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"Truth is ever to be found in simplicity" - Sir Isaac Newton

Simplicity is foundational to our bike refurbishing mission. Focusing on simplicity fosters reliability, durability, and affordability in the bikes we build. Which brings us to another saying by another genius:

"People shop the produce section for the fruits of trees, not the trunks" - Nozomi Ikuta

What does our trunk of simplicity offer you as a shopper and user?

We build our bikes with frames and systems that are

  1. Dependable and durable products: All of our bikes come with an extended one year warranty. Really, it should be even longer, because when we refurbish them, we aim for perfection (check the "Shop Policies" page for details).

  2. Dependable and durable workmanship: We offer the same one-year warranty on complete overhauls, and on any complete system overhaul (e.g., the brake system: brake levers, calipers, cable, housing, and shoes).

  3. Safe: We sell only metal bikes, as we judge that used carbon fiber carries a risk of catastrophic failure. One of the most overlooked feature of metals used in bicycles (aluminum, brass, steel, and titanium) is that they are isotropic-meaning equally strong in every direction. that means that the metallic frame or fork that can withstand your weight and pedaling, can also survive dents, scratches, and bending without breaking. Furthermore the brass streel, and titanium structures fail slowly with cracks propagating slowly enough to give you ample warning before breaking.

  4. Affordable: Metal bikes are cheaper; used bikes and parts that are our raw materials are cheaper; the simple parts with less to go wrong are cheaper; our competition on eBay and Craigslist lures customers away if our prices are much higher; simple bikes requiring fewer service visits to the shop cost you less. How do we make any money??

In summary, we are a for-profit, full service bike shop with compassion for our community. We buy bikes to supply our refurbishing business. To keep our sliding-scale and affordable bikes flowing, we accept any and all donations of bicycles, parts, apparel, and cash.

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We have changed some aspects of our business since this video was made, but we have the same neighborhood spirit and will always love helping people learn about bikes and how to fix them.

Our Team

James has been an avid cyclist since 1970, bike upcycler since 1972, and commuter since 1978.  Cycling highlights include bicycle commuting since 1978 in Boston, Ithaca, New York, and Cleveland; riding the entire C&O canal in 1970, unsupported touring in high school, tandeming from New York to San Francisco in 1982; racing from 1983 to 1995; multiple single and double centuries; looping Lake Erie in 1998; and climbing highest paved road in each of 8 states (42 to go!).  His background as a neuroscientist and science teacher enables him to incorporate scientific principles into his philosophy and choice of parts to maximize durability. Before opening Upcycles, James owned, sold, or gave away over 150 refurbished bicycles.

Nozomi has been a cyclist, commuter, and bike partner since 1978. She has commuted in Boston, Ithaca, and Cleveland; tandemed from New York to San Francisco; toured the Finger Lakes in upstate New York; and climbed Haleakala (before James did). Between marrying James and opening Upcycles, James taught Nozomi more about bikes than she really wanted to know.

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