hang their bike by the seat post to work with tools attached to eight stainless steel, tamper-proof cables, allowing for basic bike repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs. A universal pump head allows riders to inflate tires with Presta and Schrader valve stems.

The stations, which cost about $1,500 each, also feature a QR code that links to a Dero website with seven videos on how to use the tools to make fixes to tires, brakes and gears.

While it won't replace a repair shop, it will help you get past some of the problems you could meet on the trail, said Parker Thompson of Elgin Community Bikes, who was on hand Monday to demonstrate how the station works.

"It probably covers about 85% of the things I've ever encountered on a ride," Thompson said. "The biggest thing is that it's really handy to be able to hang your bike by the saddle."

  The Elgin Sustainability Commission has purchased a pair of bike repair stations and placed them along the Fox River bike trail, with one in Festival Park and one behind the library. The stations include a QR code that takes you to a website showing how to use the station for common bike repairs. Rick West/
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