Urban Velo

Bamboo Bikes at NAHBS 2011

One of the slowly but surely growing trends of NAHBS is that each year there is another one or two bamboo bicycle builders in attendance, with the 2011 show having six booths sporting bamboo tubes. From left to right, Boo Bicycles, Bamboosero, Panda Bicycles, Calfee Designs, Zambikes and Threepenny Bikes. Each builder has their own methods and motivations, but all share a concern for exploring more sustainable material sources—and nothing is more sustainable than fast growing bamboo tubes. Bamboo has been used in frame construction since the dawn of bicycles, but only relatively recently has seen use on competitive performance bikes, and in social enterprises looking to bring bicycles and manufacturing to the underprivileged across the globe. Don’t write them off as gimmicks, these are serious bikes that are just as strong and light as their metal counterparts.

Read more about another bamboo bicycle construction in our feature on the Bamboo Bicycle Studio in Urban Velo issue #18.


  1. phil webbMarch 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Long live the Bamboo Bike Makers. Thank you Urban Velo for the write up on bamboo bikes. Although we were not there with a booth this year, we stand with our counterparts in moving the bamboo bicycle frame forward. Visit BambooBikeMaker.com if you wanna read about another example of this movement.

  2. SirRidesAlotMarch 8, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks UrbanVelo! We really appreciate you taking some pics of the bamboo bike builders at NAHBS. People are starting to realize that bamboo is the real deal thanks to press like this. Next time you guys are out in Fort Collins, CO, stop by the new Panda shop. We’d love to pour you a beer. Thanks!

    Jacob from Panda Bicycles (we’re the steel-lugged red one in the middle)

  3. David - Wheelfine ImportsMarch 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    So where are the bamboo mallet poles? My bamboo bike built at Bamboo bike studio is one year old today.

  4. Urban JeffMarch 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    My friend made some bamboo polo mallet shafts from a grove he discovered in an alley here in Pittsburgh. They worked, and lasted, but the bamboo wasn’t very straight.

  5. EricApril 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Definitely gotta pay homage to the builders that have inspired us to create, design and build. Despite being around bamboo day-in and day-out, I still am awestruck at how beautiful bamboo bicycles are. Thank you to UrbanVelo on giving our corner of the market a little bit of the spotlight. Ride safe…

    Stalk Bicycles

  6. MatthewJune 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Has anyone considered using the frame design of the 1943 BSA Paratrooper bicycle? Its oval shape and use of double tubes seems like a nice fit for a bamboo bike.


  7. EvanJune 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Yeah Matthew, my buddy and I have been building bamboo bikes for a year or two now and we have a couple like that paratrooper bike. Bamboo is awesome and its all I ride now. We’re building a website that will have all of what we’ve built and are building up soon, in the mean time, if you are interested, here are just a few pictures of the bikes we’ve made: http://www.flickr.com/photos/64037791@N03/

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