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How to make the industry more sustainable?

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11/13/2021 12:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/13/2021 1:06 PM

The title says it all.

This comes after sawing a friends frame, the front triangle, the chainstays and seatstays, in half because of a crack in the chainstays. He's getting a complete new frame (which is good for the end user), but seriously, sawing in half a perfectly fine carbon front triangle and the seatstays because of a crack in the chainstays? That's a bit wasteful (with an aluminium frame at least it can be recycled fairly easily).
Similarly I know of a friend that has a crack in the seatstays and had immense problems finding a new one with the frame also being out of warranty. He's luckily found a used non-cracked seatstay and welded and carbon-wrapped the cracked one, so he's up and running, but i that wasn't the case, a perfectly functioning 3 or 4 year old bike with a still up to date geometry would be basically a throw-away item, as it's no longer being produced (replacing the frame for a different one would likely require a few new components as well, as there are no standards to speak about in this industry).
In the third case of a cracked/snapped suspension component I've seen up close and personal this year, a new swingarm was dispatched and delivered in about a week with the old one welded in the meantime (it survived a few rides and will live on as a backup in case anyone suffers the same fate). The last situation was likely the optimal one with the re-welding part an added bonus.

I'm far from a treehugger living with zero waste and everything and Pareto's principle (20 % of the effort gives 80 % of the result) is something that makes a lot of sense to me. And there are so many low hanging fruits in this industry that nobody seems to care about. What do we have to do to improve this situation?

And it's not just sustainability, this goes along the lines of right to repair as well. How many manufacturers provide clear and concise service manuals for their products (thinking back to the DIY Ghetto idler thread, where I mentioned Kona offers zero technical data on their frames). Hell, just making products easily serviceable would be good in some cases.
And speaking of repairability and sustainability in the same vein, why can I service my rear shock with just a bunch or O-rings, some grease and oil, but I have to buy a service kit for my fork that includes two sealheads that are basically aluminium carriers for a standard wiper seal or two? Why can't those parts be designed for the seals to be replaceable? If I can do it in the shock, why can't I do it in the fork as well? Besides it being cheaper for the end user (as only the wiper seal is wasted, not the fancy, machined and anodized aluminium carrier as well), it's also a lot less wasteful as you're not throwing away said fancy, machined aluminium part.

This is just a bunch of quickfired rambling, but I hope a conversation could be started and possibly some good ideas can sprout from this.

EDIT: I was just informed Pinkbike had an article on this topic, more or less, a few days ago. Wasn't aware of it, so I guess it's just an interesting timing thing smile

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11/13/2021 8:58 PM

The industry can quit making disposable shit. And people need to get over the weight of bikes. I know that 97-99% of riders could up their fitness or loose weight and both of those things would make more of a difference than some disposable part that saves a few grams.

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11/14/2021 8:49 AM

The current bike industry model is built on consumerism and marginal gains. "10% stiffer" "54 grams lighter" "13 speeds!" It's possible to build an economy around durability, user-friendliness, and repair-ability, but that's just not our sport right now. It will take a cosmically huge shift in marketing for brands to see a benefit in encouraging riders keep their bikes longer, and until that happens we will continue to be a sport that leaves a lot of trash in our wake.

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11/14/2021 9:48 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2021 3:41 PM

No industry in the world makes a change before the market has a demand for that change. If a large enough piece of the market wants bikes that are durable, user-friendly and easily repaired then some company in the industry will do it.

If a bike like I described above appeals to you, then the ways to communicate your desires to the industry is with your wallet. Don't buy bikes or parts that don't meet your needs. If that means you can't find a suitable bike, then save your money, and maybe write a letter to some companies customer service departments letting them know you couldn't find what you want in their line up, and that they missed out on money. Also try to find and participate in market surveys.

Another option, if nobody in the industry is currently making the bikes you want, is to start making and selling the bikes you want yourself.

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11/14/2021 1:52 PM

Taldfind, what you say is true and not true all at the same time. Your points regarding individual decision-making are valid, but there's ALWAYS room for innovation ahead of what the market is demanding at this moment.

Visionary marketing leads the market instead of simply responding to it. Henry Ford said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Similarly, no one was banging on Steve Jobs door and saying "give me a handheld phone/ipod/laptop/calendar."

There's room in our industry for a brand to take a chance and make "boring" interesting again. "Boring" things like durability and backwards-compatibility don't help lawyers and dentists buy an exclusive brand identity, but they do help keep the globe a little cooler, they do help kids get into the sport, and they help make our elitist sport accessible to new audiences. If you're willing to stray from the old model of lighter/stiffer/faster, there's basically endless room to create a new brand identity that meets the needs of... normal boring people. Mountain bikes, and bikes in general, don't have to be impossible to understand and maintain.

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11/14/2021 4:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/14/2021 4:28 PM

Visionary marketing does lead the market because visionary marketers understand the true needs of the market. They see an unspoken and unfilled or unsatisfactorily filled demand in the market. Back in Henry Ford's day, I bet most people didn't even say they wanted a faster horse. They probably said things like, "I wish I had more time to do..." Of coarse nothing can give more time, but cars take less time to go from "A-B" than horses, giving us a larger percentage of our time to do other things.

Market demands are often left unspoken, and often even misunderstood by the market (when I say market, I mean anyone who might spend money on the products or services of an industry.) Innovators learn about some of those demands, one way or another, and then do something to fill the demands they are aware of. This is what I mean by no industry making a change without the market demanding it. Though, I suppose they could, but if the change doesn't fill a demand, the change will fail.

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11/14/2021 6:43 PM

The number one thing I think the Industry can work together to improve is packaging. Everyone wether they are guerilla gravity and specializing in domestic manufacturing or the big guys shipping by the container from China has the problem of getting bikes/product in the hands of customers.

I think there are going to be a lot of brands specializing in value, durability, and semi local production going forward.

But unfortunately until supply chain issues start to get fixed world wide (everyone is struggling and bike industry is small news to many) I think a lot of these brands will struggle to expand or get off the ground. Despite there being a market for their products. In order to fix supply issues it will take a massive investment from the big companies like shimano/sram, trek, specialized, or any number of the brands that recently sold to investment companies in order to grow. And I’m not convinced those brands aren’t happier with a status quo that benefits them as opposed to the risk of investing really big now for potential long term gains.

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11/16/2021 3:07 AM

The industry is charging more and more, whilst delivering less and less. Marketing teams are in overdrive to keep sales up and the money flowing in, I'd be intrigued what the warranty bill is as a result of reduced time to market on product development.

Mandating longer warranties would force the OEM's to make a better quality product.
-Robust frame
-Properly sealed bearings with frame tolerancing as per the bearing suppliers manual
-Components which are up to the job (creaky CSU's, ebike drivetrain, etc)


A year into ownership of my G1 and the frame has been faultless, properly designed, tested and manufactured. The privateer I owned prior and the scott ransom eride I have recently purchased were dogs.

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11/16/2021 10:50 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/16/2021 10:51 AM

bulletbass man wrote:

The number one thing I think the Industry can work together to improve is packaging. Everyone wether they are guerilla gravity ...more

Package engineer here, and I definitely have some thoughts. I also worked as a bike shop mechanic in the mid 00's, so comments also include my experience from that.

Complete bike packaging - the move by some companies to eliminate plastic (including foam) from this is a big improvement. one thing to keep in mind here - when bikes are delivered to a bike shop, most of the time (at least for larger companies) they are palletized (and less likely to get damaged). not sure if companies that are doing consumer direct have more robust packaging (as those get shipped single parcel) as I have not purchased a bike consumer direct.

the big thing with this is that the bulk of the bikes and components we purchase are shipped sea freight from ASPAC. the amount of packaging material used has less environmental impact than what it takes to transport the bikes from where they are manufactured to where they are sold. until there are more companies like GG, WR1, and Push (I'm sure there are others, these are the only ones that immediately come to mind) that all make efforts to source their raw materials & subcomponents domestically / locally, in addition to manufacturing domestically (eg reducing their supply chain footprint), we're not gonna see big impacts. it's also worth noting that this issue is not unique to the bike industry.


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11/16/2021 10:51 AM

taldfind wrote:

No industry in the world makes a change before the market has a demand for that change. If a large enough piece of the market ...more

I think the part people are missing in the "we build what the customers ask for" discussion in regards to sustainability, is that at some point soon materials are going to become more and more scarce (if they aren't already) which will drive prices up or stop availability altogether.

It does need to be manufacturer - driven, as in companies selling products that are designed to last a long time and be serviced easily (or, like, at all!). I regularly have customers that are tired of parts wearing out all the time and no suitable replacement being available. Better training and education is important too, things like drivetrain maintenance is so badly understood by dealers, media and even some manufacturers! But it can be the difference between a drivetrain lasting 1,000km or 10,000km....that seems so basic but gets no attention....(see zero friction cycling if you're interested in learning about that)

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11/16/2021 12:27 PM

Sir HC wrote:

The industry is charging more and more, whilst delivering less and less. Marketing teams are in overdrive to keep sales up and ...more

Regarding tolerancing, I think this one is one to forget about immediately. The whole concept of mounting bearings with bikes is flawed if you ask bearing manufacturers.

Given the requirements and usecase, every engineer that never rode a bike seriously will say 'use bushings'. And it's true. The issue with bushings is their clearance and their wear, increasing clearance. And anybody who knows what clearance in a bike can do (headset) is deathly afraid of any clicks and noises caused by clearances. I know I am. That's why ball bearings are here to stay, even though they are far from ideal for this use case.

@jonkranked 'local' manufacturing only goes so far. What if I want to buy a GG/WR1/Push product? A friend of mine had an interesting idea if you were to have a CNCd frame, like Pole does. Have a few 'local' companies around the world that are approved to make your product. So when a European buys a bike, they get it machined/manufactured in Europe. If someone from the USA/Canada buys it, it's made in NorAm. The differences in manufacturing costs and the problems with QC make this a very unrealistic proposition though.

As for market driven vs. manufacturer driven, cars are an EXCELLENT example of that. The manufacturer driven design gave us the Renault Espace. A compact car with LOADS of room inside, many seats, etc. People loved it and didn't knew they needed or wanted that before it was offered. On the other hand SUV adoption is rampant and more and more SUV-like models are made, because people want them. Thus you have 'offroaders' that are front wheel drive only and have less clearance than Subaru's Outback, which is essentially the anti-SUV - a normal station wagon that's 4x4 and lifted and actually goes somewhere. With SUV you only get higher fuel consumption (supposedly SUVs are the reason why fuel consumption overall has stopped lowering in the past few years) and worse driving dynamics and likely less space than with a station wagon. But it's something the market wants.

I've mentioned the lack of technical drawings with frames. We need that. With a frame going end of life, maybe also provide drawings for the small parts, like spacers, derailleur hangers (Sram UDH needs to be adopted industry wide ASAP!) and the like, so at least people can have those made and keep an older frame running? Welded parts and big links aren't realistic, but maybe at least provide hole spacing data, so maybe older parts can be rewelded in the correct position?

And talking about sealed bearings, what I would also really like to see when it comes to bike reviews (here's your chance Vital!) is also to touch on how a frame or a product is made. How easy it is to work on it, how much effort does it take to say take a shock out from the bike (cumbersome linkages are a negative here), with frames looking at bearing sealing would be a good step as I'm aware reviews can't look at durability of components (there are BIG differences in how pivots and bearing sealing is achieved between different frames), etc.
I know the 'how easy it is to work on' part will mostly benefit the few people that wrench bikes at home, though on the other hand it could provide prove to be beneficial to the customers too (a simpler bike might mean less time spent in the shop? And cheaper servicing?). And pointing out how a given design is cumbersome might change how a company deals with product design to make it simpler to avoid a negative review?

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11/16/2021 2:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/18/2021 5:22 PM

The cost of repairing mountain bikes is totally prohibitive for the average user. Think about how much you'd spend on repairs if you had to do 100% of repairs at your LBS, and how many days/weeks/months you'd be out of a bike while it's in getting repaired?

In the last year for me:
Suspension service multiple times
Changing tires multiple times
Brake pads and bleeds multiple times
Rear rim replaced
Multiple drivetrain components broken/repaired/replaced

It would cost me a small fortune and my bike would spend more time in the shop than out. I know I'm a frequent rider and hard on bikes, but watch any new rider go into an LBS and watch the look on their face when the mechanic tells them how much their regular bike repair is going to cost.

Bikes could absolutely be more durable and more user friendly. How much more reliable could brakes be if they used 4 times more hydraulic fluid and had a proper reservoir at the top that allowed air bubbles to be isolated away from the brake function? What about three times as much lower leg lubricant in your fork? What about making cassettes and chainrings out of thicker cogs instead of trying to stick as many on there as possible? Do you have any idea how long the cogs on old 6-speed freewheels last? Forever. They last forever.

It's possible to lower the total cost of ownership for bikes substantially, and if you clearly spell out the costs and benefits to customers and let them know how much you'll save them in the long run they'll love you forever. We just don't do this because it's easier to market "newer/faster/lighter/stiffer" whatever. Please watch Friday Fails on Pinkbike and tell me with a straight face that the average rider would substantially benefit from a fork that weighs 140 grams less instead of a fork with a stronger CSU.

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11/16/2021 3:32 PM

Yeah thats a huge one....if people knew how much it costs to keep a bike running properly they I doubt they would get in to it at all! Well that's why they don't tell them.

I get shocked people all the time who come in after a year and only just learn that because they ride every day they should have had at least a couple of suspension services already, the drivetrains worn out because they didn't know how to look after it and all the pivots bearings are seized. A lot of industry guys change bikes every 6 months and mostly take care of it so don't seem to have any understanding of how much wear someone can achieve in a frighteningly short time.

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11/16/2021 4:13 PM

The rider you just described, who needs to overhaul or replace suspension components, their drivetrain, and their pivot bearings at full MSRP and labor rates, is probably ready to throw the whole bike in the bin and buy a new bike or quit riding.

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11/16/2021 5:13 PM

Primoz wrote:

Regarding tolerancing, I think this one is one to forget about immediately. The whole concept of mounting bearings with bikes ...more

i certainly hear you on the "local" part of it - it's not just localizing manufacturing, but also distribution. i think the idea of having regionalized manufacturing centers to minimize the distribution footprint would be great. that model wouldn't necessarily be suitable for all categories of items and manufacturing processes, but likely enough to take advantage of it.

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11/16/2021 6:27 PM

TEAMROBOT wrote:

The rider you just described, who needs to overhaul or replace suspension components, their drivetrain, and their pivot ...more

We get those guys/gals at the shop all the time. Most just say F-it and keep spending the money. Sunk cost fallacy seems to be the theme. A few just continually flip bikes - buy it, ride it for 6 months, sell it, buy another, etc.

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Hung over, off the back.

11/16/2021 8:12 PM

bulletbass man wrote:

The number one thing I think the Industry can work together to improve is packaging. Everyone wether they are guerilla gravity ...more

jonkranked wrote:

Package engineer here, and I definitely have some thoughts. I also worked as a bike shop mechanic in the mid 00's, so comments ...more

For high end goods like mtbs utilizing globalization makes a lot of sense. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for high end Mtbs made domestically around the globe but I think those brands offer a different product as much as the local thing. Usually building in a fashion that’s not quite typical of what the factories that already exist are doing.

When it comes to the clothing, the protective apparel, it goes both ways. There is a comparably massive industry that can provide a premium product at a price anyone can afford. My dh pants were like 40 on clearance. I have moto and mtb jerseys I got for less than 20 on clearance. But when it comes to many other things there is little reason to not buy domestic for environmental and economic reasons. It’s cool to see more up and comers try to fill this market and I hope some of the big brands would consider following suit. I feel like it’s a good way to distinguish yourself in a crowded market.

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11/17/2021 4:57 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/17/2021 4:57 AM

bulletbass man wrote:

For high end goods like mtbs utilizing globalization makes a lot of sense. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for high end ...more

high end mtbs make up a very, very small fraction of all bike sales.

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11/17/2021 7:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/17/2021 7:24 AM

I feel like focusing on frames isn't really the way to go, the parts that wear surely have a much bigger impact considering how fast we go through them.

Tyres: when you dump a tyre it is usually because the thread is worn out, sometimes even just barely or partially (e.g. no side knobs). Couldn't the big brands have recycling projects where you give back your tyres to the bike shop (for a coupon maybe?) and they either remold or fuze a new top layer on top. (not a materials expert, might be unfeasible even with research).

Cassettes: When you throw out a cassette, usually only some gears skip, but the cassette looks visually perfect. Hopefully the metal get recycled, but wouldn't it be simpler to use each gear and cnc out a brand new smaller gear?

I generally find mtb clothing to be not at all adapted to the sport, way too many products (especially jerseys, gloves, socks) are too light and not re-inforced in the right places, a few tumbles or scrapping through a trailside bush and your gear is ripped to shreds. Economically it's easy to just use cheaper stuff which I do, but I'm frequently surprised that mtb specific brands push out expensive fragile gear multiple times a year in different colours.

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11/17/2021 7:30 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/17/2021 7:37 AM

I think that everyone needs to do his part.

First, here in Eastern Canada, we have to drive quite a bit and pay entry fees to go riding each time. 90% of all trails are managed by a private entity where you need to buy a 250$ season pass or 20-25$ daily entry fees (no lifts, only trail riding). To reach those trails, we need to drive out of the city by car, unless you feel like riding 30-75km through traffic and 90kmh roads to reach the trails. I used to buy my season pass at the 75-80km-away trail centre, but next year I'll go to the closest one to drive less since I don't think it makes sense to drive a car that much to go riding. The 150km return trip was around 3hrs when factoring in city traffic, dirt road driving, etc. This uses gas, my car (which I pretty much only own to go biking anyway), and contributes to global pollution and traffic. Plus it pisses me off when I am surrounded by stupid or careless drivers and this doesn't contribute positively to my biking experience.

Then, there is the bike. I am overbiked for most of the trails I ride by choice, because in the end, if I bottom-out less and if the frame is made to whistand bigger hits than I ride, then it should last longer. This helps me keep the frame a longer time. I also buy Deore-level chains and cassettes which are made of steel, coil suspension, and generally strong parts. This makes for a heavy build (38 lbs) but I don't care at all. Since I keep my bikes a long time, I don't mind spending a bit more to support smaller brands (Wolf Tooth, Hope, NSB etc.) who build their parts in-house and which are as durable or more than the other main manufacturers.

Bike geometries evolve, but with angle headsets, offset bushings and other tweaks, it's possible to update one's bike to suit new ideas or riding evolutions without replacing the entire thing. As long as the frame is well built and holds up... I also completely unbuild, inspect, and rebuild my bike every winter to replace grease and lubes in everything to make sure it won't use prematurely, but I must be in the 0,5% of the population, and with a newborn, that might change in the future. In general, I think that most people don't treat their material possessions with care so a lot of those things end up in a landfill sooner. There is a difference between being a materialist and someone who cares about things to help buy less.

New standards every year are sure to contribute to the urge to upgrade, and just for kicks, I looked at what I was riding 10 years ago to see if my 2020 ride is way better that 10 years ago.

-2012 : NOS '09 Norco Shore One frame, 180mm coil suspension both ends, durable 1x12 drivetrain, strong 26" wheels and tires. 66 HA / 71 STA, 150x12 rear axle, 20x110 front, dropper post, 39 lbs.
-2022 : '20 Commencal Meta AM frame, 160mm coil suspension both ends, durable 1x10 drivetrain, strong 29" wheels and tires, 148x12mm rear axle, 15x110 front, 65.5/63,5 HA, 77 STA, dropper post, 38 lbs.

So 10 years after, the steeper seat tube angle is awesome for my knees, the added cassette range is nice for long fire-road climbs, but seriously, they are very similar even if all the "standards" are different now. Would I still be happy with my 2012 ride ? Heck yeah! Is the new one faster ? Maybe, but I have just as good memories of how my '09 Shore rode in all the same trails I've ridden.

One has to be strong to resist the marketing hype and control the urge to upgrade, but with durable parts, one's bike is going to feel better for longer before needing to replace parts. I also wear cheap riding clothes. A 50/50 tshirt, 10-year-old nylon shorts that won't die, regular cotton socks, but I do get new Five Tens and gloves once in every 2-3 years. Bike clothing is so overhyped and overpriced, but I guess I don't give a shit about looks enough to buy the Rapha and Arcteryx cool stuff.

And please don't get me started on e-bikes !

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11/17/2021 8:04 AM

Primoz wrote:

Regarding tolerancing, I think this one is one to forget about immediately. The whole concept of mounting bearings with bikes ...more

I mentioned back when the Atherton Bikes came out with their printed lugs and carbon tubes that the technology could be used to localize manufacturing of their bikes. Go online to order what geometry and sizing you want and pay for it. Then it could be printed and assembled locally by an approved maker in your area. Or at least on your continent. Hell, your LBS could just have a printer set up in the back.

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11/17/2021 8:32 AM

I'm all for making the industry more sustainable. I think the best way is improving product durability and making sure existing product has service parts and instruction- if a product lasts the consumer can decide to upgrade yearly or ride it for 10 years.


That being said- how much performance reduction are you willing to take? Better sealing on suspension can result in higher friction. More weight on everything makes it last longer...

Would you ride a 40lb trail bike with sticky suspension and hard tires in the name of sustainability?

Would you ride a 40lb rigid singlespeed?




Another thing to consider- a new bike and supplies to ride it for a year is probably 60 lbs of material (bike+extras+packaging etc)... The average American drives 12,000 miles a year. In a car getting 30mpgs that's 400 gallons of gas at 6.3 lbs/gallon = 2,520lbs of fuel burned each year. Burning 400 gallons of gas generates almost 8,000 lbs of CO2.

It's not apples to apples but reducing waste from buying slightly more sustainable bike parts is a tiny percentage of your carbon/waste/bad output.



Again- to be perfectly clear I am all for reducing the waste and improving sustainability of the bike industry, but if you really care about sustainability- you need to look at everything in your life (commuting, travel, diet, housing, consumption, etc etc etc).


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11/17/2021 8:51 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/17/2021 9:25 AM

Nope, I dont care.

Edit: and, on my bike the AXS is coal powered

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Buttyo Sukenehr on Strava

11/17/2021 10:21 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/17/2021 10:31 AM

@FLFlatLander just as we don't care about you not caring. And way to keep up your reputation for not adding anything of value to the threads you participate in.

@TEAMROBOT and @TheSuspensionLabNZ re cost and durability, for sure. I'm in the same boat, I'm lucky to basically have a full shop to cover everything at home (I'd really love to have a lathe and a manual mill to make some parts and tools for some hard to reach jobs some times, but this is WAAAAAAY above the work a normal shop does anyway). Plus, like you said, i've done at least 3 50h services and a 200h service in the past 3/4 of a year (I've done a full service in july, a 50h service in the end of september and another one 2 weeks ago), replaced 2 rims, bled brakes, etc. etc. This is only on my bike, that's kept in shape. Then I routinely measure chains on friends bikes that are in the 0,50 to 0,75 % range or even over and all I can do is roll my eyes so far into the sockets I can more or less see my brains. And only some of them actually do something about it later.

As for durable components, I don't think 6speed drivetrains were that much more durable, in fact there are anecdotes that Eagle chains lasted A LOT longer on Sram's 11 speed drivetrains than the 11-speed counterparts. Plus 1x drivetrains apparently spare the chains quite a bit compared to older 2x and 3x drivetrains. As for cogs and sprockets, I routinely wore out a chainring a season on my 1x11 drivetrain (Aluminium, old X-sync), while I'm finishing up my 3rd season on the Eagle X-Sync 2 aluminium chainring and it's still chugging along. It's worn out, but not yet pulling the chain up. I've had a steel replacement in store for over a year now.
As for cassettes, my X01 is mostly perfect, except for the aluminium 50T chainring. That one even has two teeth missing as I was bending them back into position (they are folding over a bit) and apparently they cracked. The steel part of the cassette would likely be able to do quite a bit more seasons.
Granted, I'm replacing chains when they wear out to ~0,5 % (roughly once a year with 80 to 100k vertical meters per season). I did do roughly 6 seasons on basically the same 3x9 drivetrain (early 2010s and stuff, being a broke student), so the jury. But clearly just replacing a few components could make things A LOT better in this regard. Or make cassettes modular to be able to replace the aluminium rings only.

Regarding suspension, I've done services on multiple years old suspensions that were surprisingly still functional (as in not scratched up), I've done shock overhauls where the damper had air in it within a year and people had to be pushed into having it serviced by me (and didn't notice no damping...), etc. And there are people that say it's easier to buy a new bike every year and not deal with suspension servicing as well (I personally couldn't do that, I'd do a full service before selling it anyway, but it is a bit easier considering I do it on my own).

@jonkranked yeah, I get you, but on the other hand, working in a somewhat large company that makes automotive components and seeing what kind of quality control problems we deal with and thinking about what that can mean down the line for the user... And considering the state cycling industry is in tolerances wise and a few horror stories from manufacturing wise as well, I'm not really sure that's a good idea overall smile
This goes for @Big Bird as well, just 3D printing small plastic parts is a chore, I'm not sure I'd trust the average shop mechanic to be able to print a frame, clean up the supports and then follow the procedure for gluing all the parts together correctly. Plus you'd need a jig for that and a specific printer, so the mothership (the brand) can send you just the printing program and hopefully have a repeatable printing process. But what happens if you want to do that for a competitor, that's using a different printer? What if you need to set up the printer again, etc. smile
3D printing is hailed as a plug and play thing, but it's anything but that. Totally awesome, but not a 'Ctrl+P and have a part' simple thing.

If anything, I think it's a numbers game first and foremost when it comes to local manufacturing, the quantities of said products being produced are fairly low to begin with.

@Eoin tyres are a problem to recycle everywhere, not just with MTBs. And retreading the tyres doesn't work particularly well even for usecases where it makes sense (trucks and the like), where you have a good base. WIth MTB tyres you could have a torn carcass, you're not left with a lot of material once the tread is removed, etc.
But yeah, we do have a fairly high wear ratio with tyres, that is for sure.

I've covered cassettes, Aluminium is the main problem if you ask me. Even having separate cogs (like we used to on HG cassettes), it's not that easy to get the parts then. In some cases it is possible, but overall it's not that easy. But just being able to replace the aluminium cogs like I mentioned would be a big step forward.

@mntnmrtn I guess I am lucky that I can reach over 10k vertical meters of descending without needing a car and at least another 10k in a 25-ish kilometer radius if I take a short car ride...
As for durable components, just to nitpick, cheaper isn't always better, Sram's X01 chain is much better (over twice as durable) as the GX chain as it's made in a superior way (hard chromed before assembly). And I guess I'm accidentally sustainable since I've ridden my previous bike for 4 seasons, the one before for 7 seasons and I'm in my 3rd season with the current one with no plans to replace it for 2022. But that's mostly because I can't be arsed to deal with selling it and buying a new one (plus there's the fact that currently the market doesn't offer anything drastically different to what I'm riding anyway...).

As for geometries, at some point it does make sense to upgrade, which I can demonstrate with a gif of my three previous bikes:
Photo

Replacing the Meta was a necessity as it had a destroyed drivetrain (the picture is taken 4 years after selling it, a friend of mine bought it off of me) and a crack in the swingarm (I sold it to him with a completely new drivetrain and a new swingarm) and I just didn't see the point in maintaining it considering how much the whole industry changed in the 7 years of owning it. With the Giant, I was fed up with the slack seat tube angle, so I wanted something new and luckily I went for a 29er (I'm 190 cm or 6'3"). And considering the state of the market and how forward looking the Bird was, I wouldn't be surprised if it will still be 'up to date' in 2023 as well.

So while your two bikes that you compared may be similar, I'd say mine are VERY different actually (on average the wheelbase grew by 7 cm in each step).

As for clothes, after destroying a 2,5-layer waterproof jacket in 4 seasons (it delaminated) I invested in a Gore-Tex jacket and shorts for the supposed durability Gore-Tex offers, so we'll see about that.

@Dave_Camp good points as well. I've pointed out the part about spare parts and schematics as well. Though my initial question wasn't aimed at reducing the carbon footprint per se, it was more overall. I mean the end game is reducing the carbon footprint, but by doing very simple things I mentioned in the first post. Plus repairing things also reduces carbon footprint since a new part doesn't need to be manufactured in the entirety. But you are of course on point in the fact that we as humans need to look at the overall picture as well.

As for sticky suspension and co, I think some steps could also be made to achieve better durability without a major impact on ride quality, but it would require a rethink about some design aspects.

Sorry for the wall of text everybody :D

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11/17/2021 10:34 AM

On another note, just after posting the above wall of text, I saw this article:
https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/11/apple-announces-self-service-repair/

To say this move was unexpected is putting it lightly smile

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11/17/2021 11:00 AM

@Primoz - you know of course, the whole "green" thing has again, and again, and again been proven to be nothing more than virtue signaling, correct? I have no doubt that portions of my AXS batteries were made by slave labor in China (and other countries) where OSHA and the EPA are not even an after thought...if the MFG was in the US the costs would be thousands of times higher...so.........I would assume you know that the glossy packaging is almost always more "pollutive" than what is even in it...(SRAM ships in glossy red and white boxes).

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Buttyo Sukenehr on Strava

11/17/2021 11:26 AM

Dave_Camp wrote:

I'm all for making the industry more sustainable. I think the best way is improving product durability and making sure ...more

Yeah the weight thing is an interesting point! I've been all for re-training people that light weight either a)doesn't matter at all, or b) when it does matter, its at at least an order of magnitude smaller than you think.

You can easily add about 2kgs to a bike and it will only make a negligible difference on the steepest climbs! The rest of the time the extra weight will make no difference or even be beneficial.

But with that extra weight put in the right places you could make soooo many improvements like steel hardware, bigger bearings, beefier tyres, coil springs and more damping/lubricating oil. This would all last exponentially longer, and ride better too! Would it be more expensive up front? Probably, but it quickly pays for itself. Chris King hubs and headsets are a great example as they cost twice as much, but with very little effort can last ten years on the same set of bearings!


But as it is, the thought of adding 150g is terrifying!!

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11/17/2021 11:37 AM

On this topic, there is HUGE news in the sustainability/right to repair movement today-

https://www.ifixit.com/News/55370/apple-diy-repair-program-parts-tools-guides-software

Apple is not only allowing consumers to repair their own phones (from iphone 12 onwards) but will be supplying parts, tools and manuals!

If Apple of all people can do this, then no-one has an excuse any more!

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11/17/2021 11:57 AM

Look two posts above yours tongue

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11/17/2021 1:25 PM

Primoz wrote:

Look two posts above yours tongue

Ah crap sorry dude!! There is a good chance I actually found out by clicking on your link, but spent so long looking down the rabbit hole to make sure it wasn't some kind of april fools joke I forgot where I first saw it......

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