Retrogrouch charity components

One Street’s Social Bike Business program tackles pervasive poverty through bicycle-related jobs. The Social Bike Business program helps local leaders establish their own local training centers where they can train and employ impoverished locals to design, manufacture and distribute affordable, quality transportation bicycles to people in need.

Each local program begins by refurbishing used bikes, and it’s during this initial stage they encounter the extinction of basic and inexpensive bike parts.

Many older parts such as shifters and affordable derailleurs are no longer available in the United States, according to One Street, and are vanishing in other countries.

In response, One Street launched One Street Components to design and produce these needed components, enlisting the aid of design students to produce components that can be easily manufactured and repaired at low cost. The criteria these students will follow include using very few parts and ensuring that most parts can be replaced with common items. For instance, the top cap could be replaced with a bottle cap or the original aluminum lever could be replaced with carved bone or hardwood.

Their first project will be a set of durable, repairable, recyclable and affordable shift lever. After that, One Street would like Basic, affordable rear derailleurs made with quality metal (not stamped) – last sighted in the 1980s; and a basic, high quality, affordable chain for derailleur geared bikes that don’t require the pin to be replaced every time the chain is broken.

For more information –> One Street Components.


  1. Basic, high quality, and affordable! (pick two.)    🙂

    And chains no longer require replacing pins, just get a quick link.

  2. There’s a part of me that wonders if they’re not over thinking this a little, but then I don’t regularly refurbish old bicycles. Still, I see some interesting impromptu engineering on old bikes.

    Sent from my Googaw

  3. Thanks to all for the deeper thoughts on this. I hope One Street Components is just the beginning of many more innovations from many more great minds seeking to serve the bicycle needs of impoverished people. On the quick link, remember that most folks living in poverty will not have access to bike shops or such parts. Many of the people we are working with in inner cities and developing countries still use a nail and hammer to break and reassemble their chains. Okay, keep those innovative gears hummin’!

    Sue Knaup, One Street

  4. Huh? They have no access to shops or parts, so we’ll sell them new chains that require a chain tool rather than a use a quicklink that requires no tool? Chains tend to cost between 5-10x what a quicklink does.

  5. Hi Andy,

    Actually the chains we need are durable and inexpensive and could be broken/connected with a hammer and nail without damaging the link. Such a chain would come on the bikes these folks get and last them many years. While a quick link might be good to include at first, these bikes will not come with instructions so old methods of bike repair will continue. We’ve got to design for that. I hope that helps.


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