The most important criterea is "Will this bike be valuable to our Partners in Africa, will it be suitable for local road conditions, will spare parts be available locally to service and maintain it to give it the best chance of having a long useful life". If a bike passes this acid test we will ship it to Africa. If it does not we will look to find the best alternative use for it. Although we want to send the maximum number of bikes that we can, it makes no sense to send bikes we know are not wanted or are not suitable. - see FAQ "Are all the bikes you receive sent to Africa?" for more detail.
The bikes most requested by our partners are :-
- Mountain bikes and hybrids - these strong bikes are particularly suitable for unmade African roads
- City and commuter cycles (often with 3-speed hubs, mudguards and parcel carriers) - these are very practical cycles and 3 speed hubs are low maintenance
- Shopper bikes (with small wheels, typically with 3-speed hubs, mudguards and parcel carriers) - these are very easy to ride, even for inexperienced cyclists, and are very quickly adjustable for riders of different heights
- Road Bikes (Racing and Touring cycles with drop handle bars and narrow tyres) - although these are not happy on rough, unmade roads, they can be sent to a few projects based in cities that have a network of tarmac roads. Touring bikes are sturdy and have load carrying fixings and capacity
- Front and Full-suspension bikes - if these are in at least reasonable condition. Many budget bikes of of this type are of poor build quality. Good quality ones are very suitable for use on the unmade roads typical in rural Africa
- 3 wheeled Adult Trikes - can be ridden by less able bodied riders or people with balance issues and are often great for load carrying
- Small wheeled childrens bikes - are requested in small numbers only by our current partners and usually 20" wheel size is the smallest we ship.