Grow your own bicycle


Ok, maybe we're not quite there yet - but Panda Bicycles is making bikes out of bamboo. These partly renewable, lightweight bikes are striking, to say the least - though they're not cheap. But if you really want to make a statement with your bike, this is one way to go. . .


Thanks to reader Linda for the link!

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Maybe now when I set a hipster on a single-speed on fire, they'll stay lit. Let's keep bamboo bicycles on Gilligan's Island, where they belong. ;P

By Kerry Maxwell (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

Renovo bikes makes a variety of wood-framed bikes, including a bamboo model. Practically bargain-priced, too, compared to those guys in Colorado.

Sigh... Engineering 101:
Do not connect low modulus members with high modulus connectors. Or, if one connects flexible tubes (bamboo) with inflexible connectors (steel), the flexible tube will fail at the intersection, guaranteed. Just ask Calfee, whose frames failed there with carbon wraps, never mind steel tubing.

By Justsayin (not verified) on 26 May 2010 #permalink

Justsayin, according to the other commenters, a number of shops have been selling part-bamboo bikes for a while now. Which means your oh-so-obvious "engineering 101" disproof of concept doesn't appear to be stopping anybody in the real world. Interesting, eh?

Um, sortof interesting, but I think it's just human nature. Calfee Design, who has more experience with bamboo frames than everyone else combined, abandoned carbon wraps on bamboo tubes some time back due to tube failure at the connections. The fact that a number of shops continue with the same methodology is meaningless; lack of knowledge rarely stops people from embracing attractive concepts, however technically flawed they may be. Even molecular biologists couldn't stop the public's 20 year blind embrace of Laetrile, the completely bogus cancer cure scam. Flaws which are oh-so-obvious to a trained person are not even pesky technicalities to the blissfully ignorant, and sometimes knowledgeable people ignore inconvenient technicalities which interfere with marketing and sales. Sometimes those things turn out to be benign, sometimes disastrous, as in the De Havilland Comet Jet airplane crashes. And of course, folks sometimes come up with brilliant solutions to basic engineering hurdles, but they usually let us know. Justsayin.

By Justsayin (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink