Everything you ever wanted to know about The Bike Project, but never dared to ask.
This is an EPIC page, so choose the topic you're most interested in:
I've got a bike to donate, do you want it?Can I get a hell yeah? Hell yeah! The Bike Project only exists because of donations of bikes from generous people like you.
We take any bike of any size and in any condition as long as the frame isn't cracked, dented or snapped in two and there is no more than 25% rust - we love a challenge, but can't resurrect a write-off!
Do you accept spare parts or scooters?Sadly no! We do not accept spare parts because of the risk of issues further down the line and do not accept scooters as we haven’t got the means to repair or donate these.
What do I do next?Firstly and most importantly, register your bike here so we know what’s coming our way! Then, get in touch with one of our drop-off points to arrange your drop-off. We have drop-off points around London, Oxford and the West Midlands, run by an incredible team of volunteers!
Make sure to bring your unique bike number along to the drop-off point, so they can attach it to the bike with one of their fancy pants waterproof tags. That will mean we can identify which bike is yours and can ultimately let you know where it ends up!
Is it still safe to donate a bike at the moment with COVID-19?All of our drop-off points have got a stock of hygiene supplies and protective gear to ensure they can receive bike donations safely. They will also be operating a strict no contact donation process to ensure a safe distance is maintained at all times. So why not use the lockdown to finally clear out those old bikes from your garage or garden!
I can't get my bike to you, can you collect it?Oh no! Sadly, we simply can't afford to hire a van to collect donations of less than 10 bikes. If you do have half a peloton of bikes to donate, then awesome, by all means get in touch. Otherwise, see if you can get your bike to one of our many drop-off points.
I've just donated my bike, what happens next?Once you’ve dropped off your bike to one of our drop-off points, it will be making its way back to our workshop shortly. All the bikes we receive are then assessed by our crack team of mechanics, lovingly refurbished and given a full service.
Most of these spruced up bikes are donated to super happy refugees, along with a helmet, lights, lock, hi-vis vest, gloves, a set of tools for bike adjustments and cycle safety training so they can cycle safely off into the sunset! A small proportion of bike donated are sold to bargain hunting bikers through our online charity shop. Every single penny we make in sales is ploughed straight back into the charity!
I want to become a workshop volunteer - tell me how!
Our workshop sessions are very popular and we can only take about 6 new volunteers a month in London. To make sure we're a good fit for each other, we ask you to fill out a short application form.
We review all the forms and then invite successful applicants to attend a volunteers induction. This takes place at the workshop over two Thursday evenings - usually the last two Thursdays of the month.
Once you’ve completed your induction you are 'workshop ready' and can book to volunteer at our Thursday sessions in London (5pm – 8pm).
We support refugees across London and the Midlands. You can find us in London at our workshop in Deptford or our shop in Denmark Hill. For this reason we particularly welcome volunteer applications from people who live in the boroughs of Lewisham and Southwark. Our Birmingham workshop can be found in Balsall Heath.
What? When? Where?When things get back to normal, we will run workshop sessions every Thursday from 5-8pm at our Deptford Workshop and every Thursday from 3-6pm at our Birmingham Workshop.
These sessions are also when we invite a number of refugees and asylum seekers to come and collect their bikes. We may have up to 30 appointments in one evening so it’s a busy time with lots of people which is why we need volunteers to help out.
If you're based in London, you can find us under Railway Arch 210, Edward Street, London, SE8 5HD - don't miss the turning, just follow the railway line! There's a good map on our How to Find Us page.
If you're based in Birmingham, you can find us at The Old Print Works, 498 - 506 Moseley Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B12 9AH.
I'm completely new to mechanics - can I still volunteer?If you live in London, don't worry, you don't even need to know how to ride a bike to help us fix bikes. You just need to enjoy fixing things and helping out.
But before we can let you loose on the workshop, everybody needs to complete our snazzy Workshop Volunteer Induction.
The induction comes in two parts over the course of two Thursday sessions, between 5-8pm.
We don't expect you to be a pro mechanic after just two evenings, so we provide ongoing support at all our sessions. Our needs are slightly different at our Birmingham workshop. Here, we are looking for a few volunteers who are already skilled at fixing bikes. If this sounds like you and you're interested, get in touch with us. We just need to know what skills you have and when you're free to help out.
I've finished my induction, now what?Congratulations - you're workshop ready!
You can now book to come along to our Thursday sessions in London as a fully-inducted volunteer. Just click here!
POLITE ASK: It takes time and effort to train workshop volunteers, so we'd really love you to commit to helping out at least 5 Thursday sessions following your induction.
Nooo - the session I want to attend is booked up!Gutted. Sadly, we have a limited number of volunteer slots for each Thursday session.
If we’re full for the date you’re looking for, whack your name onto the waiting list and you’ll be notified if a slot comes up.
FYI, you can book your sessions up to 6 weeks ahead, so get in there early!
I know quite a lot about fixing bikes - do I still need to attend an induction?At the first volunteer induction (London only) we'll be going over some important workshop information that everybody needs to know. So, yes, it's kind of crucial that you're there for that. But at that first session we can talk to you about your skills and see what's good for you.
Can I just attend part of the session?'Fraid not, buddy. Due to limited space and seemingly unlimited bike repairs, it's important to us that you stay for the whole session. Please try and find a date that you can attend in full.
Can I volunteer on other days of the week?We have a few spaces for volunteering during the week in London and Birmingham. However, these are for experienced volunteers who can work with minimal support.
If you're a qualified bike mechanic or have worked repairing bikes before, then drop us a line, or have a chat with our Workshop Manager.
Do I need to bring anything?Nope. We provide all the tools and resources you need. But please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, as well as sensible footwear. No one wants to drop a spanner on a sandal.
Do you provide any food?We have tea, coffee and water available at all times (mechanics don't work without caffeine) and usually some biscuits or fruit.
You're very welcome to bring your own snacks and will go straight to the top of the volunteer leaderboard* if you share!
*Note: there is no volunteer leaderboard. That'd be weird.
Is there parking available?We have bike racks for you to park your bike in London and Birmingham, but please bring your own lock. Our London workshop is slotted under a railway arch so there's no parking outside the building, but there is some parking available in nearby streets. The Old Print Works in Birmingham has parking spaces for over 40 bikes at the front of the building and in the courtyard at the back.
Do you reimburse travel expenses?Yep! We can reimburse out of pocket travel expenses. Speak to the Workshop Manager and they'll sort you out.
Do you sell bikes and accessories?Yes indeedy! A small proportion of the bikes we receive from donations go on to be sold to raise funds for the project, which can easily triple the impact we make together.
We sell all kinds of bikes – from super-fast road bikes to rough-housing MTBs, from workhorse hybrids to folding commuter bikes. You can easily pick yourself up a right bargain for £300.
And one £300 bike gives us enough cash to supply not one but three refugees with not just a bike, but also lock, lights and helmet to keep them safe whether on the mean streets of London or Birmingham. Win-win-win.
Talking of winning, we also sell a selection of brand new lights, helmets, locks, tyres, pannier racks, panniers, pumps, mudguards and saddles – including venerable vintage Brooks saddles. Visit The Bike Shop online to see what we have in store.
What can I expect from your secondhand bikes?All bikes are given the gold standard service by our crack team of highly trained, highly experienced mechanics, and (assuming you treat it right) your bike will be good to ride for many years to come.
Here's what you can expect from your new-to-you bike:
- The frame will be second hand. Aesthetically, there may be some cosmetic wear so if this is a concern for you make sure you have a good look at the photos before you buy.
- Some of the other components will also be second hand – but anything that doesn't meet our strict standards will be replaced with brand new parts. This goes for everything from the handlebar tape to the bottom bracket, including fast-wearing elements, like the brake blocks and gear cabling.
If you have any doubts at all about buying a bike from The Bike Shop, we offer a 14-day test ride money back guarantee if you decide you don't like your new bike.We want to make you feel as comfortable buying from us as you would buying from a trusted friend. The only difference is we've never met, we don't know you from Adam and we're doing this all over the amazing internet. We've had hundreds of happy customers – it's gonna be sweet.
How do I know which size bike I need?Good question! This is kind of important and depends on your height and the type of bike you're buying. So please please please check out our size guide before you put down any of your hard earned cash. And don't try and squeeze onto a bike too small or too big for you – you'll just end up looking like a circus clown and wrecking your knees / back / street cred. Thanks.
Where did my bike come from?All our bikes are donated to us and come from a variety of sources including the police, local councils and kind people like you. If you're replacing an old bike you don't want any more, why not keep the virtuous cycle going and donate it to a bikeless refugee? Unfortunately, we can't do part exchange but rest assured that you're now our number one customer!
Can I test ride a bike before I buy it?Great news, we are now open for test rides throughout the week! Woohoo! Appointments aren't necessary, but if you'd like to pop us a call on 02077338098 (option 3), we'll make sure the bike is ready when you arrive. All you need to bring is your photo ID. If you are unable to make it to our shop, we also offer a 14-day test ride, no fuss, no fret returns period from the day you received your order on all bike orders online. If you decide it isn't the bike for you, send an email to email@example.com and we'll talk you through returns process. Once the bike has arrived back to us safely and has been checked over by one of our mechanics we'll process the refund via the original payment method.
Will my bike be safe to ride?Buying online can be scary, but let us reassure you that our mechanics are all highly qualified and extremely experienced. They give the gold standard service to every bike we sell and make 100% certain that it is not only safe, but a pleasure to ride.
We're so utterly convinced that you'll be happy with our bikes that we offer a 14-day test ride returns policy. If you're not ecstatic with your new set of wheels, just box it up and send it back for a full refund. No problemo.
Do all your profits go to charity?Absolutely! 100%. Every single penny we make helps us get refugees cycling. A bike can utterly transform a refugee’s life by gifting them a free, sustainable and empowering way to access essential resources and services such as education, healthcare and psychological support. With a bike, we reckon refugees are more likely to get back on their feet and ultimately make positive contributions to society. For more on the how, what and why of our mission, check out our website.
When will my order arrive?Due to COVID-19 challenges and the additional demand for bikes and accessories, our delivery times are longer than usual, so it may take up to 14 days for you to receive your order – but rest assured we are working as hard as we can right now to get your order to you
We'll send you an email as soon as your bike has been sent on its merry way - your order should then be with you within 1-2 working days.
Please note: We only deliver to the mainland UK. Sorry!
How will my bike be packaged? Is it fully assembled?For deliveries outside of London, your bike will arrive in a massive cardboard bike box. Because cardboard boxes aren't bike-shaped, however, there will be a couple of simple fixes and adjustments to make before it's ready to ride. We ship our bikes in a reduced size box to help us saving on the cost of transportation. Due to the box size, we are unable to fit accessories to your bicycle, but rest assured they do come with assembling instructions and tools!
Your bike will come with both wheels removed. This may sound intimidating, but don’t panic. To help we've made some videos for you to follow along at home. Get the whole series plus instructions on our dedicated page: How to assemble your bike.
If you're not sure or you've got any questions at all about how to put your bike together, don't guess – get in touch! Finally, fold the box flat and keep it safe just in case you need to send the bike back to us.
If you notice that the box is damaged when the bike is delivered to you, you must either refuse the delivery, or register the damage with the delivery person. If a bike is tragically damaged in transit and that damage isn't registered, we've got no way of making a claim with the delivery company to recoup costs. And that's rubbish.
Do I need to be at home when the bike is delivered?Yes – you will need to be at home to take delivery. Plan to work from home, download a box set or spend the day clearing out the garage. It'll be worth it, we promise!
How much does delivery cost?Delivery to the UK Mainland is totally free for all orders over £20, what a winner! For any orders under £20, there is a small charge of £3 per order.
Where do you deliver to?We deliver to anywhere in Mainland UK. That includes England, Wales, anywhere in Mainland Scotland, as well as Portishead, Ullapool and Ormskirk.
That sadly does NOT include any of the British Isles - not the Isle of Wight, not the Isle of Man, not the Isle of Skerry. Sorry, but bike delivery gets mega expensive with the couriers as soon as they have to get on a ferry. Gutted.
Can I pick my bike up from the shop?Yes! Just select Click & Collect when you are placing your order online. Appointments are no longer necessary, but if you'd like to let us know in your preferred collection date in advance, feel free to call us on 02077338098 (option 3).
The address for collections is: The Bike Project Shop, 170-172 Camberwell Road, London, SE5 0EE
What can I do if I'm unhappy with my bike?Oh no! First up, tell us about the problem on the phone (020 7733 8098) or in an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Fingers crossed our bike agony aunts and uncles will be able to fix the problem for you.
If you're still within our 14-day test ride no fuss, no fret returns period, then let us know and we'll talk you through the returns process.
Please note: If there is a fault with your bike, then you have up to 30 days to notify us of the problem.
How do I return my bike?If you're reading this before buying your bike: stop now and double check our bike size guide. Our number one rule for customers is to make sure you're buying a bike that will fit you. If you've got any doubts or queries about this or any aspect of buying a bike, give us a call or send us an email. Prevention is better than a cure!
If you're reading this because you're unhappy and want to return your bike, then shucks! We're sorry you feel that way and doubly sorry if we screwed up.
If it's still within 14 days of the delivery date then no problemo – you can return the bike for a full refund. If you need to ship the bike back to us, please send an email to email@example.com. We'll talk you through the process. Please note that any damages that are incurred as a result of poor packaging during the return will be deducted from the return.
Please note: If there is a fault with your bike, then you have up to 30 days to notify us of the problem. Bike to be returned to us within 2 weeks of reporting the issue.
Send us an email ASAP (firstname.lastname@example.org) announcing your intention to return the bike. Although we offer a full refund for the cost of the bike, we can't afford to cover the cost of the return. The organisation and cost of returning the bike safely to us is your responsibility.
The best way to do this is to keep the box and re-pack in the same way it arrived. Please contact us for complete instructions on how to pack the bike. Once the bike is packed, you will need to ensure that:
- The pedals have been removed.
- The handlebars have been rotated.
- The forks have been sufficiently wrapped in cardboard to protect them from damage during shipping. Especially underneath the dropouts.
- All loose parts are covered in packaging and tied down, so that they cannot move during transit. It's best to use cable ties or tape to bind everything together.
- The box has been filled out with plenty of spare cardboard to make sure the bike won't rattle around in the box.
- The box has been marked as 'Fragile' and our delivery address in a clearly visible on the box.
We will refund the cost of the bike within 7 working days of its arrival in our workshop. This gives us a chance to give it the once over and get the money back in your account.
I'm not happy with my accessories - what can I do?Don't fret - if you're unhappy with any accessories you've bought from us, for any reason at all, you have up to 14 days after purchase to return them, provided it has not been used or fitted, and is returned in its original packaging with a valid proof of purchase. Simply post the items back to our shop at the following address: Railway Arch 210 Edward Place, Deptford, SE8 5HD.
Registering for a bike
Can I get a bike from The Bike Project?If you are an asylum seeker or have been granted refugee status in the UK within the last 2 years, then you can get a bike from us.
I am an asylum seeker or refugee, how can I get a bike?Sadly, our waiting list is currently closed to the public and we are working with a handful of pre-existing referral partners to accept new applicants for a bike.
I have registered for a bike, what happens next?Because of the Covid Pandemic, we are no longer able to arrange for bikes to be collected. Instead, we will deliver the bike straight to you! Once your bike is ready, we will send you a text confirming the delivery date. Please note: the current waiting time for between 4 and 8 weeks.
When we deliver the bike we will also give you:
- visibility vest
- basic cycle safety training
My bike is due to be delivered, but I won't be there to collect it!Don't worry! Let us know by replying to the text or email confirmation and we will contact you to rearrange. Just be sure to let us know in advance, so we have plenty of time to make arrangements.
I can’t cycle, but want to learn – can I still get a bike?Definitely! We give basic cycle safety training upon collection and afterwards will refer you to local cycle training schemes in the area where you live.
We also offer free beginners cycle training for women only in London and Birmingham. See our Pedal Power page for more details.
I do not live in London, can I still get a bike?We are currently only delivering within a certain radius of our workshops in both London (Deptford) and Birmingham (Balsall Heath). If you live far away from these areas we may struggle to deliver a bike to you. Please feel free to contact us at email@example.com to find out if you are within our area of operation or we can at least point you towards one of our partner organisations!
My bike has been stolen, what do I do?Report the crime to the police and let us know as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will then contact you with details about how to get back on to the waiting list for a replacement bike.
My bike is broken!If you got your bike from us and need to fix it, please contact us by emailing email@example.com and we will come up with the best solution for you! Please note that we are not able to offer as many workshop appointments at the moment, so we may try to fix your bike remotely, but we will certainly do our best to get you back on the road!
If you didn't get your bike from us, unfortunately we will not be able to give you parts or help you fix it for free. However, there are lots of community organisations that can help. Please email us for a list of those we know about.
I want to be a volunteer Bike Buddy, but...
I live on the outskirts of London/BirminghamRefugees can be housed all over cities like London and Birmingham, so it is in our interest to have volunteers spread as far and wide as possible. You may, however, still need to be willing to travel a small distance to reach your nearest buddy.
I don’t have a bikeSorry! All Bike Buddies need to have access to their own bike. The Bike Project can't give bikes to anyone who is not a refugee or asylum seeker.
I work late or erratic hoursNo problem. Refugees don't always have a typical 9am-5pm schedule either. Equally, you don't have to meet up at the same time every week/fortnight. You'll probably be able to hammer out a good meeting time between the two of you.
I can't attend the training sessionAll London volunteers have to complete our training session held on a Saturday 10.30am – 2.30pm. The location is usually in Deptford – but to be confirmed! Please don't apply if you're unable to take part. Our Bike Buddies scheme is due to be launched in Birmingham in September 2019. Please get back in touch with us then if you're interested in being a Bike Buddy and live in Birmingham.
I only want a buddy of the same gender as meNo problem! You can specify this in your volunteering preferences.
6 miles is too far! Can I just meet a buddy who lives close to me?We always try to match volunteers to refugees who live close to each other, but this isn’t always possible. As volunteers we ask that you travel to meet your buddy, rather than the other way around. Up to 6 miles is the minimum we ask from our volunteers – and we’ll love you forever if you can commit to travelling further because this means we can include more refugees in the project.
Can you reimburse my travel expenses?Yes and no. We do reimburse travel expenses for the volunteer induction session, but not for your travel to meet your buddy.
Pit Stop Partners
How will I know if someone is a refugee?Everyone who gets a bike from us will have to have shown some form of status ID, normally BRP or ARC card which identifies them. Beneficiaries will need to show this to receive help from Pit Stop shops.
How will I know their bike is from The Bike Project?Every bike which gets donated to a refugee through The Bike Project is given a number so we can keep track of who owns it and what repairs are made. This should be on the front of their bike.
A refugee can't get their bike to the shop, can you collect it?If a refugee has a damaged bike which can't be wheeled to your shop, then please discuss the damage with them. If it's a puncture, simply give them a puncture repair kit and invoice us.
How do I invoice The Bike Project once a refugee has come in?Fill out an invoice detailing the item supplied to the refugee and the date of transaction, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting up a Drop Off Point
How should I arrange drop offs?You can choose to provide a telephone or email address to arrange drop-offs in advance directly with the donor so timings are convenient for both of you.
You can use this first point of contact to remind the donor that they must attach a tag to their bike with their full name and post code clearly printed as well as fill out the electronic Gift Aid form online, if eligible.
Alternatively, you can choose to accept walk-in donations during regular opening hours. Either way, we'll make your choice clear on our website.
What bikes do you accept?We take complete adult or children’s bikes in any condition. We define a ‘complete bike’ as having all or almost all of the components, including both wheels, no broken frames or more than 25% rust. We do not accept donations of accessories or parts.
If a potential donor contacts you to ask whether or not their bike meets the criteria and you're not sure of the answer, feel free to pass them on to us via email@example.com and we will follow up.
Why do you need donor information?We want to be able to thank everyone that donates a bike to us and keep them updated. We also need to check the bike’s registration details to us on the national bike register and claim Gift Aid if we sell the donated bike. That’s why we ask all our donors to fill out a name tag and attach it to their bike as well as the electronic Gift Aid form before they arrive to you.
What happens when a bike is dropped off?When a donor arrives at your building, please check that they have attached a name tag (with full name and post code clearly printed) to their bike and ask if the electronic Gift Aid form has been filled out online. If this hasn't been done, please ask the donor to fill out the paper bike tag and electronic Gift Aid Form (also available in paper form).
We can keep you topped up with a stack of durable bike tags which can be attached to the bike if they are to be kept outside along with paper Gift Aid forms if you do not have internet access at the point of donation. If you run low, just email us and we'll send you more.
When will you collect the bikes?Once you're nearing capacity, get in touch with Nicola and tell her how many bikes need to be collected. We will check the schedule and offer you a collection slot. We're only able to collect bikes on Monday mornings, and our schedule can get very busy, but we aim to collect within 2 weeks.
Gifts for Refugees
Right, so what is this Gifts for Refugees malarky?Gifts for Refugees is our way of helping you make a charitable donation on behalf of someone else. Do I hear you yelling, 'IT'S CHRRRRRIIIIIIIISTMAS!' Yes, I think I do. Don't forget, it's also Hanukkah, Hogmanay, Human Rights Day - and probably someone's birthday soon.
The idea is that you choose a gift that roughly corresponds to the cost of providing one of our services to refugees.
At the moment, we have three levels:
- £20 for a Cycling Safety Kit that includes a helmet, high-vis, bike lock and lights so that one of our beneficiaries can cycle safely in London.
- £50 for a kid's bikes, plus cycling safety kit, so that a young refugee can enjoy the simple pleasure of learning to ride.
- £100 for a fully refurbished adult bike, plus cycling safety kit, so that a refugee or asylum seeker can access vital services around London for free.
What happens to the money when I buy one of your Gifts for Refugees?Your purchase (and any Gift Aid contribution) will be used to fund our range of charitable activities to help get refugees cycling.
For example, if you were to give £20 for a cycling safety kit, we can use this to provide a helmet, high-vis, lights and a lock to one of our refugee beneficiaries.
Sometimes it's not bike lights that our beneficiaries need, but a cycling lesson, or a new set of tyres. So, in order to continue to provide our full range of services, please be aware that some of your donation could be used for a different item or service.
Whatever happens, we promise that the full value of your gift will always be used to get refugees cycling!
I get that this is a donation, but can you send me something that I can actually give to my friends/family/colleagues?Absolutely! After you make your purchase, you'll be sent an email containing a very special link to a very special PDF that you can download and print at home.
This PDF boasts a photo of your chosen Gift, along with a special thank-you message from The Bike Project. Cheers!
Can I claim Gift Aid?If you're a UK taxpayer, then yes - and please do! It means The Bike Project can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you donate, at no additional cost to you.
Simply click the tick box on the product page (above the 'Add to Cart' button) to show that you have read the following Gift Aid declaration:
I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and / or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations it is my responsibility to pay any difference.
We'll do the rest!
Still can’t find what you’re looking for?
Drop us a line on 0207 733 80 98 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note we're a small team and even more short-staffed due to the current Coronavirus outbreak. So we may be delayed in responding to you. But we'll do our best to get to your query as quickly as possible.