Picture of How I Get Free Bike Parts Legally

I like to build unconventional bikes from discarded material. Early in my adventures seeking out parts on the cheap I would go to yard sales and flea markets to buy old bikes. This worked but the costs added up and it took a lot of time.

Then a bike-riding friend recommended I contact a group in town called BikeAthens. It turns out they were a source of endless parts and advice. You probably can find a similar source in your town.

Step 1: What BRP Does

Picture of What BRP Does
BikeAthens (Athens, GA) has a modest membership fee of $30 a year (http://www.bikeathens.com). They are interested in all kinds of alternative transportation issues and work with state and local agencies promoting their agenda.

The key feature for me was the BRP (Bicycle Recycling Program). This is where I found the motherload of bike parts and friendly advice on all kinds of bike construction issues.
Dylanb19 months ago

is there one in st. cloud or sock rapids

onrust4 years ago
In Tucson, Az we have BICAS (bicycle Inter-Comminity Art and Salvage) www.bicas.org You can earn $8 an hour breaking down donated bikes and apply that $$$ towards the purchase of used parts. Not only can you build a bike for FREE, there are classes on everything to do with a bike.
josh onrust1 year ago
BICAS is also a great place to buy parts and complete (used) bikes. With the 2 bike swaps a year and places like BICAS Tucson is a great bike community!
i wish we had that here (belgium) i love working with bikes and making them shine again.
Ask around. Europe is mush more hip on this stuff than here in the US. I bet you may be surprised and good luck!
The Rambler2 years ago
That program sounds really cool. I'd check if we had one in my area but my in-laws have enough old bikes that I could just bum one off of them. It does sound like a really good resource though.

Also, I hate to be the one anal person in the comments who has to point this out but maybe change your title from "free bike parts" to "cheap bike parts" or maybe "how to get bike parts through volunteerism"? It sounds like you had to invest a lot of time, as well as some money (though $30 annually is admittedly a small amount) to get those parts.
graydog1113 years ago
Try "Goodwill" or "Salvation Army" retail stores. I have bought bikes to just get a two speed axle and they were cheaper than the new part would have been.
in Liverpool we have a bike work shop called Re-cycles at the uni guild tht help people get to know thier bikes nd lso have 173929893 spare parts. also down the rod their is a bike shop called the well on roscoe street which deal in second hand bike parts for a good price!
bouncybob3 years ago
anything like this in the uk?
NativeSs3 years ago
For anyone wondering, in Davis, Ca there is a "Bike Forth" which is basically the same thing. They ask for a donation in exchange for not only bike parts but also information on repair and maintenance.
Good idea. Try Facebook and Craigslist also. And whether or not you like hipsters, you might try to find some and ask about bike co-ops. Also salvation army might like a volunteer to fix bikes, and might give you access to dig in their dumpster or collect from unwanted bikes or broken bikes that people drop off. They only want stuff that is runing. Pawn shops and bike shops throw out lots of stuff, but are pretty protective of their trash and don't tolerate trespassing. You might be able to get permission or find one that doesn't care about dumpster diving though. Also, check the trash in the rich housing areas before the scrap collectors get there. Tons of people throw out a bike for a rusty chain or flat tire.
tgray13 years ago
Nice instructable!

There are other sources of free bikes and parts.

Our local landfill has a "take it or leave it" program. People with old bikes drop them off. People who want bikes pick them up. No charge in either direction. I've picked up a few good bikes to clean up, ride, and ultimately give away or sell, and have also grabbed a couple of junkers for parts.

Our local police department has their share of the 30,000 bicycles stolen annually in our area. They don't have a lot of storage space, so after 60 days unclaimed bikes are disposed of, to charities or recyclers, benefit auctions and the like. I've picked up a few. Depends on the policy of your municipality and local station.
robosnitz3 years ago
We have a bike co-op here in Troy,NY called Troy Bike Rescue.
LostTheDog3 years ago
how would i go about starting a bike co-op or BRP in my area (menomonie, wi)
sillywilly4 years ago
Helping kids, needy families, DUI persons, and the homeless with bike transportation is a very good thing to do. Congrats on your programs and the volunteer spirit! The bible says "it is more blessed to give than receive"! I fully understand that as I have been at both ends of the spectrum!
:-D amen to that!
LostTheDog3 years ago
I live in Menomonie wisconsin where we have two bike shops... but nothing for cheap parts. I did however start a project called "Free the Bicycles".

the following is an article that the university news paper did on my project;


If anyone in the area knows where i can score some parts or bikes, or would like to get involved.. .the help would be much appreciated.
mbaroni3 years ago
we have nothing like any of this in Monterey CA. the people here never share the road and bike lanes on roads or any type of signage is rare. we almost had something like the one in Arizona but the city shut it down with a quickness...
trixtorpy4 years ago
in Boise we have a wonderful organization called the "Boise Bike Project" http://boisebicycleproject.org/Welcome.html
haugenka4 years ago

In Eugene, OR, you'd be heading over to CAT (Center for Appropriate Transport) - http://www.catoregon.org/ - to find used parts, advice, rentable bike workshop space and tools, and totally crazy hauling bikes.
You rock!
Anyone have any idea were I might find something like this in Buffalo/Rochester NY area?
Fishburn4 years ago
Do you by any chance attend the University of Georgia?
patnat4 years ago
we have nothing over here like that :-(
bikeframe (author)  patnat4 years ago
If you post a question on this site you might get some leads.

rubberman74 years ago
i have a question im having trouble finding places in los angeles for something like this. can you please help me?
bikeframe (author)  rubberman74 years ago

Here is a link that should get you started: http://communitycycles.org/links/bike-collectives.html There are two coops listed in LA. They can lead you to others I am sure. Good luck and good parts hunting!