Tyred old technology for carbon-friendly cause

BY CLAIRE MCENTEE
Last updated 05:00 29/03/2010
SOFT RIDE: Wellington firm Bikerakk's cycle stands are made from recycled car tyres and can double as advertising space.
SOFT RIDE: Wellington firm Bikerakk's cycle stands are made from recycled car tyres and can double as advertising space.

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Wellington firm Bikerakk is using old car tyres to try to entice Kiwis on to bikes, but says there is money to be made from the venture too.

Duncan Forbes and Matt Hammond have created the Bikerakk – a cycle stand with a steel frame and a softer outer made of four recycled car tyres.

The stand's rear wheel is a glass disc that lights up at night, in which organisations can place advertising and signage.

The pair have put a Bikerakk outside Chaffers New World in central Wellington and will install another outside food and grocery store Moore Wilson next month, says Mr Forbes.

He says the concept has great export potential and the City of Sydney council is looking at how it could install the stands throughout the city.

"They have a big sustainability strategy and a cycling strategy in place. We're using a waste product from a motor vehicle to promote cycling – they thought that was really cool."

The firm is in talks with the City of London's transport division about the Bikerakk. London's Hounslow borough is also interested.

The Bikerakk is designed to bookend and act as a "signpost" for bike stands, but also has three lockable loops for securing cycles and is the height of a cycle so bikes can rest against it and not fall over.

Mr Hammond came up with the concept after his new mountain bike was scratched by a steel bike rack, but the product is proving to have more than just practical appeal, Mr Forbes says.

"One commercial landlord has said he'd like to put it on the side of his building as a fun piece of urban sculpture."

Contact Energy has been an early sponsor, displaying its brand in the glass disc, and Bikerakk plans to rent the discs to other organisations for advertising.

"We've had a lot of interest from people. They can align their company's brand with a tangible, recycling initiative and with the promotion of active outdoor living."

A Wellington firm supplies the steel frames, while a Whanganui company mulches the tyres so Bikerakk can mould them into shape and assemble the stands.

Old car tyres are often reused in construction and engineering and in playgrounds but most end up in landfills.

Bikerakks could dot the Government's planned national cycleway, displaying maps of the track in the rear wheel instead of advertising, Mr Forbes says.

"We could showcase to international tourists cycling through the country what New Zealand is doing with waste products."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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