From high-end models to do-it-yourself workshops, to affordable and local bike-making projects in Africa, bamboo bikes are popping up all over. Bamboo's sturdiness and pliability means that more and more manufacturers are choosing it for their frames, like this gorgeous prototype for a bamboo electric scooter-bike combo. Designed by French firm Fritsch-Durisotti -- it's one that wouldn't look too out of place on a cosmopolitan street near you, and another hint that bamboo vehicles are definitely emerging into the mainstream.
Created as part of the firm's ongoing research to "investigate themes exploring changing behaviors related to sustainable development," the T2o Bamboo Scooter consists of a bamboo frame, in addition to rubber wheels, a cork backrest/seat and steel and aluminum components.
At first glance, the vehicle doesn't seem much more than a glorified kid's push scooter -- except that there's a small motor hidden in the footrest.
Don't let the small size of the motor fool you though, this little whippersnapper can reach cruising speeds of 35 km/hr (21.7 mph), for a range of about 40 kilometers (24.8 miles). To get moving however, the rider has to push off with manual power before the electric motor kicks in.
One thing that this design could add is some storage space. With better-designed cargo carrier options now becoming more necessarily appealing to those of us who use our bikes for everything from daily commuting to hauling stuff on moving day, designers would do well to accommodate such needs.
Overall, with so many bamboo bikes offering various forms and features coming onto the market, this prototype is a nice hybridization between bike and scooter, with the express purpose of demonstrating the relevance of natural materials where one would least expect it.
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