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In most of the poverty stricken parts of India many basic amenities are not available. One such part of India is Nalbari district of Assam. Mr. Dodhi Pathak is a veteran artist and he is fond of making bamboo articles. Few of such bamboo items are cycle, hand pump and teeth. Out of these the bamboo bicycle is the concept which can be made use of. The objective is to produce low cost and light bicycles.

Description of Existing Set up

The exiting bamboo bicycle is a primitive model of a working bamboo bicycle. Every part of it is made from bamboo and tire is made from secretion of banana tree. Chain and sprocket is also made from bamboo. It is really a rigid and sturdy model of a bicycle. Still it suffers from major drawbacks such as no brakes, and chain drive is not in working condition, no free wheel arrangement. It is not yet extensively tested on road. Shock absorbing capacity is less as there are no bumpers for wheel and seat.


Except some critical part, which have to be made from metal (e.g., freewheel), if the bicycle can be made totally out of bamboo, then it will be much cheaper version of today's metallic bicycle. Moreover, this will create employment for the artisans in this area. Currently such versions are available in some parts of the world. This bamboo bicycle will be lightweight, durable and much cheaper than commercial version. It can be produced economically in such remote area as there is no need of manufacturing facilities except skilled artisans.

Innovation Details

Bamboo Wheel

Project no: NIF/VARD/MECH/12

Innovation no: 1105

Innovation: Bamboo Bicycle

Innovator: Mr. Dhiraj Barma,

Supervision: Dr. S.K. Saha & Prof. K. Athre

Dept. of Mech. Eng., IIT Delhi

Drive Mechanism

Chain and Sprocket




Title of the Problem

Duration (Level)

1. Design and fabrication of an effective chain and sprocket made out of bamboo. 6 months; 20 hrs/week; 480 hrs (M. Tech)
2. Design and fabrication of simplified configuration with less no of bamboo joints, comfort considerations.

-- same as above --

3. Design and fabrication of a bamboo journal bearing, bearing lubrication, friction properties. 1 year; 4hrs/week; 192 hrs (B. Tech/B.E)
4. Design and fabrication of less shocks, circularity, joints, bamboo wheel tires, freewheel, etc.

-- same as above --