Every day people around the world get into their cars to commute to work or school. Many drivers are searching for more sustainable ways to get around and are starting to look back to the trusty bike. After all, this form of transportation has always offered plenty of perks. Financially, bikes don’t require gas money and have lower maintenance costs. In terms of convenience, bikes can be easier to park and of course, can help riders get their daily exercise in.
Companies everywhere are beginning to take the traditional bike and adapt it to modern commuter needs. While gently used bikes are always a sustainable option, below are five eco-friendly bikes to consider adding to your morning ride.
When you think of bikes, you probably don’t imagine bamboo as a main component, but that’s exactly what Bamboocycles are made of. The company sources local raw materials for their bike frames which are made of bamboo and carbon fiber joints.
For example, bamboo can generate 30 percent more oxygen than trees. Bamboo is also a famously fast growing plant which can be used as a renewable resource. This material is ideal for bikes because it can absorb significantly more shock than carbon fiber. It is also very lightweight compared to traditional bike materials, like steel.
Although it may not be heavily built, bamboo is incredibly strong and can take on twice the compression force as steel. Unlike a helmet which is strong but not meant to last forever once it takes a hit, these bikes can take falls without losing their strength or structural integrity. Long lasting bikes are always a great sustainable option.
While ebikes have been around for a few years now, this new design is for millennials who love their gadgets. The Cowboy offers a sleek design which hides the battery in its frame under the saddle. The removable battery takes about two and half hours to charge and has a range of roughly 31 miles, but the best part is the app features.
The Cowboy app gives commuters a real time dashboard to check out their speed and distance. Riders never need to worry about getting lost since it has navigation and can pull up your route history from your ride stats. This smart tech also gives riders updates about the bike’s status, so you’ll never have to worry about whether you need more air in those tires since it will let you know.
Nervous about your bike getting stolen? The Cowboy has a high tech locking system so the owner is the only one who can start up the bike. The team is also working on adding GPS tracking feature so owners can easily find their bike.
3. The Faraday Bicycle
Faraday blends a classic look with their high tech ebikes. Based in San Fransisco, the company hopes to move busy commuters towards bikes and away from gas guzzling cars.
So how do these electric bikes measure up against all the famous hills in San Fransisco? Faraday ebikes have a 250W motor, and the battery can be fully charged in less than 4 hours. While terrain and many other variables come into play when factoring for range, all of their bikes can go about 20 miles per charge and have a pedal assist feature.
Besides helping people transition away from cars, Faraday recently partnered with the organization One Tree Planted to help reforest California after the state underwent serious damage from wildfires that destroyed thousands of acres of land in the area. The company stepped up and donated $100 from every bike sold to plant 100 trees.
While wood might seem like a strange material for bikes, the first bike ever created was made out of this natural material back in the 1900s. Ken Wheeler, Renovo’s founder, brought this look back by creating hollow frame wood bikes in 2007.
Unlike metal, wood is often considered more sustainable than steel or other common bike materials because it generally requires less energy to extract and process. Wood is also a renewable resource, and in this case, Renovo opts for domestic wood sourced in the USA. These bikes are also produced locally in Oregon by skilled craftsmen.
According to Renovo, this material for bikes creates the perfect combination of a solid ride while allowing the wood to absorb any shock. Like the bamboo bikes, Renovo bikes are built to last a very long time, so they won’t be tossed out as often as other bikes.
5. The Donky Bike
While most kinds of bikes are great for the average commuter, many people stick to cars because they need the cargo room most bikes can’t offer. Ben Wilson noticed this problem and decided to find a solution. As a 3D industrial designer, Wilson created The Donky Bike, a practical cargo bike.
This bike was designed to easily carry a cargo load on the frame. While the bike is designed to carry a significant amount of things, the designer took care to not make the frame clunky since it was created to be used in urban cities by apartment dwellers. Like any great workhorse, this bike was built with simple low-maintenance components and has a strong, durable frame.
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We'd love to see this everywhere!