The Semester: an Affordable, U.S. Sourced & Made Bamboo/Carbon Fiber Commuter

Don’t let the fact that the Semester is another Kickstarter scare you away.  Not only can $399 get you a commuter frame made of Greensboro, AL grown bamboo and carbon fiber, but partnering with organizations like  HERObike,  Makelab is creating better jobs and lives for families in economically hard hit areas.  More bamboo sweetness after the break.

semester_hextubes

The Semester is made with proprietary bamboo hex tubes which offer a strong, vibration dampening ride while contributing an interesting aesthetic.

The_Semester

Available in 52, 56, and 60cm with 126mm horizontal rear dropouts, building up a simple commuter should be a breeze.  (Check out the Kickstarter page for full geometry.)

Or, if you prefer, there are also two full build options:

The_Semester_Commuter_build

The commuter build with custom cotton woven grips, cork endplugs, single speed drivetrain and coaster brake will set you back $799.

The_Semester_Custom_CityBike

For $1299 the custom citybike build adds handwoven bamboo fenders, and a Shimano Alfine internally geared 8-speed hub.

Comments

Maxwell - 08/07/13 - 8:41am

Looks like they’re just chopping the main tubes out of cheap steel frames.

NASH - 08/07/13 - 9:36am

What? remodel the structure that is proven by nature to be most efficient and glue it back together in a hexagonal shape. Not sure this is a good idea. Also they could have extended the carbon to the rest of the tubes.

il Bruce - 08/07/13 - 9:37am

Bamboo bikes. Please, just stop.

Colin - 08/07/13 - 11:17am

Affordable? Right…

satisFACTORYrider - 08/07/13 - 11:20am

i remember when i worked at a shop in the 90s and craig calfee brought in his first bamboo proto for us to check out. i thought he was just on an extended safety break. hey, if it’s positive and legit in helping families help themselves to better job oppurtunities it doesn’t matter if it’s bamboo, does it?

Ben - 08/07/13 - 11:57am

This is a truly amazing project. The people behind it have nothing but the best of intentions and are creating jobs in one of the poorest cities in America. Cynics be damned – This is exactly what the bike industry needs more of.

Rain - 08/07/13 - 1:34pm

Better than a scooter attachment.

Mindless - 08/07/13 - 1:35pm

As if a regular fixie is not smug enough.

Bamboo bikes are pointless.

Mike - 08/07/13 - 1:42pm

Track ends are not sliding in any way from the photos and 126mm spacing doesn’t make much sense…

Otherwise, I like the ida of reenginnering the bambo into a consistant shape. Just like carbon fiber, we don’t necessarily need to see the material in it’s raw shape anymore in order to appreciate it.

Lawrence - 08/07/13 - 2:48pm

Just wrap some wood/bamboo/weed veneer on what ever bike and be done with it. Stop wasting other people’s money….

Psi Squared - 08/07/13 - 3:09pm

Smug, mindless comments about smug bikes aside, it’s an interesting project.

ACE - 08/07/13 - 3:22pm

Why do they keep pushing bamboo?Steal and aluminum are both easily recyclable, for those of us environmentally conscience and I would imagine more reliable (and better priced) than this hipster garbage!

EpicThroatBeard - 08/07/13 - 5:15pm

all those comments were predictably boring.

JB - 08/07/13 - 5:44pm

Ha ha! These comments crack me up.

This project is designed to create economic opportunities through micro craft business in one of the poorest counties in America and bamboo happens to be a locally available resource there. Also, the combination of bamboo and carbon fiber creates a silky smooth ride, unlike any other material. In addition, the consistent hex-tube shape allows the use of internal steel lugs and super quick assembly.

Brilliant and ingenious.

James - 08/07/13 - 7:32pm

Specs and style aside, this bike is designed with people in mind – on multiple levels. I’ve never ridden one, but I can’t wait to give it a try!

Gordon - 08/07/13 - 9:11pm

Clever. Seems to take advantage of the lateral stiffness of steel and the vertical vibration dampening of carbon fiber and bamboo.

chasejj - 08/08/13 - 12:32am

When someone develops a production carbon fiber process that can compete with the Chicoms then you will have something interesting .
Until then these bamboo and other nonsense material abominations are merely a joke to feed the utopian idealogy of millenial hipsters and wannabe suckers.
Have at it.

Mindless - 08/08/13 - 2:20am

“these bamboo and other nonsense material abominations are merely a joke to feed the utopian idealogy of millenial hipsters and wannabe suckers”

Exactly.

onespeed - 08/08/13 - 6:29am

great initiative.

it’s discouraging to see how many haters are out there.

those haters are most likely the cyclists on the roads and trails that act like self-righteous jerks, giving all cyclists a bad reputation.

ardijay - 08/16/13 - 3:58pm

Pretty lame how many people can’t see beyond their perceived cons of the materials/design to see the positives of building better futures and communities. Are hipsters and bamboo frames really worse than closed minds that are too hung up on bike design that they completely miss the positive social and economic change a project like this can create?

No wonder it’s so hard to initiate positive change.

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