Unclear on the concept 2


From the creative minds of famed eco-designer Ross Lovegrove and Biomega bicycles. Aside from being vaguely unique can somebody please explain what the benefit of this exercise is? I mean, I’m sure a complete aluminium frame was cut up to enable laboriously hand-fitting the carefully selected and finished bamboo tubes. I’ll eat my hat if such “hybrid” frames won’t require ten times as much energy to make as the Chinese made all-metal ones they replace. They’ll be heavier, weaker and more maintenance intensive too.


And then all this trouble to make a uncomfortable bike with neither practical amenities (OK, it at least has an enclosed drivetrain) nor sporting potential.

Interesting and structurally sound bamboo bikes have already been made, for example by Craig Calfee. I stick to my opinion that “designer bikes” are almost always pointless at best and bad bicycles at worst… and that’s coming from somebody who left the industrial design field to start a bike company.

Photos from “Design Boom”.

8 Responses to “Unclear on the concept 2”

  1. Dave Says:

    But it’s got an internally geared hub! That means it’s a \commuter\ bike, right? đŸ™‚

  2. David Hembrow Says:

    Oh, no. Shaft drive. I have tried shaft drive bikes. They’re very obviously inefficient. Just what you don’t want. Also, of course it’s one of those things that keep being reinvented. The same is also true of bamboo. It’s a bit pointless.

  3. henry Says:

    Don’t even get me started on shaft drive. It’s apparently a very attractive idea for those who have little technical understanding of the principles involved and have never seen a chain case. Roller chains (like almost all bikes have) are amazingly efficient, durable, cheap and serviceable when enclosed in €20 of plastic or vinyl. It’s almost silly to bother searching further.

  4. louis Says:

    Does bamboo even grow very well in Biomega territory, or does it need to be imported? My understanding of the Calfee project is that his bamboo bikes are mostly intended for places like Africa where the raw materials for the frame can be grown as part of a local industry. I don’t know if it’ll work, but there’s some sense to the idea.

  5. henry Says:

    I’m not sure in which area of China the Danish designed Biomega is made, nor if and/or where bicycle frame suitable bamboo grows in China. In any case there’s a big difference between a designer bamboo bike and one conceived of to promote local industry in developing countries… regardless of the effectiveness of the outcome.

  6. seb Says:

    Hey Henry what fo you think of the new Live3 Globe bike coming along a belt drive…as useless as the shaft drive according to you? It seems to become trendy nowadays.

  7. henry Says:

    Seb, There’s lots of interest in belt drives. They show up occasionally though perhaps the latest ones are the first belts that will work reasonably well.

    I think they SEEM like a great idea though a belt drive has few advantages over a chain enclosed in a case and it brings lots of new problems:
    – restriction to one gear ratio or find another belt (good luck) to change ratio
    – what if they stop producing them after a few years or change the spec?
    – your trousers will still get caught between belt and ring
    – frame must be separable
    – alignment must be absolutely perfect
    – tension must be absolutely perfect

    Basically I have this feeling that most of the people so psyched about alternative drive systems have never seen a normal dutch bike.

  8. seb Says:

    wonderful great insights as always

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