What we need

We’re looking for quality bicycles from brands that would be purchased from a bike shop. We especially need bikes for people 5’0-5’7″, mountain bikes in all sizes, and kid/preteen bikes with 24″ wheels.

Ideally, the bike you donate only needs minor repairs (chain, new tubes, etc.) or a basic tune up. If it needs more major work, we might use it or strip it to use it’s viable parts. If you’re unsure about donating your bike, remember, these bikes will end up under a smiling person who wants a safe, usable bike.

Don’t get us wrong

This doesn’t mean that your bike has to be in perfect shape! We can certainly receive bikes that need some TLC. If your bike needs some work to get rolling again, our team of mechanics will definitely fix it up before someone uses it. We know it might be hard to tell how much work your bike might need, so we just ask that you bring it to us with a reasonable feeling that it could be of use to someone.

What we don’t need

There are two main factors that would keep us from using your bike: Rust/Mechanical trauma and low initial quality.

Rust/Mechanical trauma:

If your bike has been out in the elements for over a year, or is otherwise excessively rusted, we cannot use it. If your bike has a broken, bent, or badly damaged frame, we can’t use it (unless it has functioning parts on it that we could take off and use on another bike). Minor surface rust is okay, but we can’t use your bike if:

  • The chain cannot move or the pedals can’t make a full rotation due to rust. If the chain is bright orange and seized up, there’s likely no hope for the remaining parts.
  • Water pours out when you flip it upside down. This means water has collected and pooled inside the bike’s frame and corroded it from the inside.
  • The surface of the wheels is heavily rusted. (We can’t true these wheels because the spokes don’t move.)
  • The bike has been run over or involved in a major accident affecting the frame.
  • There is other catastrophic bike damage beyond repair (e.g. taco’ed, s-shaped wheels).

Low initial quality:

  • Due to excessive costs of refurbishing, we would like to avoid bicycles purchased at department or toy stores. These bikes tend to degrade very quickly and require excessive labor to repair properly; however, if your bike is still in good condition and doesn’t need a lot of work, we will still be able to use it.
  • Bikes Not Bombs may have the capacity to accept non brand name bikes and bikes that are in need of more serious repairs. For more information please visit their website or call (617) 522‑0222.

Rules of thumb:

If it’s been outside over one or more winters, if the thought of your bike makes you queasy, if you’d call it “trashed,” or if you can’t see how anyone would want to ever ride your bike again, we most likely cannot use it.

Roll it Forward aims to collect, repair, and distribute up to 1000 bikes to Boston's neighborhoods by the spring of 2012.

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