A worker custom builds a bike frame made of bamboo in a small community in Victoria, Tarlac, north of Manila, on January 12, 2011. Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo

The eco-friendly, trendy cycle designs are far cheaper when assembled at home.

There is, unfortunately, a price we pay in order to move around mother earth in a sustainable fashion. The trendy bamboo bicycle for example, an eco-friendly mode of transit built from a relatively sustainable natural resource, draws prices in the thousands of dollars. But a DIY bamboo-bicycle movement is growing, and could make these green machines far more affordable (and prevalent) across the globe.

Bamboo Bicycles Beijing is representative of where the industry is likely heading. It's not simply a bicycle shop. Nor is it entirely a makers' space. Profiled recently by the International Business Times, cyclists show up to the Beijing shop and, over two days, build their very own bicycle out of raw bamboo.

Shown in the video above, Beijing residents assist in not just the painting and design of their bamboo bike, but also its assembly. And once it's complete, they cycle away, spending only the equivalent of $322, according to the report.

A bamboo bike in Washington, D.C. (Flickr/Mike Licht)

A similar-style operation is bringing low-cost bamboo bicycles to Europe and the U.S. London-based Bamboo Bicycle Club ships DIY kits of various styles, from road to tandem frames, for about $350 to $450. And if you lack confidence in your ability to assemble a bamboo bicycle in your garage, you can sign up for one of the club's workshops. There, over a weekend, they'll walk you through the process. There's even a bamboo cycling culture taking root in Ghana.

Amid apocalyptic projections for the world's climate, building bicycles out of eco-friendly bamboo may seem like a hot, new idea. In fact, it's an invention that's been lying dormant for over a century. According to the Guardian, a British inventor came up with the design for a bamboo bicycle as early as 1894. "It's just never taken off," the newspaper explained. The do-it-yourself model, however, could change that.

Top Image: Reuters / Cheryl Ravelo

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Tech workers sit around a table on their laptops in San Francisco, California
    Life

    America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

    Despite established urban tech hubs, some smaller cities are attracting high-tech jobs with lower living costs, unique talent pools, and geographic diversity.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  4. Transportation

    Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

    New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.

  5. Solar panels on a New York City rooftop.
    Environment

    New York City Passes Sweeping Climate Legislation

    The Climate Mobilization Act lays the groundwork for New York City’s own Green New Deal.