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]


Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Asia Today

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Today

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color


Get PSFK's Related Report: Building Tomorrow

See All
Health Today

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Today

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

Joe Fernandez

Advertising, Publishing, Technology

Design & Architecture Today

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Today

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Today

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Today

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Today

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Today

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

Fashion Today

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

No search results found.