Cycling down the path of life

What To Do With an Old Bicycle

No matter how much you love your bike, there will eventually come a time when it is time to retire it. Whether it is a 20 year old Schwinn that is now a rust-cycle or you are finally breaking down and buying that new commuter bike you have been eyeing for years you should try to give your old bike a new life.

Sell it!
You should first determine if your bike is worth anything. If the bicycle in question is still functional as a mode of transportation then it is almost certainly worth something to someone. You can use the Internet to roughly estimate what an equivalent bike to yours is selling for. Two great places online to do this is eBay and Craigslist. Both of these sites will let you search for similar rides to yours and you can then determine what you think you can sell it for. Craigslist is also a great place to actually sell the bike once you have come up with a price you are happy with because CL is typically a local service and the buyer would pick up the bike from you. eBay is also a great place for sellers of NEW bikes because they are usually unassembled and pre-packaged, but I don’t recommend selling a used bike on eBay as the shipping charges would be unreasonable.

Donate it!
Giving anything to those in need is a great way to do your part in helping the world go round. AND giving a bike to someone who needs one will definitely put a smile on the recipients face as well as yours. There are many organizations like BikesfortheWorld.org where you can donate a bike, but I have always gotten more satisfaction donating things locally. Who to give it to?

1. A friend
2. A church
3. Local shelter
4. A school
5. YMCA
6. Post it on Craigslist as a ‘Free item’ and have people tell you why they need the bike

Just call around to some of these local places and ask them if they would like it. I am sure within a matter of a few phone calls you can find a very appreciative bike-less member of society.

Salvage it for parts
You may be surprised to find there are many places that would love to disassemble your old bike and use the parts that are still good on it. One place in-particular would be a local bike shop that sells used bikes. The sporting super center up the street isn’t going to care much about it as they usually only focus on new bikes, but look up some smaller bike shops in your area. You will be surprised that not only do they want the parts, but they might even be willing to pay you a little bit for them. Giving your old bike a second life is not only great for your Karma, but it sure as heck beats it sitting in a landfill!

Turn it into something else
There are many, many people who have transformed old bicycles into furniture, art and even airplanes! Some of my all time favorites include:

Chandiliers made from bike chains:

Bicycle Chain Chandelier

Bicycle Chain Chandelier

 

Another use for bike chains? A bowl!

Bicycle chain bowl.

Bicycle chain bowl.

An outdoor planter:

Bicycle Trellis.

Bicycle Trellis.

In the end, all that really matters is that you do SOMETHING with it other than tossing it in the trash. That is an absolutely awful option for the environment as there is nothing bio-degradable about a bicycle.

2 Comments

  1. I am still using my “old” bicycle! It may be old (20 y.o.), but it is doing just fine.

    • @Krantcents – That’s a good point; you can use an old bike for a really, really long time as long as it’s well taken care of – or refurbished like vintage bikes. No need to convert bikes into other objects if they can still be pedaled. :)