Media Release: Bamboo Bike makes appearance at Edinburgh Science Festival

The Bamboo Bike will be explained at The Future of Cycling – a talk in the Edinburgh International Science Festival Saturday 30th March 2013, National Museum of Scotland

Dr James Broughton, Dr Shpend Gerguri, Graeme McLean and Miles Tight (chair) Professor of Transport, Energy and Environment at Birmingham University


PASSIONATE cyclists and engineers, Drs James Broughton and Shpend Gerguri, along with engineering students at Oxford Brookes University, have created what is probably the first UK mountain bike made from bamboo and will demonstrate it at a major presentation on the Future of Cycling at the Edinburgh International Science festival on Saturday 30th March 2013 (National Museum of Scotland 12.30pm).

Their presentation also explores the impact that cycling has on the British economy, which is estimated to contribute some £2.9bn to the UK economy. *

Based in the ‘Joining Technology Research Centre’ at the Oxford Brookes University, the project began as a way of exploring damping properties of bamboo and to get engineering students to think ‘Green’ about materials design and manufacture, and to look for alternative, sustainable materials for manufacturing.

However, the results have been astounding and on trials of the Bamboo Bike, manufactured by Raw Bikes in Yorkshire, the new bamboo bike has been proven to ‘kill the jitters’ on the road, and give a smoother ride for keen cyclists.

The event is sponsored by Sporting Chance Initiative, Scotland’s hub for business innovation in sport. It is the only support organisation in Scotland dedicated to sports innovation, and assists smaller businesses to develop products, processes and services for the sports, health and active leisure markets.

Says Dr Wendy Inglis Humphrey, their project manager: “The Bamboo Bike illustrates the types of business opportunities we aim to support and develop. We provide expertise and funding to businesses that connect with sport in Scotland.

“They could be in food, smart textiles, digital technology or outdoor tourism. We commend the development of this product, which has delivered a new form of green transport with a very low carbon footprint, with real relevance for cycling in Scotland.

“We are delighted to be sponsoring this state of the art presentation at the Edinburgh Science Festival.”

Dr Broughton and Dr Gerguri will be joined by Graeme McLean from Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS).

Says Graeme Mclean: “DMBinS is a project which is implementing the world’s first national strategic framework, itself an innovative concept.

“Over the last ten years, mountain biking has grown hugely in Scotland, with the creation of purpose built trails, and centres with cafeterias, bikes for hire and advice on hand.

“It’s a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and get healthy.

“Currently, 68 per centof the population never cycle, despite the environmental and health benefits it offers.

“However, the ‘Chris Hoy effect’ and the ‘Wiggins craze’ – following the Olympics Tour de France – have really created enthusiasm amongst the public for cycling.

“These two cycling superstars have made it even ‘cooler’ to cycle. Our project aims to take advantage of the sport’s increased profile, and help ensure mountain biking is an activity accessible to most people in Scotland.”

Scotland has plenty to be proud about in mountain biking facilities.

The Nevis Range, by Fort William, hosts the World Cup Downhill Race annually, and there are mountain biking centres spread throughout Scotland, including the world famous 7stanes centres across the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.

Most of these are comparable to ski resorts, providing all the necessary facilities to make the sport accessible for all.

“The bamboo bike uses raw materials which are carbon absorbable, fast growing and sustainable. Bamboo is a very strong material –  it has the tensile strength comparable to steel (on a weight for weight basis), and offers vibration absorbing qualities to a bike frame providing a smoother and quieter ride,” says Dr Shpend Gerguri, one of the inventors of the bamboo bike.

“In our extensive trials, the bamboo bike has been proven to give a less bumpy ride over difficult terrain, killing the jitters on the road. The frame has a greener life cycle – using less energy in its production compared to some traditional materials.”

And he should know, having put the bike through its paces in the eight stage Trans Alp race covering 410 miles from Germany to Italy!

Tickets for this event cost £8/£6 concession, online at, or

Call 0844 557 2686


This information from Carol Anderson tel 0131 718 6022  e

Editors notes:

The Sporting Chance initiative is Scotland’s hub for business innovation in sport.  It is recognised as the only support organisation in Scotland dedicated to sports innovation, and assists smaller businesses to develop new and enhance existing products, processes or services for the sports health and wellness markets. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Stirling Council, the Scottish Funding Council, University of Stirling and Stirling University Innovation Park.

Edinburgh International Science Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2013. The world’s first celebration of science and technology is still one of Europe’s largest. The two-week event places emphasis on giving audiences amazing experiences that are inspiring and confidence-building. It is also committed to communicating the excitement and benefits of science in innovative and engaging ways. Founded in 1989, it is an educational charity that encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the wonder of the world around them.

The Joining Technology Research Centre at Oxford Brookes University is recognised as one of the leading establishments providing industry with access to a unique combination of engineering and scientific skills in the UK today. The foundations of JTRC go back to 1968 and the Centre has since established an international reputation for its interdisciplinary approach to joining problems. In particular, the research team has undertaken a considerable amount of research and development, and has participated in a wide range of knowledge transfer activities, in the use of adhesives and sealants for the aerospace, automotive and construction sectors.

Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) is a project, hosted within Scottish Cycling, which is implementing the National Strategic Framework for Mountain Biking in Scotland. The project aims to aid co-ordination, spread good practice and sustainably increase the benefits which mountain biking brings to Scotland.

* Some statistics from Gross Cycling Product LSE 2011:

It is estimated that 13 million adults cycle, that in 2010, the 3.7 million bikes sold generated over £1.62bn to the British economy. The market for accessories and maintenance is worth £853m to the British economy, and health benefits of those who cycle probably save us £128 million per annum in absenteeism. A figure of £2.9bn total contribution to the UK economy as per a study carried out by the London School of Economics in 2011.

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Contact: Carol Anderson
Phone: 0131 718 6022