We have to be clear: This isn't a bike for cycling enthusiasts or speed demons (there's the Storck Aero2 IS TT bike for that), but for those who want something a little different from the crowd.
Singapore-based startup Bamboobee is taking a ride on Kickstarter and aiming to launch two series -- the Revolution and the Sunny (named after co-founder Sunny Chuah).
The flagship Revolution series is a standard commuter bike that comes in six different models. The cheapest model comes with a $600 pledge, but sports the most basic specs -- a single speed. As you top up, you get either better components such as a Nuvinci 360 hub with internal gears (the Revolution Nuvinci) or full bamboo accessories such as rims and mudguards (the Revolution Nostalgic).
The smaller Sunny mini velo comes with 20-inch tires and either a Nuvinci 360 or electric Harmony hub. The Harmony hub is supposed to "shift" the gears automatically for you to keep your pedaling speed constant, which would come in handy when riding on hilly terrain. Prices start at $1,000 for the Sunny. These prices do not include shipping costs of $199 and additional tax or duties that may be incurred.
Alternatively, if you don't need a complete bike, you can pledge $350 for the bamboo frame alone.
If you're happy with your own bicycle but just want to liven it up a little, Bamboobee is also launching bamboo-made accessories. Among those that will be offered at various pledge levels are pedals, handlebars, bottle cages, saddles, rims, and even bike stands.
The Kickstarter project will be successful if it raises $40,000, but Chuah is aiming higher, much higher. If the project hits $600,000, he'll throw in an optional GPS unit for the bicycle. Besides keeping track of important stats like routes and distance travelled, you could even get an SMS alert if someone else rides off with your bike.
For more information on the different bicycle models, specifications and pledge amounts, you can visit Bamboobee's Kickstarter page.
I gave the Bamboobee Sunny -- fitted with the Nuvinci 360 hub -- a test ride and found it a smoother ride compared than my own hybrid bike. However, the smaller 20-inch tires make it more difficult for me to balance.
(Source: Crave Asia)