Igus showed-off its latest bike during this week’s bike show in Hanover, Germany, which is made from 90% recycled plastic that would otherwise be destined for the landfill.
“The plastic in the world’s landfills is becoming a valuable resource,” says Igus. “From the frame to the bearings to the toothed belt. A high proportion of the raw materials required can be covered by recycling plastic waste.”
In addition to using recycled plastic, Igus also claims the bike never needs lubricating and won’t ever rust thanks to components that have integrated solid lubricants, eliminating to only the use of wet, harmful chemicals, but sand, dust or dirt won’t accumulate on the parts either.
According to Igus, 15 to 16 kilos (7 to 8 pounds) of plastic waste is used in the production of each bike, which Igus hopes will target both consumers and manufacturing partners whose goal is to reduce solid waste.
“We would also like to explicitly invite competitors to join us on this path – great changes are only possible together. Our vision is to provide a point of contact that effectively helps manufacturers,” says the company.
Additionally, proprietary components on the plastic bike abound, such as rim brakes, a freewheel, a planetary gear, pulleys, wheel bearings, a crank and wheels, with delivery scheduled to begin in November 2022.
“We should have something physically in the UK in a few weeks,” says company spokesperson Dean Aylott.
Igus employs around 5,000 people, which produces everything from industrial robotics components to self-lubricating polymer bearings, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025.
Igus says it has lots more ideas for the future of the plastic bike project, including installing condition monitoring.
“That would let you use your smartphone to see how many more thousands of kilometers the bike can take. That will hopefully convince many people who are still skeptical about plastic,” says Igus.
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