What kind of bikes are we looking for?

We are very pleased to receive any cycle (particularly adult size) that is in at least reasonable condition or better.

We ship all types of bikes to Africa, as long as they can be put into 'going condition', without needing hours and hours of work. It doesn't make sense to devote a huge amount of time fixing just one cycle in very poor condition when that time could be better spent fixing several others that require less-major work.

These types of bike can be shipped:

  • 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 better road conditions
  • Full-suspension bikes - if these are in at least reasonable condition. Many budget bikes of of this type are of poor build quality (see below). In good condition they are very suitable for use on rough roads in Africa
  • 3 wheeled Adult Trikes - great for riders with balance issues

The kind of bikes we don't want, thanks:

  • Very small kids "toy" bikes with plastic wheels - the metal frames are only worth a few pence in scrap value but the plastic gives us a waste disposal problem
  • Bikes that have been left out in the rain for months - if they are completely rusted up even the spare parts are of no value
  • BSO (Bicycle Shaped Objects) = very cheap bikes, with bad quality components.  Eg. if it was under £150 new. We're not being snobs, just don't want to send poor quality bikes out, or dispose of them in the UK. This explains more http://www.southcoastbikes.co.uk/Dont-Buy-a-Cheap-Bike

Also useful, please:

  • All Bike spare parts and accessories, part worn tyres
  • Tools -especially bike specific tools but also general workshop tools such as spanners, hammers, screwdrivers, hacksaws, allen keys, pliers, files etc.

FAQ's

Do you accept teenage and childrens' cycles?

Yes, providing they are in at least a reasonable condition, although our first priority is to send adult-sized cycles for people to use as a means of transport.

  • 24”-wheel cycles are suitable for both shorter adults and teenage riders
  • 20”-wheel cycles can be used by children to get to school

Both 20"-wheel and 24"-wheel cycles are used to fill small spaces between full-size adult cycles in the containers that we ship.

Very small bikes (with 12”, 14” or 16”-wheels) are only of limited use and so must be in good condition and not require too much work; this is because a mechanic’s time is better spent repairing adult bikes. They are useful for filling small spaces but they are usually only requested in limited numbers by our African partners.

My cycle is damaged and/or broken and/or has bits missing - is it still useful to you?

If it is reasonably clean and not rusted up, we can strip most cycles down for spare parts - these are shipped to Africa alongside the cycles. Spare parts are vital to ensure that bikes can be repaired and kept going.

I have a cycle that has been left outside for years - is it still useful to you?

If a cycle is very rusty and you don't think we will be able to strip out anything useful, it would be better to take it to your local scrap-metal recycling point. Cycles that have been kept in a shed or garage and just have a bit of rust, a layer or two of dust and/or flat tyres are OK.