Bicycle Donations

Thanks for your interest in donating a bike!

Our space is limited, and it takes a long time to evaluate and process each donated bicycle. Therefore, we request that anyone wanting to donate a bike first send a photo of it to It’s helpful if the photo is high-quality, from the chain side of the bicycle. We’ll respond letting you know if we’re able to accept it. 

We can provide documentation (paper or electronic) of your donation for your tax purposes but cannot trade donations for merchandise or shop credits. OCBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Sorry we can’t purchase bikes or take trades.

We also can’t accept electric or gas-powered bikes.

We request a voluntary $10 donation per bike to offset the ~ $30 worth of new parts we put on the average bike we rehabilitate.  Of course, we appreciate any bike donations, but we are pleased that so many folks choose to include this small, voluntary cash assistance to help us get used bikes back on the road for anyone who needs one.

We also accept bicycle parts and gear, as well as some non-bike stuff (please check out our Wish List).

To donate parts, etc. please make an appointment here.

Getting your bike to us:

Bringing your bike donation to OCBC

We are in The Flats at 1779 Merwin Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113. Turn on Merwin Ave. between the big green Columbus Rd. bridge and Sainato’s restaurant. Turn right at the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op sign (before you reach Merwin’s Wharf restaurant) and our entrance is located in the rear of the parking lot next to a black chain link fence.

Don’t turn onto Merwin Ave. off of Center St. (by the Flat Iron Cafe)! Merwin Ave. does not connect in the middle.

Sorry, we don’t have regular pick-up service.  If you have no way to get your bike to us, we request a $25 donation for pick-up to cover fuel and time, and for the extra work to arrange for someone to do this.  Please email or call to make arrangements.

What happens to bikes donated to the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op?
After we receive a bike, our head mechanic closely inspects it to determine which of these categories it fits into:
  • The bike is able to be refurbished to our quality standards, in about 9 hours of volunteer time.
  • The bike is able to be refurbished, but it will take a very, very long time (as in some vintage bikes). We usually sell these bikes as-is for folks with mechanical knowledge to fix up themselves.
  • The bike is not able to meet our refurbish standards, but it has useful parts on it which our volunteers will salvage to use on other bikes.
  • The bike is not able to be refurbished and does not have parts on it that we currently need. We recycle these bikes.
Bikes that are refurbished by our volunteers and checked by our staff mechanics go up for sale in our online store and brick and mortar bicycle thrift shop (open Thurs-Sat, noon-5pm).
Twenty percent of our adult bicycle sales receive financial assistance through our Pay What You Can fund. Sales to the general public support our charitable, bike repair education, and community programs.
To load bikes in the rear of a vehicle:

Here is some near-universal advice:

Put it in chain-side up, rear wheel first. This is generally the best position for anytime the bike will be laid down. To lay a second bike in, a helper to guide the rear wheel over the first bike is easiest; we will be glad to help remove the bikes when you arrive.  (If the bike(s) will be standing up in a larger vehicle, put the kickstands up and put them in “crossways,” leaning against the back of a seat or partition. If they have to lean against the side of the vehicle, be sure to secure them from falling over.)

If the trunk or hatch won’t close with a bike in it, you can make an excellent tie-down from an old inner tube: cut out the valve of a 26″ (or larger) tube to make a long “strap.”  Tie one end of your strap to the metal loop that the trunk lid (or hatch door) latches onto when closed (unless you have one of the very few cars that don’t have this kind of latch). Then put the bike in, chain-side up, rear wheel first, and move it around to find the most stable position.  Pass the end of the inner tube up through the bike, then through the gap at the front of the trunk lid from the “inside,” between the hinges.  Then lower the lid and pull the end out from the gap and down, stretching the tube to make it as long as possible before tying it to the frame of the bike. You may want a bit of padding where the edge of the trunk lid rests against the bike. Before driving, shake the bike and trunk lid or hatch to make sure it is still stable, and re-position it and/or re-tie it if it’s not.

If you have to put a bike in the back seat from a side door, you’ll probably need to take off the front wheel, so do that first, and then load the bike in from the driver’s side, rear wheel first, to keep the chain from touching the rear seat.