April 20, 2008

Riding on a Bamboo Innovation

Since the age of 6 when my parents bought me my first bike - a Schwinn® Stingray - I've been crazy about bikes. Flying back from Caracas a few days ago I read an interesting article in Newsweek about the Calfee® bamboo bikes.... yes, bamboo. The same company that pioneered the use of carbon fiber in the early '90s is now promoting bamboo as the new thing. This is not an ordinary bike, the Calfees made of bamboo are high-performance bikes and have received a number of awards, including the Best Road Bike and People's Choice Award at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

As the world become more green, it's absolutely wonderful to see there is a bamboo revolution coming of age. The article explains how bamboo has been used as a building material especially in Asia and how companies all over the world are using it in green homes, in flooring, furniture and now bikes. The reason is that bamboo may just be one of the strongest materials around. It has greater tensile strength than steel and it withstands compression better than concrete.

On the Calfee Design website they say that... "If there were an award for "Bicycle with lowest carbon footprint" (least amount of carbon dioxide emissions in the production of the frame), this frame would win, hands down."

I wonder how bamboo can be used in other applications as companies search for green solutions ?

From simplicity...

To high-performance...

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