Reynolds Technology Finds Steel To Be More Eco-Friendly Than Titanium

Metal tubing manufacturer to the bike industry Reynolds has just published the findings of its first Environmental Impact Study and – we think at least – the results are pretty interesting.

Reynolds spent time looking at their impact on the environment, looking both inside their own facility and further afield, at how their staff and products move around the world.

The idea is, they say, to help add some numbers to the belief that steel is an environmentally friendly material to build bike frames. “This is Reynolds’ attempt to” they say “estimate the size of the footprint we leave and, more importantly, to initiate steps to make that footprint smaller”.

The report makes some interesting, if not entirely surprising, conclusions. Much like the Starling Cycles report earlier this month, Reynolds found that air travel is their most impactful practice and have committed to investigating how they can move goods by alternate means.

The report also compares the CO2 emissions that result from tubing manufacture, comparing ferrous steel, titanium and stainless. According to Reynolds, ferrous steel produces the least, followed by Ti, followed by stainless with stainless producing almost 3.5 times the amount of CO2 as ferrous.

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To make each ferrous steel tube is 2.15kg CO2
To make each titanium tube is 6.74kg CO2
To make each stainless steel tube is 7.43kg CO2

Another interesting finding was that, according to the report, all of Reynolds steel comes from 100% recycled material.

Where many riders say that they consider a frame’s ability to be recycled at end of life, we’d bet that few look at where their material comes from in the first place. It feels like knowing their tubing is already recycled might add some further credibility to the argument for steel frames.

You can read the full report over on the Reynolds website.