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Sustainable bikes made of recycled plastic, bamboo and wood

While bicycles made of steel are still the norm, bike using alternative and more sustainable materials are up and coming. We listed a few notable examples.

Recycled plastic
The Brazilian company Muzzicycles developed a patented process to make bicycle frames with recycled plastic using injection moulding. They can currently recycle 15,000 tons of plastic, with which they can make 132,000 bicycle frames. Using recycled plastic saves 980 tons of oil and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 6,000 tons of CO2.

The plastic is shock absorbing, eliminating the need for separate shock absorbers and ensuring a smooth ride. The frame is injection moulded in one piece using coloured plastic, so the frame doesn’t have to be painted. The aluminium pieces are partly recycled. 90 per cent of the bicycle components are manufactured in Brazil.

Bamboo
Banatti Motorcycles in the Philippines built an electric motorcycle with a woven bamboo body, which gives the Green Falcon, as the motorcycle is dubbed, its signature look. The bodywork is bent and moulded on a wooden frame, which is then coated with marine-grade waterproof epoxy to harden it. As the bike is electric and thus silent, the team included a small JBL sound system, so you can listen to your music on the road.

Once the bike is approved for street use, the team aims to build 111 motorcycles, and no more.

Wood
Wood consists of cellulose fibres, which are strong in tension, and a matrix of lignin, which is resistant to compression. These two elements, plus wood’s natural tendency to absorb vibrations, make it ideal as a bicycle frame.

The company Axalko designs and creates handmade custom wooden bicycles. They offer a road bike and mountain bike variant and ten wood options, including Ash, Pine, and Purpleheart. The frame weighs between 1.4 and 2.3 kilograms, depending on the type of frame, the wood and the size.

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