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Old 08-28-14, 05:14 PM   #1
70w30
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Recycling cheap bikes for kids

I'm 47 and cannot remember life without a bike. So with the mindset that evey kid needs a bike I have been picking up old Junkers and getting them in shape and giving them away. Cheap bikes that are usually hauled off for scrap. The 20" bikes no problems. Tubes pedals a tire here and there. Repack the bearings and wipe it down. Minimal investment. The conundrum is all these 24-26" MTB that are piling up. By the time you buy cables and shifters as needed plus misc parts,just not feasible. The question is should I pick an easy gear,put it there and junk the shifters totally? Cables and pads no biggie to replace.
I simply don't want $45 in a $25 yard sale bike. All bikes are given away free and probably no one at home to adjust and or maintain more than airing up tires. Thoughts ?
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Old 08-29-14, 04:53 AM   #2
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I'm 47 and cannot remember life without a bike. So with the mindset that evey kid needs a bike I have been picking up old Junkers and getting them in shape and giving them away. Cheap bikes that are usually hauled off for scrap. The 20" bikes no problems. Tubes pedals a tire here and there. Repack the bearings and wipe it down. Minimal investment. The conundrum is all these 24-26" MTB that are piling up. By the time you buy cables and shifters as needed plus misc parts,just not feasible. The question is should I pick an easy gear,put it there and junk the shifters totally? Cables and pads no biggie to replace.
I simply don't want $45 in a $25 yard sale bike. All bikes are given away free and probably no one at home to adjust and or maintain more than airing up tires. Thoughts ?
Here's a fellow who had your same thoughts about 7 years ago. It's snowballed since then. He's gotten the whole bicycling community involved. The bikes are donated, volunteers fix them up and they are redistributed locally, across the state, and even to foreign countries now.

Recycle Bikes for Kids.

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Old 08-29-14, 11:33 AM   #3
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Yes. Reliability is important. Single speeds have made up a large portion of bike history, and seem to be enjoying a recent resurgence. I'd go with a mid-range gear. You're performing a real mitzvah!
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Old 08-29-14, 12:06 PM   #4
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Odds are, a non-profit and/or a community group near you is already doing something like this. While most places aren't large enough to have a chapter of a dedicated bike-related charity, many areas have a family-oriented charity that has an annual bike maintenance event staffed by volunteers who spruce up donated bikes and then give them away to families in need.
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Old 08-29-14, 01:51 PM   #5
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Nothing in the general area. Nearest bike shop is 50 miles away. Piecing and parting is the strategy. We live in a somewhat rural area with only one red light in the entire county actually talked to the guys in little rock for some basic strategies and tips. Simply trying to resurrect some old bikes and out the kids to pedaling who otherwise might not ever have a bike
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Old 04-14-16, 06:52 AM   #6
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Well it's almost 2 years later how is it going? I hope you were able to sort out your issues and were able to get a lot of bikes on the road again.
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Old 04-14-16, 12:12 PM   #7
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Odds are, a non-profit and/or a community group near you is already doing something like this. While most places aren't large enough to have a chapter of a dedicated bike-related charity, many areas have a family-oriented charity that has an annual bike maintenance event staffed by volunteers who spruce up donated bikes and then give them away to families in need.
Search for a bike co-op. My local co-op finances it's operations by selling (very cheaply) bikes that get donated. Volunteers triage the bikes - the worst are stripped and recycled, a few are rebuilt, most are cleaned and refurbished. Kids bikes typically go for $20-40, adult bikes $60-150, with a few up to $250. They've purchased the building they are in and stocked 10 repair stations with the proceeds.
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