What to do with unwanted bikes
What should I do with my bike when I graduate or move away? There are a number of places to donate an unwanted bike, and students are strongly encouraged to donate or sell their bikes. Please consider donating your used bicycle to the Campus Bike Center (51 Gregory Dr., Champaign) or the Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign (202 S. Broadway Ave., Room 24, Urbana). It only takes a few minutes to drop off your bike. No appointment is needed. All donations are tax-deductible. All donated bicycles will be refurbished or recycled properly with as much of the bike saved for reuse as possible.
You cannot leave your used bicycle on-campus. If you do, it will be considered abandoned and forfeited. Each year after graduation, the Parking Department collects hundreds of abandoned bicycles across campus. If the original owners cannot be identified or do not retrieve the bike, it is donated to The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign, a 501c(3) nonprofit.
Where to find a bicycle
Champaign, Urbana, and the University have a licensing program for dockless bike-share companies, giving campus and the community access to short term bike rentals from one or more bike share companies. You can buy a one time ride or get a membership to ride any time you need, depending on the company. Learn more at the bike share websites listed below, or view the frequently asked questions and Fact Sheet.
The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign has two locations: the Independent Media Center & the Campus Bike Center. Both locations offer affordable refurbished bikes for sale. Learn more about each of the facilities by visiting their websites.
Local Bike Shops
Local bike shops are a great place to look for a bike. They often carry quality bicycles and have a knowledgeable staff that can help you find the best bike for you.
If investing in a new quality bike seems outside of your budget most local shops have quality affordable used bikes or even bike rentals.
1003 S Lynn St. Urbana
Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-5pm, Sat 12pm-4pm, Sun Closed
506 S Country Fair Dr. Champaign
Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm
Durst Cycle and Fitness
112 W University Ave. Urbana & 1201 S Mattis Ave. Champaign
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun Closed
Itty Bitty Bike Shop
303 W Griggs St. Urbana
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm, Sat 9am-1pm, Sun Closed
624 S 5th St. Champaign
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-7PM, Sat 12pm-6pm, Sun 12pm-4pm
Other ways to get a bike
Occasionally Champaign Police or Urbana Police will give away free abandoned bicycles they have collected. Keep up to date on upcoming giveaways with the event calendar.
The University YMCA holds a Dump and Run event where they collect quality used goods that would otherwise be thrown away and sell them to the public. Learn more by visiting the Dump and Run website.
You can also get a used bicycle at neighborhood garage sales (These are usually listed on the News-Gazette Website) or through web platforms like Craigslist.
Big Box Store Bicycles
Safety checks are rarely performed on these bicycles and staff at big box stores are not trained on bicycles to tell if one is broken or dangerous. Many of the bicycles are built with parts that are easy to break and not available for purchase aftermarket.
Many of these bicycles are scrapped or abandoned within one or two years and are the majority of the abandoned bicycles found on campus each year during abandoned bicycle clean-up. These “cheap” bicycles frequently are one-size and do not fit many of our students, staff, and faculty.
Purchasing an $80-$200 bicycle from one of these stores is actually not economical if you must replace it every couple years or put hundreds of dollars into the bicycle each year to get it to work.