From VietNamNet | December 9, 2015
Bamboo bicycle – a superb Vietnamese product
VietNamNet Bridge – A Vietnamese automobile engineer Pham Minh Tri has made a bamboo bicycle which is strong, beautiful and environmentally friendly.
With a master’s degree from a prestigious school in Germany, Tri decided to return to Vietnam to set himself up in business. He is well known as the maker of the bamboo bicycle which is as good as similar products of the same kind in the world.
Tri had to spend a lot of time and had to overcome many difficulties to make the bicycle. The most difficult work he had to do was to find the right material for the bicycle and design bodywork.
“I could only create perfect bodywork after three times,” he said.
Why bamboo, and not another type of material? According to Tri, bamboo has an isotropic fiber structure and therefore, has high bearing capacity. Bamboo can be treated in different ways to improve the rigidity and resistance to termites: it can be soaked into mud, dried or smoked.
“Why bamboo? Bamboo bikes can absorb shocks better than the bikes with metal-made bodywork, thanks to the bamboo’s elasticity and shock absorption capability,” he explained.
Besides, he said bamboo is a type of material friendly to the environment.
The bamboo used needs to be treated with chemicals friendly to the environment to make it resistible to woodeaters. After that, it is dried to a certain level of humidity to ensure rigidity and protect against getting cracked.
It takes 35-40 hours to make one bike frame.
After making the bamboo bike, Tri put his product in trial for a long time. In mid-2014, his first bamboo bike was sold. Similar bikes in other parts of the world have become better known and ordered by customers, especially foreigners who like environmentally friendly products.
For his bamboo bike, Tri received a certificate on bicycle frame’s quality in accordance with GSS’ ISO 4210 standards.
The product attracted many people for its environmentally friendly material, but also because of it beautiful and fashionable look.
“Customers won’t buy your products just because you make products with bamboo. You still need to offer them products that are well designed and diverse for their choice,” he said.
However, as the bikes are handmade, the production cost is much higher than metal-frame bikes. One bike made by Tri is priced at $450-1,500. However, the price is 1/3 to half of the prices of similar products sold in other countries.
Tri said 40 bikes have been sold this year, mostly to foreign travelers.
Source: News VietNamNet