Bicycles

Bamboo e-bike is ready for the streets of Bedrock

Bamboo e-bike is ready for the...
The Calfee bamboo e-bike features a spring-like element in the top of its frame
The Calfee bamboo e-bike features a spring-like element in the top of its frame
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The front lighting system
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The front lighting system
The bamboo for the commercial version may be sourced from Indonesia, where very thick bamboo is grown
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The bamboo for the commercial version may be sourced from Indonesia, where very thick bamboo is grown
The bike features a Gates Carbon belt drive
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The bike features a Gates Carbon belt drive
The bike's rear lighting system
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The bike's rear lighting system
The bike features a suspension seatpost
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The bike features a suspension seatpost
The bike's handlebars can be turned sideways when it's parked
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The bike's handlebars can be turned sideways when it's parked
The bike's Bafang motor
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The bike's Bafang motor
The bike utilizes a Sturmey-Archer rear hub transmission
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The bike utilizes a Sturmey-Archer rear hub transmission
The Calfee bamboo e-bike features a spring-like element in the top of its frame
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The Calfee bamboo e-bike features a spring-like element in the top of its frame

If they had electric bicycles on The Flintstones, is this what they'd look like? Perhaps. Actually, though, the e-bike you see here is a real-life bamboo-framed prototype developed by Calfee Design. What's more, you may soon be able to buy one for yourself. Yabba-dabba-doo!

Currently on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show in Salt Lake City, it features a Bafang motor capable of 1,500 watts, powered by a 54-volt/250-Wh battery pack. It also has a dynamo hub in the front wheel, which generates electricity for the 12-volt LED lighting system.

In the rear wheel is a highly-geared Sturmey-Archer hub transmission. Working in concert with the Bafang, that makes a motor-assisted top pedalling speed of 40 mph (64 km/h) possible. How often you take it to that speed is obviously going to effect its battery range, but perhaps a more pressing matter is, will it be legal?

"Technically it's a moped, but we'll wait until the authorities catch up with us on that one," Craig Calfee told us at the show.

The bamboo for the commercial version may be sourced from Indonesia, where very thick bamboo is grown
The bamboo for the commercial version may be sourced from Indonesia, where very thick bamboo is grown

Designed to be compact and nimble in urban environments, the e-bike also has a suspension fork and seatpost, plus 20-inch BMX wheels (with bamboo spokes!) and a handlebar stem that allows the bars to be turned 90 degrees when the bike is parked – this means that they could sit flat against the wall of a small apartment, where space is at a premium. And at a weight of approximately 50 lb (23 kg), it could be carried up a set of stairs without too much effort.

"It's for people who don't necessarily have a garage, but they want to have a stylish bike to get around town and travel a pretty long distance with it," said Calfee.

If all goes according to plans, the as-yet-unnamed bamboo e-bike could hit the market by the end of this summer (Northern Hemisphere) at a price somewhere under US$5,000.

Company website: Calfee Design

6 comments
MD
Please explain. An electric bike uses a battery to power the vehicle, drives an electric dynamo/generator to power lights. (Are you sure it isn't to "recharge the battery" on all those huge downhill runs people are going to use such a vehicle/moped to power up first.) Yeh, real thermodynamic cred there... PS, that frame may be real comfy but looks like a broken frame about to happen.
Jerry
5K for that mass of ugly?
Imran Sheikh
There is a MAJOR design flaw in this bike which i wont tell. can anyone else see it.
Lardo
Have any of the Gorons (who keep falling for these outrageously expensive gimmicks) ever figured out that e-bikes are the exact opposite of green-technology? Think about it. The energy to recharge these bikes comes mainly from either coal, gas, or nukes. How much energy needs to be expelled recharging a standard (you know... pedal power) bike? 5 grand, huh? P.T. Barnum was right.
Paul Anthony
For 5 big ones I'd at least like a belt guard and a fender.
wle
design flaw? you mean " the whole thing " ? or maybe that silly bar the seat post is stuck into..? wle