igus unveils the world’s first urban bike made from recycled plastic
Canadian PlasticsRecycling Research & Development
The bike is said to be maintenance-free and fully recyclable.
Here’s a good way to help solve the dual problems of plastic waste and issues with bicycle maintenance: A new bike from German plastics company igus that’s said to be completely maintenance-free and made entirely from recycled plastics.
Called the igus:bike, the bike is still in its first stages of development, but igus says the first model should be available by the end of the year.
“Lightweight, lubrication-free high-performance plastics are used in all parts of the bicycle, from two-component ball bearings in the wheel bearings to plain bearings in the seat post, brake levers and pedals,” igus officials said. “All of these components have integrated solid lubricants and ensure low-friction dry operation – without a single drop of lubricating oil. This ensures that sand, dust, and dirt cannot accumulate.”
The bicycle startup will begin production and sale of a children’s model and an adult bicycle for cities by the end of this year. The German launch will be in early 2023. Other versions, such as an e-bike, have also been planned. In the future, the all-plastic bicycle is to be available both in a variant made of new plastic and in one made entirely of recycled material. The first prototypes, successfully produced and tested, were made of material from old fishing nets, for example.
The finished product will be easier to own than any other bike, igus said. “Owners can leave the single-speed bike outdoors in all weather and clean it in seconds with a garden hose. “As all components are made of plastic, no part of the bike rusts, even the gears – bicycle gears made of plastic were unthinkable for a long time,” said igus CEO Frank Blase.
In the igus development laboratories, eight developers are currently working on all moving components of the all-plastic bicycle. Ball bearings, brakes, sprockets, gears, and drives are being coordinated by igus in close cooperation with the bicycle startup MTRL from the Netherlands. “Tried and tested existing developments from igus were adapted to the new application,” igus said. “The result is smooth-operating, quiet, durable plastic components that give suppliers all over the world the opportunity to benefit from the igus:bike platform.” MTRL has already successfully put 400 bicycles with plastic frames and wheels onto the Netherlands’ roads. “Founders Johannes and Benjamin Alderse Baas are partners who share our vision completely,” said Blase, who is himself an investor in MTRL. “Together, we are refining the all-plastic bicycle.”