Pedalling towards net zero with world’s first bicycle rim featuring Hydro CIRCAL 100R

AL Circle

A partnership that began in 2023 has finally yielded results this year. Hydro, the Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company, joined forces with London-based bicycle manufacturer Brompton to incorporate Hydro's low-carbon aluminium into Brompton's bicycle lineup.

Pedalling towards net zero with world’s first bicycle rim featuring Hydro CIRCAL 100R

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Finally, in 2024, Brompton utilised Hydro's CIRCAL 100R in its bicycle rims. This innovative move brought bicycle wheel rims crafted entirely from 100 per cent post-consumer aluminium scrap to the market. The CIRCAL 100R is a product renowned for its weight reduction benefits, batch-by-batch transparency, and nearly zero CO2 footprints.

 "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," stated Hanne Karine Simensen, Executive Vice President of Hydro Aluminium Metal. 

Rigorous product testing to achieve a world-first

Nowadays, the origin and production methods of products hold significant importance. Despite bicycles being inherently more sustainable than many other forms of transportation, the environmental impact of the materials utilised in their manufacturing can significantly differ. According to European Cyclists' Federation research, the materials employed in crafting an average 15-kilogram bicycle contribute to an estimated carbon footprint of around 75 kilograms of CO2.

The aluminium provided to Brompton originates entirely from post-consumer scrap sourced from old window frames, car wheels, or other consumer goods. Although bicycles may seem less complex than cars or trains, every bicycle component must undergo stringent testing for safety, strength, durability, and resistance to corrosion. Brompton has conducted these tests at its London facility to ensure that the Hydro CIRCAL rims adhere to the same rigorous quality standards as all other components in a Brompton bicycle.

Pedalling towards net zero with world’s first bicycle rim featuring Hydro CIRCAL 100R

"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," said Will Carleysmith, Chief Design & Engineering Officer at Brompton.

Dedicated to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, or even sooner, Hydro is at the forefront of the green aluminium transition. Through its roadmap to zero-emission aluminium production, the company is pioneering sustainable practices and leading the charge towards a greener future.

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