🇳🇴 Hydro and Brompton pedal toward net-zero with world’s first bicycle wheel rim made from fully recycled aluminium

June 19, 2024

a bicycle parked

This week, bicycle company Brompton rolls out wheel rims made from 100 percent post-consumer aluminium scrap. The launch is the first result of a partnership with Hydro aiming to increase the use of near-zero carbon aluminium in Brompton’s iconic folding bikes.

In June 2023, aluminium and renewable energy company Hydro and London based bicycle company Brompton, entered into a partnership with the aim to introduce Hydro’s low-carbon aluminium in Brompton’s range of bikes. The collaboration has now resulted in bicycle rims made from Hydro CIRCAL 100R, a product that not only reduces weight, but also guarantees batch-by-batch transparency and a near-zero CO2 footprint.

“We are excited to collaborate with innovative sustainability leaders such as Brompton to develop new low-carbon products that meet consumer expectations. By providing full transparency of the carbon emissions in our value chain, we enable our customers to get in gear and reach their climate ambitions,” says Hanne Karine Simensen, Executive Vice President of Hydro Aluminium Metal.

Reducing the carbon footprint of bikes

More than ever, it matters where and how products are made. While a bicycle is a far more sustainable transport option than most other vehicles, the environmental footprint of the materials used in manufacturing can vary widely. A study by the European Cyclists’ Federation estimates the materials used to make a typical 15 kilogram bicycle has an average carbon footprint equaling 75 kilograms of CO2.

“We know how important sustainability is for our customers and their expectation is that we must lead the change by looking at the entire value chain for how our bikes are manufactured. It starts with the material choice and ensuring the products we put into our bicycle can be recycled after end-of-life,” says Will Carleysmith, Chief Design & Engineering Officer at Brompton.

Rigorous product testing to achieve a world first

The aluminium supplied to Brompton is based on 100 percent post-consumer scrap from old window frames, car wheels or other consumer products. Despite being simpler than cars or trains, each bicycle part must withstand rigorous product testing for safety, strength, durability and corrosion resistance. Brompton has undertaken such tests at its London facility to ensure the Hydro CIRCAL rims meet the same high quality standards as all the other parts on a Brompton bike.

a wheel rim
Brompton wheel rims made from 100 percent recycled Hydro CIRCAL 100R aluminium

“As the world’s first safety compliant component manufactured from 100 percent post-consumer recycled aluminium, the rims provide a real world example of a truly circular economy in the industry. Brompton want to continue to lead product innovation within the micro mobility industry and bringing new sustainability solutions to the market is a top priority,” says Carleysmith.

Committed to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, Hydro is pioneering the green aluminium transition with its roadmap to zero-emission aluminium production.

“To stop global warming we need to decarbonize manufacturing, produce for circularity and recycle resources already in use. By choosing Hydro’s low-carbon, recycled aluminium in their bikes, Brompton is leading the way in their industry to get the circular economy rolling. We are thrilled to be along for the ride,” says Simensen.

About Hydro CIRCAL

Hydro CIRCAL is our range of premium recycled aluminium, based on scrap with a previous life as a window frame, car part or other consumer products. By recycling post-consumer scrap, the material reaches a very low-carbon footprint. Hydro CIRCAL is available with 75 percent post-consumer scrap or with 100 percent post-consumer scrap in limited amounts. Hydro CIRCAL 100R comes with a carbon footprint of less than 0.5 kg CO2 per kg aluminium, 33 times lower than the global average.

Originally published on 11 June by Hydro.

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