Bamboo is favoured more by pandas than bike builders but Yu-Yuan Lai of Taiwan has used it to provide shock absorption and reduce vibration in the Frame 22 design.
As you can see, the frame has no seat tube and the seatstays – I guess you can still call them that – are connected to the top tube via snaking strips of bamboo.
The idea is that the bamboo will flex slightly to provide light shock absorption if you can’t avoid a pothole – if you don’t see it or you can’t steer around because of other traffic. The handlebar is also bamboo, as are the tubular rims and the chainguard.
Frame 22 is on display at Taipei Cycle. I’ve not ridden the bike but if you press down on the seat you can easily see the bamboo flex. I’m not saying it’s the most sophisticated suspension system in the world, and I've no idea how it reacts when you pedal.
The frame is a lugged design and it’s built as a singlespeed. Without a seat tube, it would be impossible to fix a front mech in place.
This is a project bike that isn’t in production.
Mat has worked for more bike magazines than anyone else in the known universe, dating back to a time when this was all just fields. He's been road.cc technical editor for four years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. When he's not cycling around Wiltshire, he's running around it, or possibly swimming (sadly, he's one of those 'triathletes'). Mat is a youthful 42-year-old Cambridge graduate, GSOH etc.