Dogs and bikes. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Mike Levy and Tim Horton's. At the Pinkbike World Headquarters it didn't take long for us to decide we needed to include our woofers in on some of the Pinkbike and Trailforks merch. We knew right away that we wanted to work with Cycle Dog out of Portland, Oregon on our little project. You may have seen a sneak peek at Crankworx.
Cycle Dog’s goal to create the world’s best dog products with a focus on the environment piqued our interest. Reclaiming hundreds of thousands of discarded inner tubes, they've been able to hand sew leashes, collars, bowls, and toys right in Portland. Pinkbike and Trailforks Cycle Dog collars, leashes, and travel bowls are now available in the Pinkbike shop.
Learn more about Cycle Dog's story below.
Millions of tubes are produced every day for the bike industry, leaving lots to head straight to landfills. Cycle Dog repurposes these tubes into leashes, collars, bowls, and more.
About 10 years ago, Cycle Dog owners Paul and Lanette Fidrych were not only avid mountain bikers, but spending a lot of time commuting to Nike daily in Portland. It was inevitable that there were going to be some punctures happening, and a lot of tubes being used. After collecting their damaged tubes in their basement, and introducing a new puppy, Regan, to the family, Lanette decided to repurpose the tubes and make dog leashes.
"Well, the first versions didn’t work well," Paul told me. "They stretched and eventually snapped, leaving Regan running loose. [Lanette] snuck into the Nike sewing sample rooms after hours, improved the design and process using commercial machines. The new designs worked great! She made them for friends and family, who loved them. Cycle Dog was born. We quickly learned that inner tube rubber does not allow bacteria to grow, so collars and leashes won’t get stinky. We collected tubes wherever we could get them. All local shops in Oregon and southern Washington, REI, Trek, Specialized, the Whistler Bike Park. With all these tubes came more products. We use mountain tubes for our Trail Buddy Bowls, we use road tubes for leashes and collars. We use odd sized tubes in our toys to make them fun and stretchy."
We had both Pinkbike and Trailforks products made for the special fur babies in our life, but Cycle Dog does lots of other custom work.
After Lanette had made leashes and collars for friends and family, she began selling at Portland's Saturday Market where she sold out in the first day. This passion project allowed her to quit her corporate job, and pursue a career with woofers as a full-time gig. The story gets more interesting when Paul broke down the manufacturing process to me as I stuffed my face with Skittles at Crankworx. I hadn't thought much about it, as it seems pretty straight forward. Take a tube, grab a sewing machine, add a clasp. Boom. Done. Paul set me straight.
Cycle Dog hand sews their products right in Portland, Oregon.
"Bike tubes are very difficult to be recycled because they are vulcanized. Mostly all inner tubes go into the landfill, even if they are sent to a facility for recycling. We have learned from industry sources that approximately 3 million tubes a day are produced. When we pick up tubes from shops, it is a very manual operation. The tubes are usually mixed with trash, rim tape and a layer of slime. Each tube has to be cleaned by hand, measured for width, then cut to length into usable strips. In the long run, it would be much easier to do things differently, but we are committed to helping keep these tubes out of landfills!"
Recently, Cycle Dog had expanded their sewing facility and warehouse, and opened a showroom in downtown Portland.
Cycle Dog will also be opening a dog friendly taproom with indoor and outdoor dog park in September. Stop in for a beer and doggie play session.
"Cycle Dog has evolved quite a bit since the early days. With a factory showroom in downtown Portland, Cycle Dog employees still collect inner tubes from most shops in the area. A sewing team sews collars and leashes, but the line has grown to include beds, toys, travel bowls, and accessories. If you are in Portland, please stop in to say hello. You may even see Lanette taking a seat at one of the machines, a rarity these days, but you might get lucky."
Habernasch is quite proud of his new Pinkbike Cycle Dog collar. He comfortably wears a size large and is 38 pounds of dense cuteness (and muscle).
In the end, Cycle Dog has saved millions of inner tubes from being left at landfills and brought them back into our lives for our fur babies (I'm sure cats can be included...) If you have a collection of tubes waiting for a purpose, or you work with a business that has a pile at the end of each week, contact Cycle Dog
and they could end up in our Pinkbike and Trailforks products.
Find Pinkbike and Trailforks Cycle Dog collars, leashes, and travel bowls in the Pinkbike shop