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Trek reveals plan to accept used bikes and sell second-hand as part of sustainability drive, even if it "means making and selling less"

Trek's Sustainability Report outlines the brand's commitment to a more sustainable future, calls for "scepticism" about companies' net-zero pledges, and commits to ending use of carbon offsets to calculate its carbon footprint...

Trek has announced its intention to launch "the cycling industry's first manufacturer-led bike trade-in and refurbishment programme" to cut down on waste and extend the lifespan of its bicycles, "even though it potentially means making and selling less".

The initiative, in the "United States only, for now", will allow customers to trade in their Trek bike in exchange for in-store credit, while the used bikes will be refurbished and then sold on the American brand's website.

The idea was announced as part of the publication of Trek's second Sustainability Report — following on from its first, published in 2021 — which outlines the brand's commitment to a more sustainable future, including by calling for "scepticism" about companies' net-zero claims, as well as carbon offsets which can "impair the crucial work of knowing and improving business practices".

The vast majority of Trek's environmental impact stems from the raw materials used to create products (called 'Scope 3 emissions') which account for more than 95 per cent of the brand's total emissions.

> REVIEW: Trek Émonda ALR 5 2023

Trek aims to reduce these by 30 per cent by 2032, as well as other emissions by 68 per cent, and has committed to achieving this without the use of carbon offsets, in the hope of ensuring more accurate and transparent emissions reporting.

In the report, Trek also raises a level of scepticism with net-zero targets, calling the commitment a "huge claim" and something it is "still gathering information and doing analysis" on "to see if it's even possible for our company".

"The materials we must use to reach net-zero aren't ready [...] Many
organisations are making net-zero promises today without a plan to get there. Please know that Trek takes our sustainability commitments very seriously and any net-zero claim should be met with some level of scepticism."

"Better for our people and the planet"

Outlining the trade-in and refurbishment scheme, director of brand Eric Bjorling said he hopes it will result in less waste and get more people on bikes. Only in the US, for now, the scheme will see Trek's Red Barn Refresh team extend trade-in bikes' lifespan and allow riders to "access high-quality bikes at approachable price points" when they are put up for resale.

Notably, the manufacturer says, the scheme comes "even though it potentially means making and selling less".

Kids' bikes will be included too, meaning that if buyers purchase a kids' bike at a participating location and they outgrow it, they can bring it back and get up to 50 per cent off the bike's original purchase price in credit towards a new one.

> Are these Trek's wildest paint jobs ever?

Bjorling said Trek was embarking "on the journey of reducing consumption and extending the life of these bikes, which is better for our people and the planet".

"We've got a lot of plans to become a much more sustainable company, and this is Trek's effort to give really great used bikes a second chance and extend their usable life – resulting in less waste and getting more people on bikes," he said.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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matthewn5 | 5 months ago

i would never buy a carbon fibre bike because as from day one the frame is deteriorating and has a limited shelf life before they resin starts to react with different temperatures and create cracks and weaknesses in the frame.

Errr.... nonsense. Carbon structures have an excellent lifetime. There's no fatigue cracking and they're readily repairable.

By contrast, the forums are full of stories of cracked titanium and aluminium frames.

Jimnm | 5 months ago
1 like

Perhaps Trek are in financial difficulties due the cost of living crisis. This could well be a ploy to try to save the company from bankruptcy. The bike Industries are shooting themselves in the foot by the totally extortionate pricing of bikes. The same with the parts they sell, grossly overpriced in my opinion. These practices take the joy out of cycling whereby in latter days it was very cheap to cycle compared to anything else that got you rolling. Corporates driven by profit and greed. Complicating a simple activity just to make money, for me is unacceptable.


This is the very reason I own Ti bike and hopefully I will still be able to by parts for it in the future. 
i would never buy a carbon fibre bike because as from day one the frame is deteriorating and has a limited shelf life before they resin starts to react with different temperatures and create cracks and weaknesses in the frame. To pay £10k for this type of bike is just insanity. This is just my opinion. I'm sure plenty of you will disagree as you are perfectly entitled to do so. 
Enjoy your cycling while ever you can afford it.

mark1a replied to Jimnm | 5 months ago
Jimnm replied to mark1a | 5 months ago
1 like

Yes I know, there position is even more precarious now. 

cyclisto | 5 months ago
1 like

I am a bit sceptical. There are plenty of perks sold as used, and I believe that they want to absorb the old bikes that people are bored to sell them, and sell them at a  higher price than they would be sold by individuals.

But don't worry that much about bike sustainability. A bike weights as a family weekly garbage so it is a bit exagerrated to worry about such an amount of garbage about something that is designed to last for decades.

check12 | 5 months ago

Remanufacturing if done right is a great idea for companies and can generate profit too, so self sustaining 

Dogless | 5 months ago

Meh, they still supply bikes used by racist police and backed racist pro cyclists so they can >>>>

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