I think that the moment you choose to stop riding your bike it becomes a used bicycle. The question then arises what to do with your used bicycle. Should you keep it, abandon it or sell your bicycle?
I clearly don’t mean that your bike transforms into a “used bicycle” the moment you get off it at the end of a ride, or when you put it away for the winter. No, I mean when you buy a replacement bike and your previous bike has no role in your cycling life or any similar occasion when you are not likely to use your old bike.
Should I keep my old bike?
I was a bit surprised by the results of a survey I did which showed that 33% of UK households have a spare bike in their house. Essentially a bike that is never used but kept in the house (or more likely the garage or garden shed) slowly gathering dust.
Although this seems prudent (we are taught from a young age not to throw things away unnecessarily) I think this is wasteful. Not only is an unused bike not providing any utility to the owner it is also likely to be losing value. Garden sheds and garages may be sheltered from the rain but they also tend to be damp. Ideal conditions for rusting to take root.
If you use your old bike, are going to strip it for parts or, like me, have a particularly strong emotional attachment with your old bike then it does make sense to hold onto it. Otherwise it is simply a costly and wasteful use of space.
Should I abandon my bicycle?
The answer is an emphatic no. I only included this question because I discovered that a remarkable number of old bikes are abandoned by their owners. This may not be a surprise if you’ve walked past bike stands outside railway stations and seen the same old bike locked up for months.
However, I could not believe the fact that 66% of people responding to the survey said that they had abandoned or lost a bike. It turns out, from both the survey results and from subsequent investigations, that abandoning bikes is some form of national pastime.
The problem is so acute that the City of Westminster have employees tasked with dealing with abandoned bikes. In addition they have arrangements with an external company to clear up abandoned bikes from the streets. I suspect this is typical for councils across the country.
Should I sell my used bicycle?
Selling your old bike earns you some money, clears some space in your house and is good for the environment. If your old bike is in good enough condition for someone else to want it then I think selling it is the best option.
The good news is that a site like Going Going Bike provides a quick and easy place to advertise your used bike for free. Because there is no fee for advertising your bike it means you can list a bike even if you are not certain that anyone will want to buy your old bike! However, chances are they will if you price it right.
In the past, with classifieds or second hand bike stores, it was a bit of a hassle to sell a second hand bike. I suppose that is why so many old bikes have been abandoned. However, it takes only a few moments to list a used bike on Going Going Bike and you don’t have to worry about advertising costs, time wasters or dodgy cheques.
Instead you can advertise your old bike from the comfort of your home (allowing more time for cycling on your new bike!) and take advantage of some competitive bidding to get a great price.
Never abandon your bike, only keep a used bike if of sentimental value or if you will use it for parts. Otherwise, selling your used bicycle on Going Going Bike is a great option.