Recycle a Bike shop
I am in the process of setting up a shop where I recycle old bicycles and give them away. I was wondering if anyone knows of any sites that have free schmatics of bikes, manuals etc. and any other resosuses that I could use. I currently have the Sutherlands book, and the Barnett manual. Both of which have helped me tremendously. But wondering if this will suffice to help me out or is there other information that I may be lacking. Right now I just do it myself but getting busier as people give me more bikes. I am new at doing bike repairs but I am taking my time and learning as I go, making sure that when the bikes are finished they are something that I would be safe riding before I give them away. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Strange Business Model
How do you plan to secure the donor bikes?
What is your estimated cost-per-bike to bring it to safe operation?
How many bikes do you intend to handle per month?
What kind of space do you have available to you? Have you considered work areas, storage areas for unfinished bikes, and storage for parts inventory and tools?
Will you have some form of storefront, or use a web-based virtual thing?
Who will maintain the contacts with donors and future recipients? How much time will this require weekly?
How much of your own time do you have to invest in this weekly? Will you need to draw any type of salary or income from this?
How is this venture financed, initially, and on an on-going basis?
These are the questions I'd love to see answered...
Cool! I don't have anything on what you are requesting, but here's a site you might find interesting and amusing. http://www.trholme.com/bicyclebus/
You need to talk to some of the guys in the C&V thread. One works or worked for a charity like this. I think your hardest trouble will be keeping your books straight.
You may trouble with suppliers (of bike parts) if you do not have a regular business lic.
Thanks for the information. Although I never get any classic bikes. Mostly just big chain store bikes.
I'm at the point in my life now where I have had enogh of being on the road. I refused to pay $ 200 last October to go for a medical that takes 10 minutes . So my licence has been down graded to a DZ ( Straight Truck with Air Brakes ) I am a maintenance manager for an apartment building and just started doing bicycle repairs as a hobby so that where I am now. Drive safe and keep the rubber side down.
+1 with bianchi Grl. have to be a legit business with the documents to prove it ,
in order to get the tools and parts at a business resale rate.. Vs just paying Retail.
Canada Medical charges for Exams for commercial drivers?
None of this post is approved by the working centre or recycle cycles, it's just my own opinions of my experience there.
I used to volunteer about part-time job quantity hours (800-1000 hours a year) at Recycle cycles in Kitchener, you should email them and someone can let you in on a bit of information. I know of a shop that opened that opened in Toronto on similar principles, I think it's these folks I'm thinking of. Running an organized shop and being able to strip at least 1 bike for every bike being sold is important... we do at least half our "business" in used parts, if not more. It's way easier to strip the bikes. You'll need the spare parts for fixing up the bikes that can be rehabilitated quickly. We try to avoid putting new tires on bikes for example, we'd have to sell used bikes for 100 or 200 even to recover the costs of housing, cables, tires, rims, wheels, etc. a lot of the bikes we get are in sorry shape too.
I would reconsider your idea to give the bicycles away; I think it's better to charge on a sliding scale if you want to help those out that don't have money or at least have folks patch tubes for an hour or something easy to do, rolling up tubes that have been tested for a day or something. Based on my experience at recycle cycles I have a hard time thinking there are that many folks out there that can't afford a 20-40$ bicycle... I'd reckon for every 10 "hard luck cases" we get there might 1 or 2 that truly need the bike to get to their first job or something like... most people will be taking your free bikes and reselling them on craigslist for profit. People will tell me they have no money and they need to fix their bike and then they pull out an iphone or something... it's hard to want to work for free for people like that, at least it is for me. Our prices are pretty fair and we have a tremendous amount of trained volunteer labour that helps offset the low costs as well as the backing of a larger organization (the working centre) to help with overhead costs... they take care of all the bookkeeping for example, so I have no idea if our shop even breaks even or not.
If you are seeking a distributor for parts, you can't beat babac for cheap parts that you'll need to fix up the heaps of supercycles and ccm bicycles you'll likely end up getting donated to you. They'll want a business number, I think, to become a distributor but the minimum order is 400$ so you should be able to manage that, some of the other bigger distributors need a proper shop with signage and yellow page ads, etc.
You might also consider approaching Brampton's dump if they collect bicycles they might be willing to partner with your charity and you can have access to them... recycle cycles is one of Waterloo Region's charitable partners that gets some of the dump bikes. Once word gets around that you recycle old bikes folks might just overwhelm you with donations (often of questionable worth). If you want more information on how we scrap bicycles I let you in on that too, separating all the aluminum on the rims and cranks is worth your time
But, in my honest opinion backed by thousands of hours doing exactly what you want to do, I would advise you to reconsider this plan and perhaps work with bike pirates or bike sauce in Toronto to learn more about mechanics and to see what it's like to really work with piles of crap old bikes before embarking on your own. In 2011 we helped some chaps out that were trying to set up a co-op shop down in Cambridge and we ended up with most of their leftovers at the end of the summer since they were overwhelmed and they were a few people, not one.
If you have more questions lemme know via PM.
Thanks Clasher for the insight. Especially being from around the area and knowing what the people here are like. I know so much of how people can say they are so hard done by and don't have two cent's to there name but then you see them driving a brand new car. I have fixed about twenty bikes and sold them on KijII and boy the sob stories that I heard. But The bikes That I give away I give to my church and they try to make sure they go to the needy. Also to Fietsbob, yes you have to pay to get a medical done for your commercial drivers licence.
Thanks for the information Clasher. Sorry can't send you a Private Message. Sure appreciate your honesty and input. Also thanks to everyone else who gave me excellent and valuble information.
If you haven't already, google "bicycle recycling."
Why would you give bikes away, OP?
People who get things for free usually don't take care of what they get.
There's this house I often pass when I ride. It's a dump. Sloppy yard; unkempt cars....people always in the yard during the day, so I assume they don't work. Their kids bikes have been sitting out front- laying on the edge of the road...just laying there, since the end of summer! I guess they've degraded enough now to the point where no one would steal them..... and come spring, I guess they'll be either seeking charity ("Oh, my children need new bikes!") or using their welfare money to buy new ones, then going to a church soup kitchen for food.......
I'll bet everyone to whom you'd give a bike, has a cell phone...... I'd bet that many of 'em smoke, too.
Charity today in the welfare state, is often nothing more than enabling the dysfunctional.
When I was younger and couldn't afford a bike, I found one in the garbage, covered with house paint. I took it home...stripped it down...disassembled and greased and reassembled it...ended up with a bike that gave me several years of service, for c. $20 worth of grease, cables and spray paint...and a cheap chain tool. Learned a little something about bikes and how to maintain them, in the process.
If you want to recycle, how about collecting those old bikes and parts, and letting the potential recipients make their own bikes? Maybe even pay you something, or do some work in exchange? Otherwise, the kind of people who just take "give me's" are just going to trash them or sell them for pills or booze, etc. I grew up amongst such people....I know why they are poor. Just giving them things does not help them. It might make you feel good....but it really accomplishes nothing. The same people will be back time after time for new bikes....because the way it is today, between welfare programs and do-gooders, they have no reason not to be poor.....as it's easier to have people feel sorry for them and give them things for free, than it is to earn their own keep or give up the drugs/booze. I've known people who were blind or crippled, who could earn their own living, and didn't take charity...but we hacve a whole population today of able-bodied people who subsist their whole lives on entitlements and charity....
America: The country where "poor" people are obese.
In the US you need a Medical Examiner's Certificate too to hold a Commercial Driver's License, too. I think it cost me $35 last time.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
Thanks for the link, very helpful.