Grassbike

Bamboo bike frame by Calfee Design.

Check out this bikely hotness. These are minimum carbon footprint bikes made of bamboo and (ironically) carbon fiber.

Take that, Ben “Peak Oil Means No One Has Bikes” Lehman!

8 thoughts on “Grassbike”

  1. I was all a-quiver with bikely attraction until I saw the price list.

    Cheap, refurbished, universally accessible bikes are like hot hippies with no money, but lots of charm (and herb–can I say that?). Her dreads are homegrown and sexily smelly. Sugar Magnolia bike.

    The grassbike is a total hottie, but her dreads are salon groomed, and she’s an herb mooch. I cannot deny her appeal, but she’s still a Trustafarian bike.

  2. Oh, to be sure; this is a boutique item. It’s easy to forget the cost benefits of mass production, though; these prices are not abnormal for handbuilt bikes.

  3. Because you can totally make carbon fiber by hand. For that matter, a gearchain. Or tires.

    I don’t think that no one will have good bikes. I think that they’ll be like wave-swords were in the 600-900s Europe — ancestral heirlooms that no one understands how to make anymore.

    And lots of people will have crappy handmade shit.

    yrs–
    –Ben

    1. Carbon fiber is made by heating up an organic fiber, say, cotton or bamboo, until everything burns away but the carbon. It’s what the first lightbulb filaments were made of. You can totally make it by hand. It’s just that no one knew what an incredible material it was until recently. In any event, hemp or cotton also work well. Not the same strength:weight, of course, but I’d bet that we’d be pleasantly surprised by their capabilities.

      A chain is not beyond the ken of a blacksmith, either. They’ve also existed for a long time. With the knowledge that such a thing *could* be made, the technology could survive Peak Oil. Take a look at Viking metalwork and tell me those people couldn’t make anything they fucking wanted.

      Good resins could be made of available organics, too. They’re not now because it’s cheaper to make them of synthetics, but we know more about polymers than we did… well, ever. And look how well lacquerware survives over time.

      Tires are a tough one. Bikes had solid wooden tires for a long while after their invention, but it’s a lousy solution if you can have pneumatics. I dunno; pig intestines or some crazy shit? Of course, you could use rubber, but that grows in few places. Rubber tires would be a valuable commodity, and maybe the start of a spice war kind of situation.

  4. Ahh..J this is the bike you were talking about when I was at your place!! SWEET it is..My 2 cents. My wife is a triathlete and 8 years ago purchased a very nice Bianchi road bike that was a year-old (making it a 1998 model) for $1500, certainly expensive, and not that far away from the Bamboo Tri. Considering that it is still a beautiful machine 10 years later and has some hundreds (maybe thousands!) of miles on it, the cost is but a few cents a mile (with upkeep and maintenance costs). The Bamboos are warranteed for 10 years and would undoubtedly last much longer again amortizing your upfront cost over those years. Besides what’s wrong with paying a premium for a well-made and beautiful object? This bike is a damn bargain!!

    1. Hey, Ravie!

      Yeah, it’s really not beyond the price range of a good racing bike. I was watching the Tour last night and really wishing that we could see the bikes better. I mean, don’t get me wrong; the pack was cruising at 33 mph uphill and the sprint and the end was awesome, but I wanted to see the bikes.

      Anyway, those are probably $10k bikes. When you’re shaving grams, that’s the price you pay. These grassbikes are only a class down from that. And they’re unique and awesome.

      It’s made me start to think about building frames out of bamboo, myself. I don’t think it’d be that much simpler than welding, but the output is really cool.

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