Who are you; is The Bikes College a charity?
No, we re not a charity; we re a social enterprise. From a legal point of view we are a not-for-profit privately owned community interest company, limited by shares (see more info here) that collects, redistributes, repairs and refurbishes unwanted bicycles.
Do you get funded?
No, we do not. We chose to run our project the way we do not rely on donations, grants or any other funding. We pay for our bills, our fuel, our parts and all your free drinks with the money we make in the shop.
How do you make money?
We do not, but we make sure we make enough to pay all our dues. We sell some of the bikes, we provide heavily discounted services too. We sell parts and other accessories. We choose to keep the prices at the very lowest so anyone can afford to cycle in Leeds and beyond.
Do you sell bikes?
Yes, we do. The bikes sales are still a large proportion of our income. We sell fully functional, roadworthy and safe bicycles to people of Leeds (and beyond).
Do you sell any bikes ready to take away immediately?
No, we do not. On a few occasions we have had a couple of bikes ready immediately due to no pick ups, etc. but this is not our business model. All our bikes are stored and displayed in the state of disrepair.
So how does it work if I want to buy a bike?
You come along and choose one; you pay a fully refundable deposit or full amount (Make Up No Story policy); you leave your name and a mobile number, and are being assigned a day slot in our busy diary. On this day you will receive an automated text message stating any outstanding balances ONLY when the bike is ready. Prior to this message the bike will not be ready for collection. You visit again to collect your new bike.
What happens if I am unable to collect a bike I purchased from you on the specified day?
We do understand things get in the way sometimes. We are more than happy to keep the bike in storage for you but ONLY if arranged and agreed upon. We will NOT be in touch again to remind you to collect it. After a few days wait the bicycle will be put back onto sale and you can then return for your deposit at anytime.
Do you buy bikes?
No, we do not; as in “NO, WE DO NOT BUY BIKES AT ALL” .
Do you sell any brand new bikes?
No, we do not. We sell only the refurbished (thus second hand) bicycles. Occasionally we build a bike that looks new but we do not sell brand new bikes. If you wish to purchase one- ask us- we will point you in good direction to see one of our many friends in Leeds or beyond.
Can you provide parts (brand new and second hand??
Yes, we can. We are just like any other bike shop- we have built a strong list of suppliers of anything you can think of. Albeit we can offer the majority of brand new brands and/or accessories we supply only to our loyal supporters.
Do you service bikes?
Yes, we do. We are a fully operational professional workshop that can undertake the majority of work necessary to get your bicycle back in shape- see here for more details.
When do you open and what are your opening hours?
We are open every day, 7 days a week. Yes, even on Sundays and Bank Holidays. We open our doors at midday (noon or 12pm) and close at 8pm.
I cannot find you; where are you based?
We are based in between Armley, Holbeck, Beeston and Wortley. The shop address is The Bikes College, Museum Store, Copley Hill, Leeds, LS12 1HY. We know that the postcode does not always work properly but if you use your smart phone with Google Maps all you have to do is search for our name.
Do you support the other projects in Leeds?
Yes, we do actually: we are collaborating with the third sector organisations in Leeds and beyond, and we support the local bike shops in Leeds and beyond. We give away a lot of our bikes to some of the most amazing projects in Leeds. We keep in touch with a lot of businesses for we are all a family and we keep close to keep the cyclists in Leeds on the road by any means necessary. If we cannot help you we will point you in the right direction.
Who is the girl in the workshop?
This is Amelia, number 187 and 224. She knows her stuff. Listen to her. She is a bike mechanic. She also is one of the Managing Directors. And the cleaner. And the sales assistant. And the driver. She rides a BTR Ranter, a BTR Ignitor and an Aurelius single/fixed.
Who is Rachel?
This is Ryan, number 232. He used to learn his stuff as a part of his Duke of Edinburgh bronze award, now he is a party of The Bikes College. Say hi to him. He might want to be a bike mechanic. He is the cleaner too. And the sales assistant. He rides a BTR Ignitor. He rules too.
Where is Jammy?
Jammy has left now. He always wanted to be a teacher. When he started with us we insisted on him pursuing his career at the very earliest opportunity. That has happened before the end of 2018 so we dropped a little party to deliver our fair wells. He is doing great now; he constantly refuses to help out when we ask him.
Who is the Polish guy?
This is David, number 148. He knows his stuff. Listen to him too. He is a bike mechanic. He is also one of the Managing Directors. And the cleaner. And the sales assistant. And the driver. He also started this place as explained here. He rides a BTR Belter, a Sanderson Town Crier and an Aurelius single speed. He rules too.
Who is Jasper?
Jasper is our famous resident cat. The Black Cat as in TBC. He does not really help out, he does not know much about bikes either. He does not ride one, he has not got any thumbs to hold onto the handlebars. He is a truly awful listener but he is cute so we kept him. Please do not feed him, ignore the begging eyes, he is trying to use you…
Do you sponsor riders?
Yes, we do support many riders in the UK and beyond. They are not sponsored as you know it, they work really hard to be on our team. We do not accept just anyone, we choose those who in our eyes represent the values that we stand by every day: we support, we elevate, we have fun but we work hard, and we do our best for them to be the best at what they are doing. Most of them never have and probably never will race but they ride a bike well and they represent what’s important to us thus they have been chosen. We will NEVER respond to social media request, if you posses the above attributes you do not have to apply- we will find you. Stay friends with our sponsored riders too- they are on a constant look out for some new talent.
I have another burning question- what to do?
There are a lot of ways to get in touch; come along to the shop, give us a call on 01133455180 or just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org