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Bamboo provides shock absorption on this fixed urban bike

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 loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven 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. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

2 comments

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brittleware [30 posts] 2 years ago
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Looks to me that it'll have all the torsional stiffness of a rubber band...

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Leviathan [1789 posts] 2 years ago
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Burn it! Its a witch.