The Pedal Forward Blog

29 January 2015

Our Bamboo

Dendrocalamus strictus.

Most of you probably weren’t paying attention in biology class when your professor went to great lengths explaining the amazing properties of Dendrocalamus strictus, but this title is a genus way to catch your eye, if I do say so myself.

You see, Dendrocalamus strictus caught our eye once we started researching what material to use to build our own bicycles. Steel was too heavy, and both aluminum and carbon fiber were too expensive. We then discovered an inexpensive, natural material that could be sustainably sourced.

Bamboo is, contrary to our original belief, a member of the grass family – not wood. It grows much, much faster than trees, and can be harvested every 3 to 5 years. It has a tensile strength comparable to alloy steel (i.e. really strong), it is as light as aluminum (i.e. really light), and it is 4x more shock absorbent than carbon fiber (i.e. it can handle a bump or two). These were all properties that we wanted in our bicycles, and little did we know, it was literally growing right in our backyard.

Pedal Forward’s first prototypes were built from backyard bamboo until we realized we would need quite a bit more. We now have our own bamboo supplier and of the 1,450 species of bamboo we could have used to build a Pedal Forward bicycle, we decided on Iron bamboo, better known as Dendrocalamus strictus.

Keep pedaling on!

Team Pedal Forward

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