Hemp and bam­boo frame moves four loads

The Witness - Wheels - - BIKING - BEN COXWORTH — Giz­mag.

CALFEE De­sign is well- known as a builder of bam­boo bikes.

One of the com­pany’s lat­est cre­ations is a bam­boo e- bike, packed with enough fea­tures that it could quite lit­er­ally take the place of a car — hence its nick­name, the Car Killer.

Al­though the spe­cific bike that we saw at the re­cent North Amer­i­can Hand­made Bi­cy­cle Show is a one- off de­sign con­cept, a very sim­i­lar model was built for a client in San Fran­cisco.

He uses that bike on a daily ba­sis, in his job as a con­trac­tor.

As can be seen, the Car Killer has a strong- yet- for­giv­ing all-bam­boo frame, joined to­gether by lugs made from a mix of hemp fi­bre and epoxy resin.

Pedal- as­sist power is pro­vided by a 500- watt BionX D Se­ries rear hub mo­tor, pro­tected by a car­bon fi­bre wheel cover.

Users can se­lect the amount of ped­alling as­sis­tance, along with check­ing pa­ram­e­ters such as bat­tery life, via an LCD con­trol mod­ule on the han­dle­bars. There’s no word on bat­tery range.

Be­cause it’s a work­ing bike, the Car Killer has plenty of cargo space.

The bas­ket in front is large enough to carry a Euro­pean-stan­dard beer crate, while two steel boxes in the back can carry a wide va­ri­ety of tools.

There’s also a shal­lower cargo com­part­ment be­tween those two boxes, for things like jack­ets and work gloves.

Be­sides its mo­tor, some of the Killer’s other elec­tronic fea­tures in­clude an au­di­ble alarm that goes off if the bike is moved while parked, high and low- beam LED headlights, and dual tail lights.

Those lights shut off once the bike’s elec­tri­cal sys­tem is pow­ered down, so there’s no chance of ac­ci­den­tally leav­ing them on and drain­ing the bat­tery. If you’re think­ing that you wouldn’t mind a Car Killer of your own, com­pany founder Craig Calfee tells us that it would prob­a­bly sell for about U. S.$ 8 000 ( over R121 700).

PHOTO: GIZ­MAG

Al­ready proven in daily use, the Car Killer frame is made from bam­boo and hemp, pro­vides four cargo spa­ces with an odome­ter and LED lights front and rear, plus an elec­tric mo­tor to help pedal the load.

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