May 18, 2009 As the industries of the world search for sustainable construction materials, it's not surprising that many keep coming back to bamboo, one of man's oldest building materials. Bamboo can be at the same time, light, strong, durable, and very hard and has the additional benefit of being the fastest-growing plant on Earth. In recent times we've seen bamboo used in computers, surfboards, scooters, and Mitsubishi's “green plastic” is derived from bamboo. Bamboo's strength and flexibility also makes it ideal for use in bicycle frames, leading to a raft of projects using the ecologically sound material. Today, a new range of bamboo bicycles is being released in Denmark by Brazilian industrial designer, Flavio Deslandes.
"Bamboo is nature's own organic tube structure,” says Deslandes. “I have always believed that this fine material has a great potential. The challenge to make it work has kept me going. My motivation was always the opportunity to connect modern design with natural materials. The idea to make this connection in a bicycle is logical if you think about it: Biking is a very energy effective way of transportation. And combining a sustainable material as bamboo with energy free mobility feels quite right."
The bamboo used in Deslande's bicycles is hand picked in Brazil, then dried and surface-treated longevity. Special tools and techniques are used in the manufacture of the bicycle, according to Deslandes, and the new bikes are available online at a price of EUR 3800.