Chien King Industrial’s pedal display was one of the few booths at the show that you could smell before you could see it – in a good way. One of the more intriguing winners of the D&I awards, Chien King’s new production method is a win-win in almost every angle. Looking at the discarded rice hulls strewn about their booth, it’s hard to imagine them being the base of a durable pedal, but that’s exactly what they’ve accomplished…
Ignoring the small percentage of bicycle sales for performance riding, a huge amount of bikes are produced worldwide for use mainly as transportation. With those bikes, there is a tremendous amount of plastic components that aren’t exactly good for the environment, both in production and at the end of their useful life.
What Chien King has accomplished is to take something that is basically trash – discarded from rice harvesting and production in Asia, and figured out a way to blend it with a few ingredients to make a durable material. After about a year in development, CKI found the right mix between extruded rice hulls (about 60 percent) and a few environmentally friendly plastics to earn the Biopreferred label from the USDA as well as scoring zero on the Concerning Substance Standard. Not only has CKI created pedals from the material, they have also created packaging, grips, even tires which all have the potential to cut down on the amount of petrochemicals needed to create products.
CKI points out that not only does the process result in greener products, but it also provides farmers with another source of income since they can now sell the rice hulls they used to throw away. Their pedals have been out now for 6 months and CKI claims the durability is the same – but the alternative doesn’t have that sweet rice smell.