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Is there such thing as eco-friendly tyres?

Old 05-31-18, 05:04 AM
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Is there such thing as eco-friendly tyres?

Hi, i'm currently rethinking the ways i have been conducting my day to day business, reducing waste and consumption and this issue in particular is puzzling me. There are recent reports that a lot of micro-plastic in the ocean is from rubber /nylon tyres (from road friction, i assume). I haven't been driving for years now, but bicyles also have tyres they also wear off and, i assume, contribute to that problem. Has anyone ever pondered over such issue? Would rubber tyres be any better? Rubber particles might decompose quicker? (just an assumption based on nothing). I know it would be much better world if we all switched to bikes, there are still unsolved problems of electronics, among others, but i'm aiming for full monty here, trying not to skip steps and to find a solution that does not have negative lasting effects for the creatures around me. Any advice or some wisdom on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-31-18, 05:25 AM
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There are some new Schwalbe tires advertised as „green compound“ for being environmentally friendly but i don‘t know the details.
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Old 05-31-18, 05:29 AM
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Even if there were I wouldn't buy them. There are some things that just can't compromised upon. Your breaks and tires are two of them. As long as you keep riding your bike you still get to live with the consolation that your represent one of the smallest ecological footprints known to man.
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Old 05-31-18, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Kovkov View Post
There are some new Schwalbe tires advertised as „green compound“ for being environmentally friendly but i don‘t know the details.
Thanks Kovkov, that is what i have been looking for! Their thread part is made from natural rubber, while i cannot find the details of its biodegradability, i assume that it is much better than nylon or synthetic rubber, so definitely a step in the right direction.
Also while doing my research, i just came across guayule-rubber, it has been used during the war when Asian supplies were cut off, but later gave way to petroleum based rubber. Big companies like Pirelli have been trying them out in the last few years, with good results. Guayule is a shrub, not a tree, and can grow in arid harsh environments of which we have plenty. Just some information one may find interesting if doing similar research.
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Old 05-31-18, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Even if there were I wouldn't buy them. There are some things that just can't compromised upon. Your breaks and tires are two of them. As long as you keep riding your bike you still get to live with the consolation that your represent one of the smallest ecological footprints known to man.
Is there any evidence that natural rubber tyres are much worse/or more dangerous than synthetic rubber? I'm aware that bicycle's footprint is tiny, i'm not judging anyone, just want to solve this for myself.
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Old 05-31-18, 01:22 PM
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Green stuff is sometimes not as green in every situation. I would rather have a super durable long lasting tire, then something that maybe made more eco-friendly but doesn't last long. Plus when you are done with your tire you can make it into a belt (there are plenty of instructions or companies recycling tires into belts).
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Old 05-31-18, 01:29 PM
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Another thing to consider is that you typically wear off a tiny bit of rubber from the tires, then discard the whole things, rubber, kevlar, nylon, steel, etc.

Perhaps you could go with solid rubber tires, then simply recap in one way or another as they wear down.
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Old 05-31-18, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex__UK View Post
(just an assumption based on nothing)
Since you are planning on acquiring products that don't exist based on assumptions based on nothing having spent some time "pondering" there is a BF sub-forum well suited to idle speculation on possible reductions in waste, except wasting time:

Living Car Free
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Old 05-31-18, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandera View Post
Since you are planning on acquiring products that don't exist based on assumptions based on nothing having spent some time "pondering" there is a BF sub-forum well suited to idle speculation on possible reductions in waste, except wasting time:

Living Car Free
I was hoping for a more constructive reply, perhaps there is a forum, where people appreciate off-topic, bordering on rude (actually quite rude), useless advice. As it seems you have a lot of spare time on your hands posting things like that - perhaps you should look for one and share your wisdom there
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Old 05-31-18, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Green stuff is sometimes not as green in every situation. I would rather have a super durable long lasting tire, then something that maybe made more eco-friendly but doesn't last long. Plus when you are done with your tire you can make it into a belt (there are plenty of instructions or companies recycling tires into belts).
Yes, thanks, i'm on lookout for "green" gimmicks, although these Schwalbe tyres look like they could be the next, perhaps intermediate, step for me. Its a topic that hasn't been discussed or evaluated yet as the research about micro-plastic from tyre abrasion is very recent (last year), so it is a bit difficult to gauge if long lasting tyre is better, or this new Schwalbe tyre, or perhaps there is something else. Long lasting is definitely a way to go if there are no other options.
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Old 05-31-18, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Alex__UK View Post
Yes, thanks, i'm on lookout for "green" gimmicks, although these Schwalbe tyres look like they could be the next, perhaps intermediate, step for me. Its a topic that hasn't been discussed or evaluated yet as the research about micro-plastic from tyre abrasion is very recent (last year), so it is a bit difficult to gauge if long lasting tyre is better, or this new Schwalbe tyre, or perhaps there is something else. Long lasting is definitely a way to go if there are no other options.
Schwalbe is known for good tires that many people use and love so I think their new product is probably going to do quite well.
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Old 05-31-18, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alex__uk View Post
i was hoping for a more constructive reply, perhaps there is a forum, where people appreciate off-topic, bordering on rude (actually quite rude), useless advice. As it seems you have a lot of spare time on your hands posting things like that - perhaps you should look for one and share your wisdom there
+1
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Old 05-31-18, 03:44 PM
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There's an old curmudgeon inside me that thinks this is foolish hand-wringing. Why?

What are you going to do with whatever tire (tyre) you have when it wears out? I'd guess you'll toss it into the trash. From there, it'll go into a landfill, or, in rather rare circumstances, go to an incinerator. Either way, the fraction of the tire that gets ground into small particles and left by the side of the road is tiny compared to the carcass that's going to a landfill. The "greenest" solution, then, is to run that tire as long and as far as you can before you discard the remainder. To run your tires the longest, you'll want durable tires with good traction. In other words, a petroleum-based rubber tire with a high fraction of carbon black.
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Old 05-31-18, 05:03 PM
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Find someone that will recycle the worn out tires and tubes:

Recycle Bike Tires and Bicycle Tubes

Or do it yourself.

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Old 05-31-18, 07:54 PM
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Heavier duty, longer lasting tires are a bit more "green" because they take longer to wear out and get thrown away.
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Old 06-01-18, 04:55 AM
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As someone who also does his part to minimize my footprint, there comes the realization that somewhere you will use resources, some not as friendly as others. If I buy the longest lasting tire for my needs at the best price, that will do more than if I use during that time 3 mediocre ‘green’ tires that barely serve my needs.
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Old 06-01-18, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
There's an old curmudgeon inside me that thinks this is foolish hand-wringing. Why?

What are you going to do with whatever tire (tyre) you have when it wears out? I'd guess you'll toss it into the trash. From there, it'll go into a landfill, or, in rather rare circumstances, go to an incinerator. Either way, the fraction of the tire that gets ground into small particles and left by the side of the road is tiny compared to the carcass that's going to a landfill. The "greenest" solution, then, is to run that tire as long and as far as you can before you discard the remainder. To run your tires the longest, you'll want durable tires with good traction. In other words, a petroleum-based rubber tire with a high fraction of carbon black.
Actually it has been 3 months since i stopped using rubbish disposal service as it is not up to my standards (decided to take responsibility for it myself), so in all likelihood i'll either make smth out of it or bury it on my plot. My main concern is what i cannot control - particles escaping into the wild. Somehow from the roadside they migrate into the ocean. From what i can see so far - pure rubber tyre that i could compost would be a good solution and i wouldn't mind if they are not long-lasting as long as they degrade. Long lasting is definitely a way to go if "green" tyres turns out to be just a marketing plot
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Old 06-01-18, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Another thing to consider is that you typically wear off a tiny bit of rubber from the tires, then discard the whole things, rubber, kevlar, nylon, steel, etc.

Perhaps you could go with solid rubber tires, then simply recap in one way or another as they wear down.
Yes, other materials in those "green" tyres are of concern to me if they turn out to be not as long lasting as its synthetic counterpart. I would definitely go for pure rubber, i do not think they make them anymore though. (i've used up my 5 replies yesterday so couldn't respond sooner)
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Old 06-01-18, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Find someone that will recycle the worn out tires and tubes:

Recycle Bike Tires and Bicycle Tubes

Or do it yourself.

Mad Max would wear that.
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Old 06-01-18, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by FlMTNdude View Post
As someone who also does his part to minimize my footprint, there comes the realization that somewhere you will use resources, some not as friendly as others. If I buy the longest lasting tire for my needs at the best price, that will do more than if I use during that time 3 mediocre ‘green’ tires that barely serve my needs.
I agree. I'm thinking more about the future product ecosystem (how to make it right in the long run), rather than immediate impact. Pure rubber (or that other rubber made from the bush) and solar thermal moulding - something along those lines. That shrub-rubber grows anywhere without pesticides and solar thermal is a plenty. I haven't studied the full manufacturing chain yet though as i only found out about it yesterday.
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Old 06-01-18, 11:50 AM
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There are a couple of companies experimenting with solid rubber tires for bikes.

Tannus makes a solid rubber tire (actually a bit foamy). I have a pair on one bike. A bit odd to ride, but not too bad. I think it is slightly slower than other tires, but not that significant for a commuter. Plus, it is nice not to fix flats.

I believe Specialized is also experimenting with solid tires on some of their commuters.

Like I said, the trick would be to develop a quick and easy method to recap the tires, so the base part would last literally forever.

With that in mind, there are also a couple of companies working on solid tubes to go inside other tire carcasses, again, allowing recaps without worrying about degradation of the rest of the carcass.
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Old 06-01-18, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There are a couple of companies experimenting with solid rubber tires for bikes.

Tannus makes a solid rubber tire (actually a bit foamy).
Just a thought: a solid tire is going to be much more voluminous to ship than a folding tire, so if it's coming from overseas it's shipping carbon footprint is going to be greater.

And speaking of shipping, anything "shipped" via airplane is going to have greater environmental cost than things shipped via ship. Addressing the shipping carbon footprint might be the most effective approach (just a guess).
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Old 06-01-18, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Just a thought: a solid tire is going to be much more voluminous to ship than a folding tire, so if it's coming from overseas it's shipping carbon footprint is going to be greater.

And speaking of shipping, anything "shipped" via airplane is going to have greater environmental cost than things shipped via ship. Addressing the shipping carbon footprint might be the most effective approach (just a guess).
Different types of carbon, the OP was taking about synthetic carbon compounds as water contaminants.

And this jumps to transportation.

Yet, it does highlight the cost of manufacturing overseas and shipping to distant locations. And, the growing direct marketing, where one can buy a half dozen items from an overseas direct marketing vendor and have them flown to one's mailbox.

Containerized surface shipping is getting to be so fast and reliable that perhaps one should re-evaluate the use of air transport. If I can order something 2 weeks in advance, why not a month?
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Old 06-01-18, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
There's an old curmudgeon inside me that thinks this is foolish hand-wringing. Why?
Because it is? Or perhaps another instance of obsessive fretting over an inconsequential "problem" tangentially related to bicycling, an OCD -type behavior so often manifested on the BF.
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Old 06-01-18, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Containerized surface shipping is getting to be so fast and reliable that perhaps one should re-evaluate the use of air transport. If I can order something 2 weeks in advance, why not a month?
Shipping may be faster and more reliable, but it contributes a significantly more amount of CO2 and GHG than air transport. Someone like the OP who has their life so whittled down ecologically that they can be concerned about tire pollution from riding a bike will be just as concerned, if not more, with bigger picture polluters like air and sea transportation and would probably not want to increase either of those in any way.
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