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  • There's an interesting article about the environmental impact of bicycles in today's Guardian. What do people on here think? I mean, cycling is obviously greener - but there is definitely also a fashion side to it, plus the sports/recreational side is not necessarily very eco-friendly (depends what your comparison is). And then there's ongoing consumption (all those burst inner tubes!!), and also the associated non-ecofriendly stuff that accompanies the industry... I'm also thinking of the waste and carbon production from stuff like the caravan that accompanies the Tour de France and other races.

    So, should cycling be greener? Can it be? How??

    PS, I did think about posting this in e.g. climate change thread, but this seems to be a bit of a different topic.

  • So, should cycling be greener? Can it be? How??

    Good thread, IMHO. I just read the Guardian article and it is nice to have a thread to share views on this topic.

    I am concerned about the potential rate of obsolescence of today's e-bikes, as they are still in their infancy, with poor range and heavy components. How many of these will end up as scrap due to a lack of electronic parts or because it is not cost effective to upgrade them? The same goes for electronic gear shifting without the ready availability of spare parts or end-user serviceability. One step would be to require right-to-repair in the manner of EU legislation for electronic goods.

    Full lifecycle analysis like that of Trek's is long overdue, though one might question models where e-bikes can be less carbon intensive than conventional bikes, by assuming the rider is doing less work:
    "Assuming a lifetime travel of 19,200km, a bicycle’s emissions come out at about 25-35g CO2e/km (depending on food footprint, which can be highly variable). With Trek’s updated figure and assuming an EU average electricity mix, e-bikes come in at 21-25g CO2e/km"


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