Tag Archive: bike co-op

Buying Second-Hand Bikes

Bicycles are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of transport among business commuters, and it’s easy to see why. Bikes are a low-cost alternative to cars and public transport in terms of maintenance, running costs, and their impact on the environment. The only real price tag associated with bike riding is the set-up costs. With a brand new bicycle ranging anywhere from $250 – $2,500 you might decide you’re better off riding the bus. This article explains how you can avoid some of these initial costs by buying your bike second hand, and introduces some of the best-known second hand bike shops from around the world.

The first places to look for a secondhand machine is online. Online classifieds have a massive range of second-hand bikes and accessories available for sale. If you’re looking for a bargain, this is where you’re going to find it. If you’re patient you can easily pick up a great deal on a bike that’s had low-usage, especially if it’s a must sell. If possible you’ll want to inspect the bike before you buy, to ensure you’re getting what you pay for. Also, beware of sellers trying to fence stolen property online, if you suspect something might be a bit dodgy, probably best to steer clear. Be sure to check for frame/component cracks, paint bubbles, excessive rust, or any other flaw that sets off alarm bells. Bikes are readily repairable, but remember that you’re looking for a bargain, not a restoration project.

Re-cyclery (California, US)
One of the very few second-hand bike stores located on America’s West Coast, the Re-cyclery offers thrift store prices on new and used bikes, parts, and accessories. Their knowledgeable and friendly staff can help you get the perfect set up including lights, tubes, and even clothing.

Greenpoint Bikes (New York, US)
Your standard neighborhood bike store, Greenpoint Bikes is located just off Manhattan Avenue in the heart of Brooklyn. These guys do great work repairing and selling second-hand bikes and offer a nice selection of parts and accessories to boot.

Bicycle Recycle (Melbourne, AU)
Located in Moorabin, the Bicycle Recycle has been supplying Australians with second-hand bikes and accessories for over 25 years. With more than 100 second-hand bikes in-store, their range is sure to include a cycle that meets your needs, and their friendly staff are always there to answer any questions you might have.

CERES Bike Shed (Melbourne, AU)
If you’re interested in getting your hands dirty why not build your own bike from quality second-hand parts? CERES Bike Shed is located in Melbourne’s trendy northern suburbs and offers you the chance to do just that. Great for anyone who like rummaging through various bits and pieces looking for that perfect part.

Remember also to look in your area for a bike co-op; this can be a good, yet inexpensive, way to build up a secondhand bike and also learn some maintenance/assembly in the process. Take a look at this worldwide list of community bicycle organizations to see if there’s a co-op near you.

These are just a few of the options available for anyone looking to buy a second-hand bicycle in the US or Australia. If you live outside these areas and have some more places to add to the list please share them in the comments below.

Don’t be like Dave Matthews

Our good friend Ken Sturrock pointed out this gem on today’s CNN homepage:

Stranded Dave Matthews hitches ride with fan to show

Basically, singer/songwriter Dave Matthews went for a pre-concert bike ride. He flatted and didn’t have the things he needed for a trailside repair, so he had to hitch a ride from a passing motorist (who just happened to be a HUGE Dave Matthews fan).

Don’t be like Dave, ok? Be prepared for roadside breakdowns! We’ve written several articles over the years that give a good overview into skills and tools you should have on hand when you commute:

Tools for the New Commuter

Tool-less Bike Repairs

Regular Maintenance for the Bike Commuter

Be safe, be prepared, and learn some basic maintenance tasks so you’re ready for anything. If you don’t know how to do your own bike maintenance, now’s a great time to check out your local bike shop for classes or to consult your friendly community bike co-op for lessons.

News Flash: Tampa Bicycle Cooperative!!!

Recently reported on the Spoke ‘N’ Word blog, Tampa will soon have a bicycle cooperative! This is very exciting news for the Tampa cycling community in that a bicycle co-op is a good sign of a healthy and growing bicycle culture. Atlanta has Sopo, Los Angeles has Bike Oven, Portland has Citybikes, Minneapolis has The Hub…and now Tampa is going to join these other cities and give a little back to folks who really need some bikes to get around…


I had a chance to speak briefly with one of the founders of the co-op, Dave Japenga. I asked him what kinds of parts and supplies he needed and what we could do for him as far as promotion. He said,

“I think it is going to be a good experience. I just kind of threw the idea out there and let the momentum carry it. Fortunately there seems to be enough like-minded people that this project will be a success.

Parts we could use are really wide open. I have about 30 bikes (mtn, road, and cruisers) that all need a bit of love. Once the co-op gets more established they will be rebuilt and for sale via a no minimum required donation price. In an effort to both get more bicycles on the road, and to have bikes that are accessible to anyone underprivileged.

Any coverage would be much appreciated. One thing that needs to happen is for this to be promoted in all niches of the cycling community. I’ve been living with no car for the last 6 months. I love bikes, all aspects, but as a commuter I’m always in need of an adjustment or quick fix and spend a lot of time behind a wrench. I think education on how to fix the basics is both empowering and a defining part of getting more bikes on the road.”

The co-op is having a grand opening celebration on April 7th from 6-9 PM at the Transitions Art Gallery at the Skatepark of Tampa (the co-op’s current location). If you are in the Tampa Bay area, please come out and show your support at this gala event. If you are coming and you’ve got bicycle parts or bicycles to donate, the organizers would love to have whatever you’ve got.

I’ll be covering the grand opening party for — and I’ve got a box of parts and spare tubes I’m going to haul along to donate. I’m so excited about this!