The Biciwood, a smart bike made from bamboo. The Biciwood is a smart bike made of bamboo.

An intelligent bicycle made from wood

Yucatán students design a smart bicycle with a light-weight bamboo frame

A high-tech bicycle made from bamboo? That’s what a couple of college students from Yucatán have developed with their hyper-personalized bamboo bicycle that will also charge any device with a USB port and collect data on the cyclists’ trips.

María Cristina Espinoza López and Jaime Alfonso Xool Moo, architecture undergraduates at the Mérida campus of the Mexico Valley University, developed their project, called Biciwood, while considering options to society’s dependence on non-renewable or fossil fuels.

They see riding a bicycle as a sustainable option that also addresses traffic congestion and pollution, and provides a means of exercise for an increasingly busy and sedentary population.

What makes Biciwood appealing and marketable is its main component: bamboo is a readily available raw material in the Yucatán peninsula. Its use in the bike’s frame reduces deforestation and achieves an added bonus for cyclists: its weight is half that of normal bicycles.

“The frame is designed to last 10 years, and cheap replacements are available. It is also biodegradable, in the event of having to dispose of it,” said Xool.

One of the features that sets their product apart, he explained, is its hyper-personalization. “With us, users are literally designing their own bike, as they are able to choose accessories, colors, pedals, seats, among many other characteristics. The end product is unique, as no two people share the same tastes and thoughts.”

BambooTec, the company formed by Xool and Espinoza, offers the ideal Biciwood for any lifestyle, be it commuter/urban, all-terrain or racing.

The Biciwood also comes with an extra and useful feature developed by the two young students: a USB charging, Bluetooth-enabled hub that allows cyclists to generate and store electricity to charge all sorts of devices. After pairing a smartphone it can record data such as speed, traveled distance and location through Technobike, a dedicated smartphone app.

“With Biciwood, small features make a great difference,” offered Xool.

BambooTec can build one of its personalized bicycles in one or two weeks, depending on the features chosen by customers.

The company is now looking for funding for the project, and entering in government and private sector competitions.

Once the project gets going, Xool is planning to establish their headquarters in Mérida, with subsequent branches in Guadalajara and México City, places with a strong bicycle culture and infrastructure.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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