IT is better known as the favourite snack of Edinburgh's beloved pandas, but now bamboo has been put to a longer-lasting purpose - as a bicycle.

The unusual contraption was on display as the capital's Festival of Cycling got underway this week.

It has been built by the team at recycling charity, Bike Station, who donned Tian Tian costumes as they showed it in action.

The DIY kits are now on sale so that other cyclists can have a go at building their own bike from bamboo.

Bike Station is the only retailer north of the Border to sell the kits, which were invented by two London bike designers.

Steve Hynd, manager of Bike Station, said that despite unorthodox material it was actually one of the best bike he has ridden.

He said: "It's remarkably nice. This one is a fixed wheel, and I have to say I think this is up there with the top three I've ever had in terms of how fast and responsive it is."

He added: It's very sturdy. I would happily ride it for a long time - as long as any other bike. The road shock, durability and power are all good."

The bamboo bike kit is available in various models from £290, and the charity is planning workshops in September to show customers how to build the bikes.

The Edinburgh Cycling Festival runs until Sunday June 21.