Bamboo electric cargo bike loads up with sustainable design
The electric cargo bike is already among the greenest vehicles out there, capable of replacing car rides and even van deliveries in a compact, clean and city-friendly package. German bicycle company My Boo makes the e-cargo bike even greener by building it atop a frame made from bamboo and flax composite. The company sources its bamboo sustainably from Ghana and builds it up into a capable pedelec hauling machine that can shuttle tools and work supplies, cart home groceries, and transport the kids to and from school.
While definitely a niche material within the industry, bamboo isn't entirely uncommon in bicycle and ebike construction, and we've seen a number of models over the years.vWhat we haven't seen previously, and aren't seeing very many of now that we're specifically looking, are bamboo cargo bikes or cargo ebikes.
That's not surprising, given the extra weight and stress involved in carrying cargo. My Boo has been working on its bamboo cargo prototype for over two years and only recently put it up for preorder. The cargo version uses a new frame construction that sees its tubular bamboo segments connected together via hubs made from a natural flax-based composite, rather than the resin-finished sisal fibers that other My Boo models use.
My Boo says that its bamboo is harvested sustainably in Ghana, where it grows without the use of chemicals or fertilizers. Local craftsmen then assemble the frames in-country, drying and treating the bamboo before cutting it to size and assembling it. The flax composite is made in a process similar to carbon fiber, in which five to eight layers of flax fabric are soaked in resin, then shaped around the bamboo and sanded to a clean finish. The frame is then sent to My Boo's factory in Kiel, Germany for final assembly into a full bicycle.
Bamboo frames are designed to offer the strength of more traditional metal frames coupled with shock-smoothening dampness similar to carbon fiber, a combination of characteristics that could prove even more useful when carting around a hefty load.
The bamboo frame may be the most striking part about the Kumasi EP6, but it isn't the bike's only innovative feature. In order to turn the wheel that's floating way out in front of the handlebars, My Boo uses a new belt-driven steering system that it says offers precise, comfortable handling combined with superior durability.
The Kumasi comes powered by a Shimano Steps EP6 electric-assist drive with a 630-Wh battery pack and 10-gear cassette. A set of Shimano MT4 four-piston brakes help bring the bike to a stop, while a Suntour SF20 Mobie ebike fork provides cushion up front. The bike weighs 97 lb (44 kg) with the battery secured and has a total permissible weight of 418 kb (190 kg). The 25.5-in (65-cm) load area up front will work with a variety of modular boxes and accessories.
My Boo is currently offering the €7,999 (approx. US$8,775) Kumasi EP6 for preorder and plans to begin deliveries this year.
Source: My Boo