Earth Friendly Ideas for Cyclists

You may think ,”Isn’t cycling itself earth friendly?”. The short answer is yes, but new bike products still use resources to create. We wanted to share some fun and awesome ideas on how to re-use common household items, old bike parts, etc. for your cycling set up.

The first one comes from Singletracks. Their article: Old Hardtail to New Commuter: How to Convert Your Rig for the Daily Grind, shows how to turn that old hardtail into a new commuter rig! Really you can apply this idea to any old bike lying around. Here in Madison we have plenty of old 10-12 speeds from the 80’s being used as daily commuters.

From old and outdated...
From old and outdated…
To functional commuting machine!
To functional commuting machine!

The next project is one that we’ve seen many incarnations of. The soda bottle bike fender! Nomadic by Design shows off one of their favorites. Really you can find instructions on how to make these on Instructables or a number of D.I.Y bike sites.


If you’re anything like us, you have some pretty embarrassingly old t-shirts lying around the house. Turn that old *NSYNC swag into a recycled bike rag! Old t-shirts make some of the best bike cleaning tools because they are soft cloth and quite abundant!

The Best Bike Blog Ever (I guess we can’t claim that title!) shows an effective way to cut up your old tees for rags and a bonus cat toy 🙂 +1000 for finding two uses.

Cut the rags to size for cleaning the nooks and crannies!
Cut the rags to size for cleaning the nooks and crannies!

Bicycle tubes. They are the ultimate media for recycling. In all honesty, it’s hard to come up with something you can’t make with recycled bike tubes! There’s clothing, belts, jewelry, patch kits, back packs, seat bags, benches, artwork, and a whole heck of a lot more you can do with a box of old tubes.

Buy Local: Green Grips

The internet can be a beautiful thing. We’ve discovered some really great products and people while doing some afternoon (online) browsing with a strong cup of coffee in tow. Green Grips just so happened to be one of those great products and they seem to be owned by some pretty great people as well!

Green Grips produces cotton handlebar tape that comes in every color under the sun (26 to be exact)! The owners Derek and Kelley are based in Waukesha, WI and are currently being distributed internationally. We’ve even spied that they are sponsors of Paradice Investment Cycling team in New South Wales of all places! Awesome to hear the word is spreading 🙂

We were able to catch up with Kelley and the story of Green Grips is stated as such:

“The story of Green Grips began during the summer of 2008.  Derek and I were spending a lot of time on the bike trails and I began experiencing an allergic reaction to my rubber bike grips.  To alleviate that problem, we began searching for a product to cover my grips, something 100% and eco-friendly.  After difficulty in finding something that would work for me, we decided to create our own product.  We knew what the criteria would have to be: 100% cotton, durable, and environmentally friendly.  Since that summer, we have been striving to make our products better.  We’ve added a rainbow of  colors and 3 different tape choices (Eco-Friendly, Organic, Heavyweight).  We also added wood and cork end plugs to our product line up.  We have a passion for our business and are excited about the future.  We sell our tape on our website,, and we have distributors worldwide.  We hope to continue to grow and get our name out there in the industry.  We would love to become the “go to” cotton tape for riders.”

Green Grips cost $6 a roll and they state you need 2 rolls to cover a complete handlebar. That brings the total to be $12 per bike, which is in line if not a bit less expensive than most “cork” bar tape options available. On the website the rolls are sold individually, but they have recently developed a nice POP (point of purchase) 2 pack display for retail sales. Oh, the packaging is even eco friendly, recycled cardboard! It should also be noted that Green Grips offers eco friendly cork bar plugs for a few bucks a pop. They make it real easy to class up a bike. Slap some shellac on the tape or just ride as is for a nice retro look.

Check the photos below to sneak a peek at Green Grips: greengripscolors greengripspop greengripstape