Have you already seen a bicycle out of bamboo? Chances are you haven’t. It is still a rare sight but here’s why you will see more of them soon.
Bamboo has amazing mechanical properties and allows the construction of stunning eco-friendly bikes.
URBAM Bikes has taken this challenge and constructs them in Germany, whether standard model or custom configuration.
We have all heard of bamboo, it is nowadays in trend and spreading. But what is bamboo? Here are the most important facts about this plant:
Bamboo is a grass: yes, a grass. This is one of the important differences with wood.
Bamboo grows extremely fast: it depends greatly on the species but some of them can grow by over 90cm in 24 hours… Think about it: this equals to 37.5mm per hour, or 6mm in the 10 minutes you need to get a coffee! The species used for bicycle frames tend to grow slower but thicker and stronger.
It is strong: yes absolutely. For axial specific compression strength, it can be compared to brick or concrete and the tensile strength is comparable to steel. Very impressive for a material created by nature; which means it existed long before humans invented any of the other ones we are comparing it with!
It is flexible: well yes, while brick or concrete are hard but brittle, bamboo absorbs impacts. This is the key to the unique level of comfort and vibration absorption of a bamboo bike.
It is ecological: Bamboo is gathered after about 3-5 years where wood growth usually takes 20-25 years, so it allows a much faster regrowth. On top of this, the root structure of bamboo means it will regrow without having to be planted.
How do you connect the tubes together?
The tubes must be thoroughly dried for several months, they will then be connected by a composite material with resin and natural hemp fibers, creating a strong bond between the tubes and showing a natural look. This method is used to form the bicycle frame. The connections with other parts of the bike are made with a steel or aluminium insert to allow screwing, tightening or pressing in of connecting parts like brakes, wheels, or steering fork.
The result is a bike that is beautiful-looking, natural and, most importantly: comfortable.
I love the looks of it!
At URBAM we love to search for new accessories, parts and ways to enhance the natural look of the bike by sourcing grips, pedals, saddles, fenders, etc... in the matching natural styles and colors. We push hard to select natural materials that respect the environment.