Vredestein is always looking for innovation and sustainable solutions, to provide new impulses to their products.
The Fortezza Flower Power is a good example: the result of a joint venture with Wageningen University and Research (WUR) called Drive4EU, co-financed by the European Union. Together we developed a tyre that is made of rubber extracted from the roots of dandelions. 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). Therefore it was named Flower Power (Fortezza is the successful line of Vredestein road bicycle tyres). This limited edition batch of tyres are made with rubber extracted from flowers grown and harvested in the Netherlands.
The special compound on the Fortezza Flower Power prototype provides better grip than traditional compounds and enhances the performance. This is directly related to the higher concentration of natural resin in this particular variant of natural rubber. The procedure to retrieve the natural rubber is a cost- and time consuming process and studies are currently exploring whether this tyre can be mass produced in the future.
During last Eurobike, worlds biggest and most prestigious international Bicycle Exhibition, the Vredestein Flower Power was granted a Eurobike innovation Award. We are proud to get such recognition for this project.
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.
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