A greener way to bike

We are all aware of how fun, efficient and eco-friendly cycling is, but did you know that companies and individuals are taking their bikes one green step further? I recently stumbled upon an article on treehugger.com about a young design student in the UK who designed and created his own bike made of cardboard (see below for the link.) Following the links in this article about carbon-alternative bikes, I was repeatedly led back to pieces written about bamboo bicycles, the new “it” thing. Intrigued, we’ve done our research and here is what we’ve learned about this eco-friendly alternative…

A sensational hit in 1894, the first bamboo bicycles were shown at the London Stanley Show. Though a great concept, they grew into a fad and eventually died out, long to be forgotten. That was until Calfee Design produced their own version as a publicity stunt for the annual bicycle trade show, Interike, in 1996. The design was a great success and companies such as Calfee Design and Biomega have been working with bamboo ever since.

As the fastest growing plant on earth and with an abundant quantity worldwide, it’s a wonder that more companies are not taking advantage of this natural resource. With a simple process of cutting and fitting the tubes, wrapping the tube junctions, and sanding the bike for aesthetic purposes, bamboo bikes are not difficult to make and have numerous benefits over standard metal frames.

So, “What are the benefits?” you may ask. In addition to looking ultra-cool, bamboo bikes are lightweight (the frame weighs as little as four pounds) and their durability has actually been found to surpass that of other metal frames. Most importantly, for those of us concerned about the environment, they’re eco-friendly. While metal frames such as aluminum and titanium require high levels of energy to extract and produce, bamboo emits more oxygen than the equivalent number of trees.

Now available in a variety of models, including mountain bikes, bamboo bikes are creating quite a splash in the market. For more information on bamboo bikes, check out the links below. Also included are interesting articles on The Bamboo Bike Project and 16 year of Marco Facciolo, the creator of a fully functional bike made of just wood and glue!

Cardboard BicycleCalfee DesignBiomegaBamboo Bike ProjectWooden Bicycle

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