Q: How do I find Blackstone Bicycle Works?
A: We're located in the Experimental Station building, 6100 S. Blackstone, in the Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Approach from the west on 61st Street. Turn right down the short spur that is Blackstone Avenue. The bike shop entrance is the big gate on the right-hand side of the street, with a large hand-painted sign. The directions page has a map.
Q: Can Blackstone pick-up my used bike donation?
A: Call or email to make sure; but for donations of three or more bikes within a reasonable distance, we usually can. Individual bikes in or near Hyde Park can also be picked up.
Q: Does a donated bike have to work?
A: We make bikes work, so no; a donation dropped off at Blackstone neither has to be running nor even complete.
Q: Could Blackstone Bikes use the abandoned bicycles left in the storage at my building?
A: Absolutely. Apartment buildings, housing cooperatives and condo associations are an important source of recycled material for us. Just tag the bikes in accordance with the policy of your building and we'll pick up what goes unclaimed.
Q: How do I get a tax deduction for my donation?
A: For your tax records, Blackstone will issue a letter either at the time of drop off or subsequently by post with your name and address and detailing the donated items. You simply fill in the declared amount and add it to your itemized deductions.
Q: My bike was stolen in Chicago, could you keep an eye out for it?
A: Sure, but we don't ever buy used bikes, so the odds it would end up here are slim.
Q: How long does service usually take?
A: No more than a few days, but sometimes more during the peak months. Space is always an issue here, so please be prompt about picking up bikes a soon as they are ready. Get a time for job completion estimate from the mechanic on duty.
Q: Do you perform any work outside of the regular service list?
A: Sometimes. We are more likely to take on complicated repairs during the off-peak season but our primary mission is to meet the broad needs of the local cycling community. We can often refer customers looking for specialized service to other shops that might better address their problem. Remember, we do keep an inventory of used and vintage parts around so you might want to check with us if you're working on your favorite oldie and need that special part.
Q: Does Blackstone do winterization?
A: Yes, and for some of the lowest rates in Chicago. Packages run from $100-200 and include labor on adjustments and parts replacement through the season.
Q: What kind of used bikes does Blackstone sell?
A: Just about everything, but the most common arrivals seem to be mountain bikes, town bikes (including quite a few English 3-speeds), and some lugged steel racing bikes. Schwinn and Schwinn affiliates, such as Paramount, are the most common brands, but we also see a fair amount of European models.
Q: Do you sell children's bikes?
A: Not usually. We need to keep a reserve of quality kids bikes for youth program participants to earn.
Q: Do you sell new bikes?
A: No, at the moment we do not.
Q: Can I call and hold a bike?
A: No. During the high demand seasons, the only fair way to do it is first come, first served.
Q: Does the shop sell loose parts?
A: Quite a bit! You just might have to fish what you need out of a bin. We generally separate out the higher-end new stuff and the quality vintage stuff. The kinds of things we have in abundance are the kinds of things you would imagine surviving on a 30-year-old bicycle: handlebars, stems, derailleurs, cranks and freewheels.
Q: Will you ship outside of Chicago?
A: Sorry, but we only deal locally.