The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition helps needy families and individuals by repairing and donating used bicycles to our partner community service organizations. A warehouse and workshop is fully outfitted with storage, repair stands and tools for year-round operation.
The Bicycle Exchange meets on selected Saturdays throughout the year to receive, repair, and distribute its inventory of donated bicycles. New volunteers learn bicycle repair skills by assisting a team of more experienced volunteers.
The Bicycle Exchange donates bicycles and helmets throughout the year to local charities that serve both children and adults. We also provide bicycles to homeless individuals to provide transportation from shelters to places of employment and schooling.
Tax-deductible donations of bicycles are gladly accepted, especially children's bicycles. Our program repairs and donates all types of bicycles. Our mechanics always have lots to do and none are paid so we appreciate your effort to clean up your bike before donating it so we can focus on repairs.
- Bicycle repair courses
- Earn a Bicycle Exchange t-shirt or shop apron
- Join our mailing list
- Volunteer support
- How to donate a bike
- Donation guidelines
- Bicycle sales
- Partner organizations
- Supporting bicycle businesses
Volunteers can simply show up at a workday; there's no need to sign up in advance unless you are a group of more than five. We encourage participation by volunteers of all ages and skill levels. We strive to team together volunteers in work that they find enjoyable. For the safety of our participants, it is the policy of the Bicycle Exchange that a parent or legal guardian must accompany volunteers under age 18. Each participant is asked to sign a liability release form the first time they volunteer. We cannot accept volunteers performing court ordered community service.
Our volunteer events are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of January through October, second and third Saturdays in November and the first Saturday in December. Our doors open at 10:00 am, and we finish up around 3:00 pm.
Our workshop is located at 2566 Leghorn Street in Mountain View. Leghorn runs west of and parallel to Highway 101 between San Antonio and Rengstorff. We are located in the back of BTN Automotive. Go all the way around to the rear of the building and look for the bikes!
2566 Leghorn Street,
Mountain View, CA, 94043
What to bring
We provide tools and work stands. Volunteers are welcome to bring their own tools - just make sure to leave with no more and no less than your own tools at the end of the day!
Bring $3 per person if you want to pitch in for pizza, or you can bring your own lunch.
We have a water cooler, and encourage volunteers to bring their own water bottles to reduce the use of disposable cups.
You should wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty. Also, keep in mind that we work outside, so you may want to wear sunscreen, a hat, etc.
Bicycle repair courses
At many of our workdays, we offer bicycle repair mini-courses on a variety of topics covering nearly every repair our volunteers are likely to ever make. The courses are held directly after lunch and last about 30 minutes. Each course covers a focused topic such as tire changing, cable routing, brake servicing, derailleur adjustments. Instruction spans the very basic beginner level material to tips and tricks for the seasoned bike fixer, with some bicycle history thrown in where possible.
Earn a Bicycle Exchange t-shirt or shop apron!
We like to reward our regular volunteers by providing them with complimentary Bicycle Exchange t-shirt or shop apron. These can be earned by volunteering for 5 or more workdays within a 12 month period.
Join our mailing list
Sign up for our bike fixer announcement list.
The Bicycle Exchange thankfully acknowledges volunteer support from the following organizations:
- Hands On Bay Area
- One Brick
- Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers
- The MIT Club of Northern California
Volunteers are the life-essence of the bicycle exchange. We'd like to share the joys of bike repair with more local folks. If you know of a business or community organization that would like to come out for one of our workdays please contact us (see Contacts below).
How to donate a bike
Bicycles and bicycle parts can be donated at our workshop located at 2566 Leghorn St, Mountain View, CA 94043 during our volunteer events, which are held on select Saturdays between the hours of 10 AM and 3PM. For additional questions, see Contacts.
We now accept bicycles of all sizes from tricycles up to full sized bicycles for adults. Flat tires and broken or missing parts are no problem. We have an extensive parts inventory. Our volunteers can fix almost anything; however, we don't restore paint and we can't reverse corrosion.
Before donating your bike, ask yourself:
- Could an experienced mechanic make this bike functional and safe in one hour or less?
- Is the bike substantially free of rust and corrosion?
- Is the bike clean enough that you could offer it as a gift without embarrassment?
If the answers are all "yes" then we'll gladly receive the bike. Please clean up your bike before donating it so we can focus on repairs. We also accept monetary donations.
The Bicycle Exchange attempts to recycle content that can not be reused. We are glad to acknowledge the Palo Alto Recycling Center for taking our scrap metal and ROTTUA for taking our used bicycle tires.
We sell a portion of our inventory to cover operating expenses which include parts, tools, rent, and insurance (The Bicycle Exchange has no paid staff). Bikes can be viewed and purchased during any of our regularly scheduled workdays at the Leghorn Street address. Prices are very reasonable, adjustments and some repairs can be made on the spot, and accessories are often available for purchase. Bicycles for sale are on a first-come first-served basis.
The Bicycle Exchange donates its repaired bicycles through qualified social service partners. Our program would not be possible without the organizations that distribute our bicycles to those who need them. We are proud to work with the partners listed below:
- Bill Wilson Center
- Boys and Girls Club of East Palo Alto
- Catholic Charities
- Catholic Worker House
- Day Worker Center
- Hidden Villa
- Mountain View Community Services Agency
- Samaritan House
- Sunday Friends
- Sunnyvale Community Services
- Turning Wheels for Kids
Supporting bicycle businesses
The Bike Exchange is glad to receive help from the following bicycle businesses:
- Recreational Equipment, Incorporated - REI
- Cupertino Bike Shop
- The Sports Basement
- Wilson Sales
The Bicycle Exchange acknowledges generous corporate donations from:
- Through its Community Involvement Program, PARC provides volunteers and financial support. Historically, PARC has been the longest running supporter of the Bicycle Exchange.
- We acknowledge CustomInk for financial support and for printing awesome T-Shirts and shop aprons for our volunteers. CustomInk offers a full line of clothing and accessories including cycling apparel. CustomInk also provides Bike-to-Work incentives for its employees and participates in Bike-to-Work day.
- The Bicycle Exchange has enjoyed long running support from eBay employee-volunteers and eBay provides matching funds for the hours volunteered.
- Google employees regularly volunteer in group events at the Bicycle Exchange and their volunteer hours are matched by Google with financial support.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company supports the Bicycle Exchange Programs through its Power Your Community Grant Program.
For additional information, first see our FAQ sheet.
For questions about volunteering, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions regarding donating a bike, please contact email@example.com or (408) 255-3767.
For other questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 269-6051.