Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cranky about Crank Brothers

I love Crank Brothers stuff. I run their pedals on three bikes, and own three or four of their pumps and at least as many of their multi-tools. They make high-quality, well-designed products.

But they deserve a major swat on the ass for the packaging of their Quattro SL pedals. I recently bought a pair for my new road bike and was appalled at the wasteful use of hard plastic. The shell they wrap around the box is intense. This is a big, thick chunk of plastic that serves no real purpose.

The thing isn't even marked with a recycling number so that I can figure out what to do with it. The life cycle of this thing is simple: Go home from the store; go into the trash; sit in a landfill for the next couple of hundred years.

I appreciate clever packaging as well as the next guy. Hell, I'm a bike geek, so I might appreciate it more than the next guy. We all get caught up in new doo-dads and whatzits that look good on our bikes, and a fancy item in a cool box can make us reach for our wallets. But a company can create a damn nice box with recycled paper and creative graphics.

I try not to to climb on a soap box often, and I spend more time bouncing off trees than I do hugging them. But I ride bikes for more than just fun and exercise.

I also believe bikes are good for the planet. They're even more so if the people who make bike-related products maintain some environmental sensitivity. Crank Brothers blew it on this one.


SportyChick said...

You're absolutely right.

My contribution: trying to wean myself off bottled water. I'm not there yet, to be sure, but I'm trying. Tap water is subject to tighter quality regulations, for one, and those plastic bottles that end up all over my car (and then the dump) are an environmental disaster in so many ways.

Nice message, don't apologize.

Doug said...

I had a similar reaction to the packaging of the Ergon grips I bought last fall. It had an insane amount of plastic involved.

Amblus said...

You should write a letter (not an email) and complain. I've actually gotten good results from a strongly worded letter. (I'm also an opinionated pain in the ass, so that doesn't hurt either.)

daveIT said...

I bought a pair of Montrail running shoes a few weeks back. All that came in the box was the shoes...none of that extra paper and cardboard stuffed inside. The box is covered in quotes about the environment. I was pleasantly surprised!