THE MOST ECO-FRIENDLY AND CREATIVE BIKE CONSTRUCTED BY IGUS OUT OF PLASTIC WASTE
Shery George | 7 June 2022
We at igus specialise in plastics for motion and are making the technical concept and critical components for bicycles made entirely of recycled plastic available to all bicycle makers through the new platform developed by igus: the igus:bike platform. By the end of the year, the first model should be available.
Do you worry about the impact of replacing your bike parts on the environment? Well, a new bike from igus, a German plastics manufacturer could be the solution to your problems.
The igus bike is a plastic-based bike that is touted to be fully maintenance-free and recyclable. The entire bike including the frame, wheels, brakes, freewheel, bearings, gearbox and the toothed drive belt is constructed of plastic.
Plastic garbage is engulfing the globe. The massive heaps of garbage in landfills are rapidly rising. Some of these plastics wind up in the ocean where they enter the food chain and pose a threat to marine life as well as terrestrial life. As a result, moving away from the traditional linear economic model and towards a completely circular economy is critical.
For many years, we have been creating and investing in plastic recycling ideas to aid this shift. At the Hannover Messe, the company is demonstrating a global first: a strong, durable urban bike constructed completely of plastic from the frame and bearings to the toothed belt.
Frank Blase, the CEO of igus, explains, “The plastic in rubbish dumps around the world is becoming a valuable resource.” He came up with the idea for the “igus: bike” bicycle while on vacation at a beach.
He learned about their primary concerns with beach bikes during a chat with the staff of a bicycle rental firm on the beach. These were constantly exposed to sand, wind and saltwater. They barely last three months on average before needing to be replaced. In this industry; maintenance and replacement are frequent, costly and time-consuming.
These bikes have a unique attribute; they are manufactured entirely of recycled plastic. Building a bike out of plastic avoids this problem because it is rust-free, low-maintenance, and lubricant-free.
It won’t even need to be lubricated because the components have solid lubricants built in, ensuring a low-friction dry operation. Because there is no wet lubrication, igus promises that sand, dust, or grime will not accumulate on the bike’s critical components.
According to igus, the tribo-plastics utilised in the bike have been successfully used in more than 70 industries including cars, tractors, and robots.
The industry’s experience in this domain along with innovation
Eight experienced developers are currently working on the bicycle’s moving components in our facilities. The idea is being developed in collaboration with MTRL; a Dutch cycling start-up. Andreas Hermey, the development manager for energy chains, is in charge of ball bearings, brakes, sprockets, gears, and drives. He works closely with the Dutch cycling start-up MTRL. Existing igus advancements were adapted to the new application after being tried and tested. As a result, suppliers from all over the world can benefit from the igus:bike platform thanks to its smooth-running, quiet and durable plastic components.
A platform for all brands:
In addition to producing its own bikes, igus plans to launch the igus:bike platform. As a result of this, all bicycle producers will be allowed to use the notion of a fully recyclable plastic bike and its components.
In theory, the igus:bike platform will provide solutions to problems like these; assuming that brands are willing to use it.
According to igus, the bike platform will also assist brands in moving away from a typical linear economic model and into a truly circular economy.
This means that firms can move away from extracting raw materials and towards repurposing plastics.
igus says it has a lot more ideas for the future of the project including installing condition monitoring on the bikes.
“That would let you use your smartphone to see how many more kilometres the bike can run.” That will hopefully convince the people who are still sceptical about plastic, “says igus.
When you say innovation, we hear igus. With the aim of reducing plastic waste and bringing innovation to the market, we are here to provide you with the best.