Campus News

Need a Bicycle Tube or Brake Pad in a Hurry?

Bike parts vending machine.
Bike parts vending machine.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 12, 2019) — A bicycle breakdown is no laughing matter, especially when it’s your primary mode of transportation. Keeping cyclists on the road is the impetus behind a new vending machine at the University of Kentucky that dispenses bike parts instead of beverages.

The bike parts vending machine is located inside Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library (WWBL), in the basement of Blazer Hall. It’s stocked with brake pads, shift cables, road caliper pads, bike chains, brake cables, bicycle tubes and bar tape, among other cycling essentials. Sandra Broadus, alternative transportation manager for UK Transportation Services, said the goal for installing the machine wasn’t to make money, but to help cyclists out in a pinch.

“Before, if someone came to the shop and needed a replacement part, we’d have to send them to a retail shop off campus to get something simple and come back. If they didn’t have time for that, their bike might be out of commission for a week before we’d see them again. This way, if someone’s bike has an issue, they can get what they need and get rolling again while they’re still on campus,” Broadus said. 

The vending machine accepts all major credit cards. It does not, however, accept cash. Access to the vending machine is available even if Wildcat Wheels isn’t open. You can find the vending machine just inside the entrance to Wildcat Wheels on the south side of Blazer Dining, which is accessible from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Easy access to bike parts can certainly be of huge assistance in an emergency, but if you don’t know what parts you need or want assistance with the repairs, the student employees at Wildcat Wheels are there to help. More information about the shop and fall semester hours can be found here.

To learn more about WWBL, visit online here, follow on Facebook or contact Wildcat Wheels by email at

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

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