We’ve already heard from folks who are collecting bikes for us for next October, from friends, neighbors, garage sales, etc. Thank you! You’re awesome for doing that!
We’ve also been asked what to look for–what counts as a good bike for us?
While we’ll accept almost any donations of bike, trikes, and anything else with a seat, pedals, and wheels, we are most interested in gently used children’s bikes with wheel sizes of 24 inches and under. We need to refurbish these bikes and make them shiny and safe, so children will be proud to own them!
With that in mind, only a few bikes don’t make the grade: Bikes are generally not refurbished if they are excessively rusty (not just dirty), with bent wheels or frames, or with many missing parts. We can still use those, though: We save what parts we can and recycle the rest. In 2019, only 20 of 513 donated bikes met this fate.
We’ve found that many used bikes end up being put away, and ultimately donated to us, either because they’ve been outgrown or because something broke and the owner stopped riding them. They might have a flat tire, or a broken brake cable or gearshift lever. These are good bikes: We can fix all of those things, and we’ll also replace torn saddles, broken pedals, and rusty chains. In 2019, we spent an average of $20 per bicycle to get them all into tip-top shape.
A great bike for us will have a seat that is not ripped or torn, pedals that are not broken, handlebar grips that are intact, tires that have tread on them and that hold air, and no major broken parts. We’ll clean these bikes, do whatever mechanical adjustments are necessary, and make sure they find new owners. If you’re looking for bikes for us and have limited resources, these are the ones to look for!
So if you have a bike to donate, please plan to do that in October, and let us do the sorting. If you’re collecting bikes for us for next year, thank you! But, especially if you’re buying bikes to give to us, keep the above guidelines in mind.