While popping into Sunshine Cycle Shop a week or so ago, I met Phil Webb. He had an interesting creation with him. It was a bamboo bike.
I had never seen a bamboo bike up close. This one was pretty cool. When I first saw it, I thought it was a traditional bike with a radical paint job. It was only until I looked closer that I noticed it was bamboo.
The joints are held together with carbon fiber and resin. The bike was pretty stiff and didn’t weigh as much as I thought it would. Though I didn’t get to ride it (it was being built up when I saw it), I can imagine it would be a pretty comfortable ride.
It was also educational to learn the process used to create the frame. Bamboo has natural properties that allow it to be used as bike making material. I was interested to learn that by baking the bamboo you cause the sugars inside to stiffen with the bamboo fibers – much like resin permeating carbon fiber.
Visit BambooBikeMaker.com to learn more about Phil’s project that is about much more than the bike. It is his desire to help teach skills and provide employment to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for a better life for people in Southeast Asia. At his site you can learn more about his goals as well as the bike.
Good luck, Phil. I hope we’ll see one of your bamboo creations here on the roads of Greenville soon.