Bamboo Bike: Calfee Design
Sure, cycling instead of driving is eco-friendly. But do you want to really green your ride? Then lower the carbon (fiber) footprint of your trusty steed and ride a bike made from … grass. Bamboo, that is.
For all their green benefits – no fossil fuels, no emissions – bikes are still made out of steel and aluminum and – worst of all – carbon fiber. These materials are energy- and resource-intensive to source and manufacture.
Enter bamboo: the world’s fastest growing grass fantastically renewable, requires no fertilizer and is surprisingly strong. As a raw material it is hard to find anything more sustainable than bamboo, and it has been pushed as an eco-friendly alternative for everything from cutting boards to kitchen floors.
But bamboo bikes? It turns out, yes. Craig Calfee, a high-end bike maker in La Selva Beach, California, started playing around with bamboo as a frame material in the mid 1990s, and discovered that bamboo is surprisingly strong and durable for its weight, yet shock-absorbent for a smooth ride.
In 2005, Calfee finally rolled out a production version. But they don’t come cheap: you’ll be forking over close to $2,000 for their least expensive frame, and a complete bike can run you closer to $5000. But you can’t find a much greener bike.
And it gives “roll your own” and “grass” a whole new meaning.
What do you think: would you ride a bamboo bike?
Link: Calfee Design.