The frames manufacturers or makers in Belgium are
- Oxford, Sint Niklaas (update after more research: it appears that Oxford doesn't make its frames in Belgium)
As you can see, there aren't many brands manufacturing their frames in Belgium. The market is still very linear, with frames production taking place in Asia and being imported to Belgium.
France is becoming a niche with artistans manufacturing bicycle frames sur mesure. You can find an extensive list here and a clear map here below. Prices are extremely high as the bicycles are unique and tailor-made (minimum 4000€ per unit).
Map of bicycle manufacturers (source: http://www.velo-design.com/velo-made-in-france/)
In 2019, the EU produced 11.4 million bicycles and exported 1 million of its production.
- Portugal: 2.7 million
- Italy: 2.1 million
- Germany: 1.5 million
- Poland: 0.9 million
- The Netherlands: 0.7 million
As you now understand, most of the production still comes from Asia. In 2019, imported bicycles mainly came from Taiwan, Cambodia, China and the Philippines. More than 50% of the electric bicycles were imported from Taiwan, followed by Vietnam, China & Switzerland. Source here
Open source bicycles:
Raw materials such as steel, aluminum, copper and oil exist in finite quantities. There's simply no sufficient global resources to continue to feed the demand of the world's population. Every year, we dump a 2.12 billion tons of waste & 99% of the stuff we buy is trashed within 6 months (source here). It's also estimated that roughly 15 million bikes are discarded by their owners every year (source here).
What are the projects currently busy addressing this issue? What organizations are trying to switch from the linear production (take, make and dispose) to a circular economy?
- Cyclo, Brussels | Project to be announced
Apart from the vintage - upcycled - market, many new startups in France are offering services to turn old bicycles into e-bikes - rather than having people buy another bike. A list of startups can be found here.
UK is probably the most interesting country when it comes to circularity in the bicycle industry.
- Isla Bikes, Ludlow | UK brand who launche the Imagine Project, one of the most advanced projects to identify new ways to produce local, open & circular bicycles.
- The Big Bike Revival, UK | NGO who identified that the primary cause of people dumping their bicycles is their unability to fix it and therefore organize trainings & workshops.
- Roetz-bikes, Holland | Vintage design bicycles made from repurposed steel frames. Also makes electric bicycles!
Overall, one of the biggest mouvement in circularity is the trend of upcycled vintage bicycles such as Steel Vintage Bikes, ReCycle & BiCycle, Vintage Velo Berlin, French Wheels, ect.
Bamboo is an incredibly strong material used to building bicycles since the early 1900. As it's a material easy to find, it is one of the most important do-it-yourself material there is. You can easily find tutorials on how to build your own bamboo bicycle.
We also recommend the book "Circular Revolution, a practical guide to creating a circular cycling economy", which summarizes good theoritical knowledge and inspirations.