The Tree Bike

The Tree Bike Lead
Photo by Robert Dall

Darcy McCord (Left) and Ilan Handelsman with the tree bike.

By Sarah Ripplinger

Seeing that eco-minded people are grabbing the handlebars in full force, Bikes on the Drive – located at 1350 Commercial Drive in Vancouver – decided to put together a bicycle that keeps the environment in mind from production line to finished product.

The Tree Bike treads softly on the earth with its sturdy frame and long-lasting parts, designed by Devinci. Manufactured and assembled in Quebec, The Tree undergoes a paint-application technique that has its roots in reducing waste and toxic effluent.

“Our bikes are powder-coated, not sugar-coated,” said Bikes on the Drive general manager ilan Handelsman. The technique involves electrically charging the metal bike frame of The Tree and then spraying on a powder coating of paint. The bikes are then heated, the paint adheres and voilà.

The powder-coating process “makes a more durable, lasting bond to the frame” that, when scratched, doesn’t chip off, said Darcy McCord, service manager at Bikes on the Drive.

The seeds for the design of The Tree were planted two years ago when Handelsman and his co-workers saw a need for commuter-hybrids that are manufactured in Canada. Together they selected a neutral black color for the bike with the green tree logo – designed by Bikes on the Drive mechanic Tobias Cain. They also wanted their bike to be sustainable and local.

“The reason we’re in the bike business is because it’s sustainable,” said McCord. In this case, sustainable means less waste, less energy used in production and using parts that can be repaired and replaced. “This bike is designed to be serviceable and it’s designed to last.” MSRP $1150 (V-Brakes) & $1350 (disc brakes)

bikesonthedrive.com/tree/

One per cent of the proceeds from the sale of The Tree Bike go towards Canopy, a company that works mainly with heavy paper consuming sectors to reduce the amount of tree-sourced paper and toxins used for printing. canopyplanet.org

Originally published in the Sept/ Oct 2009 issue of Momentum Magazine and on momentummag.com.

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