Restoration on a mission: the bike shop with a difference

How one small shop makes an impact in the world’s best cycling city 

Isla Storie 

Buddha Bikes’ shop in Nørrebro. [Picture credit: Isla Storie] 

A bicycle shop in Copenhagen is standing out from the crowd due to its environmental mission and philosophy to do more than just sell bikes, keeping it in frequent demand to this day. 

Buddha Bikes, based in the Nørrebro district, was established in 2015 and restores old bikes to their former glory, using scrap materials and craftsmanship. Its intention was to reduce the trend and environmental impact of buying, and eventually discarding, new bicycles, while getting the satisfaction of creating a quality product.  

Simon Nohrstedt Søndergaard, owner of Buddha Bikes, said: “Throwing a perfectly good bike away is like pouring a can of gasoline into the ocean”, citing a “screaming need” to reuse materials to benefit the environment. 

Producing a brand-new bike creates approximately 220-230kg of CO2, compared to just 20-30kg from refreshing an old one. 

Most of the bikes are donated by individuals or recycling schemes Buddha has an agreement with. The mechanics in its on-site workshop then restore them to a functional, safe condition, after which they are listed online. A recent increase in demand has led to up to ten of these being produced every day and suspension of bike reservation. 

Buddha also takes pride in its service, striving to be personal and address repairs quickly. Mr Søndergaard added: “People trust us because we’re honest. We do everything here so there’s no factory to blame”. 

Buddha Bikes’ daily range of restored second-hand bikes. [Picture credit: Isla Storie] 

Although this article would suit a wider Danish audience outwith Copenhagen, it could also be published on in the UK. 

VIDEO: Inside Buddha Bikes