Sustainica, a fair and conference about sustainable development has opened its doors in Düsseldorf, Germany on June 2nd, 2016.
URBAM is proud of using this platform to exhibit the first 2 prototypes of its range of bamboo bicycles to the public.
Who is URBAM?
The brand is creating eco-friendly sustainable bicycles out of bamboo. Cycling is often seen as the most eco-friendly way of transportation, and it is indeed compared to many others. While it is true that the use of a bicycle is very ecological, most of them are made of aluminium, making their production very polluting. The goal is to make a real eco-friendly design optimizing the production processes further in this direction.
Is bamboo really strong enough?
Bamboo has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel and a compressive strength similar to concrete while being a natural material that regenerates within a few years, looks beautiful, is durable and perfectly recyclable. So not only is its carbon footprint much lower than aluminium or steel, but it is natural and grows so fast that no deforestation is to be feared as it reaches maturity in 3 to 4 years, much less than wood.
A bamboo frame is a unique piece of handicraft and it shows higher comfort due to its dampening properties, reducing the need for a suspension fork.
I thought bamboo was flexible!
Well, not all sorts of bamboo are suitable, of the 2000 sorts of bamboo, the iron bamboo from Vietnam is famous for being the strongest due to its very uniform microstructure and thick walls.
Think about wood, it is flexible when fresh but after proper drying it hardens. The final quality of a bamboo frame will be due to a very slow drying process, allowing the release of remaining stress in the material and a careful surface treatment to keep it out of humidity durably.