The main idea is that we want to build high performance bikes that will last very long. We believe that carbon has the best potential to make that happen.
In the frames of the M series we use about 7% reclaimed carbon fibres.
The recycled carbon fibre that we use is high-quality material that comes from a premium automotive brand. It is a non-woven pre-preg with a dry areal weight of 450g/m² that we seamlessly integrate with virgin material to build the bike frame.
You will not hear us claim that we are sustainable. But we feel that we don’t want to wait until everything is right. We wanted to make a small start now and believe that it is possible to push limits further in the future.
“Your bike will hopefully last a very long time. But there will be always an end-of-life moment.
Hopefully not in a crash but otherwise for sure after a long time of intense use, somebody will want to get rid of it.
When that moment comes, we are ready to buy back or recycle your bike frame.”
If your bike is younger then two years old, in good condition and for some reason you are not able to ride it anymore, we are happy to buy back from you.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
to get instructions how we can make you a price.
If your frame has been damaged beyond repair, we can help you recycle your bike frame in a proper way, so that the carbon from the frame can be re-used in other products, like high quality public transport seats or even bike frames.
Write an email to email@example.com so we can help you. We will pay for the transport of the bike or frame and you will receive a nice Instinctiv jersey for free from us.
We understand that question and it is a hard one. Some bike manufacturers like Pole are doing really interesting things with aluminum.
Yet, after a lot of research we come to another conclusion. For us potential counts most. Although carbon fiber is a composite material, which means that inherently it is hard to recycle, we believe the biggest opportunities are for carbon.
Aluminum has evolved to its pinnacle and offers little room for improvement. New technologies like high quality additive manufacturing in titanium or aluminum could offer new opportunities, but are still extremely expensive to use for bike frame building.
Carbon becomes more and more recyclable, and well-made carbon frames and components have the potential to maintain their performance and appearance for many years. They can be repaired and finally recycled into new carbon parts, although until now from a lesser quality.
Worldwide, many companies and researchers are trying to develop methods to improve carbon fibre recycling. The present way of recycling with pyrolysis is energy-intensive and byproducts of this process are often not recovered. And the most pressing problem is that fibres need to be shredded before treatment.
Another process, solvolysis delivers the best-quality recycled carbon fibre and uses the least energy, but is much more difficult to operate as pyrolysis.
Solvolysis uses a mixture of water and an organic solvent that degrades the resin around 300°C and 150 bar pressure. Recycled fibres lose less than 5% of their strength. The solvent can be cleaned up to reuse it for the process, and recover phenol and amine components out of the resin.
Hitachi Chemical is already running a pilot solvolysis process that uses tricalcium phospate as a catalyst and benzyl alcohol as a solvent at ordinary pressure and 200°C. No pre-shredding of the carbon fibre is necessary and so the recycled material is of near-virgin quality.
Meanwhile, French company Alpha Recyclage Composites runs a 2000-litre pilot batch reactor for steam thermolysis, a hybrid solvolysis-thermolysis process in which water vapour is superheated at atmospheric pressure and used to degrade the resin, with more than 99% eliminated from the fibres. This process also preserves the fibre length.
Meet us at events, get to know fellow Instinctiv riders, hear inside stories from our development team.
Feel free to share your views and ideas for new developments we should explore.
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