THE LIFE OF OUR PRODUCTS
REPORTS & DOCUMENTS
The inner tube, we rarely think of it immediately when we talk about pollution, and yet...
Did you know that? To make an inner tube, you need rubber, oil, black carbon and... lead. (spoiler: next time you get a flat tire, if you're not sure whether to get a patch or a new tube, get the patch.) Lead, really? That's right: you see the valve that inflates your inner tube? It contains lead. And that's the case for all tubes. Until now... Because yes, the use of this raw material is problematic.
The presence of lead in inner tubes is not new (and it is the case for the vast majority of inner tubes on the market). If lead is a problem today, it is because we are witnessing a desire to revalue materials as best as possible. No, our planet is not extensible, it is well and truly limited in resources. It is then a question of limiting the extraction (then the burying) of raw materials.
In parallel, there is the will to recycle inner tubes. And there... it's a problem not foreseen in the initial specifications of an inner tube that arises: by recycling them into a belt or a bow tie, the contact time with the skin has nothing to do with the initial use.
It is thus in particular to be able to develop these tubes that the question of lead arose... Because today, the legal obligations are rather random (in a country, lead is prohibited for the assembled bicycle, but not if the tube is sold in a workshop, in another, it will be the opposite. In most cases, there is no legislation on the subject.
And why make it complicated when you can make it simple? We agree. That's why our transition is underway, but with one rule: by the end of 2023, 100% of inner tubes, whether mounted on a bike or sold alone (in a store or at the workshop), will be lead-free.
To be completely transparent with you, lead was used until now because of its (low) cost. Lead is a very easy material to transform, with a low cost of production, which justifies its use until now. We have therefore replaced it with bismuth, made from lead, copper or tin, which is just as effective.
Lead is present in some of our brands, such as Caperlan or Solognac. At Caperlan, the brand is working on a substitution offer (based on a component: the "zanak", or on "leaded" steel heads).
At Solognac, the transition has been underway for several years: all new products are lead-free.