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In a pioneering move towards sustainable cycling, Scottish company Frame Cycles has introduced the FR-1 Bike Saddle, a revolutionary seat crafted from molded reconstituted cork and grade 5 titanium. This eco-friendly creation not only reimagines the traditional bike seat but also underscores a commitment to preserving ancient cork oak forests, particularly in Portugal.
Developed over a meticulous three-year period by designers Evan Gray and Matthew Macindoe, the FR-1 made its debut in October 2023. The saddle is a testament to Frame Cycles’ dedication to responsible sourcing, as they carefully extract cork from the bark of cork trees (Quercus Suber) without causing harm. This sustainable practice involves stripping the trees of their bark every 8-10 years, promoting their health and significantly boosting carbon consumption by 3-5 times.
The journey of the FR-1’s cork components begins in Portugal, where they are molded, before making their way to Glasgow, Scotland. Here, the parts undergo meticulous sanding and treatment with a water-based lacquer. Integrated into the stamped and welded titanium substructure, the result is a saddle weighing in at under 300g, showcasing durability, lightness, and water resistance without the need for plastic.
Beyond its functional attributes, Frame Cycles recognizes the broader impact of introducing cork into the biking realm. By expanding cork’s applications into products like the FR-1, the company strategically contributes to the preservation of ancient cork oak forests in Portugal and southern Spain. This move is particularly crucial in the face of challenges stemming from declining demand in the wine stopper industry, emphasizing the FR-1’s role in safeguarding these unique ecosystems while enhancing the overall cycling experience.
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