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Dutchfiets: a bicycle made from recyclable plastic

In the Netherlands, people love to cycle. In fact, there are more bicycles than people around. Most bicycles are made of steel, though we have shown examples of bikes made from aluminium, wood, paper, and even a 3D printed e-bike. The Dutch start-up Dutchfiets has taken another approach: they created a bicycle made from recyclable plastic.

The plastic (PE) used for the bicycle is easily recyclable and energy efficient to produce. In addition, it is a very cheap and light material, and it doesn’t rust, unlike steel.

The bike, which is available in several colours, is a bit bulky, as the frame has to be thick enough to hold a person’s weight. The frame of the bike consists of one piece, which is poured into a mould. Instead of a chain protected by a chain guard, the bike is actuated by a belt. This is because one of the aims of the bike is to make it easy for anyone to do their own maintenance, without going to a bicycle mechanic.

Both the frame and the wheels are made of plastic, was extensively tested, even for colour changes because of the sun. The bike is equipped with puncture resistant tires, and the lights are integrated into the frame. It does not have derailleur gears. The bike is TÜV tested, and currently, there are 120 bikes in use. To make sure people bring the bicycle back at the end of its lifespan, a deposit of 100 euros is made when the bike is purchased. In the video below, you can see the bike in action.

The aim is use bioplastics in the future, to make the bicycle more sustainable.

The bike is the brainchild of Johannes Alderse Baas, a student mechanical engineering at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. When a friend asked to help find her an affordable and reliable bike, they came up with naught, which prompted him to design one himself, marketed for students.

Dutchfiets won the ‘Start-up of the year’ award in 2015.

Want to see this bike in real life? Visit Material Xperience 2018! For a free ticket, click here.