Cork bike saddle amplifies the eco-friendly quotient of your ride

There was a huge increase in bicycles and all biking accessories during the pandemic as people tried to find alternative means of transportation. Now that we’re almost back to whatever normal is, bikers are still a huge segment of the transportation market for a lot of reasons. One of these is that it’s more eco-friendly that cars since it does not use any fuel. But there has also been an interest in making the bicycles themselves even more eco-friendly.

Designer: Frame Cycles

One new product that can make your bike more sustainable is the FR-1 Bike Saddle since it is made from reconstituted cork and grade 5 titanium. It was able to do away with the usual three plastic layers of the bike saddle and replace it with the single piece of cork. What’s more, this cork is able to have all the properties of those plastic layers: structural rigidity, foam comfort, and weather resistance.

According to Frame Cycles, they were able to create the first batch of these cork saddles by using a firm grade of reconstituted cork so it has the similar hardness to the usual leather bike saddle. This also means that you will have to spend at least two weeks for the cork saddle to break in and start to soften. They will eventually release variants with different grades of cork. The process of sourcing the materials from the cork trees is also less harmful as stripping the bark every 8-10 years boosts the carbon consumption 3-5 times.

Before the cork saddle gets to you, the components are harvested in Portugal and then molded when it reaches Glasgow, Scotland. This is also where the parts are treated with water-based lacquer and then integrated into the welded titanium substructure. Knowing this entire process, it will not surprise you that the FR-1 Bike Saddle is a bit expensive at around $130. But of course, it’s a small (expensive) price to pay if you want a more eco-friendly bike to accompany your sustainable lifestyle.

2-in-1 Toy E-scooter for Children Helps Them Learn to Ride while Playing

The kids of today will be the adults of tomorrow, and the experiences they have will shape their skills and behavior in the world they grow up to inhabit. Keeping this in mind, designer Cindy Kwok of Husky Design created an e-scooter designed to help children get accustomed to learning how to ride both standing as well as sitting-style scooters. Tiny toy electric cars are a dime a dozen, but this electric scooter is more than just a toy… it’s the child’s first proper vehicle with its own accelerator, headlight, horn, and a hybrid design that alternates between sitting and standing positions.

Designer: Cindy Kwok (Husky Design)

The scooter’s 2-in-1 design makes it a compelling vehicle for kids, giving them both the ‘scooter’ experiences. In the seated mode, the main stem folds downwards and becomes a seat, while the handlebars plug directly into the front fairing above the headlight. To use the scooter in standing mode, detach the handlebars and lift the seat up. Once the seat is fixed in its vertical position, clamp the handlebars on top to give you a standing scooter that’s much more akin to the last-mile e-scooters we see in urban setups today. The three-wheeled ride makes it more of a trike than a scooter, but it helps children maintain their stability without having them learn how to balance the way they would on a bicycle – something reserved for older kids after they grow up.

The e-scooter comes outfitted with a rear-wheel motor that’s activated through a big pedal switch on the back of the e-scooter. A ‘Go’ button on the front of the platform helps control acceleration (letting go brakes the scooter), and the handlebars offer a steer-by-wire functionality, allowing them to be plugged directly in the sitting mode or indirectly in the standing mode. The handlebars also have dedicated buttons to toggle the headlight or sound the e-scooter’s horn, helping children pick up the right on-road practices.

While this e-scooter is currently just a concept, one imagines that its top-speed mustn’t be rather high. Like most toy vehicles, the e-scooter is a slow-steady toy that has real-world features and details that allow the child to learn proper riding techniques and on-road etiquette through playtime.