Could Bamboo be the future of cycling? Bamboo bicycle frames are very stiff, transferring power efficiently; are durable, resisting damage from stress and impacts; are comfortable, surpassing aluminum, steel, titanium and most carbon frames in smoothness. Bamboo is also very friendly to the environment and has an extremely low carbon footprint when compared to typical materials used to build bikes.
Here are some notable bike builders that showed Bamboo Bikes at The North American Handmade Bicycle Show:
1. Calfee Design
Craig Calfee started building bamboo bikes in 2005. As one of the first bamboo frame builders, Calfree took his operations oversees, bringing bamboo bikes to Ghana after noticing a need for them during a trip to Africa. He taught the locals how to build bamboo bikes so that they could provide themselves with means of transportation, but also sell their work and boost local economies. Learn more about this non-profit effort at Calfee Design.
Calf’s newest project is a DIY bamboo frame kit. Simply order the kit, which includes the tubing, metal parts such as the head and seat tube inserts, rear dropouts, and bottom bracket, casting tape, tools, and instructions. Kits are available for almost any type of bike, from BMX to mountain to road models.
2. Container Collective
“Build your yoga practice or build a bike.” at Container Collective.
The Container Collective is located in Lakewood, Colorado, just outside of Denver. Russ Hopkins is head of the bicycle operations and hosts bamboo bike building workshops several times a year. Each weekend-long workshop includes instruction and materials to build either a frame-only or a complete cruiser, singlespeed, 5-speed, or 9-speed bike. If you’re not looking to build a bamboo bike, you can also order a custom bike from the Collective.
3. Werk Arts
Barret Werk is a passionate cyclist and woodworker from Hawaii. In his shop he builds furniture, home goods and bamboo bicycles. Bamboo is easy to find on the islands of Hawaii, this inspired him to start building bamboo bikes.
He also teaches bamboo art and bike building classes at the Honolulu Museum of Art. At the moment bikes are a side project for Werk as part of his woodworking business, but he hopes to grow this side of operations in the future!
Would you consider a Bamboo Bike for you N+1?