Charity bike shops

Twilkes

Veteran
I went into Bike For Good in Glasgow to pick up an old seat post for a fiver, and in the 10 minutes I was there there must have been over a dozen people or couples through the door looking for parts, repairs or possibly even a refurbished bike, not including the half dozen people already fixing their bikes on a hired workstand and tools, more than I've ever seen in any normal bike shop. I was surprised to see they offer servicing similar to commercial shops, i.e. a £25 service, £50 etc and also sell some brand new parts and accessories.

It's great that this place exists but can't be doing local bike shops much good, not that I've ever had a flawless experience with any of them to say the least. It's not for profit which is great as it is providing a public service of encouraging cycling, but it's competing with bike shops with the help of charitable status so I'd imagine some of them are a bit miffed!

Are there similar organisations in other parts of the UK? Do you use them over an LBS?
 
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annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
Yes, I volunteer with recyke y'bike in Newcastle. I think you'll find that the offer more than just an LBS - they train volunteers in job skills, Support asylum seekers with free bikes, sell refurbished bikes cheaply so that people with little spare cash can get into cycling,.... Providing maintenace and servicing is an income stream that helps them do the charitable stuff.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Quite possibly some of the customers made a conscious decision to patronise the charitable bike project rather than a commercial LBS, especially if they've previously had a negative experience of a commercial shop. I got one of my Raleigh Pioneers and a couple of parts donor Trek MTB's, very cheaply from a small charity that had had the bikes given to them to sell on to raise funds. I get really pissed off by "chuggers" accosting me in the street, but I'm happy to donate stuff to or buy stuff from charities, especially smaller local ones who probably spend less on admin as they are 100% volunteer run.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Check out
http://on-your-bike.org
Taunton and Bridgewater
Thanks, reading that I guess it's not dissimilar to the social enterprise sandwich shops that we have up here, that train up and employer homeless people while still competing with local commercial businesses. Wonder how much it effects nearby bike shops though, maybe less than I think.
 

Brandane

Fair weather cyclist.
Location
Ayrshire.
I went into Bike For Good in Glasgow to pick up an old seat post for a fiver, and in the 10 minutes I was there there must have been over a dozen people or couples through the door looking for parts, repairs or possibly even a refurbished bike, not including the half dozen people already fixing their bikes on a hired workstand and tools, more than I've ever seen in any normal bike shop. I was surprised to see they offer servicing similar to commercial shops, i.e. a £25 service, £50 etc and also sell some brand new parts and accessories.

It's great that this place exists but can't be doing local bike shops much good, not that I've ever had a flawless experience with any of them to say the least. It's not for profit which is great as it is providing a public service of encouraging cycling, but it's competing with bike shops with the help of charitable status so I'd imagine some of them are a bit miffed!

Are there similar organisations in other parts of the UK? Do you use them over an LBS?
Nice to know that shop exists. I might be moving home soon and will need a pretty thorough clear-out which will include a load of bike parts in my loft. Someone might as well benefit.
 

All uphill

Senior Member
Thanks, reading that I guess it's not dissimilar to the social enterprise sandwich shops that we have up here, that train up and employer homeless people while still competing with local commercial businesses. Wonder how much it effects nearby bike shops though, maybe less than I think.
The LBS can still sell new bicycles for hundreds or thousands, while the community project sells bikes for 100 pounds or less. Different markets.
The low cost bike buyers may later become LBS customers for a shiny new bike, so both are part of a healthy cycling culture.
They do compete on servicing and repair, but that is, I think, not a huge part of the business.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Nice to know that shop exists. I might be moving home soon and will need a pretty thorough clear-out which will include a load of bike parts in my loft. Someone might as well benefit.
Yeah they take anything, and anything they can't re-use they recycle for scrap. I've donated a few bikes, although one was a seized up Argos special made of concrete so lord knows what they did with that. :smile:
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
I've donated a few bikes, although one was a seized up Argos special made of concrete so lord knows what they did with that.
Lol, they sell it to the metal merchant!
I give my used cassettes, chains and stuff to my local bike hub, which is the Rutherglen version of Bike for Good.
Very handy for jobs I can't do!
Sometimes I use their fix your own bike service: get them to supervise me in case I make a disaster ^_^
 

Oxford Dave

Senior Member
Location
West Oxfordshire
Yep, I bought my bike from a local volunteer-run bike place in Witney, the Windrush Bike Project. I wasn't sure whether I'd be happy back on two wheels (not cycled for 15 years, but rode motorcycles for about 40 - until a bad accident 4 years ago), so it was a good way of testing the water. Two weeks later, and I'm hooked!!
 

boydj

Guru
Location
Paisley
Bike for Good (Glasgow South) came to my rescue just before Christmas when I had my rear wheel wrecked in an incident just round the corner from their workshop. One of their guys was passing as I surveyed the damaged wheel and took me round to the shop and sorted out a replacement wheel to get me home. I gave them a few surplus parts when I took the wheel back and I've now got a few more bits and pieces to pass on.

It's surprising how the parts bin seems to fill up when you have several bikes to maintain / upgrade and you try different options.
 

CanucksTraveller

Macho Business Donkey Wrestler
Location
Hertfordshire
It sounds like a wonderful arrangement frankly, my garage is full of some really great spares and components that I'll never use thanks to upgrades etc, and a couple of virtually pristine kids' bikes, and nobody around here will take them off my hands because it's second hand. I'd be utterly delighted and heartwarmed if a scheme could make some good use of it all.

The two LBS in my town are doing just fine but I think a charity shop could coexist.
 
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It was last year that we popped into Trowbridge on a whim. We passed a Julian House charity cycle repair shop and I popped in to buy some loose ball bearings. Whilst there an old Dawes caught my eye ,it was hanging up in a window . I wandered over to see what it was and noticed that it had a price label on it . A week later I popped back and bought it ! It was a 60's Dawes Double Blue .
 
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