Gravel Grinder News: Bjorn Bikes – Trying To Make A Difference – by Guitar Ted
Another day, another press release. We get our fair share of those here at Riding Gravel HQ. We received one the other day that drew me in though. It was from Bjorn Bikes, and of course, they have an all-arounder bike they wanted to announce, but they also have a message which is different, and in my opinion, refreshing to see.
A little perspective here is appropriate, I think, so you can see where I am coming from. I have been in the bicycle business, in one way or another, for 20 plus years now. Most of that time I have pulled wrenches and built bicycles. One of the most grievous things I have noted is how wasteful the packaging and boxing of bicycles is. As a mechanic, I see all the tires, tubes, and components that get “binned” on a daily basis. Of course, as we move forward we are thinking more and more about our stewardship of our environment. When you see the things I have seen in the bicycle industry, you cannot help but think that there must be a better way to handle these things.
To be sure, individual shops and some companies are doing their best to be conscientious of their impact on the environment. I could name names, but I don’t have the space here. The thing is, most companies aren’t doing enough, or anything at all. That’s sad to think about when the message about bicycling is that it is “green” and good for the planet.
Bjorn Bikes was started because something sparked a similar feeling to what I had coming up in the bike business. Check out what Bjorn’s founder, Dennis Beare, shares here:
“One more bike, one less car. “I remember seeing this message emblazoned on a huge booth at the end of a trade show,” says Dennis. “And as I was reading it, a Bobcat came along and pushed the whole booth into a dumpster.” It was this contradiction that sparked the idea for Bjorn Bikes – “Although bikes are good for the environment, we must be able to do better overall.””
Bjorn Bikes co-founder, Rob Beck, has worked in the cycling industry as well, and he also noted waste and inefficiencies in manufacturing. When he asked about ways to do things better, he was met with push-back and indifference. Rob says, ” So, when Dennis showed me an engineering drawing of this bike and shared the concept of building bikes in the most sustainable way possible, not only did I want one of these bikes, but I also wanted to be part of making this idea into a great brand and a viable company.”
Okay, but exactly how are Bjorn Bikes doing this? Words are nice and all, but actual actions and results of those actions are what matters here. Well, Bjorn sought out what type of materials they could utilize in their scheme to be less impactful on the environment. Carbon fiber was discounted pretty quickly. This material is not recyclable into a frame for bicycles. However; steel is, and in particular, stainless steel. It has less impact due to the fact that is does not require paint/powder coating. So, Bjorn went with a stainless steel “all-road” type design which uses 60% recycled stainless steel. The fork is made of aluminum and is 70% recycled aluminum.
Not only that, but they also are doing packaging with less waste by utilizing 100% recycled cardboard only. They are also working on other projects, like their new recycled rubber grips and a future tire line produced from recycled bicycle tires.
Okay, but what about the frame and fork? Well, Bjorn Bikes is taking the more forward pushed approach to gravel geometry with a longer front/center mated with a slightly slacker, for a gravel bike, head angle. Bjorn advises that each rider may want to run a shorter stem to keep the cockpit length similar to other bikes they might own.
The frame and fork have clearance for up to a 700c X 45mm tire, there is dropper post routing, fitment for two water bottles, fender mounts, and of course, through axles front and rear.
For more information on Bjorn Bikes see their website: https://bjornbikes.com
NOTE: Information and images were provided by Bjorn Bikes.