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At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?

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At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?

Old 07-03-22, 06:41 AM
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At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?

At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?

Curb bike, left in the bulk trash area, been there for over 48 hours and no air in the tires so no one rode it there.

Yeah, it's a Huffy. Everything is in good shape, no rust, shockingly good tires.

Remove some labels, some adjustments to the brakes and derailleurs and it'll be ready for donation.

It made me think, at what point would this be not worth it?

Does anyone even want a free bike anymore?
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Old 07-03-22, 07:01 AM
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At the point I saw it.
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Old 07-03-22, 07:16 AM
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If it was for myself I wouldn't bother with it. We have a bike shop here that takes donated bikes, fixes them, and give them to kids at Christmas. It could be used for that if it didn't need too much.
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Old 07-03-22, 07:59 AM
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I don't get them often but only take them if I see a path for them; either to keep or to donate or to fix for someone. Not difficult to pass if it falls outside those lines.
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Old 07-03-22, 08:25 AM
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Not every bike needs to be rescued. However steel and aluminum bikes don't need to go in the trash either. They need to go to a scrap yard so their materials get made into something else. If they just go in the trash they'll go to a landfill and sit for eternity.
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Old 07-03-22, 08:41 AM
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A huffy and similar quality bikes don't need rescue they needed to be put down from the factory. If I found a bike of decent quality I would consider it if not in super rough shape but a bike made from garbage is just going back from where it came.

Though as Iride01 said it should be scrapped or recycled.
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Old 07-03-22, 01:05 PM
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Unless you have a lot of parts hanging around, it's usually a loosing proposition to 'save' an abandoned department-store bike.
I'll admit to being a bit of a scrapper when it comes to 'found' bikes. I keep two stashes of spares; one for 'my' projects and one for any 'BSO flips' that come my way.
I'll almost always look one over; if it's not in near-rideable condition, then whether it's got any components worth salvaging. got a couple of Exage DR's and 7-sp Alivio rapid-fires that way.

I've got a pretty good stash of 2nd-hand / patched 26" shraeder tubes and a handful of take-off chains that have been 'pickled' in ATF; since tubes and chains are the most likely reasons an otherwise intact bike would get dumped. If it needs much more than that, though, I'm probably going to take a pass.
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Old 07-03-22, 01:44 PM
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Depends. Does it come with a half-empty bottle of cheap vodka?
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Old 07-03-22, 02:11 PM
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Melt it down and turn it into something useful, like a beer can.
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Old 07-03-22, 02:57 PM
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Restoration could cost more than the cost of a new bike, yet about ten feet away from me is a 1983 lugged steel frame bike which was in near perfect condition but about to go away in a dumpster and since then I have put a lot of time, effort and money into it because they don't make them like they used to.

Edit: I like the way '70s and '80s steel road bikes ride but they work even better with expensive, more modern components and features.

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Old 07-03-22, 04:00 PM
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I don't bother, I might if it was something special. But I haven't seen that before.
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Old 07-03-22, 09:38 PM
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this bike was rescued from a dumpster

needed chain, rear derailleur, and rear wheel trued
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Old 07-03-22, 09:51 PM
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Usually I consider anything with bolt-on wheels not worth bothering with and the exceptions are incredibly few and far between. There are some entry level bike shop road bikes from the 80s that might make the cut. Anything department store may be worth salvaging tires/tubes but is usually scrap as is most any 70s bolt-on wheel bike. If it doesn't come with aluminum rims and a QR skewer it isn't worth taking a look at for me, I've got better things to do with my time.
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Old 07-03-22, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?
?
...when I see it's a Huffy, I quickly run away.
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Old 07-03-22, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse
At what point do you NOT rescue a free bike?

Curb bike, left in the bulk trash area, been there for over 48 hours and no air in the tires so no one rode it there.

Yeah, it's a Huffy. Everything is in good shape, no rust, shockingly good tires.

Remove some labels, some adjustments to the brakes and derailleurs and it'll be ready for donation.

It made me think, at what point would this be not worth it?

Does anyone even want a free bike anymore?
you asked the wrong question.

At what point is a bike worth rescuing?

Financially, basically never.

Only ever rescue a bike if its something youd personally like to ride or give to a friend. At that, it needs to be a pretty good friend for even that to make sense.
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Old 07-03-22, 11:16 PM
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Economics. My parts box is well supplied, but if I have to pay for anything more than new tires, it's not worth it.
If it's a project bike, I might spend more
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Old 07-04-22, 11:49 AM
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I will give most any “abandoned” bike I see, at the very least, a once over look. I have plenty of decent bikes in my “to be rehabilitated” cue and don’t feel the need to rescue everyone that I see. Big Box/ Department store bikes (Huffy, Roadmaster, most anything from WalMart, etc.) get to continue their “curbside naps”!
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Old 07-04-22, 07:39 PM
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No pics from the op?
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Old 07-05-22, 12:36 AM
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I wouldn't "rescue" anything unless it was a frame I knew was decent and one that I needed, and/or there were identifiable parts that were worth something or that I needed.
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Old 07-05-22, 05:01 AM
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When it stops being worth the hassle.

Basically, if it's to get cleaned up and donated to someone, then one that'll need no more than maybe $20 in parts - new inner tubes, brake pads and maybe a tire or 2. Hobby time is essentially free.

For myself, where the cost of the parts is more than about half of what I could buy a good condition equivalent for.
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Old 07-05-22, 06:56 PM
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We and most large cities have a branch of the International Rescue Committee who help people with a way to get to a job which benefits all of us. If I think I can get it to a reasonable/safe level for a little money and it can get someone by for at least 6 months I will do it.
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Old 07-08-22, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
...when I see it's a Huffy, I quickly run away.
I enjoy a nice Cranbrook here and there- have had like five of them.
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Old 07-08-22, 07:34 AM
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If it's a nice frame and will fit me or a family member (or has parts I want), it's worth rescuing. Otherwise, not. I don't have enough time to ride as it is and have a couple bikes in the build queue. No time for projects that will just suck up budget and space.
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Old 07-08-22, 07:38 AM
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Curb bike, left in the bulk trash area, been there for over 48 hours and no air in the tires so no one rode it there. Yeah, it's a Huffy. Everything is in good shape, no rust, shockingly good tires. Remove some labels, some adjustments to the brakes and derailleurs and it'll be ready for donation.
A bike of that tape, if that's all that was required then it'd seem a good candidate for a donation-grade bike. Some kid would enjoy it, I'm sure, someone who didn't have a bike. Once of the nice things about bike co-op type places is they can usually get something like this to someone who needs it ... or, use it as a "project" platform for people learning to wrench for the first time.

I might have picked it up and brought it to the co-op in my area, if I thought they could use it.

For me, as with most people, the dividing line is where I believe the resulting value won't be worth the effort. (The line is different for everyone. My own Trek 970, $100 frame w/ original parts, but I've ended up replacing every single part on it. Probably not a value, but it still turned out far better than I had hoped. Worth it, to me.)
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Old 07-08-22, 09:07 AM
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I usually try to direct people to email photographs if they are able.
Anything by Pacific Cycles or Dynacraft (Schwinn, Mongoose, Next, Road Master, etc...) or anything with neglected or dubious suspension quality, I'll usually decline.

An unfortunate truth is: Rim braked road bikes just don't sell. Even less so if they are vintage or have down tube shifters. It is difficult to even get customers to look at them. Unless a bike has some compelling merits, I'll usually decline. I have a beautiful Giordana, & an Olmo, that have been in the shop for at least a year. A Jeunet that we finally donated to Ukrainian & Afghanistan refugees after 3 years, a Bianchi Campione that likewise sat for about 3 years...Sold it for $100 just to get the floor space. Road bike people have to have the newest, latest & greatest high tech. No matter how good a bike is, vintage is neither.

When on the telephone, I use terms like "exceedingly rusty," "weathered," or sometimes "suitable for a second life" to ward off galvanized spokes, stuck nipples, dry rotted tires, flaking paint, swole up galvanized cables & otherwise low end components. People who leave their bikes outside generally don't have worthy bikes to begin with. (Phrased differently: Worthy bikes don't generally get left outside.)

If they show up in person, I evaluate the bike itself. Sometime exceptions are made one way or the other, but I'll generally lean towards acceptance because the customer made an effort & that is important in a Customer/Public Relations context.

A few bike brands are almost guaranteed acceptance: Trek, Special Ed, Giant, Bianchi, Klein, Cannondale, Novara, Fuji, Norco, Sekai, Raleigh, Centurion, anything Campy or any bike equipped with an IGH...You know, bikes that were/are reputable & would/could be reconditioned/repaired at "not a loss" with volunteer labor.

It is remarkably easy to dump $100 in parts into a bike just to make something safe & functional. Then another $100 in paid labor time to fix/repair/rework a volunteers efforts. Still, at a $250 average price tag about 30% of customers remain unimpressed.

Last edited by base2; 07-08-22 at 09:16 AM.
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