Photo courtesy of Boo Bikes
Along with titanium, carbon fiber, and steel, cyclists can now purchase bikes constructed of bamboo, such as a Boo-bike, which “soaks up” the bumps in the road by combining the flexibility of bamboo and the strength of carbon fiber.
Each unique, shock proof bike has a hand built frame which takes approximately 40 hours to build, and can either be ordered from stock or customizable order. Prices start at $239.00 and range up to $2,999 for you can either buy it online at Boobikes.com, or at most bicycle shops.
“Boo frames are both bamboo and carbon fiber, and the frames maximize properties of each. Bamboo absorbs vibration incredibly well, while carbon fiber provides ultimate stiffness at the junctions without any unnecessary weight,” explained Nick Frey, owner of the Boo-bike company in an interview with the The Matador Messenger.
“My inspiration was from a junior design project at Princeton University, where I studied mechanical and aerospace engineering,”“I created a concept bike using bamboo. We decided to use bamboo and carbon, and build a racing bike from it,” added Frey.
Another unique aspect of the Boo bike, according to Frey, is that it is customizable. “Frames are also fully custom and made-to-order, so they are built to fit the rider perfectly—this enhances the performance, handling, and comfort of the bike compared to stock, off-the-rack carbon bikes,” he added.
“As a material for a bicycle frame, it makes more sense than it sounds. In Asian countries it’s often used as scaffolding, and even to reinforce concrete, so it’s certainly strong. But the important part is that it’s also incredibly springy,”stated according to The Guardian.
“(It’s) Beautifully formed by our carbon craftsmen, (the) frames perform at the highest level of the sport,” according to Calfee Design.
Some might read this article and say, “the Bamboo Bike has no flaws”, but one should also inform you that it does have some flaws. One of the, being that if they aren’t made correctly, can create biodiversity problems and can create toxic dioxins. Another advantage is that bamboo, having a greater tensile strength than steel, also comes with a good amount of flexibility and is quite soft.
“Boo frames have a more supple and refined ride quality than carbon fiber frames. They are better for riding long distances, especially on harsh terrain like sections of gravel road. Carbon fiber frames are made for minimum weight / maximum stiffness, and are very fast…but sometimes the rider can’t actually ride as fast because of discomfort,” added Frey.
Many may connnect bamboo to something that panda’s eat, but it can do so much more.
When the bikes are heat treated and sealed, they are guaranteed to last for a good amount of years, of coarse, as long as you keep it from too much damage.
“An English patent for a bike made out of the grass was filed in 1894, but it failed to take off on an industrial scale, mainly due to advances in metals like steel and aluminium that lend themselves to mass production in factories. In contrast, bamboo bikes are time consuming to make and no two are ever the same. A red line for large-scale bike manufacturers; a green light for inquisitive engineers who like to knock bikes up in their garage,” according to Telegraph.