Last year the ICBL made it a policy to accept all donations... even bikes that had no potential to be repaired and ridden. Our primary intention was to keep bikes out of the landfill by stripping and reusing parts, and salvaging the unusable parts for steel and aluminum. Yesterday,
According to bike guru Sheldon Brown:
Department Store Bicycles
There are two entirely separate bicycle industries; bicycles intended for real use are sold primarily in bicycle shops, and also, to some extent, in sporting goods stores. Bicycles sold through this side of the industry are well made and sturdy, and are sold fully assembled, tested and guaranteed.
A parallel business uses department stores and discount stores for distribution. They concentrate on a much lower price segment, and sell a drastically inferior product. The bicycles sold in department stores are made as cheaply as possible, from the poorest materials available. The average department store bicycle is ridden about 75 miles in its lifespan from showroom floor to landfill. The manufacturers know this, and build them accordingly. Department store bicycles are most commonly sold in a partially disassembled and un-adjusted condition.