Bamboo Bicycle Built for You

Adam Eisman - Contributing Writer
Posted on Sunday 28th June 2009

Bicycles are a very sustainable way to get around, and they can save you a lot of money by removing fossil fuels from the transit equation, however two Colorado State University students have recently developed a new prototype for a bicycle whose frame is made entirely of bamboo.

Attending the Colorado State University’s Global Social and Sustainability Enterprise program, Jacob Castillo and John McKinney are MBA candidates who sought to make practical use of a species of bamboo that grows in Mexico. After determining that the bamboo was not big enough for home construction as they had initially planned, they turned their sights on making bicycles a more sustainable enterprise. The production of the bamboo bicycles has taken into consideration the whole life of the bicycle, and allows for composting when your riding days are over.

There is some steel in the bicycle’s handlebars, and to connect some of the tubing, but the primary ingredient is the bamboo. After testing their product, it turns out that the bamboo they cultivated from Mexico was just as strong as steel, with a weight similar to aluminum. Further tests are necessary to determine the long term durability of the bamboo bicycle, but the bicycle has a greatly reduced carbon footprint, as compared to steel bicycles. The production of steel bicycles causes a releasing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; while conversely, the bamboo plant grows incredibly fast and draws considerable amounts of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Castillo and McKinney hope to have their product on the market in a short while, however testing is still underway. They estimate the cost of one of their bikes at about $850.

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