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how to find used road bikes for non-profit program.

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how to find used road bikes for non-profit program.

Old 04-20-16, 09:58 AM
  #1  
Chiefyo
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how to find used road bikes for non-profit program.

Hi everyone. I oversee probation for southeast Colorado and am very involved with our local and very small community run bike repair shop. We are in no mans land Colorado and are 3 hours away from a LBS. We get lots of donations of people's old Walmart bikes that are really not worth fixing up. I'm advocating to the board that runs the shop to spend some money to buy some quality used bikes from goodwill/Craigslist/etc... I've found some steals of vintage treks. What other brands models from the '80s & 90's made good solid bike that are now common and great values on the craigslist/eBay scene? Any models to steer clear from? I see a lot of Japan made bikes like Panasonic but am not sure about these?? Looking in the free to $250 range.
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Old 04-20-16, 10:20 AM
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What is the intent of these bikes? Sell at cost? Make a bit of profit to help other programs? If so, unless you find something particularly valuable, I'd think starting out with a $250 bike would be too high. By the time you've replaced the worn consumables, you're looking at charging $300 or more just to break even. Likely to be a harder sell in a small out of the way town.
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Old 04-21-16, 08:00 AM
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If you find a Panasonic and it is fixable at a reasonable cost, buy it. Here's the story of the company written by the manager of the bike shop where I worked at a very long time ago. Panasonic Bicycles at Yellow Jersey IMHO, it was the one moderately priced bike sold by Schwinn that wasn't a BSO. Panasonic sold to dealers under their own brand name but also slapped "Schwinn Approved) labels on the same bike and then had them sold by Schwinn dealers as the World Tour for about 30% more than the comparable Panasonic. Made in Japan.

You are right that almost all of the bikes donated to places like yours are junk not worth fixing. That's simply because most people buy their bikes from places like Walmart so they are BSOs to start with. When I see a bike that doesn't have a one piece crank and wheels held on by nuts, I lift it up. If the bike is light and not trashed, it probably is worth restoring. Most of my restorations end up well under $100 but I am very choosy about the bikes I restore.

There are those of us who restore bikes as a hobby for the pleasure of the next owner, not for profit. I pass mine on to Scouts and Scout leaders who do cycling merit badge. The OP is in this category.

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Old 04-21-16, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
There are those of us who restore bikes as a hobby for the pleasure of the next owner, not for profit. I pass mine on to Scouts and Scout leaders who do cycling merit badge. The OP is in this category.
I fit in that category as well, minus them eventually making it on to the next owner. They just clutter my apartment

I simply asked, as the OP had not indicated the intentions of the bike. A $300 restored vintage bike might move well in an urban center. In a small, out of the way town? Not so likely. Advocating to a board to spend money would indicate to me there needs to be some cash accountability on these bikes.
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Old 04-21-16, 09:18 AM
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I'm part of a group that does the same thing, but in NJ so we have a greater population to use. What we do is to have bike drives. We have drop off points at all of the local bike shops. We also sponsor corporate bike drives. What you can do is to ask local churches and scout troops to run bike drives every 6 months or so. This is a great service project for the scouts, they should jump on it.
Good Luck.
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Old 04-21-16, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Chiefyo View Post
We get lots of donations of people's old Walmart bikes that are really not worth fixing up.
I volunteer in a bike coop. We're in a city of ~2MM people. A relatively small percentage of donated bikes are not worth fixing up, and get recycled. I'd guess 10-20% tops. Those bikes get stripped of any usable part and go into a pile, and get hauled to the recyclers when the pile is big enough. Our clients include people who have to save up to buy a $20-$60 bike to get to work; we would not be serving them well if we told them, "You deserve a better bike; keep saving until you have enough for this Trek".

My suggestions:
1) Partner with a bike co-op, church, or charity in a large metro area (Denver, The Springs, Pueblo, whatever) and have them collect bikes for you. Get the bikes every couple of months.

2) Hit Goodwill and other thrift stores; almost all have half-price days. I've spent as little as $13.50 on a working, if dirty, 10 speed. Even better, ask if you can partner with them. They might be willing to call when they have inventory or even set aside bikes they would otherwise scrap. Include more distant cities if you can find volunteers to make monthly collection trips.
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Old 04-21-16, 04:08 PM
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I volunteer at our local community farm/jobs training project repairing and resurrecting bikes for use by our clients, many of whom are jobless and/or homeless and lack transportation. We have solicited donations from local bike shops, and currently have a donation drive in conjunction with these shops:

https://www.facebook.com/riverviewga...64745420229654

N.B. That's me in the picture
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