Helping local bicycle commuters keep their bicycles in reliable and roadworthy condition.
Improve the lives of less fortunate members of society in South Africa
Helping the hundreds of daily bicycle commuters in the Johannesburg/Midrand area maintain their bicycles so that they can continue to commute in a safe and reliable way.
We see them every day – the guys who ride old, decrepit bicycles from their homes to work. They typically ride more than 20km each day, every day.
As recreational or competitive cyclists know, bicycles need regular maintenance to perform well, reliably and safely. For example, to prevent excessive wear and tear a bicycle chain should be replaced approximately every 1500km (or at 0.75% wear). This prevents the chainrings and cassette cogs from wearing out. If the chain is not replaced periodically, the cogs of the rear gears and the front chainrings will eventually wear out, needing replacement too. I regularly encounter cyclists who ride bikes with chains worn well past 2% – resulting in a destroyed drivetrain. Brakes are another thing that we see are normally very neglected, leading to accidents and injuries.
None of the cyclist commuters that I encounter can afford this maintenance, so they generally ride the bikes with little or no maintenance, until they stop working altogether.
My appeal is that we help these guys maintain their bikes so that they can safely get to work every day and continue putting food on their family’s table. By supplying a free repair service to local bicycle commuters and replacing bicycle parts with new or good condition used parts, sourced via donation or purchased using funds obtained via donations, we can affect a hugely positive impact in the lives of these bicycle commuters.
What parts do we need?
26-inch tyres, tubes, chains, shifter and brake cables, chainrings, cassettes/clusters, derailleurs, gear shifters, saddles, handlebar grips, pedals, complete wheels.
How much do these parts cost?
If we can’t source the parts via donation we buy them from various suppliers.
Chains for 5-8-speed bicycles: R70 each
Chains for 9/10-speed bicycles: R200 each
Tyres: R75 each
Tubes: R50 each (pre-slimed)
Brake and gear cables: R17 each
Crank sets: R200 each
Bottom Brackets: R80 each
Gear clusters: R70 each
Gear shifters: R200 per side
Rear derailleurs: R40 each
Front Derailleurs: R40 each
V-brake brake pads: R10 per set
Complete wheels: R120 (front) – R180 (rear)
Handlebar grips: R40 per set
Pedals: R40 per set
How do we get the parts?
The parts we need can be bought from local bicycle parts agents, importers and distributors. Often, they can be obtained via donations from cyclists. The really high wear-and-tear items like cables and chains normally need to be procured new. For these we need financial assistance in the form of donations.
How you can help:
Donate parts by dropping them off at the PwC Bike Park in Bryanston for attention Build-a-Bike SA
You are welcome to volunteer your time and talents and help us repair the bikes
How can bicycle commuters get their bikes fixed?
Nominate a commuter that you know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your name and contact info
- Your relationship to the commuter who needs assistance
- The commuter’s name and contact number
- A photo of the commuter with his bicycle
- Once we have received the request and confirmed we’re able to assist, we will ask you to tell the rider that he’s eligible for a free bike repair and to expect us to contact him. We will then contact the commuter and arrange to repair his bicycle for free.
If you’re a corporate and would like to have your name associated with this initiative, please contact us for further discussions.
Proof of performance:
As we help individual cyclists maintain their bikes we will post info and photos on our Facebook page and include the following:
- Cyclist’s name
- What parts were used to repair his bike
- What the parts cost us to procure / or sourced via donation
- Name of the person who nominated the cyclist for assistance