World Bicycle Relief
The Buffalo bike aims to provide entrepreneurs, farmers, students, and more in rural Africa with the ability to transport heavy loads over long distances over rugged terrain. These bicycles are compatible with locally available spare parts, allowing for proper maintenance to continue its lifetime.
Goal #11: Sustaianable cities and communities
African organizations, businesses, and individuals seeking a sturdy bicycle as an additional option to transportation, including those seeking to gain income through provision of transportation services.
Buffalo bicycle components are sourced from manufacturers in Asia who produce each part to their specifications. Their Taiwan-based supplier management team reviews potential supplies, evaluates product quality, and manages shipping logistics. They arrive to Africa completely dissembled, where trained teams put them together.
World Bicycle Relief sells to organizations, businesses, and individuals across Africa to meet their transportation needs. Bike sales help their customers accomplish their goals efficiently while generating revenue to WBR, improving factory productivity and increasing spare parts network viability. Bicycle sales lead to additional support for WBR’s education, healthcare, micro-finance, and disaster relief training programs.
When donated, the bicycles are given to schools, not individuals. Each school has a panel of community leaders that decides how to distribute the bikes. A contract is then signed between the recipient of the bike, his or her parents and the school panel. In the contract it clearly states that the recipient may only keep the bike as long as they attend class.
290,000+ Interview with manufacturer
Each bike weighs 53 pounds, and has a rack that will hold 220 pounds. Tubing is 16 guage steel, chainrings are 3m and are connected to a coaster brake hub with a chain built with 1.2mm plates. Tires are automotive grade and are filled with puncture resistant tubes.
Additional design specifications are available here.
A full bicycle maintenance manual is available here. Schematics available below.
Each Buffalo bike comes with a small toolkit and pump for basic maintenance. WBR has also developed a Field Mechanics Training Program to accompany distribution, allowing customers to have access to a local repair service. These mechanics also work with microlenders to establish businesses and purchase a stock of spare parts.
Main components are produced in Taiwan, though traditional spare parts are locally available.Interview with manufacturer
These targets are not publicly available.
Testing done by manufacturer.
Potential hazards include traffic accidents or pedestrian crashes, especially when sufficient training has not been received.
It is possible for a cart to be attached to the bicycle to transport goods. There are also a range of attachments available to be hitched to a bicycle for agricultural productivity, as well as technology that harnesses the kinetic energy of motion to produce electricity (i.e. dynamo phone chargers).
The number of people that can fit within product [Persons]
The ratio between the rates at which the last and first gears rotate
Unknown. The research found was done by the manufacturer.
Check out their report on the impact of bicycle mobility on health caregivers and their clients in Zambia here.
Check out their Bicycles for Educational Empowerpowerment Program (BEEP) here.
Check out the report on smallholder dairy farmers in rural Zambia and how they use WBR Bicycles to bring goods to market here.
Check out the Project Tsunami Report that confirms the power of bicycles here.
For more information, please visit their site here.
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