Sustainable Cycling Gear ?

Do you consider sustainability when making a cycling gear purchase?

  • Always

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • Sometimes

    Votes: 5 25.0%
  • Rarely

    Votes: 3 15.0%
  • Never

    Votes: 9 45.0%

  • Total voters
    20

Exe71

New Member
Hello fellow cycling enthusiasts,

I am an avid cyclist, but have found myself struggling when looking for truly sustainable cycling brands that make apparel/gear with a genuine positive environmental impact.

So I was wondering you could let me know about any good/bad experiences with brands?

Also, I am curious to know whether you consider sustainability when making a cycling gear purchase?

Thanks in advance
 

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
Hello fellow cycling enthusiasts,

I am an avid cyclist, but have found myself struggling when looking for truly sustainable cycling brands that make apparel/gear with a genuine positive environmental impact.

So I was wondering you could let me know about any good/bad experiences with brands?

Also, I am curious to know whether you consider sustainability when making a cycling gear purchase?

Thanks in advance
Interesting question. I've never thought about sustainability with regards to cycling other than in carbon emissions reduction. There's a few factors to consider, I imagine, manufacturing and transport of the gear being probably the most significant.

Imagine for instance a derrailleur. It has metal and plastic parts. Are the metal parts made from recycled metal? Are the plastic parts? How much of it is recyclable? Just thinking about it, cycling may overall be a lot less sustainable than we would like to imagine, 😢.
 

mikeIow

Über Member
Location
Leicester
Cycling less sustainable than we would like to imagine?

I would suggest that just by cycling, you are being hugely more sustainable than the majority who don’t: relax & enjoy the air, you are helping lower carbon emissions!

I am ashamed to admit to being a woeful consumer of gadgets and stuff.....but I do try to ensure they are all well used; tend to run cars for perhaps 100k miles (now have an EV in the family stable, some solar for charging, but still on the fence about whether they are really better for the planet, and how nervous we might be running it beyond the warranty period....).

Some useful ideas here to help, perhaps.
 

C R

Veteran
Location
Worcester
You want to look for gear made out of natural fibres if you want to reduce the impact on the environment every time you wash them. So think wool , cotton etc. Then you want to keep using it for as long as possible, repairing any holes through darning etc,
There are some technical fabrics made from recycled plastic, I have one and is as good as the non recycled stuff. However, you are correct that the biggest issue with man made fibres is micropolution due to washing, which recycled plastic fibres do not address.
 
OP
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Exe71

New Member
Some really interesting thoughts here, thanks for your contributions.

A study conducted by the European Cyclists’ Federation has shown that an average commuter bicycle emits 21g of CO2 per passenger/per kilometre, when taking into account the production, operation and maintenance phase (i.e. includes the impact of calorie requirements of the cyclist), but this doesn't take into account the carbon impact of the other parts of gear... Wonder what difference that would make?

https://www.ecf.com/system/files/Quantifying CO2 savings of cycling.pdf
 

IaninSheffield

Veteran
Location
Sheffield, UK
Sadly, some natural fibres such as cotton might not have as low an impact as we might hope - WWF. But maximising lifetime and reducing regularity of replacement, where possible, will go some way towards mitigating some of the harms ... across all products.

As folks have sometimes mentioned on other threads, Alpkit as a brand appears to have sustainability as one of their core principles. It's interesting to see what elements they bring together under the banner of sustainability, several of which I might not have considered. I appreciate it when a company's efforts help me think about some of the issues more broadly.
 
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classic33

Legendary Member
Some really interesting thoughts here, thanks for your contributions.

A study conducted by the European Cyclists’ Federation has shown that an average commuter bicycle emits 21g of CO2 per passenger/per kilometre, when taking into account the production, operation and maintenance phase (i.e. includes the impact of calorie requirements of the cyclist), but this doesn't take into account the carbon impact of the other parts of gear... Wonder what difference that would make?

https://www.ecf.com/system/files/Quantifying CO2 savings of cycling.pdf
Does that take into account the carbon footprint of the food production used by the cyclist?
Various reports, over the years, put this figure as high as 16g, with the remaining 5g coming from production of the cycling equipment used. Unless drivers don't eat the 21g figure is misleading.

I'll avoid buying anything electrical where the battery(ies) cannot be replaced. But sealed units are becoming too commonplace. The battery no longer holds a charge, the lot has to be discarded.
 
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Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
Some really interesting thoughts here, thanks for your contributions.

A study conducted by the European Cyclists’ Federation has shown that an average commuter bicycle emits 21g of CO2 per passenger/per kilometre, when taking into account the production, operation and maintenance phase (i.e. includes the impact of calorie requirements of the cyclist), but this doesn't take into account the carbon impact of the other parts of gear... Wonder what difference that would make?

https://www.ecf.com/system/files/Quantifying CO2 savings of cycling.pdf
That makes the false assumption that someone riding a bike eats more than someone who drives. Not necessarily the case. In the western world certainly almost everyone eats more than they need. So there’s plenty of calories available to support the cycling without needing to eat more than someone driving,
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
What is a positive environmental impact? All industial acivity, no matter how benign, has a negative impact upon the planet.

And what definition are you giving to "sustainable" in this context? The question is too ill defined to be able to answer sensibly.
 

annedonnelly

Girl from the North Country
I think about the issues but it's more difficult to find sustainable products than, say, for ordinary clothing. However, I make my gear last as long as possible & I'm not obsessive about washing it after every wear.

When I bought panniers recently I wanted to get ones made of recycled material but those options didn't have the pockets that I need so chose others instead. I do expect the new ones to last at least as long as my previous ones which was 13 years of regular use.

I expect it's virtually impossible to buy spares sustainably though I did use second hand parts on the rebuild of my Dawes. Again I expect my bikes to last forever rather than buying new every year.

Of course, all of the above could simply be because I'm mean :laugh:
 

steveindenmark

Legendary Member
Some of my cycling clothes are made of bamboo ^_^ Search for cycling apparell in bamboo. There is a lot of it. I refuse to buy a bamboo bike.^_^
 

BurningLegs

Veteran
I have lots of bamboo socks, and really rate them. Warm in winter and cool in the summer - like magic!

I try to consider what happens to products at the end of their useful life. That’s one of the main reasons I haven’t bought a carbon bike - it will go to landfill. My aluminium and steel bikes will almost certainly be recycled (even if I have sold them on).

Clothing is a tricky one. Lycra isn’t recycled, and although it can be made of recycled materials it’s not like other recycled products that go round and round that cycle, once you’ve turned a bottle top into Lycra it will never be anything else...
 
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