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Updated: Sheldon Brown’s website to continue despite bike shop where he worked closing down

Site the late bike maintenance guru built has been a go-to resource for more than 20 years

The website will continue to act as an invaluable point of reference for everything bike maintenance-related as it has done for more than two decades now, it has been confirmed.

As we reported on Saturday (see our original article below), there had been concerns among some social media users that the website might disappear following the news that Harris Cyclery, the Boston bike shop where Brown worked until his death in 2008, was closing its doors for good last weekend.

We had asked for more information, including the implications for the site, via the message form on the website’s page on Facebook, and advised that we planned to publish our article on Saturday afternoon UK time, but as we mentioned in the piece, we had not received a reply at the time of publication.

We received a reply yesterday afternoon, directing us to a post on the Facebook page and asking us to quote it in full, which we are happy to do, and we are delighted that Brown’s body of work will continue to help cyclists find the solution to their bike maintenance issues.

Here’s what they wrote:

Ah, the hand-wringing. It seems to have started with a post on the blog by someone who posted an inquiry here but didn't wait for our response.
Harris Cyclery has closed after a 70-year run, hit hard by pandemic supply issues. got its start when Sheldon worked at Harris Cyclery, and we are very grateful to Harris Cyclery for its support. But, since 2010,
(except for the /harris pages) has floated its own boat, through online advertising.

We don't know yet what other affiliation we may find, or whether we'll go it alone, but you may rest easy. Ride your bike, and feel free to come to us for help keeping it in top shape.

Here is our original article:

Concerns over future of Sheldon Brown’s website as bike shop where he worked closes down

“As always, Sheldon Brown has the answer” – often abbreviated to AASBHTA – has become a much-used term on cycling forums for almost three decades whenever someone raises a technical question, but there are concerns that the website he developed which acts as a treasure trove of information on all kinds of cycle maintenance topics may disappear following the news that the bike shop that hosts it, and where Brown worked until his death in 2008, is to close for good tomorrow.

Since Brown passed away at the age of 63 following a heart attack – he had earlier been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – his widow, Harriet Fell, and family friend John Allen have maintained the technical pages of, hosted by Harris Cyclery, whose staff have looked after the commercial pages.

Described in his obituary in The Times as having an “encyclopaedic” knowledge of bikes and how to maintain and repair them, his website – engagingly written, and laced with humour – contains all kinds of information and advice for everyone from novice cyclists through to seasoned mechanics who refer to it for example when encountering some component they are unfamiliar with.

The store in Boston, Massachusetts announced that it is closing in a statement on its website, saying:

We, Harris Cyclery of West Newton, Mass., have come to the moment of saying good-bye. We do so with some sadness, but we do also without regrets. For seventy years, this family-owned business has served the bicycle riding community and it has been our pleasure. We’re proud of what our many thousands of loyal customers, both local and online, have allowed us to achieve over that time.

Earning the trust of the buyer and of the service customer in any business can be daunting. But over time, by our activities (school rider safety, police bicycles, raffles and community contributions, and many other engagements) and by word of mouth, we did feel that our reputation for value and integrity was part of the universe of cycling in Boston’s western suburbs and beyond.

For these successes we thank our many, many clients for their trust and support. We are thankful too to the many manufacturers’ representatives who supported us as a smaller business in the trade. And of course, in the years of our operation, there have been many smart, creative, and dedicated employees who contributed to the vision and helped build the reputation of our store.

 So it’s hard to say farewell, there are so many memories for us all. But we say keep riding, keep safe. Good bye.

We’ve messaged the Facebook page of to find out whether the closure of Harris Cyclery will affect the website, and will let you know their response once we hear back from them.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Daniel Norton | 2 years ago

A few of us should get together and put the info on the website into a book.  The proceeds could pay for maintaining the website and the rest go to a charity to train youngsters about bike maintenance.

Kashew | 2 years ago

I'd be happy to host the website without owning the domain. 

pamlikestobike | 2 years ago

No cause for concern.  I contacted the website and was told there will be no disruption.  The website will continue to be maintained. 

Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago

I hope a hosting option is found.  Good candidate for a crowdfunder.  Mostly static html, the only complexity is probably volumes....

I'd chip in a tenner.  Saved my butt multiple times...

Simplest gear ratio calculator too.

BadgerBeaver replied to Secret_squirrel | 2 years ago
1 like

Totally agree! Can anyone who has used the site over the years begrudge a tenner? Along with wiki and veloviewer the sort of excellent site that must be supported!

kil0ran | 2 years ago

Proud owner of a pair of Sheldon's nuts. His site has been a constant source of advice and enjoyment for years, the best option technically would be for it to be hosted as is, because Wayback and aren't the perfect solution when it comes to preserving links and media

Cycloid | 2 years ago

It would be a real shame if this goes, apart from the fact that it contains lots of good information, it is a great tribute to one of cycling's characters

gmac101 | 2 years ago

The ShelBroCo method for cleaing chains is still the finest yet proposed

IanMSpencer | 2 years ago

I can't help feeling he'd have some choice words about press-fit bottom bracket bearings.

On the other hand, I suspect he'd love delving into the varying methods of motorising bikes and have strong opinions on the goods and the bad.

In my mechanic days, the life-saver was the nuts and bolts trick for removing a traditional bottom bracket cup. Once you understood the trick, applicable around the house.

A lot of his tech advice has been superceded - but every now and again I see Raleigh's finest - the Twenty, and think of Sheldon.

ktache | 2 years ago

It would be a shame if it disappeared, a wonderful and engaging resource.

geomannie 531 replied to ktache | 2 years ago

Hopefully it will remain available, if unmaintained, on the Wayback Machine*/

Sheldon Brown's website is cycling gold dust.

hawkinspeter replied to geomannie 531 | 2 years ago

I'm a big fan of his down-to-earth opinions and clear descriptions of how bike bits work.

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