After doing 200+ safety checks at a police bike auction last weekend, Sarah and I here at B!KE developed a pretty finely tuned sense of bike triage :) (which, of course, will be no match for yours after this project!)
While a positive/negative result in any of these situations doesn't necessarily mean the bike is toast, it's a good way to get a quick sense of how much work is needed - and possible to teach a volunteer who don't have strong repair skills.
This is just what my morning brain produces, and is more or less what we were doing in the parade of sad overvalued bicycles coming out of the police auction. I think the general idea would be to make a checklist and, if you're feeling particularly organized, including details like frame type, size and colour has the beginnings of a most awesome database, then add up the number of answers one way or another to 'triage' the bike.
I wouldn't get too caught up in trying to sort by wheel size, but if that is what makes sense to you, you could do too things:
I.e., 27 x 1 1/4 = 630mm = 315mm from c-dropout to c-brake pad (obviously allow for some margin of error) 700c = 622mm = 311mm and so on. The ones I would most focus on would be the older looking cruisers with their impossibly non-standard tire sizes!
Good luck! Clifford McCarten B!KE: The Peterborough Community Bike Shop 400 Wolfe St, Peterborough ON (705) 748-6681 http://www.communitybikeshop.org
Message: 1 Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 20:19:23 -0400 From: Ainsley Naylor firstname.lastname@example.org To: The Think Tank email@example.com Subject: [TheThinkTank] Sorting Bicycles Message-ID: AANLkTingSliDf0PTNjkVMesgfI20WFmNeajnKidvnOAU@mail.gmail.com Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
hey all, here is a not-so-hypothetical question. If you had to sort a lot of bicycles (I mean a lot, like a few thousand) how would you do it? The purpose would be to sort them in a user-friendly way, so that in the future you could find the bikes you need (i.e. bikes for a youth program, bikes to sell, bikes to strip) as easily as possible. The bikes will be staying in the same location for the most part which calls for a good sort and store method, although dispersal of the bikes to other spaces will also be easier if we sort them properly.
The best suggestion so far is to sort them by wheel size but these bikes don't have their wheels attached - what a headache - so I'm looking for other suggestions.
Thanks! Ainsley and the FUCKIGOR bicycle collective :)