Organic Bikes

Please welcome our latest sponsor, Organic Bikes. Here’s some background information from the Organic Bikes website:

Riding a bicycle instead of driving your car is an extremely eco-friendly and green way to go. Until now, most of us in the bicycle industry have looked only this far at the eco aspect of bikes. Here at Organic Bikes we are taking things a step further. We are re-thinking the materials that our bicycles are made out of, at the sustainability of our product line, and at the ability to recycle, re-use, or bio-degrade the products that we manufacture.

Bamboo Bicycles, Biodegradable Water Bottles, Organic Clothing, and Recycled Messenger Bags are part of our initial offerings in our product line, but expect more on the horizon and expect great things from Organic Bikes!

Organic Bikes is owned and operated by Wheel and Sprocket- a family owned bicycle shop since 1973. We began Organicbikes.com to re-think the way that bicycles and cycling products are manufactured, used, and recycled. While we do not claim to be fully “green”, or sustainable across the board- we think we have some great ideas and we are very excited to present them here! We hope that people will not only choose a bicycle over their car for transportation, but that they will consider Organic Bikes as a more sustainable choice in Bicycles!

We’ll be trying out an Organic Bikes Dylan this spring.

Organic Bikes

9 Responses to “Organic Bikes”

  • CTP says:

    i don’t mean to piss on their parade, but there’s nothing comes close to steel and aluminum for recyclability, and certainly not bamboo. furthermore, steel and aluminum are readily available in most countries – you don’t need to slash and burn rainforests as they do for modern commercial bamboo and ship it 10k miles for end use. i call greenwashing on this.
    p.s. i’m a happy customer of wheel and sprocket.

  • Bert says:

    I love bamboo bikes, I see more and more of these beautiful bikes doing loops in Central park lately. (mostly Home builds)
    I am wondering if it would make sense to install one of our BionX motor kits: http://www.nycewheels.com/bionx-electric-motor.html probably the lighter BionX Pl250 conversion.

    I have seen blogs that insist that an electric bike is greener that a non-powered bike. Supposedly it takes more energy and has a larger carbon foot print to plant potatoes and tofu to power the human body than it is to (responsible) produce a BionX motor kit and run it charged of a Sunlight (PV-panel)

    Besides, the BionX is a beautiful motor kit that would match those beautiful bikes perfectly.

    Bert, electric bike enthusiast
    http://www.nycewheels.com

  • James from Organic Bikes says:

    CTP-
    Thought to respond to your comments directly here.
    First off- I hope you caught the wording in our vision about having some great ideas and just getting started in this direction? Organic Bikes is a new venture for us and a very exciting one at that. We are not trying to be arrogant or say that we have the “greenest” product out there by any means.
    In response to your comments- the bamboo that we used is certainly not “slashed and burned” in any rainforest to be harvested? It is grown in controlled locations and hand-harvested. The species we use in our bicycles and components grows incredibly fast, and does not de-forest or affect rainforests at all. Furthermore this fall we will have a release of a bamboo road bike with natural stalk bamboo tubing- hand selected and harvested(I can send pics of the entire process if you like). This is one of the “steps in the right direction” we were referring to.
    Glad to hear you are a customer of Wheel & Sprocket’s- but I am hoping that you can give us a little credit for moving in a more eco-friendly direction with Organic Bikes. Sincerely, -James

  • David says:

    James,

    These bikes and others made of wood are really intriguing to me. Have you done any accelerated life testing or stiffness and fatigue characterization to show what kind of abuse they can take versus more conventional frame materials?

  • James from Organic Bikes says:

    David-
    We have actually had the Dylan extensively lab fatigue and strength tested- plus the owner’s son actually toured on one from Wisconsin to Vermont (links below). We have been pretty impressed with the results! I would say that the Dylan is not the stiffest ride around but the vibration dampening is not unlike carbon fiber for comfort!
    At this point also the Dylan is not really intended for touring or off-roading, but moreso for bike paths, city commutes, etc. Our next bike the “Edwin” is a true city bike with rear rack, bamboo fenders, internal NuVinci hub, and a beefed up frame to help support loads of groceries, etc. That should come available sometime later this summer.
    Hope that helps
    -James

    http://organicbikes.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/dylan-bamboo-bicycle-pedals-from-wisconsin-to-vermont/
    http://organicbikes.wordpress.com/2009/09/08/more-pictures-of-the-dylan-bamboo-bikes-trip-from-wisconsin-to-vermont/

  • Andrew says:

    Hi James,

    I’m a big proponent of sustainability and lifecycle analysis, and while I think that the environmental impact of steel or aluminium bicycles is ultimately pretty trivial (given the amount of energy use they displace), I’m always interested in materials and design.

    When you say “natural laid-up bamboo,” does that mean that you laminate (vac-bag?) the bamboo tubes from veneer to achieve the seamless finish? How do the structural properties of those tubes compare to naturally grown ones? I imagine they would be more consistent, but nature does do a pretty good job of optimizing things. Are the lugs steel or aluminium? And how much does a frameset weigh? I’m not really a weight weenie, just curious.

    From the sounds of it, your new bamboo road bike will be more like the ones that I’ve seen, like the Bamboo Bike Project in Ghana, or the bikes Calfee makes.

  • James from Organic Bikes says:

    Andrew- Boy- I am loving the conversations here!
    So on the Dylan the bamboo is made of bamboo that is harvested, dried, and then cut into long strips to be bonded together. From there they are shaped down into the tubing you see (with some proprietary hollow pockets and fancy trick methods).
    The advantage to this is that the material is consistent, predictable, and easy to work with. The downfall is that all of that machining takes energy and resources! For some future bikes we are working with natural tubing- which rides great- is plenty strong, and if you let it dry naturally instead of forcing moisture out- holds up very well. The obvious advantage is the natural factor- that you really just miter down the ends and bond it together!
    The Dylan frame without fork weighs 4.7lbs and the lugs are recycled alloy.
    Hope that helps!
    -James

  • Alan says:

    @James

    “Our next bike the “Edwin” is a true city bike with rear rack, bamboo fenders, internal NuVinci hub, and a beefed up frame to help support loads of groceries, etc. That should come available sometime later this summer.”

    Can’t wait to see it, James!

    Alan

  • Dan says:

    I cannot help but be skeptical, but I am really interested in trying one out. My riding for this will mostly be commuting on the road/pothole ridden path, so my biggest worry is cracking the frame. I know the Calfee bamboo bike has a 10 year warranty, I was wondering if there was any warranty offer for the Dylans?

    Also I remember seeing the frameset on ebay for around 300 a few weeks ago, but hadn’t decided quite yet, and now it’s back up to 600. Is there any sale planned for the future or any deal I could try and get in on? Thanks for the info!

    Dan

 
© 2011 EcoVelo™