Cleanest Bike Shop in America

Doesn’t even smell like Pedros – it could get an ISO 9000 rating for cleanliness. Anyone guess where this shop is?

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Do they rent that out for movie sets? Staged for a photoshoot? Where does the real work get done? Where’s the jar of red axle grease?

REI bike shops are PRO. Even the Central Bike Assembly is pristine. It’s the only way to work…

I’ve come to think of mechanics bench like an artist’s paintbox.  A paintbox that is clean and exceptionally orderly probably belongs to a painter who only paints 1 or 2 types of pictures.  Not to say that the paintings wouldn’t be good.

And I don’t think assembling box bikes is hard.  You barely need 8 tools and a place to throw away the box and zip ties.

That said, the mess at my shop daily damages my psyche, such that I’ve given up.  In fact, now I purposely leave a mess as a way to dissuade others from entering my territory.  It’s like the movie Office Space, but filthier and involving less pay.

REI flagship store on Yale.

well, my preference is the messy shop where parts and greasy tools limit the amount of workable bench space. I use alot of Brake Kleen.

I agree. REI. I used to work at one and shop was crazy clean, orderly, devoid of excessive posters or stickers, etc.

My desk, workspace, and laptop desktop is pristine and organized. Everything has it’s place and I’m upset if it’s not where it should be. However my bike bench at Hugga HQ is a mess—and I like it that way. Like, the allen wrenches are in a general area v a special spot. I think just a different way of thinking. Same thing with my cargo bikes—don’t care if the chain is a bit rusty. That’s never gonna happen on the Hotspur or Modal: bikes I travel and train with.

Looks like REI 11. Pat W. does a good job making sure all their stores are tightly run.

the shop i work at is already in a building that was built ignoring all building codes and my boss used to race road and track so all sorts of old campy parts are stashed away into every little nook and crany and its also filled with other misilaious parts all over the the shop so cleaning around that is basicly imposible but i would never want to work at a shop that was that clean

A messy workspace means in-efficiency and dis-organization. Our shop is pristine because we care about our work environment and do such a huge amount of work that if the shop isn’t run like a well oiled machine we would be unable to do the fantastic job we do. Thanks to those who recognized this as REI in Seattle, a store and shop I am proud to have worked at for over 12 years!

ICU at Harborview (*hick!*)

Must be a corporate thing…I use to work at the REI in Albuquerque…shop looked EXACTLY like that.


Tai, that is weird. I used to work at the REI in Albuquerque too (before they moved out of Old Town). And yes, the new store and shop was like the pic.

Hey Rusty - nice photos!

Thanks for the great comments!  I’ve taken great pride in organizing this shop over the past few years and I’m very proud of how it turned out!  There is no better feeling than walking into a clean organized shop.

“There is no better feeling than walking into a clean organized shop.”

To each his own! I am not a bike mechanic, but I am a graphic designer with a massive and constant workflow. I’m also a collector of all sorts of weird shit, including odd bits of metal I find on the street that I think look like ancient artifacts. I use them as paper-weights. My work space is organized, but reflective of my personae, interests, and point-of-view, as opposed to being generic.

I once worked for a guy who was an order freak. Nothing allowed on the wall above desk height. He pretty much fit the Nazi mold. I quit after a few months and to this day equate his fascistic sense of “order” with “cheapness of spirit”.

If that was my shop I’d likely have polaroids of happy customers with their bikes on the wall. Order is over-rated.

True…but this image is just a snapshot of the bench work area that is visable to the customer.  Turnaround and the walls ARE plastered with great photos and keepsakes.  The shop is like a mullet…all business up front and a party in the rear…:)  I encourage everyone to come by and visit some day…

Hi Tai and Omeyotl.  I worked at both the Old Town REI and the new location in ABQ.  Do we know each other?  Small world…..:)

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