Bamboo bee aims to bring bamboo bicycles to the masses


March 31, 2013

Bamboo bee hopes to make a mass-produced bamboo bike feasible

Bamboo bee hopes to make a mass-produced bamboo bike feasible

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Following a solo expedition around Asia on a self-built bamboo bicycle, Sunny Chuah was inspired to create a range of bamboo bikes suitable for mass-production. Thus the company Bamboo bee was born, and now Chuah has turned to Kickstarter to help realize his ambitions, seeking to raise funds to buy equipment that will help lower production costs.

You may be wondering: why bamboo? Well, bamboo arguably offers some benefits over traditional bicycle manufacturing materials. It can be sustainably produced, and bamboo is said to have a natural dampening effect, while remaining relatively strong and lightweight. It doesn’t hurt that a bamboo bike looks pretty unique, too.

Bamboo bee (also occasionally written as Bamboobee) isn’t the first bamboo bicycle manufacturer we’ve reported on, but the company could possibly end up being the first to offer an affordable, practicable, mass-market bamboo bike – if all goes to plan.

Bamboo bee’s Kickstarter campaign is focused on two models: the Revolution, and Sunny – both of which also feature a range of options, depending on price. The Sunny model weighs 9.5 kg (21 pounds), while the basic Revolution comes in at 10.5 kg (23 pounds). The weight of each model increases if additional options are chosen.

Each bike is handmade, and treated with “honey-infused anti-crack and double-walled technology,” which is said to reduce the risk of cracking and increase durability. A 10-year warranty should also go some way to easing durability worries.

To secure the cheapest and most basic Revolution bicycle, one must pledge a minimum of US$600, and this goes up to $2,300 for a Sunny model with all the trimmings, including electric pedal-assist.

The campaign is set to run until April 30, and has a goal of $40,000. If successful, the projected delivery date of the initial bamboo bikes is April, 2014.

Sources: Bamboo bee, Kickstarter

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Cheap bamboo has six times the strength and resiliency of standard aircraft aluminum. Honey has none. A bike frame requires torsional strength and stiffness, but bamboo has little of that. Other uses of hydrocarbon fiber stabilize the water content with an impervious coating of critical importance.

Bob Stuart

Just for the record...bamboo bicycles were produced in Japan 1930's...and imported to Europe 1930's by Bata (shoes, fabric,tires,rubber producers) Father was part of it...

Mike Bartonick

Bamboo is a marvelous material with many applications, but given the stresses that a bicycle frame must endure, I don't really think it's very well suited for this particular one.

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