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 E. 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.

How to retrieve your impounded bicycle

A student/user needs to send an email to bike@illinois.edu with their bicycle information, including where they left the bicycle, make/model of the bicycle, color, and serial number (if possible). They also need to tell us if the bicycle was registered or not. If it was, we need to know the Registration sticker ID. We also want to have a picture of their bicycle, preferably when it was unlocked to show that it was owned by the user.

Once we have that information, we will look for the bicycle in the inventory. We will then schedule a time for the user to meet at the Round Barns to collect their bicycle.

If the bicycle was not registered, the student will be required to register it (https://bike.illinois.edu/register-your-bike/) before collecting their bicycle. Retrieving an impounded bicycle will require an active bike registration and associated fees in accordance with the University Bicycle Ordinance.

Where to find a bicycle

Refurbished Bikes

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.

Campus Bike Center, with UI Campus Rec.
The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign

The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign Logo

Dockless Bike-Share

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.

1-855-VEO-2256 / 1-855-836-2256

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.

Bakers Bikes
1003 S Lynn St. Urbana
Hours: Mon-Fri 12pm-5pm, Sat 12pm-4pm, Sun Closed
(217) 365-0318

624 S 5th St. Champaign
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-7PM, Sat 12pm-6pm, Sun 12pm-4pm

BR Bikes and Repairs

Call for appointment: (414) 374-3261 (English) or (414)-573-4237 (Spanish)


Champaign Cycle

506 S Country Fair Dr. Champaign
Hours: Mon, Sun: Closed, Tue – Fri: 10:00am – 6:00pm, Sat: 10:00am – 5:00pm

Durst Cycle and Fitness

112 W University Ave. Urbana & 1201 S Mattis Ave. Champaign
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun Closed

Itty Bitty Bike Shop

303 W Griggs St. Urbana
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-4pm, Sun Closed

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 University YMCA 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.

Please do not buy a Big Box Store Bicycle.