Here at ChasingGreen, we're all about bicycles and bicycling. We've written several articles on the subject already, such as “Promote University Campus Bike Share Programs” and “Biking to Work for the Planet.” And members of our staff are either participating in outdoor racing events during the spring and summer or spinning indoors at the gym year round. That got us thinking about the materials that go into these bikes that we spend so much time sitting on and writing about.
It turns out, bicycles can be made of several different metals, and can include various steel and aluminum alloys as the main components. While most bikes are either steel or aluminum, there are also models with frames made of titanium or carbon fiber.
Something we unexpectedly came across in our research is the rapidly growing bamboo bicycle trend. Bike frames made of bamboo might sound weird, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you find out that bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel and is extremely absorbent of vibrations and bumps in the road and trail. Also making it an ideal natural material for bicycle frames is bamboo's growth rate, oxygen emissions into the atmosphere, aesthetic beauty, and consistency in one tube from the next. With our interest thoroughly piqued, the ChasingGreen team decided to look into some of the current bamboo bicycle manufacturers on the scene to get our readers equally pumped.
BAMBOO BIKE MANUFACTURERS
Craig Calfee founded Bamboosero with the idea to connect bike builders in developing countries with bike buyers to help working families support themselves, inject badly needed foreign currency into struggling economies, and create the production capacity for an efficient local transportation. All of Bamboosero's bike frames are made from bamboo that has been cured to prevent splitting, finished with automotive quality polyurethane, and fitted with lugs made of locally found fiber that's been tested for strength.
Also by Craig Calfee, founder of the aforementioned Bamboosero, is Calfee Designs, which expands the philosophy and function of bamboo bicycles to include more frames like single/fixed, tandem, mountain, and road. With a bamboo bicycle by Calfee Designs, you have a crash tolerant frame, amazing vibration dampening, a frame stiffer than most carbon ones, a lower carbon footprint, a functional work of art, and a uniqueness unlike anyone else on the road.
Founded in 2009 by Nick Frey, a professional cyclist and mechanical engineer, and James Wolf, a master craftsman and talented designer specializing in bamboo installations, Boo Bicycles has been creating the highest performance, highest quality bamboo bicycles in the world ever since. Boo Bicycles produces custom bikes that can be raced successfully at the highest levels. Boo Bicycles currently offer customizable road, cyclocross, fixie, touring, and 29er models.
Handcrafted in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a company motto “Go Far, Do Good,” Panda Bicycles believes they are making the world a better place by having a meaningful interaction with the environment, and by uniquely designing bikes that speak to a culture of treading lightly. Offering four different bicycle models including the Action, with its city bike design and lugged frame construction; the Legacy, with its touring-inspired road frame; the Natural, a frame that exudes an eco-friendly touch of modern bike technology in one single, classy ride; and the One, a steel lugged, streetsmart bamboo commuter with an elegant flair.