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August 24, 2011

Five Most Eco-Friendly Bicycles

1. The Dutch-Style Bike

Dutch

While some bikes are "greener" than others, anytime you use a bike instead of a car, you're helping the environment. Dutch-style bikes are great because their practicality encourages everyday riding for work and running errands. They're durable (so they last for years), come with fenders and a chain guard to protect your clothes, and can easily accommodate a rack for a basket or panniers. A good Dutch-style bike, like the PUBLIC model above, repalces "sportiness" with style and comfort.

(In fact, we like Dutch-style bikes so much that we're giving three of them away! Enter to win here.)

2. The Bamboo Bike

Bamboo

Bamboo bikes are eco-cycling nirvana for those who want to go fast. It’s naturally strong, light, and stiff, which makes it great for speeding up steep streets and mountains. Plus, bamboo grows rapidly -- as much as a foot a day -- making it highly sustainable. Bamboo is used to build affordable bikes in parts of Africa, but the Calfee racing bike shown probably costs more than your first car did.

3. The Folding Bike

Folding


Folding bikes are popular with people who want to mix cycling with public transportation -- whether it's a morning commuter train or a city bus.  The best of these bikes, like the Brompton shown above, are light, sturdy, and well-constructed. And if you're commuting regularly, the cost is a fraction of what you would pay for driving and parking.

4. The Electric Bike

Electric


If you're not ready to start commuting on a regular bicycle, consider the possibility of getting one with a battery-powered motor that shares some of the work. You still have to pedal, but the "cheatercycle" takes a lot of the effort out of zipping up hills and plowing into a stiff headwind. The best thing about electric bikes? They make cycling an option for people who aren't physically able to ride a traditional bike.

5. The Used Bike

Craiglist

If you can't afford a new bike, consider this: Buying a used bike is also good for the environment. It just requires spending some time on your local Craigslist (or other site) to find the right one. Be sure to steer clear of dodgy bargains, though -- you don't want to buy someone else's stolen bike.

 Photos: PUBLIC Bikes, Calfee, Brompton, E-Moto.

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