World premiere during Eurobike: the Vredestein Fortezza Flower Power, made of rubber from dandelions

World premiere during Eurobike: the Vredestein Fortezza Flower Power, made of rubber from dandelions

Apollo Vredestein showcased a prototype of its Vredestein Fortezza Flower Power at the Eurobike exhibition in Friedrichshafen, Germany. This innovative road tyre is made of rubber extracted from the roots of dandelions, the result of a joint initiative with Wageningen University and Research (WUR) called DRIVE4EU, co-financed by the European Union. Vredestein’s involvement illustrates the importance that the company attaches to sustainability and innovation.

Vredestein Fortezza Flower Power

This unique product is the first bicycle tyre in the world produced with natural rubber extracted from the roots of the Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz or TKS). This is why it was named Flower Power (Fortezza is the successful line of Vredestein road bicycle tyres). This particular series of prototype tyres are made with rubber extracted from flowers grown and harvested in the Netherlands.

 

Vredestein Bicycle Fortezza Flower Power Vredestein Bicycle Fortezza Flower Power

 

Apollo Vredestein has worked closely together with WUR to develop this special natural rubber, make production viable and test various compounds. Each improvement in the process of rubber extraction has also led to a direct enhancement of the quality of the rubber. As a result, the special compound now used as a test on the Fortezza Flower Power prototype provides better grip than traditional compounds. This is directly related to the higher concentration of natural resin in this particular variant of natural rubber. Studies are currently exploring whether this tyre can be mass produced in the future.

 

DRIVE4EU

Apollo Vredestein is taking part in the project DRIVE4EU, which focuses on developing the production of natural rubber and inulin from Russian dandelions. The project is coordinated by Wageningen University and Research. The aim is to explore ways to make the EU less dependent on imports of natural rubber in the near future, partly as a response to the looming worldwide shortage of natural rubber. It is expected that global demand will increase – at present, the European Union is still completely dependent on imports of natural rubber. More information is available at: http://www.drive4eu.eu