Affordable Bamboo Bikes From Greenstar Bikes
Bamboo is lightweight, stiff, and about just as strong as steel, making it an ideal material for bike frames – so why don’t we see more of them? While bamboo bikes typically come with a steep price tag that extends upward from a cool grand, Greenstar Bikes has found a way to offer a bamboo bicycle for a much cooler $400 (MSRP).
“It took us almost three years of research, design, and testing to create the bike and a unique process for mass production which accounts for its low price point,” says Eric Hiller of Greenstar Bikes.
The result of all that research and design is the EcoForce 1, a single speed bike with a fixed/free hub and recycled aluminum lugs, with a reported weight of 22 lbs. The natural structure of bamboo resembles the construction engineers strive to emulate in carbon fiber, making this perhaps the stiffest ride you can get at its price point – but bamboo isn’t just technologically ideal, it is also a smart ecological choice. A hearty plant with a short growth cycle, bamboo requires no pesticides and can be harvested annually.
The hangup in making bamboo bikes a viable option in the market has been in the production process. One-off bikes with complicated lugging processes contribute to the traditionally steep price point. Greenstar Bikes has leveraged research and technology coming out of universities in China to develop their low-overheard process.
“After all, what good is green if no one can afford it?” says Hiller.
About Krista Carlson
A regular contributor to the print edition of Urban Velo, Krista Carlson is a cyclist obsessed with bike polo, baking, pickles, and all things bike-y. She is a native Angeleno and is madly in love with the city and everything that makes it the beautiful, crazy place that it is.