Deciding What To Do With Your Old Bike

What to Do with your old bike

Flickr photo by Brittany G

I usually try not to be overly sentimental when it comes to my possessions. Holding onto useless junk rarely holds much benefit, and quite frankly, who has room for it? One possession that many people take exception to, however, is bicycles. A bike is more than steel and wheels – it’s a companion. This makes for tough calls when it comes time say goodbye.

Here are some comments and resources to help you through the process of letting go.


For starters, it’s good to know if your bike still has value. The unfortunate truth is that bikes do have a finite lifetime. At some point, fixing the broken frame, rusty chain, and cracked tires and cable housings becomes more expensive than the bike is worth. A good way to decide whether to go through with repairs is to bring it to a good mechanic. A quick visual inspection should usually be enough to decide whether repairs are warranted.

If you want to save costs on repairs by doing them yourself, there are many resources that can walk you through what needs to be done and how to do it.


If your bike is no longer in the shape you need, but still suitable for someone else, you have many options. The used bike market is an active one. Chances are someone will want yours and be willing to part with some cash to get it.

Make Charitable Donation

Another option is to give it to charity. Both local and global charities invite you to make a difference by putting a bike in the hands of someone who needs it.

Two charities come to mind:

Bikes Not Bombs – Bikes Not Bombs has sent over 40,000 bikes to Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and New Orleans in the last 25 years. Find out more here.

Re~Cycle – Re~Cycle’s mission is to collect unwanted bicycles and ship them to Africa. Find out more here.

There are likely numerous local charities offering bicycle-recycling outlets in your own community as well.

Salvage Parts

In the unfortunate circumstance that your bike must be thrown away, consider salvaging its parts. Check out these fun ways people have reused bike parts in the most creative fashion!

Christmas Tree Ornaments From Recycled Gears
Christmas Tree Ornaments From Recycled Gears
Chaise Lounge From Recycled Bike Tires
Hanging Plant Basket From Old Bike Helmet
Clock Made From Recycled Gears


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