How To Recycle and Get Crafty With Secondhand Bike Parts

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Photo: Shanghaiist.com

Photo: Shanghaiist.com

Let’s talk about a dark place that we all know exists, but don’t necessarily bring up in day-to-day conversations. Bike graveyards. There, I said it. Where neglected, unridden bicycles go to retire. By being the savvy and environmentally friendly people that we are these days, these bikes and bike parts get second chances. There’s a variety of different ways that bicycles can come back to life- from getting refurbished to being turned into art projects or education movements. Find out what you can do with your old bike and others that have been left.

Using Recycled Bike Parts

Photo: Theguardian.com

Photo: Theguardian.com

There’s nothing worse than breaking something you really like or that you use often. If your bike isn’t having the best of luck in the structural department, but you don’t have the budget to hook it up with all the newest parts, you can take the secondhand route. Deconstructed bikes are out there and they are waiting for you to take bits of their parts to add to your baby. Feeling really adventurous? Build your own bike out of all recycled parts! It’ll be a fun project and you’ll end up with a unique ride of your own.

Turning Old Parts into Art

Photo: Trendhunter.com

Photo: Trendhunter.com

Feeling crafty? There are tons of ways to turn your old bike parts into your very own art installment. Peruse Pinterest for some clever ideas that you’ll be able to easily do on your own! From simply using the chains to utilizing the whole frame, you’ll be able to turn that blank spot on your wall into your own little gallery with a lot of wow factor! If you’re not feeling up for doing this DIY project on your own, you can also commission a local artist to help you achieve that vision you have in mind!

Bike Swaps

Photo: Silive.com

Photo: Silive.com

Has your child outgrown his or her bike? Is yours simply not your style anymore? Have no fear, bike swaps are something that you can participate in all over the country. Simply swap with someone else so you don’t have to deal with selling yours and buying another. This is a fun way to bring the community together, save some money and keep unwanted bikes out of the landfill. If there are no bike swaps scheduled in your neighborhood, go ahead and create the event yourself!

Donating Bikes

Photo: Umich.edu

Photo: Umich.edu

If you’re not desperate for the money, and simply want to shed your space of an unused bike, you should definitely consider donating it. Donated bikes are used for a variety of standout causes. Recycle-A-Bicycle is a New York based organization that is “dedicated to the health, development, stewardship, and empowerment of NYC youth.” The organization has many programs ranging from participating in activities that allow you to earn a bike of your own to youth employment programs. “In the past year alone, more than 1,000 RAB youth collectively refurbished 500 bicycles, pedaled 24,000 miles, and burned 1,750,000 calories. On average, RAB salvages 1,800 bicycles each year from the waste stream, diverting a total of 45,000 pounds of waste from NYC’s landfills.”

What kind of bike are you looking for? Or are you looking to get rid of one? So many options, what will you do?

 
  • Thanks, Chrissy. I’m really just looking for parts to make things (lamps) with.

  • Chrissy

    Bike Kitchen in San Francisco has some awesome deals like their Digging Rights/Earn-A-Bike program where you can use frames and parts from used bikes and build a complete bike with the help of their mechanics!

  • I’d love to visit a bike graveyard. Anyone know of one in the SF Bay Area?