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FAQs

Everything you ever wanted to know about The Bike Project, but never dared to ask.

Supporting the charity
  • 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 - we love a challenge, but can't resurrect a write-off! See our Donate a Bike page for how to get it to us.

    Thank you – our mechanics are rubbing their hands in glee and can't wait to see what you've got for us!
  • How do I get my bike to you?
    You can bring it in to The Bike Project workshop or drop it off at one of our Bike Hubs around London. We also have one collection point in Oxford.
  • 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 – it's just not cost effective. 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 London drop-off points. Visit our Donate A Bike webpage for the full list.
  • I've just donated a bike, what happens next?
    All the bikes we receive are assessed by our crack team of mechanics, lovingly refurbished and given a full service. Most of these spruced up bikes are donated to very happy refugees at one of our legendary Thursday evening workshop sessions. At the same time, refugees are given a helmet, lights, visibility vest, lock and cycle safety training - and they cycle safely off into the sunset!

    A small proportion of bike donations aren't given away, but are sold to bargain hunting bikers through our online shop. This is an integral part of our social enterprise model. Every single penny we make in sales is ploughed straight back into the charity and goes a long way to securing our future.
  • Do you buy secondhand bikes, exchange bikes, or offer a discount on a new bike in exchange for a donated bike?
    Sorry! We don't offer anything in exchange for a bike donation other than our eternal thanks and gratitude.
  • I want to volunteer!
    Awesome! We're always looking for ace new volunteers and we'd love for you to join us. Our workshop sessions run every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm. We don’t have a formal process for becoming a volunteer – just pitch up whenever you can.
  • I want to help at the workshop, but I'm not very experienced with bikes!
    Don't panic – we all started somewhere! You'll be working on a bike with another volunteer so just show up ready and willing to get stuck in.

    Most of the jobs are pretty straightforward – cleaning the bike, fitting new cables and brake blocks, inner tubes and tyres. And when you snag a problem you haven't seen before – truing a wheel, replacing a cassette, indexing gears – there are always plenty of more experienced people around to help.

    It's a fantastic way to learn new bike skills!
  • How else can I help The Bike Project?
    Glad you asked because so many ways!
    • If you're not keen on mechanics but still want to volunteer, drop us a line about how you might be able to help with glamorous admin.
    • If time's not your thing, why not sponsor a bike from as little as £10 a month? As well as helping us get refugees cycling, we give you a free bike service too!
    • If money's not your thing, then why not hop on your bike and do some fundraising for The Bike Project with a charity ride?
    • If you'd rather get rid of your (spare) bike(s), then become a bike donor hero by simply wheeling it into the workshop or one of our London Bike Hubs.
    • Talking of Bike Hubs – could you help us set up a bike collection point in your area?
    • Your Suggestion Here. If you can think of any other ways you'd like to be involved, please get in touch via info@thebikeproject.co.uk. We're all ears for new ideas!
  • I’m a Journalist / Student / Filmmaker / Photographer – how do I get in touch?
    Great – we love spreading the word! Give us the gist of what you've got in mind in an email to info@thebikeproject.co.uk. We'll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours.
Products
  • 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 on the mean streets of London. 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.

    If you’d like to test ride a bike our workshop is generally staffed from 10am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, with a late night (until 8pm) on Thursdays. It can be a good idea to call ahead when you plan to come, as we are a small team and do sometimes go out to do events away from the workshop. Wouldn't want to miss ya!
  • Do you offer bike servicing?
    Yes – but only for the lovely people who sponsor one of our refugee bikes. Luckily, you can sponsor a bike from as little as £10 per month. For that, you get both a professional gold standard bike service AND the warm fuzzy glow of helping out an awesome charity. Modesty is not our strong point – bike fixing is.

    We do offer corporate bike servicing, an on-site, same day and affordable bike repair service for offices around London. A basic service is only £35, and all the profits are reinvested into The Bike Project, natch. If you’d like to arrange a repair day for your office then zing us an email at info@thebikeproject.co.uk. Or pass our details on to your HR or CSR Manager marked priority smiley face.
  • What can I expect from your second hand bikes?
    It's our solemn promise that our bikes will work as well as they did when they first rolled off the production line. 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 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.
    • Fast-wearing elements, like the brake blocks and gear cabling, will be completely overhauled and braking and gear shifting will be super snappy, just how you like it.

    If you have any doubts at all about buying a bike from The Bike Shop, then just give us a call. If you're in London, feel free to pop into the workshop for a test ride. And remember that 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 (link) 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 kindly 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?
    Absolutely. Just make an appointment to come and ride your heart out at our workshop by emailing info@thebikeproject.co.uk.
  • Will my bike be safe to ride?
    Thanks for asking this not silly question. 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, why of our mission, check out our website.
Delivery
  • When will my order arrive?
    Your beautiful new-to-you bike will arrive within 3-5 working days of being ordered.


    As soon as your order drops into our inbox, our office angels wave their magic wands of administration and our dedicated mechanics get busy with the grease to make sure your bike is in tip-top riding condition just for you. When everything's been double and triple checked, we use a super careful shipping company who do their utmost to deliver the day after dispatch.

    But don't worry – we'll send you an email to let you know as soon as your bike has been sent on its merry way and when you can expect to be riding.

    Please note: We only deliver to the mainland UK. Sorry!
  • How will my bike be packaged? Is it fully assembled?
    The bike will arrive in a massive cardboard bike box. Because cardboards boxes aren't bike-shaped, however, there will be a couple of simple fixes and adjustments to make before it's ready to ride.

    This may sound intimidating, but don’t panic. Just open the box, remove the bike and follow these instructions:

    1. Turn the handlebars until they're dead straight and centred over the front fork. Tighten up the bolt with the tool we've included in the box.
    2. Thread the pedals back onto the crank arms. They screw in the opposite way to everyday screws, which means they'll only get tighter as you ride.
    3. Fit the saddle on the seat post and tighten up with the tools we've included, making sure it's at the right height and angle for your riding style.
    4. Pop the front wheel back into the front forks, tighten up with the tools included (even easier if it's got a quick release skewer).
    5. Make sure both front and rear brakes are working.
    6. You're ready to ride!If the bike has a front mudguard, we've had to remove that too (our courier is very particular!). It simply screws back onto the front forks, secured at the top by the bolt that also attaches the brakes to the 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 because bikes are delivered between 9am and 6pm on working days. It'll be worth it, we promise!
  • How much does delivery cost?
    Who pays for delivery these days? Not you! All bikes, along with any accessories ordered at the same time, are delivered free to anywhere on the UK mainland.

    If you buy over £100 of accessories, even without a bike – that's free delivery for you too!

    Sadly, our accountant says we do have to charge for smaller deliveries of accessories. That'll cost you £10 per order.
  • Where do you deliver to?
    Anywhere in mainland UK. Sorry Orkadians!
  • Can I pick my bike up from the workshop?
    Course you can! You'll be given the option to collect at the workshop in the delivery options menu when placing your order.

    As a thank you for saving us the hassle of packing up your bike, we'll bung you £15 - cheers, mate!

    The only thing we ask is that you come and collect within one week of ordering – our workshop is teeny-tiny and we don't have enough space to store bikes for any longer. Look forward to meeting you!
Returns
  • 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 (info@thebikeproject.co.uk). Fingers crossed our bike agony aunts and uncles will be able to make you happy again.

    Otherwise, if you're still within our 14-day test ride no fuss, no fret returns period, then you can always pack the bike back up and return it to us. If you're outside that period, give us a call anyway and we'll see what we can do. A happy customer is our only kind.
  • 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. For any orders made in December, we extend our returns period until January 15th just in case it was a Christmas present!

    Send us an email ASAP (info@thebikeproject.co.uk) 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 if you need advice on how to pack the bike, but we advise you to:

    1. Remove the pedals.
    2. Turn the handlebars.
    3. Wrap the forks in cardboard to protect them from damage during shipping.
    4. Fill out the box with spare cardboard to make sure the bike won't rattle around in the box.
    5. Mark the box as 'Fragile' and attach our delivery address in a clearly visible location.

    If the bike was damaged on delivery, you must either refuse the delivery or register the damage with the delivery person. In this case, we can make a claim with the delivery company to recoup costs and you will, of course, receive a full refund.

    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.
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 5 years, then you can get a bike from us.
  • I am an asylum seeker or refugee, how can I get a bike?
    You can register online to go on our waiting list. You will need your unique ARC, BRP or HO number to register.
  • I have registered for a bike, what happens next?
    When we have a bike ready for you we will send you a text inviting you to attend an appointment to collect it. Please note: the current waiting time for a bike is 3 months.

    It is very important to bring your ID with you when you collect your bike. If you do not bring your ID, we cannot give you the bike.

    At your appointment we will also give you:
    • helmet
    • lights
    • visibility vest
    • lock
    • basic cycle safety training
  • I have an appointment to collect a bike but can’t make it!
    Don't worry! Let us know by replying to the text or email confirmation and we will contact you to rearrange the appointment. Remember to bring your ID with you to your new appointment as otherwise we cannot give you the bike.
  • 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 Wapping and Croydon. See our cycle training page for more details.
  • I do not live in London, can I still get a bike?
    Absolutely! But the bike needs to be collected from our London workshop the next time you are visiting London. There are sometimes opportunities for us to arrange bikes to be delivered through partner organisations, but these are rare. Email info@thebikeproject.co.uk if you have a specific concern about how to collect your bike.
  • 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 info@thebikeproject.co.uk. 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 bring it back to the workshop on a Thursday from 5 – 8pm. You can also take it to one of our local bike shop partners.

    If you got your bike from somewhere else, unfortunately we cannot give you parts or help you fix it. 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 am under 18
    As volunteers will be working one-to-one with vulnerable adults, all participants must be 18 or older. Sorry!
  • I live on the outskirts of London
    Refugees can be housed all over London, 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 bike
    Sorry! 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 hours
    No 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 session
    Sorry! All Bike Buddies have to complete our two hour training session. These are currently held on a Saturday or Sunday in the SE5 area, althought this may be subject to change. Please don't apply if you're unable to take part.
  • I only want a buddy of the same gender as me
    No problem! You can specify this when you sign-up on our Bike Buddies App.
  • I don’t have a smartphone
    Again, no problem! Our Bike Buddies App, where you will be matched with and chat to your buddy, can be used through any web browser.
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 accounts@thebikeproject.co.uk
Setting up a Bike Hub
  • 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 info@thebikeproject.co.uk 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.
Corporate Servicing
  • How do our employees purchase a service?
    We will provide promotional material for you to share with your employees. This contains a link to our online shop where they can purchase a service and other accessories.
  • Where will the bikes be serviced?
    If you have access to car parking we require no more than a parking space for the day. We can also repair the bikes your building if there is an equivalent space for the day. We will, of course, ensure that the site is left exactly as we found it.
  • What else do you need from us?
    We try to make arranging the days as simple as possible for our partners. The biggest thing you can do to support us is to let as many people as possible know about the opportunity. If you share a building with other companies then please feel free to share the information with them too; we can always bring more mechanics!
  • How many bikes can you service in a day?
    Each mechanic can service around 10 bikes a day. We will bring enough mechanics to ensure we complete all the services purchased.
Still can’t find what you’re looking for?

Drop us a line on 0207 733 80 98 or email info@thebikeproject.co.uk. We're a busy bunch, but aim to get back to you within 24 hours.

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