Open Shop is the backbone program of MoBo. Simply put, it’s a time for members to come and use the shop for working on their bikes, or to adopt a bike.
MoBo is equipped with six sets of tools that members can check out on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as recycled parts available for a small donation and some new consumables such as tubes and cable that we sell at cost. Volunteer mechanics are also on hand to provide assistance and support, and to help you access more specialized tools if needed. Absolute beginners are always welcome. MoBo is a learning space, and our volunteers are here to assist you in learning how to work on your bike, no matter your level of experience.
During Open Shop hours, you can also:
- Join the co-op
- Volunteer for MoBo
- Adopt a bicycle (details below)
- Donate bikes/parts/tools
- Hang out and meet new people
As noted, MoBo is a cooperative, which means you must be a member to participate. Membership is open to anyone, and costs $20 per year. Membership can also be attained by volunteering in advance, with 1 volunteer hour equaling $5. Please note: your membership must be current before you will be allowed to use the shop (we believe this policy is the most fair for all our members). You can become a member at any time by filling out a membership form at the front desk. We accept cash and check payments.
For information on volunteering during Open Shop, please see the Volunteer page.
Part of our mission as an organization is to get more bikes on the road. One way we work toward this is by providing recycled bikes for adoption by co-op members. We call this program “Adopt-a-Bike.”
Where do the bikes come from?
MoBo does not buy bicycles, and so we depend on bikes donated by the community. We will gratefully accept donations of bicycles and bike parts whenever we’re open.
Our inventory reflects the donations we receive. Some are frames, and some are ready-to-ride. Some are Huffys, and some are vintage gems. All bikes are cataloged upon donation, but we do not currently have the volunteer capacity to provide an accurate, accessible inventory online, and so the best way to learn what is available is to come to the shop and browse.
How it Works
Adopt-a-Bike is open to all current MoBo members during Open Shop. Here’s the basic process:
- Let a volunteer know you might be interested in adopting a bike.
- You will be invited to look through the recycled bicycles available for adoption, which are stored in the basement and garage.
- A Volunteer Mechanic can assist you in choosing a bike that fits your body and interests. The volunteer will also help to assess the condition of the bike.
- If you are interested in adopting, you will be asked to make a donation for the bicycle. Every bike available for adoption has been cataloged and given a basic requested donation amount corresponding to its brand, condition, state of completion, etc. This ranges from $30 to $100+ for completed bikes, and $15 to $50 for frames. You are also welcome to use volunteer hours toward bike adoptions, with 1 volunteer hour equaling $5. Please note: donations must be made in full before the bike can be adopted. We do not allow members to “tag” bikes for later adoption.
- You will then be the proud new owner of a recycled bike! If you’re adopting an incomplete bike, you may want to get to work fixing it up here at MoBo. Either way, you will be asked to take the bike with you when you leave (we no longer allow members to store in-progress project bikes at MoBo).
For more details on Adopt-a-Bike, talk with a volunteer Shop Coordinator during Open Shop.
Kids’ Day Program
Mondays during the summer
MoBo Kids’ Day summer program offers local kids the opportunity to repair, maintain, build, and acquire bicycles with one-on-one guidance from experienced mechanics.
Each Monday throughout the summer we devote our shop,tools, and energy to this valuable program. We hire a Kids Day Coordinator (MoBo’s only paid position) each year to run the program, and s/he is assisted by volunteers.
Kids without bikes are given a recycled bike free of charge thanks to the generosity of community members who have donated these bikes throughout the year. Mechanics work with each new owner to make repairs and adjustments as necessary. Helmets, lights, bike locks, tubes, etc, are distributed free of charge, while supplies last, thanks to donations and grant support from neighborhood, city, and national partners.
Membership fees are waived, making Kids’ Day free for all youth aged 16 and under. Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. A waiting area is staffed by at least 2 adult volunteers who provide supervision, games, water, and occasional snacks. Jobs such as set up, clean up, sign in, trash duty, and cup duty are delegated to mature kids so as to nurture the spirit of cooperation.
Monthly Bike Basics Workshop
This workshop is currently not being offered, as we are in need of a mechanic interested in making it happen. In the past, we have offered this once-a-month workshop to the public as an opportunity for people unfamiliar with bicycle mechanics to learn a few things about how their bikes work, how to maintain them, and how to diagnose problems in a more focused environment than Open Shop.
We’d love to offer this workshop again! If you are a mechanic and are potentially interested in leading a monthly, bi-monthly, or one-time workshop, please let us know!
Winter Workshop Series
Each year during the cold season we also organize a Winter Workshop Series, in which we offer volunteer-led workshops on a variety of topics. Past workshop topics have included Brake Adjustment, Wheelbuilding, Commuting, Winter Riding, Living in Cincinnati Without a Car, and Fix-a-flat. If you’d like to see a specific workshop at MoBo, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, if you’d like to lead a workshop in our space, please let us know! We have a community space that we’d like to see used more than it is, so if you or someone you know has some knowledge you’d like to share with people, speak up! We’re open to hosting workshops and other forms of cooperative education on many topics, bicycle-related or not!
Mechanics Internship Program
In addition to supporting the sharing of skills and knowledge broadly through our open shop program, workshops, and special events, MoBo sponsors a small number of members each year to complete a national bicycle maintenance training program called Park Tool School. In return, those members commit to sharing their new skills with the co-op for a number of hours as Volunteer Mechanics during Open Shop.
For details about the internship program, talk to a Shop Coordinator or send an e-mail to the co-op.
The MoBo community is a vibrant part of Cincinnati’s growing bicycle culture. Our primary focus is sharing knowledge and building community through our open shop, workshops, and other programs. However, we do advocate more directly for bicycle-friendly infrastructure and policies in our community through partnerships with other organizations and hosting or participating in events such as forums, discussions, film screenings and group rides. Furthermore, we strive to use our shop and community space to share resources, news, and ideas on how to get involved. We also support other D.I.Y. projects of all sorts.
Those interested in these activities should come to Advocacy Committee meetings, which are announced on the calendar, in the shop, and on our Facebook page.
Anyone interested in advocating for bicycles in Cincinnati should also get involved with Queen City Bike, a partner organization focusing on bike advocacy in our city. They are fantastic!