Bike Tubes and Bags - Why Do They Work?
Moab is a mecca for mountain biking and road biking alike. We have at least 10 bike rental shops in town and some of the best bike trails in the country right here in our backyard. All that to say, we also have an influx of used bike tubes and nothing conventional to do with them.
Some shops have recycling programs in place, but most small ones don’t. That’s where we come in. We collect used bike tubes from bike shops in Moab as well as around the country. The only catch? You collect them in a box, we pay for shipping! We are so happy that bike shops are willing to collect tubes for us that we decided years ago to just pay for the shipping costs, so it encourages long term partnership and recycling of otherwise discarded items.
With living in a town like Moab, there has always been an emphasis on sustainability, recycling and cleaning up our outdoor space. Instead of dooming a bunch of rubber to end up in landfills, it seems like a more practical process to clean them up and make them into everyday functional goods. I mean, the rubber was going to last a lifetime, right? Why not make it into a *nearly* indestructible bag. The only kryptonite to our bike tube bags is prolonged direct contact with the sun. You don’t want to leave your bag in direct sunlight for weeks or it might start to dry out and crack. That being said, Rebecca still has a tote bag from 2010 that is her daily work bag!
One of the fun parts about collecting used tubes is that the tubes all have unique features. Some have blown holes and have been patched. Some tubes have logos, brand names and tire sizes printed on them. Some of the tubes (my favorites) have colorful stripes ranging from white to blue to red to yellow and rarely purple. I truly don’t know what the colors mean, if they mean anything, but I have a blast matching up the color on the tube to the zipper that I think matches it the best. The tubes all have personality and allow for unique items every time you pick up a bag. My personal cross body bag has a Saffron zipper paired with a tube that had blue ink on it. I thought it looked really cool when it was all finished!
We wanted to create items that would let our customer’s personalities shine. It’s pretty unique to have a handbag or wallet made from bikes tubes. It is also a great conversation starter – whether you are an avid biker or care about seeming really, really cool – people are bound to ask what that strange material is. You don’t even have to bike to think our bags are neat! Sustainability and recycling are textile trends I hope never go away.