Bamboo has been used throughout history for everything from musical instruments to medicine. Its combination of strength and flexibility make it an excellent choice for building bikes. And since it can be worked without industrial-grade tools – without electricity even – bamboo is an ideal fit for the developing world.
By sourcing the bamboo locally and building the frames locally we add value to an abundant resource and provide jobs and skills for people.
Bamboo’s recent gains in popularity in developed nations for things like flooring owe to its sustainable nature. Much has been written about how bamboo is the most eco-friendly and useful renewable resource on the planet. Coincidentally, it happens to be very common in most of the developing world.
Don’t believe that a bamboo bike frame is stronger than steel? Take a look at this video: 600 lbs., carried on a bamboo cargo bike. As you’ll see, the frame is fine, but we had to reinforce the steel spokes – with bamboo!
Bamboo is not just strong, it’s flexible. So it absorbs road shock and is better able to withstand the stresses a heavily loaded bike frame sees. It’s also more comfortable to ride.
Bamboo doesn’t rust or fatigue like metals do. It simply need to be preserved properly and coated with a waterproof sealer.
Bamboo is native to the areas we’re working, so there’s virtually no carbon footprint for transportation, and an extremely low cost for raw materials.
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Bamboo Strength Video – 600 lbs on a bamboo cargo bike