Visor Leaf - the biodegradable tear off - Dirt

Mountain Biking Magazine



Visor Leaf – the biodegradable tear off

A hugely important product

Carbon that ends up as ocean fill, thousands of miles driven (or flown) to ride and metre-wide trails scarring natural habitats – for a sport that cherishes the natural environment there’s a lot of embarrassment swept under the rug by the mountain bike community.

One issue that never gets overlooked though is litter and, when it comes to downhill, tear offs. Unsightly cellophane churned into the soil by tyres and boots will remain there forever and makes an easy case for any nimby naysayers with an axe to grind. This led to a certain downhill centre reportedly spending thousands of pounds a year cleaning the things up and the British Downhill Series banning them totally, citing: “increased environmental responsibility.”

Unfortunately, that means your options for clear vision are reduced to the bathroom blind style roll-off – better environmentally but not a patch on the full vision refresh of the tear off – or squinting. How do you balance a rider’s safety with their environmental impact?

Up step Tom and Rupert from Visor Leaf. These two lads have a background in downhill and moto where, if anything, tear offs are an even more contentious issue. After studying Environmental Consultancy, it was an easy win for Tom to repurpose some already existing technology for dirty downhillers.

The pair use wood pulp to create their tear offs that are said to biodegrade about as fast as a leaf would. They can’t put an exact time limit on how long that is, as it’s very dependent on the conditions, but around six to twelve weeks after the tear off first gets wet is a fair estimate for total decomposition. The tear off starts to break down into smaller pieces after a fortnight so it won’t be too unsightly while it does rot either.

On top of this, the product is UK made, zero-waste and non-toxic, so it can be safely eaten by critters (and apparently, people). In short, these guys have all the environmental bases covered.

The tear offs launched about a month ago and are currently being stocked at a number of tracks around the UK with options for Oakley and 100% goggles at this point. Prices start at £4.95 for a pack of ten.

We’ve had a few sets in the Dirt Office and as far as you could tell, they are almost identical to any other tear off. They are slightly translucent but you need to be stacking up four or five before it starts to become distracting and misty.

As for the compostable claims, we’ve got a pair buried nearby and will be checking on them regularly to see how they’re getting along. We’ll update you when we get our results.

More info here.


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