stronger than steel

17% stronger to be exact, and faster than a speeding bullet (if the bullet doesn’t go very fast and you’re quick on the pedals), it’s the bamboo bicycle.

So please caress your bamboo bicycle gently while you marvel at the thought that bamboo keeps more [than] two billion people around the world employed, that it grows without fertilizer and that it can be used for almost everything.

(via bifurcated rivets)


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  1. It says that it’s 17% stronger than steel longitudinally. Since there is only one major member that is actually being strained longitudinally, before I bought one I’d have to ask what its comparitive strength is to steel transversely; the rider’s weight is supported on the large transverse member. Still, it looks like a good idea (if the bamboo is strong enough transversely to hold a rider’s weight without failing). It’s cute, too.

    Comment by Jan on August 19, 2003 @ 6:19 am
  2. That’s totally sick. Hippies will be falling all over themselves trying to get one of these bikes.

    Comment by jason on August 19, 2003 @ 8:28 am
  3. Hee. I’m imagining Hippies falling all over the place from failing Bamboo transverse members.

    Comment by Jan on August 19, 2003 @ 9:13 am
  4. Jan, I think that’s why there are so many triangles in the design. Since the load-bearing points are at the apexes of the triangles, the stress should be distributed pretty well without too much transverse force.

    Speaking to the strength of bamboo, I had a friend when I was a lot younger who studied a martial art that was based around fighting with bamboo sticks. They were about the size of the ones in that bike design, and they were incredibly strong. You could whack them as hard as you could against whatever you wanted, and you’d only get a small dent in the skin of the stick.

    Comment by Levi on August 19, 2003 @ 9:18 am
  5. Levi, There’s going to be both a longitudinal load and a transverse load in each member of the triangle because no load on the bike hits a member either parallel or perpendicular to any member. I was worried about the transverse strength because the bamboo bike is built like a steel bike. Because steel is very strong transversely compared to longitudinally in short members, it just seemed like they maybe should have redesigned or at least tweaked the design to account for the differences of material.

    I’m still laughing over the falling hippies. Oy.

    What kind of marial art teaches kids to fight with sticks?

    Comment by Jan on August 19, 2003 @ 9:59 am
  6. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure if the sticks were bamboo or rattan. And a martial art that teaches kids to fight with sticks is pretty much the same as one that teaches kids to fight with their hands and feet. Most sword styles are practiced with sticks of some sort. The sword/stick kata are really beautiful to watch.

    Anyway, given the nature of the bike, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be used in a particularly stressful environment, and the design is a bit different than the typical steel bike. There are several more triangles built into the design.

    I wouldn’t want to ride it down a rocky hill, but I wouldn’t hesitate to ride it on a relatively smooth path.

    Comment by Levi on August 19, 2003 @ 12:00 pm
  7. It’s good to know if I’m ever in a Pier One store while it’s being held up that the furniture can used as a weapon against the robber. And probably still be sold!

    Comment by Renee on August 19, 2003 @ 12:46 pm
  8. hmm……. hehehe well I hear ALL this about these bamboo bikes but no where have a found out what it weighs….?? any clue??? as since weight to strength is an issue I would be curious about that….

    Comment by Dennis on January 7, 2004 @ 5:51 pm
  9. I don’t have any precise information, but judging from the weight of the bamboo sticks I’ve held, I would guess it’s quite light compared to a normal bicycle.

    Comment by dan on January 7, 2004 @ 6:01 pm

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