Bamboo + carbon fiber composite bicycles. Locally grown and built to create brighter futures for the people of Greensboro, AL. Read more
This project was successfully funded on August 29, 2013.
About this project
Who we are
MakeLab is a collaborative design group developing social enterprises to benefit regions in need of jobs and job training. We are working now in the Alabama Black Belt to create a better community.
The collaborators are:
HERO is a non-profit serving the Alabama Black Belt with community development. Together we work to create products with local materials that can create jobs and better lives for local families. HERObike uses locally grown bamboo to build bikes that are fun to ride and create new economic development opportunities in the rural town of Greensboro, AL.
HERObike enlisted the help of MakeLab to build the Semester.
Engineering a better Bamboo Bike
Through the support of MakeLab, HERObike uses a propriety technology to create structural bamboo hex tubes that deliver a strong, vibration dampening ride for our newest model of bamboo bike.
Local & Community
By supporting the Semester Bicycle, new jobs will be created to put people back to work. Green small-scale manufacturing benefits individual families while strengthening our community.
Environmental & Sustainability
Local bamboo is grown without irrigation, pesticides or chemicals right outside our workshop. It is both environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Semester Bikes are available in three standard sizes:
The specifications below are typical for the Medium frame:
· Seat Tube Angle: 73°
· Head Tube Angle: 73.5°
· Wheelbase: 99.2cm
· Headtube Length: 15.5cm
· Effective Top Tube Length: 57cm
· Seat Tube Length: 55cm
· Rear Dropout Spacing: 120mm
· Powder-coated CR-MO seat stays, chain stays, seat tube, headtube, bottom bracket and fork.
Semester Bicycles are made primarily from Bamboo and Steel. Our proprietary "Hextubes" make our bicycles truly unique. Each tube is actually a structural stressed skin composite: a bamboo core is skinned on the inside with carbon fiber and covered on the outside with a durable glass/epoxy lamination. The bamboo fibers run parallel along the length of the tube, while the carbon fiber and FRP skins are laid at 45° giving torsional rigidity and protecting the bamboo. The resulting Hextube is incredibly strong and lightweight.
By laminating dissimilar materials, we have also successfully dampened road induced vibration. Other bamboo bikes use tubes that are inconsistent in size, weight, and wall thickness. Our engineered Hextubes are consistent in size, strength, and performance.
The "rear triangle" of the bike is made from powder coated steel, providing overall lateral stiffness and durability on all bearing surfaces. No other bicycle is made like the Semester- and no bike rides like it!
Our Commuter Bike Build Specs
· Porteur Handlebars with custom woven cotton grips, twine wrapping and cork endplugs
· Single speed crankset, black finish, 42-tooth chainring
· 700c Deep-V rims, black, non-machined sidewall, 25mm tires
· Coaster brake hub with 18-tooth cog
· Origin8 Classic Lite saddle
Our Custom CityBike Build Specs
· Shimano Alfine 8-speed internally geared hub with 20-tooth cog (closely matches a 12-38 tooth cassette)
· Handwoven bamboo fenders
· Coaster Brake
· Riser Tourist Handlebars with twist shifter.
· Deep-V rimes, black, non-machined sidewalls, 32mm tires.
· Brooks B-17 saddle
Supporting Semester helps HERObike provides new opportunities for hard working families to provide a better way of life to their children. Help us support change - one bike at a time.
For Your Support
Your pledge will support the start up production of the new Semester bike model. For backing us, you’ll be the first to have a hex tube bike in your community. Also, your feedback will help shape our upcoming products. We can’t wait to hear what you think.
Clothing and Bicycle Accessory Rewards:
5-Panel Hat & Henley:
Handwoven Bamboo Fenders:
45mm Width (designed for tire sizes from 23-35mm)
How To Collect Rewards
After funding is complete, we’ll send an email to collect your shipping info.
Special thank you to B.S. Powell for our video.
Risks and challenges
There are some risks and challenges that come with designing a new bike style. These are increased when working in a rural area with a workforce that needs training and education. This takes time. We have been careful to set our delivery dates to give us enough time to meet the demand expected.
The bike prototypes have been built and are now being tested to ensure the hand-crafted quality HERObike stands for. Our bamboo is harvested and drying. We are training and testing.
We are ready for any setbacks that arise to build a bike that can bring optimism and good product design together to change the future of our town.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $30 or more
Black 5-panel hat with stitched Semester patch on the front panel.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $60 or more
Black Semester henley-style shirt with our patch stitched and the jersey number 6 printed on the shoulder.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $149 or more
Handwoven bamboo fenders.
45mm Width (designed for tire sizes from 23-35mm)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $399 or more
Our exclusive carbon fiber and Greensboro-grown bamboo composite HexTube frame (frame + fork only)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $509 or more
Frame + Fender Combo!
Receive our HexTube frame with our hand woven bamboo fenders.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $799 or more
The Semester Commuter: As simple as it gets. Coater brakes, Deep-V rims, classic porteur handlebars, and riveted saddle. Available in S, M, and L. Features our exclusive carbon fiber and Greensboro-grown bamboo composite HexTube frame. Black on CroMo steel rear triangle and lugs. US shipping included.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $1,299 or more
The Semester CityBike. Our CityBike is as comfortable and practical as it is beautiful. Distinctive woven bamboo contoured fenders, exclusive carbon fiber and Greensboro-grown bamboo composite HexTube frame, Brooks saddle, Shimano Nexus hub, 650B tires and rims, and front and rear racks. Black on CroMo steel rear triangle and lugs. US shipping included.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (30 days)