URBAN TRANSPORT Your old pop cans could end up in your new ReCycle
By Ben Coxworth December 4, 2012
The ReCycle Mudmaste
Some readers may recall our recent article on the Rizoma bicycle. Along with its carbon fiber build and almost US$5,000 price tag, one of its more striking features is the lack of a seat tube – the part of the frame that runs from the seatpost down to the bottom bracket. Well, if you want to save quite a few bucks, you may soon be able to get that same sort of frame made from recycled aluminum, on the decidedly quirky ReCycle line of city bikes.
According to Bryce Edmonds, the Los Angeles-based ReCycle creator, the seat tube simply isn’t needed – he says that bicycles are built with them simply because it’s easier and cheaper to do so. Along with the missing seat tube, other intentional oddities on the prototype ReCycles include fork designs that are unique to each of the three models, a bottom bracket located above the point where the down tube and chainstays meet, and a big ol’ non-functional hole adjacent to each of the rear drop-outs.
On the more practical side, two of the models also feature a grease- and maintenance-free belt drive instead of a chain, and a continuously-variable NuVinci N360 sealed hub transmission.
The ReCycle mBula cruiser
Edmonds told us that while the frames of the current prototypes are made from about 85 percent recycled aluminum, he’s aiming at 100 percent for the commercial versions. On another eco-conscious note, the saddles and grips are also made from sustainably-grown cork.
The bikes range in weight from 17 to 25 pounds (7.7 to 11.3 kg), and should be priced between US$2,000 and $2,500. Bryce and his team are currently raising funds on Kickstarter, to finance an initial run of 150 ReCycles – 50 of each model.
“My lifestyle has been heavily geared toward sustainability for a long time, and I've probably logged more miles on my bikes in the past 20 years than on my cars,” he told us. “When this idea struck me, it immediately seemed like such a perfect marriage of responsible resource use and forward-thinking design in what is the most environmentally conscious transportation choice available – not to mention just plain fun.”
The ReCycle: World's First 100%-Recycled-Aluminum Bikes We turn used aluminum into sweet, Made-in-USA bikes that are the ultimate expression of green cred and the coolest rides on the road.
Launched: Nov 21, 2012 .Funding ends: Jan 1, 2013 The ReCycle Origin Story
It all started with inspiration sparked by a recycled-materials, reusable grocery bag with “ingredients” printed on it attached to a messenger bag. Aluminum. Rubber. Plastic. “Hey. Those are bike parts.” Flash! A few years later, and our prototypes are alive, well and rolling down a street near you. (If you live in Los Angeles.) Against so many odds, we’ve managed to create a head-turning bicycle made from 100%-recycled aluminum, making it the greenest transportation option available anywhere.
Now, it’s time to roll The ReCycle forward and start reducing carbon output and waste by reusing aluminum through a closed-loop, recycling mission to create new and awesome bikes from old and worn out materials.
It’s the cruiser that speaks Fijian. The mBula is named after toasts during kava ceremonies on the beaches of Fiji. Coconuts falling from the trees. Stars that actually look like they go on for infinity. Camaraderie and convivial lounging. These are times that joyously scorch themselves into your psyche.
Just like a ride on the mBula. It looks good. It feels good. It rolls with an ease found usually with your back against a coconut tree and your traveling companions at your side. (Also, it’s pronounced mmm-boo-la.)
In Japan, they answer the phone, “Moshi Moshi.” Heed the call and say, “Howdy!” to your own head-turner.
Golden temples. Misty mountains dotted with the graves of samurai warriors and ancient sages. Traditions followed with precision and meditative concentration. A land focused on the betterment of the group while perfecting the self. The Moshi Moshi blends tradition with the new new. A fixed gear with a flip-flop hub and styling to blow the kimono off the other riders. Certainly one way to perfect the self and lead the group to betterment.
Japanese-language skills not required.
“Namaste,” say all along Nepal’s Annapurna circuit–”I worship the god within you.” Towering peaks and limited oxygen swirl in a heady mix of beauty and wonder unmatched on this planet. When you’re this high you see far and dream big, and wonder at least a bit about your place.
Though, after 28 days without a shower, we decide it’s more like Mudmaste, “I worship the mud upon you.” Mud you can collect anywhere you dream to be with our all-terrain bicycle.
From road to trail, the Mudmaste can get you there while the others bow down to your ride.
It’s pretty simple: We’re a startup. Manufacturing takes cash. Banks aren’t in a lending mood. So, we’re turning to, well, everyone to see if The ReCycle concept connects with, well, anyone. Plus, by turning to our customers to presell our first production run, it gives us momentum to put bikes in shops across the country–and, possibly, the world. More than that, we’ll have enough to start work on new iterations of our ground-breaking bikes, as well as extend our line–and recycling and upcycling mission–into new products.
We’re ready to go. Our concept is proven, and all we need is that first push now that the training wheels are off and we’re peddling on our own. It’s a scary and thrilling moment, and the beginning of something great.
Our builder needs at least 50 bikes per order to create our homegrown bikes at costs that aren’t astronomical, all things considered. We’re looking for 50 mBula orders to get us going. Stretch goals from there are 50 each of the Moshi Moshi and Mudmaste. There’s a good chance you’d see us dancing in the streets if we reach all three goals and place an order for 150 bikes. A really good chance. Our Design
It’s all well and good to create an uber-green bike, but if you want to be a change agent you better catch people’s attention. We think we’ve done that. In fact, a recent trip to NYC–a place notorious for it’s who-gives-a-sh!t attitude–proves that we have. Folks literally chased us down the street to ask where we got such a cool bike. Short story: You’d better like attention if you’re rolling a ReCycle. Frames
We took out the seat tube because it’s not necessary and just looks so damn cool. It’s probably as simple as that. Plus, why do the same when you can do different and better? That’s a pretty decent life motto as far as we’re concerned.
Each bike gets its own little bit of panache with a not-at-all-cookie-cutter fork.
Why the hole in the dropout? Because it’s cool. Yep, that’s really it.
It’s better than a chain, and you’ll ride the cutting edge to bicycling’s future. They last longer and don't need maintenance or grease. Good enough for BMW and Harley Davidson motorcycles; good enough for all of us.
NuVinci N360 Internal Hub
It’s like volume control for shifting, and it’ll change the way you ride–for the better. (mBula and Mudmaste are also available as single-speed versions.)
Our unique unisex design translates into bicycles sized for a wide range of riders. Will fit riders from approximately 5’1” to 6’4”.
Our Team The ReCycle team consists of two old friends who turned to an incredible group of folks to create and build the line, including designer and car-eschewing bicycle maven, Michael Downes, and the genius builders at Zen Bicycle Fabrication.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Since we’re already far down the road, the risks and challenges are minimal in the grand scheme of things. We have prototypes. The builders are ready to go. The supply chain is waiting to jump into gear. Parts have been spec’ed and suppliers are ready to ship. All we have to say is, “Go!” and the wheels will start rolling.
That being said… Challenges 1) Like any manufacturing process in its infancy, there could be unexpected delays pushing the timeline longer than anticipated. Our May ship date constitutes our best, conservative estimate for delivery. We’re very hopeful we can beat that, barring unforeseen occurrence.
2) Our bikes are tested to European, more-stringent safety codes. The mBula has been certified and is ready to roll. The Moshi Moshi and Mudmaste need to be retested based upon updated engineering and design. We are confident they will pass and still make the May ship date goal. However, we must ensure we’re sending out the best, safest design possible, and won’t ship if updates are necessary after testing. If you choose these two models, please know that we might need a little patience down the road.
3) As said, our builder needs a minimum order of 50 bikes per model to keep costs as low as possible. We're basing this campaign on our mBula model--if we reach our goal we can make 50. If you want one of the other two models, we must reach our 50 minimum per model. If our campaign is successful and you pledged based upon receiving either a Mudmaste or Moshi Moshi but we don't reach our minimum, we will gladly offer to switch you to another model or get your money back. Simple.
You can, of course, also choose to let us crank along until we have enough to place an order for the model you want. In fact, that would be awesome of you.
The only one we can see so far is: The ReCycle is so popular we overshoot our builder’s maximum output and then a) we work our a$$es off moving things along and b) you might have to wait just a little longer before folks are stopping you on the street asking, “Where did you get that awesome bike?!”
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