Kickstart Kombat: Parvelo vs Semester

Ed. Kickstarter Kombat is a new recurring series on the TRANSLOGIC blog that profiles two active Kickstarter campaigns and asks readers to vote on the idea they like best. The TRANSLOGIC blog staff does not endorse or contribute to the campaigns featured within the Kickstarter Kombat posts. Reader votes will have no direct bearing on the outcome of the Kickstarter campaign.

For our first edition of Kickstarter Kombat we're featuring two bicycles, but that's around is where the similarities end.
XploreAir Paravelo Flying Bicycle



When you imagine a flying bicycle, the XploreAir Paravelo isn't necessarily what comes to mind. Self-described as the "world's first flying bicycle," the Paravelo isn't a cross between a bike and a plane or helicopter, rather a bike and a paraglider.

Aimed at thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies, the Paravelo has two major components: a bicycle and a trailer. ​The bicycle is a normal-looking bike that can be folded up and taken nearly anywhere, including buses and subway trains. The "air frame trailer" is a bit more unique. The trailer houses everything you would need to fly, including the motor, wing and a fuel tank. There is even an optional tent package for what the company calls "flamping," a cross between flying and camping.



With a few quick adjustments of the seat and trailer, the Paravelo, according to XploreAir, can quickly and easily be ready to fly.



The Paravelo has a top speed of 15 miles per hour on the ground and 25 miles per hour once in the air, and can fly to altitudes of 4,000

One of the best things about the Paravelo, other than the whole "flying bike" thing, is that you can fit the entire bike and air frame trailer into the back of a small SUV. This makes it easy to transport the Paravelo to your favorite flying spot, provided that it is too far just to bike there.



As of the time of this post, the XploreAir Paravelo has raised over £9,000 of its £50,000 goal with seven days left of funding.


Herobike Semester Bamboo Bicycle



Most people grow flowers or vegetables in their backyards. Herobike, a non-profit based out of Greensboro, Ala., is growing something much cooler: bicycles.

Before you start searching the web for bicycle trees, allow us to clarify. The bicycle, known as the Semester, is made out of bamboo, which is locally grown only three blocks from the bike shop.

Herobike partnered with design firm MakeLab to develop a new design for bamboo bikes that, according to Herobike, features "bamboo hex tubes that deliver a strong, vibration dampening ride."

Unlike other bamboo bicycle components that naturally vary, Herobike says that the machined hexagonal bamboo tubes used in the Semester "are consistent in size, strength, and performance."

What also helps to make these bikes so lightweight and strong is the use of a carbon fiber composite skin inside of the hexagonal tubes. The carbon fiber is woven at 45-degree angles, compared to the parallel grain of the bamboo, which increases strength without adding much weight.

In addition to the bamboo frame, the Semester features a stainless steel front and rear fork, which, though heavier than aluminum, absorbs vibration much better. When paired with the bamboo and carbon fiber, the stainless steel provides the rider with a much smoother and more pleasant riding experience.



In the past few decades, jobs have become scarce in small towns like Greensboro. Hero, the parent non-profit of Herobike, works towards ending poverty in the central Alabama area, by providing locals with jobs.

Unlike the Paravelo, which is not available for purchase quite yet, the Semester Bike can be acquired through rewards on the bike's Kickstarter page. A pledge of $799 will get you a base model Semester Commuter shipped early next year, while a pledge of $1,299 will get you the better equipped Semester CityBike.

At the time of posting the Semester Bike has raised over $11,000 of their $40,000 goal, with 21 days left of funding.

While both bicycles are interesting concepts, let us know which idea you like best by voting in the Kickstarter Kombat poll.

Kickstarter Kombat: XploreAir Paravelo vs. Herobike Semester
XploreAir Paravelo Flying Bicycle19 (27.9%)
Herobike Semester Bamboo Bicycle49 (72.1%)


[Source: Kickstarter]