The Bike Library started in 2004 as a volunteer-run community bike project located in Iowa City, Iowa with a mission of getting more people on bikes. We repair donated bikes and offer them to the public. Bikes are priced with a deposit and checked out for six-month periods. If a bike is returned in good condition within the checkout period, the deposit will be returned to the user minus a $50 sustainability fee that keeps our doors open. Alternately, patrons can choose to keep their bikes and forfeit their deposit.
See our FAQs below for more information.
Our checkout bike deposit runs from $75 to $300, however the majority of our bikes are priced between $100-$200.
If you return the bike within six months, you will be refunded your deposit minus a $50 sustainability fee and any damages requiring replacement parts &/or extensive repair. The sustainability fee helps the Bike Library cover the expenses of normal bicycle wear and the overhead of running our shop.
During the six-month checkout period the Bike Library will assist you with adjustments and repairs, for minimal or no charge, depending on the circumstances. Ask a volunteer or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
If you keep the bike beyond six months, the Bike Library keeps your deposit, which helps us keep the lights on & the wrenches spinning.
Bike returns can be made anytime volunteers are at the shop. As of January 2017, a $50 sustainability fee will be taken from your checkout to cover normal wear and tear of the bicycle and general expenses of running the shop.
We ask for an address upon checkout and return of bike. A check will be mailed between 4-6 weeks. Additional charges will be deducted from your deposit if there is damage beyond normal wear and tear. Please ask a volunteer or email email@example.com if you need clarification on this policy.
If you have repair needs within the six-month checkout period, stop by with the bicycle, and we will work together to resolve the issue. The Bike Library will cover the cost of minor repairs & adjustments.
For larger repairs we do our best to keep your expense low by using second-hand parts when available and proving labor without charge. Please, be aware that you may need to leave the bike in our shop, depending on availability of volunteer mechanics and any necessary parts.
We are not a commercial bike shop and do not do repairs for-hire. We only service checkout bicycles that are still within the 6-month checkout period. (See above for more about repairs to checkout bikes.)
We offer rent-a-bench (see hours on our main page) for $5 per hour in which you have full access to our tools and repair stands to do your own repairs. Some guidance is available, but we encourage you to do research beforehand on procedures that are new or unfamiliar to you. Used parts can be purchased when available, and some new parts are available to active RAB users.