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Go green with cycling: the power of bike maintenance, waxed chains and TPU inner tubes

Sustainable cycling waxed chains

The stats speak for themselves. Cycling is more popular today than ever. There are now an estimated one billion bicycles globally, and growing. In the UK we have stats for 2021 when there were around 6.5 million active cyclists.

That’s awesome. The link between exercise and health is clear and the planet will be better off especially if people choose cycling instead of driving the car. A win-win all around.

As more people choose cycling, the cycling industry needs to step up to promote sustainable practices through the entire supply chain: from how it sources materials, manufactures bikes, clothing and accessories through to how it packages and ships its products.

While all these things are all absolutely necessary, we’ve recently been thinking closer to home on the practical steps we can take to enjoy cycling while keeping our impact on the planet to a minimum.

Look after what you’ve got

We can all reduce our carbon footprint by maintaining our bikes properly. This means regular maintenance to minimize the need to replace parts. Cleaning thoroughly, lubricating and drying before storing - including the bearings, bottom bracket and free hubs but especially the chain which can collect lots of grit and wear down the cassette, chain rings and pulley wheels. As well as extending your bike’s life span it will also improve its performance making cycling more enjoyable.

When things break, mend em

One of the beautiful things about cycling is that bikes are pretty easy to repair. This is especially true thanks to the great free resources out there by the likes of Park Tool and GCN. Whatever the problem, whether it’s repairing a punctured inner tube, re-cabling or installing a new bottom bracket there is a video out there that will take you through step by step!

Buy cheap, buy twice!

When you choose to buy something new, buy things that last. There can be a lot of hot air in the cycling industry so it’s important to separate the truth from the marketing gimmicks. But generally we would recommend well built and simple designs machined out of high quality materials like our carbon seatposts or super lightweight Kalloy UNO stem. Carbon fibre is often a good choice, but lighter isn’t always better, look out for durable designs with titanium fittings.

We’ve previously written about the benefits of waxed chains. A waxed chain is lubricated with natural, biodegradable wax which makes it a great choice from a sustainability perspective. It also repels dirt which means less time spent cleaning and spraying the harmful chemicals that are in wet and dry lubes (e.g. naphtha, kerosene and aliphatic hydrocarbons) which are bad for the environment. We stock a small selection of our favourite ultra lightweight waxed chains: the KMC X11-SL and Dura Ace HG-901 which we wax using our secret superslick formula.

Next time you replace your inner tubes you may also be interested in upgrading to a RideNow TPU inner tube. TPU is made from renewable sources like plant-based oils and non-toxic chemicals, making it an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based synthetic rubbers and plastics. RideNow TPU inner tubes are an amazing way to save around 200g in weight and the TPU material is much more durable than traditional butyl tubes meaning you’re less likely to get a puncture.

For more like this on cycling, sports psychology and wellbeing etc sign up to our newsletter, click here. To follow us on Instagram, click here. If you're after the very best lightweight bike parts you're in the right place. Ultra light carbon handlebars, seatposts, stem, pedals, waxed chains, RideNow inner tubes etc all rigorously tested by us and a small team of cyclists. Click here to see more.


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