The Bamboo Bicycle: Lightweight, Flexible and Sustainable

The Bamboo Bicycle: Lightweight, Flexible and Sustainable
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 22 june 2009

We recently wrote about Brooklyn’s Bamboo Bike Studio, and now the Guardian points us to a similar venture lead by  Craig Calfee, a California based bicycle designer and early pioneer of carbon fiber, who since 2005 has begun to turn his attentions to the use of bamboo in frame construction. Given bamboo’s numerous advantages – lightweight, flexibility and when grown under the right circumstances, sustainability – as a raw material it is virtually unmatched. Not to mention, it requires a less energy-intensive (and environmentally intrusive) process to harden. So why has it yet to catch on as the smarter alternative to steel and carbon?

One reason, is consumer perception – the belief that a bamboo frame won’t hold up to the rigors of an urban ride – but the larger issue, at least for Calfee’s designs, is price. Despite their 10-year warranty, his high-end models cost between $2000-$3000, a fact that stands as a serious deterrent to widespread adoption. Still, as we’ve seen, many products need to catch on in smaller, premium markets first, before they reach the level of mass appeal.

However, if Calfree has his way, he’ll be building demand from the ground up while simultaneously pushing his luxury line. He is working on bringing his ideas to underprivileged parts of the world where bamboo crops grow well and teach the locals to construct simple, more utilitarian frames.  A move that if successful, will not only empower communities, but grow global ridership as well.

[via Guardian]


Transformable Table Maximizes Utility In Small Spaces

Design & Architecture
Retail Today

Runners Are Delivering Groceries To Parisians

French supermarket Carrefour partnered with a running group for fast and memorable deliveries

Gaming & Play Today

DIY Kits Let You Create Your Own Cameras And Speakers

Computer-building startup Kano has entered the IoT space with a new set of original products


Get PSFK's Related Report: Building Tomorrow

See All
Syndicated Yesterday

How Fashion Became All About Fonts

Why a new wave of designs have put typography front and center on your clothing

Automotive Yesterday

GM And Audi Are Experimenting With Car Rentals In SF

The automakers are trying something new to capture the segment of urban dwellers who don't want to own a car

Travel Yesterday

This Vertical Forest Hotel Will Improve The Air Around It

An architectural firm is creating a lush mountain lodging in China with so much greenery that it will actually clean the atmosphere

Europe Yesterday

This Company Believes Insects Can Provide Biofuel To Power Our Future

A Polish group is testing out a new factory concept that can provide a source of renewable energy, and even serve space missions

Technology Yesterday

Music Venue Caters To Virtual Reality Events

Boiler Room has launched the first VR hub for content creators to capture special footage for the masses


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 25, 2016

The Keys For Exceptional Performance On And Off The Field

PSFK Labs' new report highlights five important insights for businesses to perform better than the competition

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Automated Chessboard Lets You Play Against Anyone In The World

Square Off is an AI-powered board that can move the pieces on its own

Technology Yesterday

Contraband Recorder Helps Those In Need Capture Captive Conversations

Designer Marianna Mezhibovkaya created the device to help prison inmates capture crucial evidence of abuse

Advertising Yesterday

A Compelling Brand Purpose Is Never Born In The Boardroom

Strategist and Designer Anna-Rae Morris shares why she believes all brands exist for a reason, and how Snapchat has upended our behavior

Retail Yesterday

Creative Leadership Expert: Experiencing A Seismic Shift From Brand Loyalty To Interface Loyalty

Marc Shillum, founder of Chief Creative Office, explains why product designers must rethink the way they capture consumer attention

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Xs And Os Of Performance-Enhanced Sports

WHOOP, ShotTracker, Rithmio, PlaySight, STYR Labs, EverybodyFights and Lift / Next Level Floats explain that we're only at the iceberg's tip of performance enhancement

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Kodak’s Smartphone Is Inspired By A Retro Camera

Ektra is an Android phone with a powerful lens aimed at photographers

Technology Yesterday

Microsoft’s New E-Paper Sticky Note Runs On Ambient Light

Researchers have developed the first e-ink display powered entirely by office bulbs

Sustainability Yesterday

Modern Home Created Entirely Out Of Modular Shipping Crates

A project in Ecuador used the ubiquitous material to design a spacious and industrial-chic house

No search results found.