Following a solo expedition around Asia on a self-built bamboo bicycle, Sunny Chuah was inspired to create a range of bamboo bikes suitable for mass-production. Thus the company Bamboo bee was born, and now Chuah has turned to Kickstarter to help realize his ambitions, seeking to raise funds to buy equipment that will help lower production costs.
You may be wondering: why bamboo? Well, bamboo arguably offers some benefits over traditional bicycle manufacturing materials. It can be sustainably produced, and bamboo is said to have a natural dampening effect, while remaining relatively strong and lightweight. It doesn’t hurt that a bamboo bike looks pretty unique, too.
Bamboo bee (also occasionally written as Bamboobee) isn’t the first bamboo bicycle manufacturer we’ve reported on, but the company could possibly end up being the first to offer an affordable, practicable, mass-market bamboo bike – if all goes to plan.
Bamboo bee’s Kickstarter campaign is focused on two models: the Revolution, and Sunny – both of which also feature a range of options, depending on price. The Sunny model weighs 9.5 kg (21 pounds), while the basic Revolution comes in at 10.5 kg (23 pounds). The weight of each model increases if additional options are chosen.
Each bike is handmade, and treated with “honey-infused anti-crack and double-walled technology,” which is said to reduce the risk of cracking and increase durability. A 10-year warranty should also go some way to easing durability worries.
To secure the cheapest and most basic Revolution bicycle, one must pledge a minimum of US$600, and this goes up to $2,300 for a Sunny model with all the trimmings, including electric pedal-assist.
The campaign is set to run until April 30, and has a goal of $40,000. If successful, the projected delivery date of the initial bamboo bikes is April, 2014.