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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I love seeing the stats you guys compiled of consumers' desires to have more sustainable bike products. In this conference, were any sustainable bikes featured and what do you guys think of bamboo bikes?

    • Walden Hyde

      Thanks, Alessandra! The conference mostly brought together the leaders from major brands like Specialized, Trek, and Giant that aren’t leading with sustainability.

      Since most of the consumers we spoke with first look at performance, price, fit, comfort, and then the company's sustainable qualities, we wonder about the influence of bamboo bikes in the mainstream market. We also found some complicating factors about the production of bamboo bikes, some of which are mentioned in this article:

      The brands that we really like are Moots and Chris King, which are making decisions about how to make more sustainable decisions, while still being attractive to cyclists who may have not thought about buying with sustainability in mind.

      It's heartening that the majority of cyclists we interviewed are thinking about sustainability in other aspects of their lives; now the challenge is to help bicycle companies to see the opportunity to innovate with sustainability in mind. We have some ideas, but we’d love to hear if you have any thoughts about how to best shift the industry.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        I'm going to let our awesome member Rob Greenfield know about you guys. He is really passionate about shifting sustainability in brands- and he actually is a prime example of someone who went from driving cars to only biking, and living on less. He also does marketing, so I think he'd have some great insight. Check out his piece here in the meantime and I'll let him know about you:

        • Rob Greenfield

          That was a great video and I'm glad you told me about it. I'm a huge advocate and activist for both sustainability and cycling so this story is very interesting for me to read.
          I'd like to see not only bike manufacturers adopt more sustainable practices but also retailers and shops. With cycling being one of the leading forms of sustainable transportation I am amazed at the lack of sustainable practices in the bike world as a whole. But with that being said I am not negative or unhopeful of the industry. Producing bikes is a beautiful thing in itself. I think too often though people assume "well I am doing this so I don't need to do that."
          -I ride a bike so I don't have to worry about conserving electricity, not creating trash, etc.
          - I create bikes, not cars, so I don’t have to pay attention to all the other details.
          I hear this type of rationalization quite often and I think the solution is to point out the fallacy in statements like that and be blunt about it.
          I don't have any creative ideas for the bike industry but I do have a personal recommendation. Be blunt with them and tell them that as creators of sustainable transportation they should strive to be leaders in sustainability in all areas of their business. Just because they do A does not mean they don't have to do B and C. If they aren't going to do it then why should anyone else? Lead within the cycling industry and for other industries. Unless that is, they are just in it for the money not for all the beautiful reasons that bikes make the world a better place for humans to call home. If they are in it for the right reasons they should make the effort to protect our earth and keep it beautiful.

          I rode one of Calfee’s bamboo bikes across America this summer on a tour called Off the Grid Across America. (!off-the-grid-across-america/cp4) What an amazing creation those bikes are. Bamboo is certainly more sustainable then steel but yes they have their own amount of impact, as does nearly any product in existence.
          Keep up the great work! I’m impressed by what you are doing.

            • Walden Hyde

              Thank you for your great contributions to this conversation, Rob and Alessandra!

              We also heard similar sentiments from bicycle consumers, and it seemed like a number of them simply never considered the full life-cycle of bicycles, rather than what they see in the benefits of riding. We'll keep you in the loop as we continue the conversation within the industry, and please feel free to tweet or email any additional thoughts our way.

              Also, I'm not sure if you just saw the video or the full report as well, so just in case you haven't seen it, you can access it at the bottom of this page:

              Keep up the good work!