Buck!t Belts – Recycling and Upcycling with Buckit Belts
No matter how much we pretend, few of us sporting cyclists are very green; of course there are plenty of cyclists who are green but not many of those are racing or sporting cyclists. Races and cycling events tend to involve cars and motorbikes travelling at far from ideal slow speeds; cyclists travel to and from their events using fuel and energy; even the making of the expensive, performance bikes we covet uses natural resources and energy… So recycling or upcycling, the green method of turning cyclist’s junk into usable, fashionable clothing accessories, should appeal to all of us. Enter Buck!t (Buckit) Belts who might make you feel a bit better about yourself in the midst of the consumerism that defines our sport…
Craig Northam, an expat South African, now resident of Adelaide, Australia, but whom I first met in London, where he rode for Twickenham CC and then Dulwich Paragon, is Buckit Belts. He has a good pedigree in cycling, racing at Elite level in his native South Africa, then the UK and now on the comeback trail in Australia.
Craig is that contradiction: a very green racing cyclist. He rides a bike everywhere, including to events, and doesn’t even own a car. He also makes his own clothes and it’s that that inspired him to start Buckit Belts.
You may think we’ve seen this before, but the difference here is that you know something must be good if the pros are ordering it – and paying for it! – and there’s a fair few pros out there wearing Craig’s belts around their waists, especially from the Trek Factory Racing team…
The core of Buckit Belts are obviously belts made out of old tyres, both clincher and tubular tyres, and there are all sorts of belts available made form a wide variety of tyres. There are belts made from Michelin, Veloflex, Vittoria, Tufo, Continental and Schwalbe tyres. Craig even has some very well used, very special tubulars, including some that were used by pros in Paris-Roubaix. You might not have something quite that special but you can also send Craig your own, special to you tyres to get that extra special custom made belt.
We have a Vittoria Rubino belt in for review. It’s a subtle black and so goes with just about anything, smart or casual. Obviously it’s used, so whilst the tread is worn, you can still clearly make it out, especially on the tyre’s shoulders. However, this adds to the character of the belt and provides a bit more interest to what is usually smooth ‘leather’ in most belts; it’s hard not to find yourself running your fingers over it every once in a while.
It feels substantial as well. There’s some give in it as you might expect but no more than with a normal belt. It’s still early days but so far we are impressed. We’ll be seeing how it fairs up to a winter of usage with trousers of all types.
Buckit Belts also makes earrings, watch straps, wrist belts-cum-cat collars, key fobs and wallets, so we’ve also got some chainlink earrings for review; not having my ears pierced I’ll be passing these onto someone better equipped…
These products make ideal presents for cyclists but are also great as a treat for yourself, especially if you can find the same brand of tyre you use on your bike to adorn your waist.
In keeping with his company ethos, how does Craig transport all of his wares to the cycling shows and markets he attends? He loads the lot onto a trailer-bike and cycles there of course!