Are Bicycles Vegan? (The Brands and Parts to Watch Out For)

As a vegan, you make the effort to avoid eating meat and dairy products. You avoid wearing leather jackets and snakeskin shoes, but what about your bike? Although it is good for the planet to park the car and take the bike to work, most bikes themselves are not as ethical as you’d expect. 

Are Most Bicycles Vegan?

Most bicycles are not vegan. The rubber and leather on your bicycle are both made using animal products. As most know, leather is made from animal skin. As most don’t know, Stearic acid, which is used in the production of rubber, is made from animal fat. 

But don’t fret, vegan bicycles exist! There are cycling brands out there that make it a priority to stay cruelty-free. 


These brands use vegan leather, which can be made using recycled plastic, polyurethane/pleather, or even fruit and vegetable waste. Pineapple leather, apple leather, mango leather, are only some of the plants that can be used as an alternative.  

There are also plenty of vegan tire brands. 

The stearic acid, used in rubber production, does not have to come from animal fat. Stearic acid can also be found naturally in plants. Although it is to a lesser degree than in animals, this fatty acid can be found in coconuts, palm kernels, soybeans, sunflowers, and other natural resources. 

Bike Components that are Usually NOT Vegan 

There are three components of a bicycle that are usually not vegan. The seat, handlebar tape, and the tires.

1. Bike Seats 

There are a variety of bicycle saddles on the market but the leather saddle has been around the longest. These saddles are made by stretching leather over the rails of the seat.

Leather bike seats are sometimes favored by cyclists because of their ability to mold to you in a way that other materials cannot. But there are plenty of vegan-friendly saddles on the market. 

And if you prefer the feel of a leather seat, there are saddles made of faux leather. Not all faux leathers feel like the real thing. But there is vegan leather on the market that is almost indistinguishable from real leather.

2. Handlebar Tape

Bar tape is often made with leather.

Leather bar tape is loved because it is comfortable, provides great grip, and is very durable. But there are sustainable products available that not only share these qualities but work better than leather. 

You could purchase synthetic or cork bar tape. These alternatives have more cushion and can be much easier to wrap. 

3. Tires 

Bicycle tires are made with rubber. 

Rubber is produced using stearic acid, which is made from animal fats and oils. Using stearic acid in rubber production softens the rubber, makes it durable, and assists in the mixing process.

It is favored to source stearic acid from animals because it is found in greater quantities than in plants. But not all companies are taking the easy way out. Vegan tire brands use plant-based stearic acid in their manufacturing process. 

Bike Accessories that May NOT be Vegan 

1. Helmets

Some helmets use leather straps. Luckily they are not as common as straps made from nylon or polypropylene. Most helmets are vegan, just keep your eye out for any leather.

2. Shoes

The majority of shoes you’ll find in stores are made with the use of animal products or products that were tested on animals. This means materials like wool, suede, leather, rubber, fur, and even certain glues. Once upon a time trying to find vegan shoes felt impossible.

Now the world has evolved and there are vegan brands everywhere.

3. Water Bottles

Although this is largely debated, by definition plastic is not vegan. Plastic is produced using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are sourced from the decomposition of dead animals. Over 99% of plastic is sourced from fossil fuels

The animals that fossil fuels come from have been dead for years. But if a vegan is someone who does not eat or use any products derived from animals, then plastic is not vegan.

4. Bags

Although most cycling bags are not made from animal products, there are still plenty that are. You just have to keep an eye out for whether your bag contains leather or rubber. 

Even if it isn’t a full leather bag, there are often zippers, straps, and accessories attached that aren’t vegan-friendly.

The Best Vegan Bicycling Brands 

For Full Bikes 


Trek is a bicycle company that takes its ethics very seriously.

This brand has made sustainability one of its top priorities. Not only are Trek bikes vegan but this company has gone above and beyond in the fight to save the planet.

There are 15 products from this brand that are made completely of recycled materials. For example, Trek’s water bottle cage, ‘Bat Cage’, is made entirely of fishing nets that would otherwise pollute the ocean. 

Their manufacturing facilities produce zero landfills and all use renewable energy. This company is as vegan as it gets. 


From Mountain bikes to children’s bikes, this innovative brand has everyone covered.

If Specialized is your favorite cycling brand then you have nothing to worry about, your bike is vegan. None of their saddles, tires, or bar tapes contain animal products. Specialized is known for its high-quality products. Which makes it even more of a sustainable brand. 

These bikes are long-lasting. The longer a product can last the less waste that will be made replacing it.


For mountain bikers and dirt jumpers, DMR is one of the best in the market.

This brand has worked with some of the biggest names in sports. DMR is highly respected for manufacturing some of the best mountain and dirt bikes. And it deserves even more respect for developing completely vegan products.

For Bicycle Components 

If you’re too in love with the bike you have now to swap it out for a new one, just swap out some of the components. There are plenty of places to buy vegan bicycle components. Including the companies that sell full bikes.


Along with full bikes, you can purchase almost every component of a specialized bike individually. Tires, tubes, wheels, saddles, handlebars, you name it.


You know that if Trek uses it, it’s cruelty-free. Bontrager is one of the few brands that Trek uses on its bicycles. The tires, the saddle, and all other products from this brand are vegan.


These performance tires perform best on flow trails, hardpack, and terrain of this sort. If you’re looking for some speed with your sustainability, Vittoria is the way to go.


Founded by award-winning road cyclist, Cino Cinelli, this brand has been praised by vegans everywhere for its handlebar tape. Cinelli’s vegan handlebar tape has the look and grip of actual leather while remaining eco-friendly.


You don’t have to buy a whole new mountain bike. From tires to handlebars, whatever you want to replace on your bike, DMR has made it available. 


All tires manufactured by Maxxis are vegan-friendly. This company is committed to ethics, not only by staying vegan but by consistently working to minimize its environmental footprint.

Maxxis is constantly working to decrease its energy consumption and lower its greenhouse gas emissions.


Kenda Tires are some of the most high-quality and reliable tires you can find. This company has stated that they do not use any animal products in the making of their tires. The stearic acid used in the production of Kenda tires comes from tree oil.

For Bicycle Accessories and Clothing 


Thousand helmets pride themselves on their minimalistic style. These innovative helmets include vegan leather straps that lock with a magnetic fastener. No more pinching your fingers. 

Choose between the Heritage helmet, for your adventures, or the Chapter helmet for your daily commutes.

Thousand helmets use ethics and sustainability as a guide to lead every action taken in their company.

Green Guru

This eco-friendly brand creates vibrant bags all made from recycled materials. The materials used to make these bags are acquired from recycling stations or by donations. This brand has a pack available for almost every part of your bike.

For example, you can buy their Gripster Frame Bag that fits perfectly into any corner of your bike frame. Or their Tanker Top Tube Bag that sits behind the stem of your bike.


Some of the best cycling gear on the market and all of it is cruelty-free. Rapha sells jerseys, jackets, leg/arm warmers, bibs, tights, shoes, eyewear, helmets, and so much more. Anything you need for any type of weather, you can get it from Rapha. 

And the icing on the cake, it’s all vegan-friendly

Hill Killer

This biking gear is so vegan friendly, they plastered the word vegan on all of their products. Sporting phrases like, ‘Team Vegan’ or ‘Powered by Plants’, This brand allows plant-based athletes to show their pride. Buy all the vegan apparel you need and be loud about it.


This brand doesn’t just sell vegan tires. Panaracer takes their rejected tires and makes handlebars and saddlebags out of them.

In a collaboration with a former architect named Craig, this company has made sure to reduce waste as much as they can. By using it to create a whole new product!

Although the majority of bikes you find on the market are not vegan, there are plenty that are. You don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to be a cyclist.


JJ here - I've spent a lot of time on a bike, including completing the 3,000+ mile Southern Tier Route (CA to FL). I started Cycling Beast to "demystify" cycling topics, and to help people overcome roadblocks and level-up their skills.

Recent Posts