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.
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 bikes can be seen in use in his pitch video below.