Scribe’s Re-Gen program aims to give old wheels a new home

Scribe introduces re-use and recycling program for its old carbon wheels.

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A relatively fresh face in the wheel world, Scribe has quite quickly made a name for itself with feature-packed carbon racing wheelsets priced at US$1,000, a good example being the Aero Wide 42+ we reviewed earlier in the year. Now, the UK-based and consumer-direct wheel brand is launching Re-Gen, a program designed to keep Scribe customers on the latest wheels while finding a new home for their older carbon wheels. 

Available only to owners of Scribe carbon wheels, the program aims to trade in your old wheels in return for up to 40% off a new pair of Scribe carbon wheels. Scribe will then take your old Scribe carbon wheels and refurbish them for resale on its Re-Gen eBay page

Ok, but what about wheels that aren’t worth repairing? “If we receive wheels where the carbon fibre is damaged; particularly rim brake models, and we can’t repair these, we are working with a composite recycling company that breaks down the resin and re-uses all of the constituent parts,” explained Scribe’s founder Alan Graham. 

The provided discount given for new wheels is simply based on the age of your old Scribe carbon wheels. Wheels between 12-24 months old get a 40% discount, 24-36-month-old wheels get 30%, and wheels older than 36 months earn just a 10% discount. And of course, the company has its rather generous lifetime crash replacement warranty in case something goes wrong with your existing Scribe wheels that you didn’t intend to upgrade.

For now, Scribe is only offering its Re-Gen program to customers who can return their old wheels back to Scribe’s Belfast, UK headquarters. “We’re working with our logistics providers to try and get favourable returns costs which will be offered to customers via our account,” said Graham. 

While it may be marketed as an eco-initiative and Scribe has genuine ambitions to be more sustainable, the likely reality is that this consumer-direct wheel company also hopes the program will assist with selling more of its latest wheels more often. A few other wheel brands have done similar trade-in programs in the past, but to our knowledge, none of those took the additional steps to ensure the old wheels didn’t end in landfill. Certainly, Scribe deserves some credit for not simply taking the cheaper path of disposal.

Still, the program isn’t exactly green. We’re still talking about creating faster turn-over on somewhat consumable carbon fibre products for recreational purposes, and then there’s the whole issue of freighting bulky goods back and forth. And I’d like to see more monetary incentives given to those on 36 month or older hoops. Obviously, the most eco-friendly answer is simply to just use what you’ve already got, but the program remains a step in a positive direction for customers who prefer to be on fresh kit.

Unfortunately, the freighting associated with these programs remains a large hurdle to them being wholly green.

Other recent industry examples of positive re-use and recycling include Apidura and its Revive program, 4iiii buying back old Shimano crank arms, and PNW re-selling refurbished dropper seatposts. Meanwhile, there are a number of companies, such as Rapha and Velocio, who offer repairs on their products. The positive news is that we’ll likely be seeing plenty more of this. 

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