Bamboo is an excellent building material. As the fastest growing plant in the world, the long, thin, lightweight stalks of bamboo are useful for a variety of applications, apparently including bicycle frames. Flavio Costa Leão Deslandes, a Brazilian Industrial Designer based in Denmark, started making bicycles out of bamboo back in 1995 and received a European EN14764 certification for his bamboo-framed bikes in 2008. Says the designer:
Bamboo is nature's own organic tube structure. I have always believed that this fine material has a great potential. The challenge to make it work has kept me going. My motivation was always the opportunity to connect modern design with natural materials. The idea to make this connection in a bicycle is logical if you think about it: Biking is a very energy effective way of transportation. And combining a sustainable material as bamboo with energy free mobility feels quite right.Currently, Flavio offers three separate models made with frame tubes of bamboo with aluminum and composite lugs: the BambooCity, BambooCityMountain and BambooCity2. The handmade bikes don't come cheap – the least expensive version going for a whopping 3,800 euros ($5,142 at current exchange rates).