They see me rollin' - Plastics in bicycles and current best practices

Exclusively for K-MAG

Image: Man on a bicycle; Copyright: kikea3 Image: Man on a bicycle; Copyright: kikea3

Cycling has a positive impact on climate protection. Copyright: kikea3


Photo: Kids bike; Copyright: KraussMaffei

Off to new adventures: Lion Bike from KraussMaffei

The Lion Bikes, developed by former professional racing cyclists Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin, ensure more safety for our kids in road traffic. The bike is manufactured by Weber Fibertech on an MX 1600 from KraussMaffei and has a clean look with a special paint that makes the frame glow.

The frame and front wheel fork of the sustainably produced bikes are made of a new, resource-saving material mixture of high-performance polymers and recycled carbon fibres. Comparing the production of Lion bikes with conventional frames and front wheel forks made of aluminium, the CO2 emissions for each bike produced are 67 % lower. In addition, thanks to the "Made in Germany" seal of quality, supply chains and transport routes are shortened, which is also an important aspect of sustainability.

Photo: Bicycle tyre; Copyright: Schwalbe

Protect the environment with the Green Marathon from Schwalbe

Schwalbe and Pyrum present the world's first bicycle tyre that is made from used bicycle tyres, among other things, and closes the material cycle.

According to the manufacturer, the "Green Marathon" is also made from 100% fairly traded natural rubber. In addition, 100% recycled industrial carbon black (rCB) from Pyrum is used, which serves as a direct product of the recycling process and replaces fossil industrial carbon black. The production of the bicycle tyre saves more than a third of CO2eQ compared to the previous model.

Photo: Aerodynamic competition tyre; Copyright: Schwalbe

Pro One Aero from Schwalbe: A unique riding performance

Schwalbe's next-generation aerodynamic competition tyre was developed in cooperation with Scott, Syncros and the Swiss engineering firm Radiate Engineering & Design.

Schwalbe's developers have optimised the tyre shape for modern wide rims in the wind tunnel. Different constructions are used for the front and rear wheel. The focus for the front tyre was on aerodynamics and reduced weight. During the development phase, numerous professional teams and triathletes were involved and have already put the tyre to the test during competitions. The first large-scale use of the Pro One Aero is planned for the Ironman World Championship in Nice and Kona.

Photo: Plastic bicycle in front of the Rheinauhafen Cologne; Copyright: igus

From "ocean plastics" to "motion plastics": The Urban Bike from Igus

The Urban Bike from igus is the world's first completely recyclable all-plastic bicycle and is more durable and robust than other bicycles. "The plastics in the landfills of this world are becoming a valuable resource," says Frank Blase, Managing Director of igus. Another advantage: Since all components are made of plastic, the bike does not rust and you don't have to worry about maintenance.

Thanks to the futuristic design of the bicycle, igus has already won the prestigious German Design Award 2023.

Photo: Tyre recycling system; Copyright: Schwalbe

Schwalbe's extensive recycling system

In a cooperation between Schwalbe and Pyrum, a recycling system for used bicycle tyres was developed:

The "Schwalbe Recycling System" enables the holistic recycling of used tyres of all brands. A special Schwalbe recycling box for used bicycle tyres is available at participating specialist retailers. With its pyrolysis system, Pyrum takes care of the mechanical processing and pyrolytic recycling of used tyres. As a result, used tyres are turned into new ones. According to Pyrum, the process saves a total of 80 % CO2.

Photo: Orange bicycle by V Frames; Copyright: pedelec-elektro-fahrrad

More efficient raw materials: A cooperation between Isoco, V Frames and the Lehvoss Group

Isoco and V Frames will collaborate with Lehvoss Group on high-performance fibre-reinforced composites, including long carbon fibre and biopolymer carbon compounds. The main focus of further development will be on increasing the performance of the raw materials. With this step, future frames can be lighter and more impact resistant. V Frames produces sustainable bicycle frames and reduces the carbon footprint by 64% compared to traditional aluminium frame production according to an LCA by the University of Linz, Austria.

In addition, V Frames and Lehvoss focus on compounds containing recycled fibres from different industries for each new frame.100% of the products are recycled into new bicycle component products at the end of their service life. The entire production takes place in Germany.

Photo: Black shoulder and bicycle bag; Copyright: BASF

Stylish and sustainable: The bicycle bag from BASF and Baesiq

The new 2-in-1 bag "Pendik" from Baesiq and BASF can be used both as a shoulder bag and as a bicycle bag. The functional bag is made from sustainable polyamide that is derived from pyrolysis oil from used tyres. "With our partner Baesiq, we are actively advancing the topic of circular economy and are also looking forward to launching more bag collections this autumn," says Frank Reil, Head of Marketing and New Business Development & Sustainability Polyamides at BASF.
Photo: 3D-printed bicycle; Copyright: CoreTechnologie

CoreTechnology: 3D printed bicycle

For the first time, the team of the software manufacturer CoreTechnologie has created a particularly light and affordable bicycle made of 3D printed aluminium components. The fully operational singlespeed version of the bike weighs only 7.1 kilograms ready to ride, yet it is highly robust and resilient and can be easily moved on differently shaped paths.
Photo: Cargo bike; Copyright: Maniac & Sane

An easy ride with the Maniac & Sane cargo bike

Cargo bikes are becoming more and more popular and are dominating European city centres. However, an electric cargo bike weighs up to 60 kilograms, which often makes it difficult to steer it through the streets.

Now, the start-up Maniac & Sane has almost halved the weight of the vehicle compared to what is available on the market with a cargo bike made of fibre composite materials and 3D-printed components. Thanks to SLS technology, it was possible to develop functional components and integrate them into the lightweight concept of the cargo bikes without having to make any compromises in terms of design or function.

Sarah Dietsche (Editorial team K-MAG)

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