Bicycles could save the world. Cycling makes people fitter, happier, and healthier. Bikes allow us to have fun and get around without wrecking our environment.
Still, although cycling is low-impact, it is not no-impact. Oftentimes, we cyclists waste more and pollute more than we might do.
We use a lot of kit to make our cycling experiences better. Here at Soigneur, we’ve sought out the goods that are also better for the world around us. Some of our favourites are listed below.
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De Marchi Audace Merino Jersey
Merino wool is awesome. Super soft and breathable, it is an excellent natural insulator that will keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Unlike synthetic fabrics, which are forms of plastic, wool is biodegradable. De Marchi’s Audace Jersey is made of 100% Merino wool knitted on old-school 12-gauge machines in Italy. An ode to cycling’s golden age, it is as comfortable as it is stylish.
Park Tool Super Patch
Are you still throwing away your punctured tubes? Patching them is easy and makes them as good as new. Park Tool’s Super Patch Kit makes the process even easier. Just roughen the tube with the provided sandpaper, clean it off, and stick on the pre-glued patch. You’ll save yourself the search for a garbage can and a fair bit of cash. A six-pack of Super Patches costs less than a new tube.
Steel, carbon, or aluminium? No matter the material, making a bike produces a lot of carbon dioxide. If you do need a new frame, the best thing you can do is buy one that will last you a lifetime. Builders such as Koppel in Amersfoort will make one to your measurements that will perform better than any other for the sorts of riding that you like to do. While you will always be able to replace the components with the latest and greatest, you will never need to buy a new frame again.Visit site
Cycling is the best way to explore the world. Once you are on your bike, you are free you to go your own pace and travel wherever you want to go. Trips to Balearic islands and sunny mountains are not without their costs to the environment though. Why not explore closer to home? Suunto’s latest watches feature heatmaps, which will show you all the roads that local riders like to use. You might just find your next favourite climb on others’ favourite routes.Visit site
Brooks Cambium Organic Light
Liquid wood—it hardly sounds like a high-performance cycling material, but this ingenious bio-polymer made entirely from surplus byproducts from the paper industry is very strong and lighter than the metal parts Brooks usually uses for the frames of its racing saddles. It is also 100% biodegradable and does not compromise the performance of the saddle whatsoever. The Cambium Organic Light features a vulcanised natural rubber and organic cotton top. Brooks makes Organic Light versions of its C15, C17 and C19 models.Visit site
Natural rubber is derived from the caoutchouc tree, which only grows in the ‘rubber belt’, a narrow strip around the equator in Asia, Africa, and South America. It takes seven years for a caoutchouc tree to mature. German tyre maker Continental sought an alternative that could be grown more quickly and closer to home. It hit upon the Russian dandelion, which contains a similar natural latex and can be grown in one year in most parts of the world. The Urban Taraxagum is Continental's first tyre to make use of this innovative material, which will likely find its way into their full range soon.Visit site
AGU Women’s Winter Day Merino Base Layer
Merino sheep are hardy creatures. They live in all manner of climates on various continents. It is no wonder that their super fine and soft wool is so prized. It’s a renewable resource; merinos must be shorn once a year for their health. This merino base layer from AGU will keep you cozy.Visit site
Using powerful solvents to clean your bike is bad for the environment. Thankfully, dish soap, warm water, and a bit of elbow grease are all you need to make your drivetrain sparkle. Choose one that has been approved with an EU Eco Label, or your local equivalent, to guarantee that it is safe, sustainably sourced, and packaged with recyclable materials. Klok Eco is one that works well.Visit site
Chris King R45 Hub
Chris King components are made to last a lifetime. These lightweight hubs are engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Portland, Oregon. Fully serviceable, they are made to get faster as they age. Chris King’s RingDrive system will transfer your power into forward motion immediately, and no hubs sound better than the buzz of Chris King’s.Visit site
A concentrated source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals designed to fuel your muscles in the most strenuous circumstances and packaged in a handy bio-degradable wrapper, the humble banana is an ideal sports food. Long favoured by cycling champions such as Alberto Contador, bananas will provide you with energy for hours of hard riding with no plastic waste.Visit site
Patagonia Snap-T Pullover
We all have a favourite sweater to snuggle into after a hard ride. This might be your next one. Made from a blend of soft organic cotton and recycled polyester with a cozy collar that you can button up to your chin, it’s perfect for lazy afternoons at a campsite or on the couch. Patagonia is a world-leader when it comes to environmental responsibility.Visit site
N+1. We get it. If you just can’t do without next year’s carbon-fibre super bike, Trek’s Madone SLR 9 Disc is a no-compromise choice. It is Team Trek-Segafredo's bike. Suffice it to say that Trek makes a good profit on every one that it sells. Much of that money is invested into ever-more-advanced technology. However, Trek also invests 4% of all of its profits into cycling initiatives to promote bike riding world wide. That’s what we'd call a win-win-win.Visit site