WHAT IS IT? The only tearoffs on the market that can decompose in three months.
WHAT'S IT COST?
$15.00 for a 25-pack.
CONTACT? www.biotearoffs.com or (949) 412-2239.
WHAT STANDS OUT?
Here's a list of things that stand out with BioTearoffs.
(1) History. BioTearoffs' founder Alex McInturff started testing different materials on free weekends and after work as a side project. After two years of research on materials and manufacturing processes, Alex selected a specific material from a supplier, started production and began selling the world's first biodegradable tearoffs: BioTearoffs.
(2) Ingredients. BioTearoffs is secretive about what goes into the biodegradable formula, but they are quick to point out that BioTearoffs do not contain any petroleum products and are made from a non-food, renewable resource.
(3) Bio jargon. Biodegradable is a somewhat broad term that has been abused by companies who wanted to appear environmentally friendly. There are varying classification standards for biodegradable materials (and there are different organizations that classify them). BioTearoffs material is certified under Vincotte's EN 14342 "home compostable" classification. This means that after 12 weeks in ideal conditions, 90 percent of the material will sift through a 2mm by 2mm screen. Of course the racetrack isn't the same as a home compost heap, but BioTearoffs' tests showed similar degradation times. Tearoffs that land on the track and get buried, watered and churned up with the dirt will degrade quickly, while those that blow off to the side could take over a year.
MXA didn't bury a BioTearoff and wait three months to see what happened—we'll take their word that they degrade because sources at other goggle companoes told us that when they experimented with biodegradable tearoffs they found that they often degraded in the warehouse or on the showroom. Which is why they didn't sell them.
(4) Durability. BioTearoffs are made to decompose over time, but they are not any more vulnerable to the elements short term. Water, dust, fingerprint smudges and dirt wipe away from BioTearoffs as on normal tearoffs. The only noted weakness was in the BioTearoffs' resistance to tearing. BioTearoffs are of a medium thickness, but should be installed with the care of thin tearoffs. Luckily, our EKS Brand BioTearoffs fit perfectly. Their pull tab was a little bit longer than the OEM tearoffs, which was nice for grabbing.
(5) Available models. BioTearoffs are currently available for EKS Brand, Dragon (Vendetta, MDX), Fox, Oakley (O Frame, Crowbar, Proven, O Frame Junior), Scott (Voltage, No Sweat XI), Pro Grip (3300, 3400, 3500), Smith Intake and Spy (Alloy, Klutch).
WHAT'S THE SQUAWK?
MXA test riders noticed two shortcomings with the BioTearoffs. (1) With just one tearoff installed, light was refracted enough that test riders noticed a slight change in depth perception. The more tearoffs, the more complaints. Some test riders acclimated, but some chose to pull them all off right away.
(2) BioTearoffs aren't as optically clear as OEM tearoffs. They claim that riders can wear as many as five tearoffs, but in our experience three was the limit before things got very murky.
We would never throw a candy wrapper on the ground, yet we don't hesitate to pull pieces of clear plastic off when racing. BioTearoffs are a five-star environmental concept with a two-star execution.