• Why bamboo bicycles are better

    Date:12 March 2020 Author: Anita Froneman

    If you’re a keen cyclist, you probably know about bamboo bikes.

    Bamboo bikes feature a frame made from real bamboo, including the top and bottom tubes, the seat tube, and the stays at the rear. The joints of the frame is usually made from a melted resin material, while more high-end brands use carbon frame material on the ends of the tubes.

    If you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet, it might be time to get on board.

    Here’s why.

    It’s extremely lightweight, which is, of course ideal. It depends on the manufacturer, but some claim their bikes weigh as little as just under 2kg (frame alone).

    Bamboo is also very durable, and can carry more weight than you think. “Bamboo doesn’t stress like metal does. Over time, metal frames can actually stress from slight bending, but bamboo remains steadfast,” said bikesreviewed.com.

    It is also naturally sustainable because bamboo is easy to grow most places on Earth and grows incredibly fast. It also produces far less CO2 when being manufactured than metals, according to bikesreviewed.com.

    Last but not least, it’s a soft ride as bamboo tends to absorb much more shock than metal.

    “The ride characteristics of a bamboo frame are superior to aluminium or a full carbon frame due to its damping properties,” said bicyclesouth.co.za. “The bamboo absorbs much more of the vibration from the road or mountain. By using bamboo tubes and carbon fibre as lugs the best of both worlds are achieved: a light, stiff and responsive frame that absorbs the unwanted vibrations.”

    Interestingly, Calculus Bikes, the first manufacturer to build bamboo bikes in South Africa, uses a combination of techniques ranging from high-tech 3D printing to hand layups of carbon fiber between the bamboo tubes.

    Image: Instagram/ bamboobicycleclub

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