41. Create or fix a bike from recycled parts

Free to do
Can do in my area
No planning needed
All year round
Great for little'uns with parents (under 6)

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Find all the materials and advice you need from Bristol bike shops and projects to create or repair a bike from recycled parts.

Do it ourselves
A young person checking the spokes on their bike wheel

Why do it?

Building your own bike is brilliant - when you travel by bike you feel free, independent and you see the city in so many new and different ways.

Learning to build or fix your own bike also teaches you mechanical skills and how to use tools, which may be useful in the not so distant future when oil runs out and we can no longer rely on petrol power! It's also a totally environmentally friendly way to get about.

Bristol became England’s first Cycling City back in 2008, we have a large amount of traffic free cycle routes, on road cycle lanes and over 3400 cycle parking spaces!

How to do this in Bristol

Learn to repair and reuse your old or broken bicycle from recycled parts that can be found at your local community bike workshop, on Freecycle or other internet sites.

If you have little or no experience of fixing a bike, or you have limited access to tools, community bike workshops are a great way to learn from experienced and skilled bike mechanics.

For those that have some basic knowledge of bicycle maintenance and access to tools, the internet links provided below are perfect to help give you that little bit of extra knowledge, with useful video tutorials and easy to understand illustrations you’ll be on your bike in no time.

For those who may not be able to afford their own bike, the Bristol Bike Project has a number of brilliant schemes aimed at getting everyone riding their own bicycle. You can attend drop in sessions for young people aged 8-18 every Friday 3:30pm to 6:30pm where you can use the workshop space to gain an understanding of bike mechanics or to build your own bike. Everyone is welcome to drop in and there is no charge for this service and no pre-booking is required.

You will not only earn your own bicycle which was donated to the project, but you will also develop a really useful set of skills which can help you to maintain your own bike and to help your friends maintain and build their own.

How to build your own bike from recycled parts:

What you will need

  • Access to the Internet

  • Recycled or spare bike parts from broken bikes and ‘freecycle’

  • A willingness to learn

  • Friday afternoons free (3:30pm to 6:30pm) to go to the Bristol Bike Project drop-in sessions

Safety tips

Once you have built or fixed your bike do an extra once over check. Check the tyres are fully inflated, the brakes work and are clean, and the chain is tidy and turns freely. Do this quick check each time before you take the bike out. It might be a good idea to take your bike’s very first test run somewhere quiet like a park or traffic free cycle lane to try it out before you decide to take to roads or areas with lots of traffic.

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