Own a piece of British Heritage, change a life in Malawi.
A Classic Bike made in the UK
Made in Britain by top quality bike experts, the Elephant Bike is a robust steel step-through frame in a choice of 2 sizes. With easy to use 3 speed hub gears and great load carrying capacity, this is the only bike you’ll ever need for local shopping, commuting and leisure!
✔ Genuine British-made former postal bikes
✔ Professionally restored
✔ Limited edition & selling quickly
✔ You buy one, we send one to Malawi
✔ Choose your own colour
✔ Pricing from £430
buy one, give one
own a piece of british heritage
How the elephant bike was born
Refurbished for you
“The steel frame comes in two sizes and it’s practically indestructible:yours will cope easily with a daily commute or shopping trip; while its African twin, living a parallel life, will have no trouble hauling 20kg loads on rutted roads. And you be assured that both deliver a first-class ride.”
buy one, give one
When you buy an Elephant Bike, you fund a life changing bike to be shipped to Malawi
In Chilomoni Township, Malawi, a quiet revolution of enterprise creation is helping to end poverty for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Since 2007 Krizevac Project (our parent charity) has worked hard to create viable social enterprises in a community hub known as Beehive. These businesses create training opportunities and meaningful jobs. To date 500 people who previously lived on less than £1 per day are in secure long-term employment. All of the money generated by the enterprises pays for children’s education and community family support. This helps to break the cycle of poverty and creates future Malawian business leaders.
One of our most successful enterprises is BeeBikes. Sponsorship from Mobal Communications Ltd, and the ‘buy one give one’ scheme has helped us to ship thousands of ex-postal Mailstar bikes to Malawi over the past six years. This African workshop employs eight local people to repair and service the donated bikes from Britain. They are then sold to Malawians who can travel to work, transport goods to market and travel miles to school or college. Bikes in Malawi can be life transforming and often mean an income for life. The profits from Beebikes funds care for pre-school children in our own Mother Teresa Children’s Center in the heart of the township.
In the UK, it costs us around £250 to collect, store, process, shot-blast, powder coat, transport, purchase spares/baskets, do a final quality check, sell and package/post each bike. When a bike is purchased 100% of the remaining £80 (based on a £330 sale) is used to ship bicycles to Malawi. This represents at least 1 bike (almost 2 bikes) sent to Malawi for every bike sold here in the UK.
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OWN A PIECE OF BRITISH HERITAGE
A unique opportunity to own a professionally refurbished former Royal Mail postal bike.
For over a hundred years, the Royal Mail commissioned top-quality, British made bikes for posties delivering our mail. But the way we use postal services has changed: parcels are carried now far more than letters so bikes have become unsuitable and the Royal Mail gradually phased out their use. By 2010 the bikes were destined for landfill and we couldn’t let that happen! The Royal Mail very kindly donated their redundant bicycle fleet to us and we swiftly collected around 25,000 from around the UK. We’ve already shipped thousands of these sturdy cargo bikes to Chilomoni, Malawi, which left us with an allocation of somewhere between 4,000-5,000 in the UK to be professionally refurbished into Elephant Bikes. It’s hard to put a definitive number on how many Elephant Bikes we’ll make, due to the recycled nature of the process, making these individually numbered, fully refurbished postal bikes even more of a real collector’s piece. They’re selling fast. In fact, we’ve sold over 70% of our allocation so if you’ve been considering becoming a proud owner of an Elephant Bike and joining the ‘herd’ then don’t delay, they’ll soon be extinct!
During their time in service, the Royal Mail bikes were subject to a rigorous maintenance schedule. But a life of delivering the nations mail, meant that these bikes were more than ready for some TLC by the time they reached us!
We ensure your elephant bike is ready to ride from the moment you open the box, by undertaking a full refurbishment, just for you. It will still show signs of previous use, but it will give you the same years of reliable service as it gave to our posties. Once you’re on your bike, you’ll find it so easy to maintain! These incredible bikes were designed to be safe and reliable. Unlike most other bikes, they have drum brakes and hub gears, which means less time on maintenance and more time cycling!
HOW THE ELEPHANT BIKE WAS BORN
The wardens had a problem with bright red Royal Mail bikes at Liwonde National Park but found an innovative solution...
A few of the bikes were sold by Beebikes in Malawi to Liwonde National Park; home to the majority of Malawi’s protected wildlife. The fence wardens were delighted with their ex-postal bikes and their new found ability to complete 30-mile patrols of the rhino fencing in record time. But it turns out that elephants don’t like red (think red rag to a bull…) and the wardens were at danger of being chased. Desperate to solve this problem, the wardens tried out some re-sprayed green bikes. Remarkably, the elephants no longer gave chase… and the first Elephant Bikes were born!
REFURBISHED FOR YOU
Following many years delivering the UK's mail, the former Royal Mail bikes are ready for some serious TLC!
Every single bike is stripped down to its bare essentials. Some serious shot blasting comes next to remove the original red paint and any signs of rust. Now we can begin to fully transform it into an Elephant Bike, by powder coating it at a local firm in Stoke on Trent (right on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal). They are professionally coated in our 3 ‘house’ shades of green or in a choice of a further 15 colours. Leaving you with the head scratching decision of which colour to go for!
Once back at our Elephant Bike workshop (in a former pottery works in Longton, Stoke on Trent), our trained bike builders put your bike back together again. We use quality new parts where the original parts can’t be saved, but if the original postie’s bike bell still works, it stays on! Finally, your bike is professionally cleaned and ride-tested prior to despatch. We cannot eliminate every sign of its age or previous use, but your bike is thoroughly quality checked to make sure there is no remaining rust or obvious flaws. We also check that parts that are supposed to move, move smoothly and bits that are not supposed to move – don’t!
Specifically, we check for:
✔ Tyre tread – at least 50% of original tread remaining, no slipts, cracks or other damage
✔ Gears – will change smoothly
✔ Brakes – tested for stopping power in wet and dry conditions.
✔ Supplied with one rear red reflector and integrated pedal reflectors only
CUSTOMISED FOR BUSINESS
If you are looking for a sustainable way to promote your business or want to invest in pool bikes for your team, then Elephant Bikes are the perfect solution!
We undertake custom colour commissions to match your brand or organisation and you can add your own name or logo for extra impact! Contact the team firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“Look at it, just look at it. Tell me it isn’t gorgeous…It’s built to take a hefty load, which makes it the ideal shopper or run around for the allotment. And it’s very low maintenance”