Vredestein wins Eurobike Award 2019 with innovative bicycle tyre
Vredestein’s Fortezza Flower Power bicycle tyre was one of the products (out of almost 400 entries) to win a coveted Eurobike Award in the lead-up to this year’s Eurobike exhibition. Produced through a unique new technique using rubber extracted from dandelion roots, the new tyre went on to wow the jury at the show itself in September.
The 28th edition of the world’s leading bicycle exhibition Eurobike took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from 4 to 7 September. As in previous years, the finest products due to be featured at the exhibition – covering the full spectrum of innovation in the industry – were entered in a competition for the Eurobike Award in advance. A professional jury of six convened on 6 and 7 August to choose the highlights for the coming year.
“This limited edition bicycle tyre is produced from the Russian dandelion. Not only does the rubber offer enhanced performance, it also scores highly in terms of sustainability.”
Announcing the Eurobike Award for the Fortezza Flower Power, the jury commented: “This limited edition bicycle tyre is produced from the Russian dandelion. Not only does the rubber offer enhanced performance, it also scores highly in terms of sustainability.”
Sustainability and innovation
As the current sources of natural rubber are expected to no longer satisfy global demand by 2022/23 and deforestation is global concern, the new technique used by Vredestein represents a major step forward in terms of sustainability. Rubber trees take up to seven years to mature, while the dandelion can be harvested within one year. In addition, it fits in a normal crop rotation and can be planted in a much broader geographical area. The new raw material should therefore eventually lead to better predictability of production, improving price stability.
Enhancing the cycling experience
Originally initiated through the DRIVE4EU project in 2017, Vredestein and Keygene, a company specialised in the genetic improvement of plants & crops, joined forces to further develop a special rubber compound for Vredestein’s Fortezza Flower Power. Testing by the independent Wheel Energy Laboratory has shown that the new ‘dandelion rubber’ is superior to the traditional type used in bicycle tyres, ensuring lower rolling resistance and stronger grip on wet roads.
Vredestein has since industrialised the product and offered a limited edition of 250 Fortezza Flower Power tyres in size 25/622 to customers, each marked with unique numbers and presented in a special giftbox.