Let’s build a Bamboo Unicycle Frame that can resist any practice!
End date 05/07/2015
What Problem do you want to solve
David Moscoe from Moocow Unicycles, for his Bamboo Trials and Flat Unicycle design.
You can find his designs in Open Source here.
David Scott for his Bamboo Mountain unicycle design.
You can find his design in Open Source here.
You can find more information in this blog post.
Natural resources and metals are finite and non-renewable material and we put tremendous pressure on them. Extraction destroys landscapes and natural ecosystems. Depleting it will put next generations in a situation of material scarcity.
It is time we pull up our sleeves and look for alternatives to this problem and use materials that grow faster than we need them, such as bamboo.
Unicycling is not the most polluting industry in the world, because we are not many unicyclists.
But we have room for improvement and we have an opportunity to set the example and start looking for ways to produce with more sustainable materials.
The first problem to get there is that we are a small community. It is hard for manufacturers to research how to use new materials in their production processes and recoup their costs.
Why does this problem exist?
Unicycling is a growing sport, but we are still a small community with many different practices and it is hard for manufacturers to invest in new innovations to find ways of making it possible. There are probably fewer than 10 people in the world that actively work on the design of higher-end unicycles for commercial distribution and sale.
There are two reasons why we are "small":
- Unicycling has a steep learning curve and requires more commitment to learn than other sports
- There is unequal access to good equipment around the world. Right now, manufactured unicycles are mainly available in so called "developed countries" due to the costs of producing and distributing unicycles
It is pretty hard to ship unicycles to the developing world. It might be easier to create an easy blueprint with a material that is easy to find everywhere and that grows very quickly and share it in open source. Those that do not have access to the manufacturing capabilities will be able to build their own unicycles if they want.
I lived in India for two years, then I used to ride my unicycle wherever there was a flat surface. Most people would stop me in the street and be amazed by this strange one-wheeled vehicle.
Everybody who tried to ride found it really fun. Some even learned how to ride. But at the end of the day they weren't able to continue.
It is very expensive to export parts to these countries and there are no facilities which can produce unicycles resistant enough to practice at a medium/high level. Access to high quality parts and distribution is scarce in these regions.
Besides, steel is heavy, aluminum is hard to weld and titanium is very expensive, so let's look for an alternative!
What breakthrough are you commited to creating?
We are committed to create a unicycle frame made out of bamboo that would tackle 3 problems:
- To make it easier for anyone in any regions where there is no reliable distribution of unicycles to produce it themselves out of an abundant and renewable resource such as bamboo
- To allow any tinkerer and maker to build and customize their own unicycles out of Open Source Blueprints and enable innovation for current manufacturers
- To introduce a beautiful ecological material, with great mechanical properties to unicycle riders
Bamboo is lightweight, environmentally friendly as it is both biodegradable and sustainable. It is one of the fastest growing plants in the world, fairly easy to replant and produces no soil erosion. It is naturally dampening, stiffer than carbon and highly durable.
For instance Bamboo Bikes are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; comfortable, and surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness.
Our current manufacturers will be able to build these new bamboo unicycle with their standards of quality. Thanks to their work, disciplines like trial, muni or street have been able to flourish over the past 10 years.
Those who can’t get the wide distribution we get in the western countries – or who simply want to make it themselves – will be able to build it and start new communities wherever they are.
Is this for anyone else outside of unicycles?
If a bamboo frame can withstand the kind of tensions imposed while unicycling, the solution to make a bamboo unicycle frame will be adaptable to bicycle front forks.
Why a Challenge Prize?
I looked for help among bamboo bike manufacturers to make this happen, without success... So I finally gave up on the idea.
Until I learned about the story of Napoleon’s Food Preservation Prize. As the armies of revolutionary France walked around Europe with the objective of creating an empire, the food supposed to feed the soldiers didn't remain fresh.
So Napoleon offered a prize for a method of preserving food on long military campaigns. Nicolas Appert, a talented confectioner with no formal education, won in 1809. After 14 years experimenting with airtight and sterilized champagne bottles, and sealing boiled food in them, he invented canned food.
He was rewarded and used the money to set up a canning factory, which remained open until 1933.
Most of us don’t have the money or the technical capacities to develop a bamboo unicycle ourselves, but we are convinced that with the support of the community, we can foster the emergence of a solution that is in the mind and hands of someone around the world.
This challenge is time demanding, requires a very particular know-how and an investment in materials and tools.
Since we require the solution to be in Open Source, we make a call to the community interested in a bamboo unicycle to reward the inventor(s) and make this challenge alive.
The reward would be released once a submission that meets all required criteria and its documentation is released in Open License for everyone to study, modify, make or distribute it.
If there were multiple solutions meeting the required criteria, the one that best fills them wins.
Let us put together a Prize that and the person or team who creates new opportunities for all of us to build a unicycle with a bamboo frame!
How will the money be used?
Once we raise the limit of 5,500 Euros, 90%, minus payment processing fees, will go to reward the winning solution of the challenge and the remaining 10% will go to organizations costs as per OSlantis rules.
Organisation costs involve media communication, organisation of the challenge, and assessment of the submitted solutions.
If we surpass 7,500 Euros, and at least two solutions successfully meet the challenge criteria, there will be two Prizes, 70% for the winner, 20% for the second place and 10% for organisations costs.
If we surpass 10,000 Euros, and at least two solutions successfully meet the challenge criteria, there will be three Prizes, 55% for the winner, 20% for the second place, 15% for the third place and 10% for organisations costs.
The Prize distribution would look like THIS.
If the goal limit of 5,500 Euros is not reached the money will be returned to every donator.
VotingIf there are multiple solutions that meet the criteria, donators will be asked to vote for the winning solution.
Team and experience
This challenge is launched by Jaime Arredondo, from the OSlantis team, with the support of Kris Holm Unicycles, Unicycle.com and Monociclos.com
Kris Holm, created Kris Holm Unicycles in 1999, to design unicycles that could withstand his personal needs and the famously difficult trails of the Vancouver North Shore. His company was the first Canadian company and the first cycling brand to join One Percent for the Planet, donating 1% of sales to support environmental conservation.
Roger Davis, created Nimbus Unicycles and has participated in the design of Trial, Muni, Freestyle and Lond distances unicycles. He is also an accomplished athlete and has won several Unicon competitions.
Pepe Torres, created the Monociclos.com forum and shop to introduce high quality unicyles in Spain. Since then he has attended and organized plenty of conventions in Spain and around the World.
Jaime Arredondo, from OSlantis.com and the Monociclos.com team started riding 10 years ago, practicing trials, flat, freestyle and muni and has helped organize unicycle conventions as part of the team of Monociclos.com in Spain.
Which criteria must be fulfilled to judge that the challenge is met?
A) Criteria for performance
1) The frame has to be able to endure repeated stress. For example, frames designed for trials, street, or flatland must be able to withstand drops, hopping and gaps, jumps such as 270, 450 or 630 unispins on the frame as well as standing on it vertically (e.g. stand up coast) and laterally (e.g. foot jamming on the wheel).
2) The frame must be torsionally rigid. When torquing side to side, the frame is stiff enough to avoid flex causing rubbing on the tire (e.g. climbing uphill, and tricks that put sideways force on the frame)
3) The weight of the frame must be under 1000 grams, but bear in mind that the lighter it is, the most chances of winning you’ll have.
4) The frame should be low profile to enable efficient pedaling and avoid bashed knees, with bearing housings that properly support the bearings.
5) Extra points: The stronger and most extreme uses it allows, such as frame tricks, if a 20’’ frame, and aggressive muni riding, the more chances to win.
B) Criteria for production (e.g. is the design practical and simple enough to actually be produced in quantity)
1/Ease of production: can be produced with regular tools (typically found in FabLabs or lower tech)
2/ Cost of materials and renting of the tools must be under 500 Euros
How will you know that someone has solved the problem?
Rules: The submission to the Challenge should include the following:
- The detailed description of the proposed Solution addressing specific Required Criteria (above)
- Rationale as to why the Solver believes that the proposed Solution will work as presented
- A clearly articulated overall design and concept of operation for the bamboo frame.
- A video demonstrating the bamboo frame capabilities.
- Image or images of the proposed frame, to include overall dimensions. The measurements should be compatible with any standard unicycle part from Kris Holm, Mad4One, Qu-ax, Nimbus or Impact unicycles:
- Measurements for a 20’’ unicycle Seatpost Size: 25.4mm or 27.2mm, Bearing Size: 42mm bearing housings at 100mm pitch. and it must fit a tyre of 20’’x2,5’’
- Measurements for a 24’’ unicycle Seatpost Size: 25.4mm or 27.2mm, Bearing Size: 42mm bearing housings at 100mm pitch. and it must fit a tyre of 24’’x3’’
- Measurements for a 26’’ unicycle Seatpost Size: 25.4mm or 27.2mm, Bearing Size: 42mm bearing housings at 100mm pitch. and it must fit a tyre of 26’’x3’’
- Measurements for a 29’’ unicycle Seatpost Size: 25.4mm or 27.2mm, Bearing Size: 42mm bearing housings at 100mm pitch. and it must fit a tyre of 29’’x2,3’’
- Measurements for a 36’’ unicycle Seatpost Size: 25.4mm or 27.2mm, Bearing Size: 42mm bearing housings at 100mm pitch. and it must fit a tyre of 36’’x2,25’’
The final solution set for challenge award must include 1) a parts list, to include sources, for bamboo parts, bearings, and other binding parts or elements; 2) Detailed documentation of the manufacturing process.
The award is contingent upon theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted Solutions by the Campaign organizer.
To receive an award, the Makers will have to release the solution under an Open Source licence.
You should send your submission to: jaimeperla [at] gmail [dot] com
What’s the schedule of the project?
Submission deadline: All submissions must be delivered according to the rules no later than the specified date and time in the Schedule, otherwise the application will be considered incomplete and disqualified.
The first judging process of the submissions will happen on November 1st 2015. There will be two weeks to review the solutions that meet the criteria. The jury will determine if a solution is accepted. If there is more than one , the campaign donors will be able to vote for the winning solutions.
If no submission passes the required criteria the process will be repeated 6 months later. If no solution passes any phase the money will be given back to the donators.
- Crowdfunding campaign: From April 7th to May 5th
- Phase I :
- Start registration (if the funding is successful): May 6th
- Deadline closes November 3rd 2015
- Ideas submitted to the jury and selected
- If there is a winner, it will be announced in the winter 2015-2016
- Phase II (if there is no winner in Phase I):
- Deadline closes April 5th 2016
- Ideas submitted to the jury and selected
- If there is a winner, it will be announced in the spring 2015-2016
The members of the jury are: Pepe Torres (Monociclos.com), Kris Holm (Kris Holm Unicycles), Roger Davis (Unicycle.com), Jaime Arredondo (Bambooni)
Who can participate
The challenge is open internationally to all qualifying participants who agree to follow the rules established by the Challenge Team.
Why give more chances of winning the challenge to trial, street and flatland unicycles and not to any other riding style?
From a strength perspective trials, street and flatland practices drive frame design.
The idea is to get a working prototype of a bamboo unicycle capable of taking the kind of abuse we put into Trial, Flat and Street riding. We believe the kind of technology developed through the challenge can be transfered to other kinds of wheels and riding, such as freestyle, long distance or muni, even if it is not completely straightforward.