Donating bicycles and related items

If you would like to donate a bicycle, please email us a clear picture to (with BIKE DONATION PICS in the subject) and we will reply to let you know if it is something we can get back into the community quickly or give you some alternatives where to donate if we cannot use it (at this time, we have a very small volunteer crew to salvage parts from bike we cannot refurbish).

If you have an inexpensive department store bike, know that it will almost certainly be recycled properly by anyone who finds it on your treelawn (or call your municipal solid waste department).

Sorry we can’t purchase bikes or take trades. OCBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.

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 almost any bicycle-related items — magazines, books, DVD’s (or VCR tapes!), tools, clip-in pedals and shoes, trainers, and bike-specific clothing that is still presentable.  Good quality parts and accessories with useful life are especially welcome (and some other, non-bike stuff: please check our Wish List, or call).

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

We work hard to find the best new use for every donated bike — whether it’s refurbished and sold, earned with volunteer credits to help someone get riding, or properly recycled after salvaging all its useful parts.

What you get from us for your bike donation

We will provide documentation (paper or electronic) of your donation for your tax purposes but cannot trade donations for merchandise or shop credits.


Bringing your bike donation to OCBC

We are in the flats at 1840 Columbus Rd. but to get to our main entrance, your going to want to turn on Merwin Ave. just before the big Green Columbus Rd. bridge going up the hill, or just after if you came down the hill. Once you turn, follow the signs.

Getting your bike to us:

You can bring your donations to our location in the Flats anytime we’re open, or you can call or email to make arrangements if those times are not convenient – someone is usually in Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5pm.

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.

Where your old bikes (and other stuff) go:

Many of the bicycles we receive are refurbished and sold to the public, and some are used for parts. Our sales of refurbished bikes support our community programs, repair education, and public shop space. Some of the highest-quality bicycles will enter our fleet of co-op bikes which are used in programs and available for the public to rent.

If your bike came from a department store and it is in rough shape (rusty chain, ripped seat, bent wheel, broken pedal, etc.), it may not be of enough use to us to warrant your trip to bring it to us, so rest assured that if you put it on the curb it will not go to a landfill: if it is not picked up first by a resourceful neighbor, your local municipal waste collection will divert it to be recycled properly, just as we would do if we can’t use it, or its parts.

Books, DVDs, cleated shoes and clip-in pedals and newer, quality saddles will join our library. Cycling-specific clothing is sold to fund our programs or earned by volunteers.

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.