Apart from plain old walking, there’s no greener way to get around than on a bicycle. If you use a bike, for daily transport or for recreation, you deserve a pat on the back for your eco-friendly habits. But you can’t rest on your green laurels just because you cycle around instead of using a car. You can take it one s tep further with eco-friendly bike maintenance.
A bike is a marvellously simple item of equipment and it doesn’t need much to keep it going. One thing it does need is regular oiling to ensure smooth running and minimize wear and tear. When it comes to oils, there are different options, including a choice between conventional oils and eco-friendly products.
Conventional oils suitable for bikes are made from petrochemicals, which come from fossil fuels and are therefore not a renewable resource. Some of the regular oils on the market also contain additional ingredients, including polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), better known by the brand name Teflon. PTFEs reduce friction and so help to reduce wear and tear on gears, chains and similar components. Neither petrochemical products nor PTFE is biodegradable, so these are ingredients to avoid in your lubricant if you want to ride a green bike.
Plant oils do the job just as well, and come from sustainable sources. They don’t hang around in the environment and are a great alternative for eco-friendly bike maintenance. Firms that specialize in producing eco-friendly lubricants should also make sure that their ingredients are sourced from ethical suppliers.
Cyclists might also want other lubricants and polishes. A good product will keep the metal work rust free and shiny and the plastic and leather fittings protected and supple. Again, plant products made according to ecologically sound principles will do the job as well as chemical ones, but in an eco-friendly way for a green bike maintenance.
The smart and eco-friendly approach is to keep a bike properly maintained at all times. This will minimize or delay you having to replace parts that would eventually end up in the landfill. Tires are the parts that are most likely to be replaced. You can make them last longer with proper bike maintenance, including keeping them correctly inflated.
When tires need replacing, eco tires are the ideal option for your bike. These use natural rubber and may also contain reclaimed or recycled rubber. According to manufacturers, good quality eco tires will actually last longer than standard tires and perform just as well (performance factors, especially braking distances, have been a safety concern with eco tires for cars).
With a bit of thought and planning it’s easy to create a bike maintenance routine that is effective at the same time as it’s environmentally friendly.