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View Poll Results: Do you salvage bikes and/or components from someone else's trash?

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  • Good heavens, no!

    9 21.95%
  • Well... maybe. You won't tell anyone, will you?

    12 29.27%
  • Of course!

    20 48.78%
Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    Are you a dumpster-diving cyclist?

    OK, I confess. When I see an old bicycle and/or parts thrown out in the alley for the trash, I find myself drawn in. At first, it was just to get salvageable parts -- brake pads that still work well, seats in good conditions, pedals that accept toe clips, etc. But as I slowly build up my knowledge of bicycle maintenance, I find the process to be educational. For example, if I have to do a type of repair that I've never done before, I like to use a junk bike from the alley for practice. I also like the fact that tinkering around with the alley bikes lets me get hands-on experience with differences between bikes.

    So far, it's just been components I've been salvaging, since the frames often tend to be rusty or too small, etc. I know someone whose favorite bike (if somewhat a quirky bike) was salvaged from the trash, but I know that those sort of finds don't happen everday.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  2. #2
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Chris L has never done this in the past, however he may do so in the future. Chris L thinks this idea has some potential.

    Chris
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Nobby's Avatar
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    You bet! Just yesterday I hauled a couple of 24" wrecks home from the dump for the purposes of attempting to put together a FWD bent. My garage is now officially a mess with parts laying EVERYWHERE!
    Bill (Nobby) Clark
    Edson, Alberta
    Vision R-44

  4. #4
    Those that can do, do do
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    There ought to be an option: Well... maybe. You won't tell my WIFE, will you?

    I have 'collected' things and my wife thinks it is just awful that I would want someone's trash. I don't quite see it as trash more like leftovers. I try to explain about the scarcity of the components and that 'I may need this someday' which just gets me a raised eyebrow and that look. When it's said and done we agree to disagree and she walks away shaking her head and I go play with my new toys!! So I guess I win.
    JAPH

  5. #5
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ViciousCycle
    OK, I confess. When I see an old bicycle and/or parts thrown out in the alley for the trash, I find myself drawn in.
    When people buy a new item, the old one often goes out to the curb.

    Their loss, my gain.

  6. #6
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    Our neighbors just moved the other day.My daughter came in and told me the boys bikes were in the trash.We went and got them, fixed the flats and my kids love them.I have seen several bikes in the trash but they were cheapo Huffy's and such.When I see them I always look.

  7. #7
    Member Jon T.'s Avatar
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    I don't know bout being a dumpster diver but, we live in an apartment complex and just outside my window is a bike rack with a Bianchi mountain bike thats been locked to it for about 6 months now. Hasn't moved. Looks in good shape cept for wear an tear from weather but Id love to find out who's it is and see bout relieving them of it. I'd really like to use it as a learner bike for me as far as bike repair and upgrading goes. I'd like to see if I can get it tuned and oiled up and road worthy again.
    "Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding." -Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Those that can do, do do
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    Originally posted by Paige
    Our neighbors...
    Speaking of neighbors. I had the opportunity to fix up some beaters and provide some less fortunate neighborhood children with bikes. One in particular was for a young man around 16 I think, that wanted to work yet had no transportation and no way of getting any. Jobs were not available that were realistically in walking distance.

    He was very much the new generation fatherless kid who barely knew what a wrench was let alone how to use it correctly. He helped me with the dismantling and stripping of the frame. He chose the paint color, a very nice blue I might add. He got the bike mechanic 101 class as we reassembled.

    We worked on that thing for a month. Had a great time and he ended up with a bike that functioned properly and didn't look like it had been rejected one time. I saw him ride it everyday to work for several months until his family moved away from the area.

    I don't know who was more appreciative, him or me. Him for the bike or me for being able to help. It's just nice to help someone. We all get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that we forget that people are what make the difference in out lives. Not the money, cars or houses, not even all the cool bikes and swag

    Forgive me for waxing philosophical; sometimes I just yearn for a more leisurely pace.
    JAPH

  9. #9
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    Have been doing this for years. Make them rideable and then give them to local charities. Oddly enough, I've never found a quality bike.
    ljbike

  10. #10
    Member snoop_dujour's Avatar
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    Ive never done it myself, but I have a good friend back in Saskatoon (my home town) who colected junk bikes and components from dumpsters, back alleys ect.. over a period of about a year.
    after that we invested about $100 at the LBS (they even cut us a deal when we told them what we where doing) took the salvaged parts and built him and his 2 boys good rideable bikes, With the leftovers we built 6 more good rideable bikes and donated them to his church to be given away to thoes who needed em. It was alot of work, but very rewarding.

    cheers
    Snoop DuJour

  11. #11
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    My everyday commuter was found at a garage sale for five bucks. My raleigh 3 speed was recovered in pristine condition from someones trash. My best find yet: A 10-14 year old hand lugged Daccordi. Its too small, but it's fun on short trips.

    For parts, bike shop dumpsters are your best friend.
    Lord Bowler: Uh oh. You hit the sheriff
    Brisco County Jr.: Yeah, but I did not hit the deputy.

  12. #12
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    Hey, Stump! Where's your avatar?
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  13. #13
    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    I cant find the gif... its been awhile since I had uploaded it to bicycleforum.

    Alex! You're here!
    Ladies and gentlemen... "The Critical Elitist" and his sidekick "Arrogant Bastard" have rejoined to dispense Truth, Justice, and shamelessly correct people as to which direction English bb threads really do thread on!

    Its good to be back, even if its not quite home. I saw Bicycle Bob and John E around here somewhere too.
    Last edited by stumpjumper; 09-05-01 at 12:17 PM.
    Lord Bowler: Uh oh. You hit the sheriff
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  14. #14
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Dumpster Divers Unite!!!!

    I dive any chance I get. I usually end up stripping any usable part and disposing of the carcass back into the dumpster abyss. I've gotten some pretty good parts, usually pedals, brake levers and calipers and once a really nice chainring. Most of the time it's stuff like miscellaneous nuts and bolts and a seatpost clamp.

    My greatest reward was a really nice "Free Spirit" 3 speed bike. I ended up taking it home to clean up and I was going to give to one of the secretaries at work. I left it outside my home the night before and someone stole it. Easy come, Easy Go!

    L8R G8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  15. #15
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by vfboomer
    My greatest reward was a really nice "Free Spirit" 3 speed bike. I ended up taking it home to clean up and I was going to give to one of the secretaries at work. I left it outside my home the night before and someone stole it. Easy come, Easy Go!
    One often things of bike thieves as quick-moving.
    However, if the thief rode off on that Free Spirit, that must have been one slow-moving thief. I have a Free Spirit 3 speed among my bikes, and its massively heavy wheels provide a lot of resistance when trying to cycle. It's a difficult problem to correct. They don't make this type of wheel anymore, and any matching wheel that I would find refurbished/used would be just as heavy. And if I were to custom build my own wheel, I would be forced to reuse the existing hub, etc., guaranteeing that the custom wheel would be quite heavy as well. (And if I'm going to go to all of the trouble of customizing the bike so that it could take different wheels, etc., I would be far better off starting with a different frame altogether than the Free Spirit 3-speed frame.)
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  16. #16
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by HardBall
    Speaking of neighbors. I had the opportunity to fix up some beaters and provide some less fortunate neighborhood children with bikes. One in particular was for a young man around 16 I think, that wanted to work yet had no transportation and no way of getting any. Jobs were not available that were realistically in walking distance.

    He was very much the new generation fatherless kid who barely knew what a wrench was let alone how to use it correctly. He helped me with the dismantling and stripping of the frame. He chose the paint color, a very nice blue I might add. He got the bike mechanic 101 class as we reassembled.

    We worked on that thing for a month. Had a great time and he ended up with a bike that functioned properly and didn't look like it had been rejected one time. I saw him ride it everyday to work for several months until his family moved away from the area.

    I don't know who was more appreciative, him or me. Him for the bike or me for being able to help. It's just nice to help someone. We all get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that we forget that people are what make the difference in out lives. Not the money, cars or houses, not even all the cool bikes and swag

    Forgive me for waxing philosophical; sometimes I just yearn for a more leisurely pace.
    Resuscitation for an old thread I know but, I hope someday to be as cool as this guy. It's something I've always wanted to do but never had the time / resources / space to do so. It will happen I assure you it WILL happen.

  17. #17
    Mercrudgeon Bikedud's Avatar
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    I lead a group of students in a community service project where we refurbish or repair donated used bicycles. When we have a bike in safe acceptable condition, we donate it to the local children's shelter and other county support agencies.

    I am always searching the recycling center, dump, garbage areas, anything, anywhere a rusty old bike may be. I'm not above stopping at someones house and asking them if they would like to give me that old bike out in the yard.

    It's amazing the parts that can be salvaged from even a rusty old bike that appears useless. It's also amazing how many people buy bikes and then just leave them in a barn (etc.) and don't ride them for five years.

    We buy tires, chains, cables, brake pads, etc. but mostly we recycle parts from one bike to another. We have already donated about 50 bicycles and probably will donate another 20 or so by May.

    Your bike trash is someone elses bike treasure.
    The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit.
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  18. #18
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Heck yes. Finds:
    Mid 70's Peugeot UO-8.
    Fuji s-12
    Schwinn Super Le Tour

    All given away to good homes. Also a box or two of parts, some of which I've recycled. I measure out to a 62 cm frame, which isn't the most common size, so I have yet to find a bike that actually fits, though I found a cool UO-10 I'm using as a nice weather commuter at one of the local thrift stores, as well as much of my cycling gear. I'd guestimate 5-10 bikes are thrown out a year in my neighbourhood, most of which I ignore... I don't even look for them, I find them while walking my dog in the alleys, which is where folks put out their trash here. The neighbouhood has chaged from funky/arty to urban professional in the last five years, so I'm hoping to find my first Colnago any day now.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  19. #19
    opinionated SOB cycletourist's Avatar
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    So far I have found a 63cm Fuji and 58cm Dawes, both with lugs and horizontal dropouts and an old Schwinn World Tour that probably weighed 45 pounds. I used a hack saw to cut the head tube off the Schwinn and a friend of mine made a bong out of it.

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