A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported our Crowdfunder campaign to refurbish bikes for people on very low incomes. We’d seen a dramatic increase in referrals during lock down and with your help we raised an incredible £2,400 to cover the parts and labour needed to turn donated bikes into safe and functional bikes to assist with people’s health, well being, ability to get about and have fun! Referrals come from a wide range of workers (teachers, social workers, support workers, GPs) and bikes go to people of all ages and walks of life. It’s amazing how much difference a bike can make to someone’s quality of life and it’s great that unwanted bikes can be given a second life rather than ending up in landfill!
Do you own a bike that hasn’t been used for a while and which isn’t roadworthy? Maybe the tyres have perished or the brakes don’t work and this is preventing you from riding it? If you’ve got a bike like this, you will soon be able to apply for a £50 voucher towards the cost of repairs to get it safely back on the road.
What is the ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’?
The ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’ is being set up by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) to encourage more people in England to embrace cycling, to boost the number of low carbon, low pollution trips and to promote an alternative to private cars and public transport, particularly while social distancing measures are in place.
The scheme is open to anyone who has an unused bike in need of a repair in order to make it safe to ride.
You will be able to apply for a maximum of two vouchers per household, with each voucher worth £50 towards the overall cost repairs, per bike.
The EST are busy registering participating cycle repair businesses, and we’ll let you know as soon as the scheme is open to the public so you can apply for your £50 voucher.
Recyke y’bike have met all the repairer eligibility criteria and are already successfully registered and set up to accept your vouchers!
What is and what isn’t covered under the scheme?
There are terms and conditions for everything, here is a brief explanation of the scheme, what is required for eligibility and what is covered…
- The cycle owner must be over 18, with two forms of ID (photographic and address)
- The repairs must be necessary to make the bike roadworthy and fit for purpose
Repairs CAN include…
- Repair or replacement of tyres, tubes, wheels and related components
- Adjust, repair or replace brake system components
- Adjust, repair or replace transmission system components
- Repair or replace other essential components which prevent safe use of the cycle
Some things NOT included in the scheme…
- Replacement or upgrade of existing safe and roadworthy components
- Replacement or repair of removable lighting accessories
- The purchase of parts and accessories for you to repair your own bike
If you have a voucher, is all the repair work free?
Each bike and each repair will be different and not every bike will be repairable for £50. Some repairs will cost less and some will cost more, in some cases it could be a lot more.
Vouchers will cover up to £50 per bike towards the service and parts that need replacement. If the final repair cost is less than £50 then you are fully covered. However, you will need to pay the remainder if the cost is greater than £50. In each case, we will give you an estimate of the total repair before accepting your bike and your voucher code.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.
We’ll publish more information about the ‘Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme’ as soon as we have it, together with more details of the voucher process and how we are operating it.
We really want to get as many bikes out of those garages as possible and this scheme might just give you the boost to start that journey.
Remember, if you have a bike hanging around that you don’t ride anymore, and the scheme isn’t for you, then please consider donating it to Recyke y’bike. You can find out more about donating your bike, cash or your time here.
Recyke y’bike has made several adaptations to enable us to work safely during Covid-19. Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions from our customers.
Why are appointments needed?
Appointments help us in two ways. 1. It means we limit the number of people in the shop at any one time so that we can observe safe social distancing. 2. It enables us to match the number of bikes available to the number of customers to avoid customers making futile and unnecessary journeys. We’re currently experiencing far higher demand for bikes than we are able to meet.
How long is each appointment?
We book customers in for 15 minute time slots. That gives each customer time to test ride several bikes and make a decision.
Do I need an appointment for a bike repair?
No, bike repairs and servicing can be dropped off Wednesday to Saturday 12-2.
What type of bikes can I expect?
All of our stock is on our Facebook shop page and updated daily so you can check out what bikes we have before you come for your appointment. Please be aware that unless you are the first appointment of the day (12pm) the bike you might like may be sold before you arrive. We do our best to keep a good selection of stock in but are limited by what people choose to donate.
How do I know what size bike I need?
Here is a rough guide to bike sizes, but please be aware that bike sizes do vary by bike manufacturer and type of bike: https://www.raleigh.co.uk/bike-size-guide/
How much do bikes cost?
The average price of an adult bike is £140
How do I book an appointment?
Appointments are available to book on Fridays from 8am by phone (leave a voicemail), the contact form on our website or Facebook message. Be quick – they go very fast!
Can you deliver my bike?
Sorry – we haven’t got capacity to deliver bikes.
How much will my bike cost to fix?
When you bring your bike in a mechanic will assess it and give you a no obligation quote. Please don’t pone or send us photos on Facebook, our office team are knowledgeable but can’t give you an accurate assessment.
How long will it take to get my bike repaired?
Turn around time is currently 1-2 weeks. If we get too busy we might ask you to take your bike away and bring it back the following week as we only have a finite amount of bike storage.
Can I buy parts?
At the moment we’re not selling bike parts. Because of worldwide demand, parts are currently more hard to come by. Staff only have limited capacity so are focusing energy on selling and repairing bikes at the moment.
We were delighted to be able to donate a bike, bike lock and pannier bags to St Martin’s Health Centre. The bike will be used to transport oxygen monitors safely and efficiently to Covid patients. Aren’t bikes brilliant?!
By RWW – volunteer mechanic at Recyke y Bike
No sane cyclist wants to ride in the wet, but sometimes it’s the only option. With the right clothes and a well-maintained bike, it can even be fun! But before setting off make sure you are aware of these six hazards:
Skidding – If it’s wet lower your tyre pressure by 10psi or so which increases tyre road contact and grip. Try and give yourself a longer stopping distance than you would need when dry. Some tyres are good in wet conditions, others aren’t – your bike shop can advise. If there is ice, the best option is to abandon your ride unless you have specialist tyres and experience.
Punctures – Wet tyres pick up small sharp objects easily (e.g. glass, flint and thorns from hedge cutting). These are often invisible when wet and can quickly penetrate a tyre. Puncture resistant tyres are good but not fool proof, so best pack a spare inner tube and/or suitable puncture repair kit. Oh, and don’t forget your tyre levers! Again, your bike shop can advise
Poor braking – In the good old days bike wheels had steel rims and hard rubber brake blocks. These didn’t work well in the wet. Nowadays, aluminium rims with specialised brake compounds make riding in the wet safer and more reliable. In addition, technology has given us disk brakes. However, the compounds used for disc pads are not similarly effective. For example, sintered pads can be very durable but less efficient than organic compounds in the wet. Your bike shop can advise on the trade-off between durability and braking effectiveness
Standing water – These pools may conceal rim bending or bone breaking potholes; ride with extreme caution (or preferably avoid) any stretch where you can’t see the bottom
Impaired visibility – Make sure you are not invisible to drivers who will be struggling just to see where they are going. Use a flashing rear light and a front light both for daytime and night-time riding. In addition, chose clothing with reflective stripes and patches. When applied to leggings your peddling motion will quickly catch a driver’s attention.
Road spray – Everyone ends up filthy if you don’t use mudguards when roads are wet. More worryingly, where the road surface is contaminated by bacteria (e.g. through farmland) a bad tasting mouthful can cause gastro-enteritis. Many bikes are sold without mudguards but can have them fitted. If you are unsure what type would be best, ask your bike shop.
With good preparation and sensible bike handling skills you can manage these hazards. Importantly, choose the right clothes and make sure your bike is up to the task.
The right clothes
“There is no such thing as bad weather only unsuitable clothing”, and this is as true for cyclists as it is for hill walkers! If you are new to cycling an old anorak will do as a temporary measure but your priority should be a quality, breathable/vented cycling jacket. Avoid having it long at the front or it will catch the saddle when you dismount. To shed water effectively the general principle is for your clothes to overlap like roof tiles (e.g. sleeves over gloves, leggings over socks, etc).
Many cyclists use similar clothes for riding in cold or wet weather. The trick is to use the right number of layers (generally between one and four) under your cycling jacket. Too many and you will overheat and get soaked in perspiration. The Met Office’s “feels like temperature” is a good guide for how many short or long-sleeved layers you need for a ride. It’s better to start off a little cool rather than toasty warm. If in doubt, wear a small wool scarf or a buff. These are easily removed if you overheat.
Layers may be made from synthetic materials or from merino wool. Merino wool is a great alternative because after a day’s ride it doesn’t smell sweaty like most synthetics. Merino wool layers are woven from fine, strong yarns and are available in various weights to suit all weathers.
Over trousers are popular with some riders, particularly those with e-bikes. They keep the rain off but restrict pedalling. They can also get uncomfortably hot. Lycra tights are a better alternative for more powerful pedalling. Buy a thinner pair for cool summer days and warmer ones for the winter. Some Lycra tights are surface treated to help repel water but dry out quickly with underlying body heat. Shorts are good for warm days when it doesn’t matter if your legs get wet! Whatever you do don’t wear jeans for cycling in the rain – unless you like being cold, wet and miserable.
If your feet are cold and wet, it’s a sure-fire recipe for a dismal ride. To prevent this there are three things you can do:
- Pre-treat your cycling shoes a waterproofing spray (e.g. Scotchguard)
- Wear merino wool socks. If sufficiently thick they stay comfortably warm both in winter and summer – even if wet, but your cycling shoes must be roomy enough to accommodate them
- Resort to waterproof socks (e.g. Sealskinz), overshoes or simply plastic bags!
Thick gloves are not a good idea because you need to operate the gears, brakes and maybe a bike computer. Waterproof gloves are preferred by some mountain bikers, although others find their hands get hot and sweaty. Gloves made from breathable, waterproof materials (e.g. Goretex) offer excellent comfort with minimal bulk. Take care to get the right size. Remember tight gloves constrict not only hand movement but also blood flow. Ideally, the glove fingertips should have conductive pads to allow mobile touch screens to be operated.
Bike helmets usually have holes for ventilation. These also let rain in. A cycling cap or buff worn under your helmet will help keep the rain off your head and a peak will keep rain off your glasses. In colder weather a skull cap or balaclava are more effective, although less fashionable!
With cycling clothes it’s best to try and buy from a shop. If you buy online make sure the company allows for easy returns.
Do right by y’bike
We have already mentioned the importance of mudguards to reduce road spray. As well as being messy and antisocial when riding with others, the spray can corrode your bike, particularly in winter after roads have been salted.
Your chain is vulnerable to corrosion and mudguards, and most chainguards offer limited protection. So, thorough cleaning and lubrication are key to keeping it in tip top condition.
Chain degreasers are now big business and certainly make the outside of your chain look clean. You can even buy chain “washing machines” which use significant volumes of degreaser. However, one leading chain manufacturer cautions against this practice because it can strip out the chain’s lubricating grease and ruin it. They recommend using only a small amount of degreaser and rubbing the chain vigorously with a cloth. The chain must be dry before applying chain lubricant individually to each roller so that none are missed. Dry lube is great if you are a dry weather cyclist. For wet weather use a wet lube. Look here for more chain care tips.
Sadly, many riders don’t bother to clean their bike after a wet ride, and next time are faced by dried on dirt and corroding components. This muck gets more and more difficult to clean and some cyclists then resort to a power washer. Not only can this force water into a bike’s bearings and ruin them, it may also damage paintwork.
Wouldn’t it be great if your bike repelled water and dirt? Well, now it’s possible using Bike Protect from Muc Off. Of course, you should still hose the bike down with a fine spray after a ride, but the dirt comes away quickly and easily. A word of caution: don’t get Bike Protect on any of your braking surfaces (discs, rims, brake shoes or blocks). This is best done by removing the wheels and covering the brake calipers with cling film before spraying. Fortunately, Bike Protect lasts many rides before having to be reapplied to a well cleaned bike.
So, next time it rains make sure you are fully prepared and have a great ride!
When the fundraising singers of community choir Sing United decided to support a charity that shares their passion for the environment, they needed to look no further than Recyke y’Bike.
Sing United, which has raised over £11,000 for local charities in just two years, stages concerts and community performances to raise funds for different causes. Every show has a theme that the choir feel strongly about supporting or raising awareness of. They call it ‘music with meaning’
“Our current theme is ‘Emergency on Planet Earth’, “ said Sing United Musical Director Mark Deeks, “and when we heard about Recyke y’Bike, and the work it does to keep unwanted and abandoned bikes out of landfill, we knew we’d found the perfect charity to support.”
Sing United will stage two fundraising concerts at The People’s Theatre on Saturday 21st March at 3pm and 7.30pm as well as a special performance at Recyke y’Bike’s Brinkburn Street workshop on Saturday 14th March at 2pm. The choir will donate funds raised throughout the term and collections at the shows to Recyke y’Bike.
“We’re delighted to have been adopted by this wonderful choir,” said RyB general manager Sara Newson.
“Sing United’s fabulous performances give so much pleasure and it will be a great way to raise vital funds for our charity as well as spreading the message that the world’s resources aren’t limitless and we need to reuse and recycle as much as we possibly can.
“And the really brilliant thing about our recycled bikes is that they are an affordable, healthy and sustainable way to get around!”
Tickets for the People’s Theatre performances are on sale now. Contact the Theatre box office on 0191 265 5020 www.peoplestheatre.co.uk. .
Unbelievable scenes in our Durham shop today! Our first ever bike refurbished in Durham (Bike number D1) was donated back to us ready to be refurbished and loved by a new rider. D1’s owner is returning to Holland after enjoying 5 years of happy cycling and wanted to make sure that her faithful friend was going to be put to good use. We absolutely love it when this happens – it’s the circular economy at it’s finest!
If that wasn’t enough we also sold our 2000th Durham bike today! And – would you Adam and Eve it – it went to Chris who also bought our 1000th bike! Happy cycling Chris and D2000!
Our Saturday Young Volunteers Club is underway with supervised sessions running from 10am – 12pm and 1pm – 3pm. The aim is to engage with young people using bikes as the medium and then support them to grow their confidence, self-esteem and interpersonal skills alongside their mechanical skills. Saturday sessions are aimed at 13 to 18 year olds with separate sessions for 8-12’s running on Mondays.
Volunteering is a brilliant way for people of all ages to meet new people, gain workplace experience, develop their skills and even gain accredited qualifications all whilst helping others. Opportunities for young people to volunteer can be few and far between which is why we felt it was really important that we create a program specifically for young people.
Our program for young people has been funded by the Shears Foundation, St Hilda’s Trust and Children’s Mission. We’ve developed a theory of change (below) to set out what impact we anticipate the program will have and a skills (bike) wheel to measure progress in the areas we’ve identified.
If you are a young person or the parent or carer of a young person who’d like to get involved please fill in the Young People’s Application and Consent Form (paper) (2)
On the Tuesday of February half term we’re throwing open the doors to people of all ages to offer:
*Free mini bike services
*Free training sessions so that you can learn how to fix your own punctures or clean your own chain
*Ramps and jumps to test your cycling skills (bring your own bike or borrow one)
*Free food from Food Nation
*Access to the Youth Lorry
*Games and competitions
Huge thanks to everyone who came down to our Pub Quiz at Tyne Bank Brewery, we raised an amazing £570!!! Congratulations to the winners of Best Team Name (If Mike is short for Michael does that mean that bike is short for bikael?) and to the overall winner the Yellow Jerseys who generously donated their prize money back to us!