At the tender age of 25, Mexican industrial design student Diego Cardenas is doing big things in the realm of bamboo bicycle design. Inspired by photos of other bamboo bike creations — including the first commercial design, unveiled at a London trade fair in 1894 — Cardenas felt he could do better. Judging from these pics, he may be right.
After attending a bamboo workshop in Europe, Cardenas launched Bamboo Cycles in Mexico with his partner Luis Cuellar. The bikes have bamboo tubular sections, traditional steel for joints, and carbon fiber reinforcements. The result is a lighter, greener bicycle.
"This bike is much lighter. It is handmade. It is something that people can appreciate and it a different design," said Cardenas. "Ultimately, the aim is the same: to transport people from one place to another with their own energy, but it has these added values of design, lightness and also the bamboo gives it ecological value."
Of course, handmade bikes are highly labor-intensive, and that's reflected in the price. The team's flagship model, the UH-02, retails for $895.