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How to dispose of old bikes

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How to dispose of old bikes

Old 08-03-09, 02:14 PM
  #1  
RickAccused
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How to dispose of old bikes

Hey guys, just wondering how you go about getting rid of old bikes that aren't worth the hassle anymore. I've got three old frames, none of which are particularly nice, mostly low end stuff. I've got a Royce Union, a random Free Spirit, and a Ross with the front freewheel system.

I feel bad throwing away bikes, but since none of these were particularly nice and they aren't in too great shape, i'm probably going to scrap them for parts then leave the frames curbside.

How do you guys get rid of the ones you no longer need/can do anything with?
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Old 08-03-09, 02:16 PM
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Make friends with the local junk collectors. The metal is worth a bit to recyclers and therefore the frames are worth a bit to those who can sell them to recyclers. And since these guys are good at finding tossed out old bikes first, you might be able to get him to be your personal bike hunter for the good stuff.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:25 PM
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Local recycling yard let's me just throw the scrap into their pile.
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Old 08-03-09, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by stausty View Post
Make friends with the local junk collectors. The metal is worth a bit to recyclers and therefore the frames are worth a bit to those who can sell them to recyclers. And since these guys are good at finding tossed out old bikes first, you might be able to get him to be your personal bike hunter for the good stuff.
thats a great idea! I just wish the local scrap collectors weren't all strange people who hate everyone. I tried to buy a frame off a guy. You would have thought i'd asked him how much for his wife! haha

I'll probably try again though
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Old 08-03-09, 02:30 PM
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If it is a complete bike, I take them to my favorite thrift store. I have picked up Roadmasters and Huffys at the curb and drove them directly to a thrift store. I just don't see why bikes, even low end ones, should end up at the dump.

I have stripped a couple down to basically nothing. I have the remaining main frame triangles (with issues). I will probably cut them up and toss them into the recycle bin.

Even a junker can yield reusable parts like seats, pedals, freewheels, tires, cable clamps. But if I am going to donate it to a thrift store, I make sure the bike is complete.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:06 PM
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Maybe one of the local kids wants to make a fixed gear ...

Someone made a clever shop stool with a mattress saddle, a seatpost, and the rear triangle of an old frame.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:10 PM
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Do you have a local co-op that might want them? I volunteer at one and we usually re-use everything that is useable and strip off and sell the crap parts for scrap value, it's not much money but we use it to buy new stuff. Better than just tossing it.

You could also build tall bikes out of them or something. Freecycling them is another thought too, someone would probably take it off your hands.
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Old 08-03-09, 06:07 PM
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Depends on the bike, the better complete ones go to a local bike charity, the really bad ones get broken down for parts and the remainder recycled. FWIW about a year ago I could get ~$15-$20 for an aluminum Next frame. Not too shabby considering I was averaging a couple a week from the ditches and curbsides.

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Old 08-03-09, 08:34 PM
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Donate for use as a ghost bike, yeah.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:26 PM
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I have sold them in bulk on CL, and left them by the curb for the scrap guys/metal recyclcers (gone in like ten minutes in my hood). Those same crazy guys that drive around looking for metal will sell stuff off of their trucks. I've flagged them down before and offered them money and they will take it for sure.
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Old 08-03-09, 09:55 PM
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If you put a bike out on the curb here, there's one or more scroungers making the rounds that will pick it up. I assume they sell it if there's any value, or add it to the scrap metal otherwise.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:36 PM
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People who are just getting into framebuilding are always looking for old frames they can cut up and use the tubes to practice their brazing on. I'm not sure how you'd find them, though.
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Old 08-03-09, 10:54 PM
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pay it forward thread?

for a lot of people the shipping would make it not worth it, but if someone here has a project in mind that lives near you, its worth trying to hook up with them.

i know that if you lived here and offered me a free junk frame in my size, i'd take it just to be a project.
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Old 08-03-09, 11:05 PM
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Look around for people that fix up bikes for the community.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:55 AM
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Chicago has Working Bikes which collects old bikes and sends them to Africa. There might be something similar in NYC doing collections in your area, depending on what part of CT you live in.

[edit] Here's a blurb from the WB website for the link-averse crowd:
Working Bikes is primarily volunteer-driven. Currently it receives no government or foundation money. All its operations are funded through the sale of bicycles at its storefront. Working Bikes uses that money to provide bicycles to charity organizations within Chicagoland and to ship bicycles to the Gulf Coast, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru.

In the countries to which Working Bikes ships, a bicycle can often mean the difference between work and unemployment. The bicycle is the primary means of vehicular transportation for the majority of the population and is used both for personal transportation and for carrying cargo.

Due to wage differences, a bicycle worth $20 in Chicago can be worth the equivalent of $1,000 in Africa.

Each year Working Bikes gives away over 5,000 bicycles locally and internationally. It distributes about 500 bicycles and wheelchairs in the Chicago area alone: to City programs, refugees and day camps.
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Old 08-04-09, 10:59 AM
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jbonamici's suggestion is great! Don't dump them PLEASE!! there will be some use for them, it would be sad to cut them up and dump them!
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Old 08-04-09, 11:10 AM
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The few I've had to get rid of (rusted out Huffys and Magna's) have just been dropped off at the local metal recycler. Everything else is either salvaged or donated to the local bike project.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:13 AM
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A bike should never be scrapped. There was a recent feature on TV about a retired garbage collector in Manchester whose former colleagues at the depot bring him any old bikes they pick up, or that people bring in. He fixes them up and gives them away. He's done hundreds. When you do that sort of thing for a while, you get a huge stock of spare parts, and you rarely have to buy anything except brake blocks and cables, for safety.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:37 AM
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As everyone has said, there are lots of good options. Here's my order of preference:

1. Give it to a community bike collective -- there's a list of them here . I'm not sure where you are in Connecticut, but there's one listed in New Haven and others probably exist. I used to volunteer with Charlottesville, VA Community Bikes, and it was great -- kids from the neighborhood could come in and learn how to build themselves a bike they could really be proud of. For a poor kid, a bike can open up whole new worlds right there in your own city.

2. Give it to Working Bikes or a similar organization. People in other countries could use 'em, too.

3. A lot of college campuses are starting programs to provide students with bikes, cutting down on the troubles associated with car parking and traffic. You might look for one in your area.

4. Some community groups give bikes to homeless folks, which can help them get to jobs and get off the street. Check this out.

5. Freecycle is great for giving away anything you no longer want. I'm always amazed at what people will take when it's free. I gave away an opened tube of toothpaste, once. No joke. Look for a group in your area: www.freecycle.org.

5. You can always post it for free on Craigslist.

6. Thrift stores.

But yeah, don't throw those bikes out. Lots of people could use them.

Speaking of which, does anybody have a use for a really rusty old Schwinn Varsity in Eastern North Carolina? Lemme know.
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Old 08-04-09, 06:50 PM
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Craigslist when the college collage kids are in town
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Old 08-04-09, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Proofide View Post
A bike should never be scrapped. There was a recent feature on TV about a retired garbage collector in Manchester whose former colleagues at the depot bring him any old bikes they pick up, or that people bring in. He fixes them up and gives them away. He's done hundreds. When you do that sort of thing for a while, you get a huge stock of spare parts, and you rarely have to buy anything except brake blocks and cables, for safety.
I think not! If the frame is damaged the scrap yard is the best place for it. My spare parts bins are gone through once a year or so. Usable parts that I no longer want go to the local bike charity, if they are toast they get recycled. So many charitable organizations are overwhelmed by people giving them crap, that is really hurts them to have to pay to dispose of it. My rule of thumb is: if it isn't good enough to sell or for me to use I am not going to donate it to a charity.

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Aluminum: barely a hundred
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Old 08-04-09, 09:00 PM
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Anything crashed is not worth being used. In fact I try to make sure they can't be used by cutting the frames in half. Every so often we load up scrap metal and take it to the scrap yard. I work at a bike shop so all of the damaged wheels that get replaced I take them. If the hub is half way decent and still usable even for parts I often cut out the spokes and save the hubs just recycling the spokes and bent rims. Occasional we get a bike or two given to us. If it isn't worth the effort to fix or is too far gone I might try and salvage a few parts and then off to the scrap yard it goes.
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Old 08-04-09, 09:45 PM
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Conn? Check the bikes listing on the Hudson Valley Craigslist. There is someone in the Kingston area (IIRC) that is specifically looking for a Royce Union. He lists his want ad every few days.
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Old 08-06-09, 12:42 PM
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http://hudsonvalley.craigslist.org/bik/1308927225.html

I know that this sounds weird, but the OP mentioned having a Royce Union.
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Old 08-06-09, 01:37 PM
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Thats gotta be the only WTB for a Royce Union ever.
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