With huge piles in landfill sites growing fast, igus, the motion plastics specialist has been developing and investing in ideas for recycling plastics for many years. The company is now presenting a world first at the Hannover Messe: The concept of a robust, durable urban bike made entirely of plastic. One special feature of this new bike is that the recycled version will be primarily made of reused plastics originally "single-use."
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,” says Frank Blasé, CEO of igus. 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. These tribo-plastics from igus have been used successfully for a long time and are currently used in more than 70 industries.
The new igus:bike platform offers bicycle manufacturers globally the opportunity to jointly advance this technology. The platform is intended to become a contact point for manufacturers who want to build a plastic bicycle and for all manufacturers of suitable components, such as plastic frames, wheels, and drives.
Another partner is MTRL, a Dutch start-up that has successfully put 400 bicycles with plastic frames and wheels onto the Netherlands' roads. The bicycle start-up will begin production and sale of a children's model and an adult bicycle for cities by the end of this year. “Together, we are refining the all-plastic bicycle […] from ocean plastics to motion plastics – the igus:bike concept has what it takes to become a high-tech ecological product,” says Blase.