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Three years ago I bought a second hand bike, which I used for cycling on average 10 miles a day (mostly commuting). It turned out to have many problems, so over time I replaced many of the parts on it with new stuff: the saddle, seat post, back wheel, tires, crank and back sprocket are all new. Two weeks ago the frame snapped, and given all the problems I've had, I just bought a new bicycle altogether (yay!)

So what should I do with the old bike?!

I want to dump it, but I'm reluctant to throw out all the new gear on it. Unfortunately only the seat post and saddle are compatible with my new bike. I was thinking that maybe I could look around for a cheap frame and use it to make a decent back up bike - but presumably the chances of me finding a cheap frame that's compatible with the wheels and crank and brakes is close to 0?

I live in New York City, so storage space is also a factor...!

  • Strip the bike of usable parts and sell on craigslist or similar. About all you can do unless you do look for a frame to transfer to. – JohnP Jan 6 '18 at 21:29
  • It it's steel, metal is recyclable. – Kennah Jan 10 '18 at 8:40
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Dumping is possible, but dump it somewhere useful rather than into a landfill.

I suggest a bicycle cooperative, who will use your parts to refurb other bikes, or if the parts are completely unserviceable then they will separate and recycle the different metals

A quick google returns these coops in New York, in no order:

These are not retail shops, instead they are workspaces or groups where riders work on their own or donation bikes. The coops may be attached to a shop but are separate entities.

Different coops have different "eligibility" parameters for assistance, so it may be worth reading their websites before selecting one.

I know of one coop that limited their "zone" to 5 square kilometres (a city of ~100 square km) and excluded assisting anyone who owned a car.

Another thought is that a donation to a registered charity may have tax benefits for you.

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  • Tax comment is vague because I really have no idea, but in my country donations to a registered charity can be claimed 1/3 against end of year tax. – Criggie Jan 6 '18 at 21:34
  • Do note that the retail value of the parts is apt to be fairly small, so going for a tax write-off is probably not worth the effort. But there definitely are groups around who would like to get decent parts. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 6 '18 at 22:17
  • @Criggie just for your information---in the US, if the organization has gone through the trouble to be a registered non-profit charity, then contributions to it are tax-deductible. In practice only the rich tend to benefit, because everyone receives a "standard deduction", $6,350 in 2017 for a single person, and there is no benefit to the taxpayer until the sum of all the deductions for the year is larger than the standard deduction. – rclocher3 Jan 6 '18 at 23:07
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    I actually bought the bike originally from Recycle A Bicycle but it hadn't occured to me to donate it back! – James Fennell Jan 6 '18 at 23:26
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I like @Criggie's answer and would encourage you to consider donating your unneeded parts. However, if you want to get some of the investment you made in them back, there are many places to sell bike components.

Ebay and Craigslist are the most obvious choices. Pinkbike is a site I've used that has a 'classified' ads area. There are also more local options that you can seek out. In my area there are discussion lists and a Facebook group that allow one to buy and sell bikes and components.

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    +1 for the facebook groups. The best places that I have found for buying/selling is on facebook. You normally have to ask to join – user74671 Jan 7 '18 at 1:30

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