- - The RCYL Bike is a Study in Sustainability

The RCYL Bike is a Study in Sustainability

Initially launched as a prototype by the Dutch plastics firm Igus, the bike has finally reached production albeit under the moniker RCYL, boasting the same angular frame and funky wheels that are made from recycled plastic.

What started in 2014 as just an idea by Igus’ CEO Johannes Alderse Baas, later morphed into a full-scale prototype that was culled from recycled plastic, creating a virtually maintenance-free, non-rusting bike that required no oil, resulting in the perfect piece to fit into the complex puzzle of sustainable transportation.

According to Igus, all of the RCYL’s plastic components are produced via rotational and injection molding, including a plastic seatpost and brake levers, resulting in a final product that’s made up of 92% plastic, with half coming from recycled plastic waste – including discarded fishing nets.

“We are now continuing to invest in research and development to increase the recycling rate to 75% as quickly as possible, and even to 100% in the long term,” said Sven Ternhardt, head of sales and marketing at Igus. “We are accelerating the circular economy for plastics with this high proportion of recycling. Plastic in the world’s rubbish dumps is therefore becoming an increasingly valuable resource.”

Additionally, designers also increased the steering angle for improved cornering, added a freewheel to the drivetrain and included more durable lubrication-free plastic ball bearings, as well as a dual-leg kickstand for easier parking. Yet, while there’s no suspension, the RCYL relies on beefy Continental tires to soak up rough terrain.  

Igus was given the green light a few months ago to begin production on the first 100 bikes, with the goal of ramping up manufacturing to meet 1,500 units.

“To shorten the waiting time for the remaining orders, we are building our own production line for the bicycle at our company site in Cologne,” added Ternhardt. “We intend to produce 10,000 bikes with the expanded capacities.”

Weighing in at 17 kg (37.5 lb), the RCYL sells for €1,200 (about US$1,280), while Igus is rumored to be developing an eBike version.  




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