Relocation Working Bee

Mechanical Tempest needs your help moving stuff out of 128 Abel Smith Street.

The working bee will be on Sunday, February 19th from 11am-5pm. Feel free to come anytime and lend a hand. No bike knowledge required, just some energy and enthusiasm and big motorised vehicles if you have them.

If you want to come and browse our bike parts and find a use for them, you’re also very welcome. There are heaps of bikes and odds and ends that will need a new home.

On that note…so we do! We’re in the process of searching for a suitable place to work out of. If you have an ideas, bring those along also!


Wellington Time Bank credit available for volunteers

Wellington’s Community Bike Workshop Seeks New Home

Wellington’s Community Bike Workshop Seeks New Home

2 February 2017

Following a reorganization of the space at the 128 Collective’s Radical Social Centre, located at 128 Abel Smith Street, Wellington community bike workshop The Mechanical Tempest is seeking a new location that will better suit their needs by March of 2017.

Mechanical Tempest, which has operated in the 128 Collective since 2003, is Wellington’s DIY bike workshop. The organization is devoted to the empowerment and education of all people in the discipline of bike assembly and maintenance, as well as the creation of a safe and sustainable cycling community.

A group of approximately fifteen volunteer mechanics run MT as an educational workspace, where tools are placed in the hands of cyclists of all skill levels, to allow them to learn at their own pace to repair and service their bicycles using donated parts and machinery. In an effort to adhere to Wellington’s progressive culture, as well as the reality of bicycling as an environmentally sound transportation option, MT recycles and repurposes old or damaged bicycles that might otherwise have ended up in a landfill.

Volunteer mechanic, Sylvie Froncek, sifting through a pile of donated bicycles.

Volunteer mechanic, Sylvie Froncek, sifting through a pile of donated bicycles.

Given the abundance of old and/or damaged bicycles, however, even getting in the front door of MT’s current workspace can present a challenge. Visitors must first navigate a collection of project bikes hanging from the wall and ceiling, while simultaneously performing a sort of slow-motion dance through a bicycle graveyard of donated bikes and wheels. Following this, one finds oneself in a pleasant, though packed workshop featuring half a dozen independent workstations and several sets of tools, along with a nicely-organized collection of old bike components available for use. Although the space is functional, a larger space is clearly necessary for the collective to expand to meet the needs of the Wellington bike community.

Currently MT is open Monday-Thursday from 6pm-8pm and during which time the workshop might service up to thirty people, under the supervision of two mechanics. As such, the space can become quite crowded. In spite of this, the atmosphere remains light and friendly. There is no fee for use of the workshop, tools or parts, although people are welcome leave koha, which is used to keep the lights on, purchase heavy duty hand soap, (a necessary commodity when working with greasy parts,) and maintain a ready supply of consumables like patch kits and brake pads.

How you can help: The Mechanical Tempest needs a new space to move into by the end of the summer. The ideal workshop would be large and open, preferably with a separate room for bike storage. Running water, electricity and open ventilation are necessary to create a safe working environment. In addition, it is vital that the new space be centrally located in Wellington, and easily accessible, in order to continue MT’s commitment to being an organization available to any and all people. MT’s scheduling make it easy for them to time share with another organization. If you don’t have a space to offer but still want to get involved, support from friends and fellow cycling enthusiasts in the form of volunteer time, mechanical donations or monetary assistance are always greatly appreciated.


Bike Space Open for Daytime DIY Bike Repair

Council open Bike Space to encourage Wellingtonians to maintain their bikes

Wenches with Wrenches – Sunday 13 December

Wenches with Wrenches is hosting it’s monthly Skill-Share/workshop/drop-in for the Woman and LGBTQIA cycling community on 13 December 2015.

The theme for December is BRAKES!

Brake related puns including “BRAKING THE LAW” and “GIMMIE A BRAKE” will be used extensively.

You can also learn how to fix your own brakes, including replace a brake pad or cable, and other essential bicycle maintenance skills.

As always, this is free, open to all skill levels, no need to book, just turn up and bring your bike along (or be prepared to get started working on something that has been donated).

Wenches With Wrenches

Brakes Skill-share/drop-in

13 December 2015

12-2:30 pm

128 Abel Smith Street


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Changes to Wenches with Wrenches workshop hours


Kia ora koutou, greeting from Wenches with Wrenches, Wellington’s women’s and LGBTQIA DIY cycling collective!

We are making some changes to how we run Wenches with Wrenches.

Rather than holding weekly drop-in sessions, we are organising monthly forums/skill-shares that focus on specific themes.

The next WwW forum will be Sunday, 15 November from 12-3 pm.  This month we will be sharing specific skills on how to take care of flat tyres and punctures on your bike.  All are welcome, regardless of skill level.  The forum will be held at the 128 Abel Smith workshop space and is free to attend. 

See the attached poster for details, check the website, or contact us for more info.

We are building a community of cyclists who identify as women or LGBTQIA to use the workshop during these times and request that other users refrain from attending, in order to ensure the maintenance of a safe space.

We will not be running our regular Sunday hours outside of our monthly forums, so please make sure you plan accordingly!

If you have any requests or suggestions for future themes for skill-shares, workshops, forums, or events, let us know!  We have some ideas in the pipeline for events around:

  • brakes
  • wheels
  • gears
  • commuting by bike
  • cycle touring
  • film nights
  • dealing with harassment on your bike

and more!  Stay tuned for more details on December’s forum, and see you this Sunday!

Warm regards,

The WwW crew



Wenches with Wrenches



Wenches with Wrenches is back

We are bringing back Wenches with Wrenches!

Women and Transgender people are invited to join the ladies of The Mechanical Tempest on Sundays from 12-2 for an afternoon of bike wrenching.

-Come ask questions and learn to repair your bike by yourself

-Drink tea with us and talk about Wellington bike culture

-Build a new bike

-Help us clean up the space.

Learn more about WENCHES WITH WRENCHES on our webpage!


too much stuff, not enough art

There is such a thing as too much bike stuff and particularly when that stuff can be turned into art but hasn’t been.

As a free community bike shop we make a point of recycling and re-purposing old/used bikes and bike parts. We take on a lot of stuff that other people would discard. From tubes with holes in them to bikes with cracked frames. We take unwanted derailleurs, slightly used brake pads, baskets, fenders, spokes, you name it. A lot of this stuff gets put onto the bikes that people build up in our space, but sometimes these items are no longer useful on working bikes. In those situations we try to find ways to re-use things which other people may not be able to see a use for.

Bike Chain and Rim Chandelier

We recently built two stools by cutting up some bent road bike frames and leaving just the seat tube, chain stays and seat stays, popping on a comfy saddle and voilà! a bike stool.

bike chain earrings, chain ring display

Currently the Mechanical Tempest has a plethora of bike tubes, tyres, and scrap metal. It would be great to see it all go to use. So we are invited artists, metal workers, fashionistas and everyday joes to come by the shop and have a go at turning some old bike parts into bike art.

too any tubes, turn them into art…