Bike reuse enterprise Revolve ReCYCLE has embarked on a bid to acquire and repurpose more than 1,600 bicycles owned by bankrupt share service operator Onyahbike by Mobike.
Revolve ReCYCLE general manager Guido Verbist confirmed he has been liaising with the liquidator brought in after Onyahbike went bankrupt approximately two months ago, leaving around 1,600 bikes in storage and many more on the streets of Sydney and Brisbane.
“I was in contact with Onyahbike in mid-2022 to take on some of their bikes. There are hundreds of them sitting in warehouses and never used, and we wanted to give them a second life,” Guido said.
“But the bankruptcy occurred and everything was put on hold. Then just before Christmas, we started talking to the liquidator, in consultation with City of Sydney council, about removing the bikes from the streets.
“We don’t even know how many bikes are still out on the street, or where they are, because the bike tracker system has been deactivated.”
He said Revolve ReCYCLE wants to organise a bike collection service to get them off the street and see how many of them are still in good enough condition to recycle and rehome.
“We had a plan before the collapse of the business to take over some of the bikes and rebrand them under the name Loop. Some of them are very good bikes, with three gears and quite solid tyres. They are quite heavy but that’s compensated by the fact they are quite easy to maintain,” Guido added.
“We’re thinking of selling them at a discounted price to students who need something to commute around town.
“That’s the type of bike we think would suit them for a relatively low price.
“We got a couple of bikes before they went bankrupt and we did all the modifications we had in mind.”
“There are a couple of models, all step throughs and built with good Shimano components. It wouldn’t take much to get hundreds of them available for sale.”
Public Campaign to Locate Missing Bikes
Guido said if Revolve ReCYCLE is successful in securing the bikes, it will run a public campaign to get the community to help locate the bikes.
“Members of the public are already starting to contact us to tell us where the bikes are,” he said.
The liquidator, Chifley Advisory, has reportedly been unable to find a buyer for the bikes, giving Revolve ReCYCLE hope it can get access to them.
The Chinese-owned share service was launched in Australia as Mobike in 2017 and was purchased a year later by Chinese e-commerce giant Meituan Dianping for $US2.7 billion (A$3.88 billion).
Meituan offloaded the business the following year to a group of investors reportedly led by a Chilean investor.
A spokesperson for the City of Sydney said the council is thankful Revolve ReCYCLING has stepped forward to potentially recover, recycle and redeploy some of the bikes.
“We are providing Revolve Recycling with a $30,000 grant to help continue its work collecting and redeploying bikes in our area, providing the community with more options to rehome their old bikes,” the council said in a statement.
“Waste reduction, reuse, active transport and inclusion outcomes are all priorities outlined in the City of Sydney’s Sustainable Sydney 2030-2050: Continuing the Vision strategy.
“The Revolve Recycling project eliminates waste through reuse and repair of discarded bicycles and keeps the products and materials at their highest value.
“By avoiding the need to send the bikes to scrap metal recycling or, worse, landfill, the scheme eliminates the associated emissions created by both recycling and disposal processes which is a good outcome for the community. It also provides cost effective active transport options to more members of our community.
“The City of Sydney supports bikeshare operators when they are well managed and follow our guidelines which help them meet the expectations of the community.