Bamboo Offers Form and Function in This Sustainable Bicycle Designed by Craig Calfee

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Bamboo Bicycle by Craig Calfee

A design that began as a publicity stunt for a local trade show, Craig Calfee designed a bicycle made from bamboo. After the surprising response by the public Calfee chose to put it into production in 2005. Today bamboo frames are still available as a single or tandem bicycle. It even led Lincoln to featuring Craig as one of the four designers in their “New Century Design“.

“Lighter weight is the Holy Grail of bicycles,” says Craig Calfee. “It’s high-tech and low-toll when it comes to the environment.”

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Story Behind the Bamboo Design

The inspiration behind using bamboo in the design of a show bicycle for a trade show happened unexpectedly while Craig was playing with his dog. Even though bamboo was used in some of the first bicycles the recent design trend to use bamboo for bicycle frames is relatively new. Thanks to Craig the natural engineering bamboo offers form and function has been brought back.

“I was playing with my dog, and she went out and brought a piece of bamboo from behind our shop so I could chase her for the stick. And I’m thinking, the stick’s going to break in her mouth, but this piece of bamboo was so strong.”

The handcrafted bamboo bike frames from Calfee Design are made to order and take over 40 hours of labor to build. In order to help stop the problem of the bamboo splitting in the future the bamboo is smoked and treated with heat. After the heat process a satin polyurethane is used to seal it. The lugs are made from renewable hemp fiber providing strength and durability with sustainability. Originally carbon fiber lugs were used, but after years of use they began to give away. This is one of the many reasons the bamboo bicycles are now using hemp-lugged bicycle frames.


Bamboo Features:

  • Smoked and heat treated bamboo tubing
  • Hemp fiber lugs with plant based high performance eco resin
  • Frame weighs 4 to 6 pounds
  • Titanium dropouts
  • Optional carbon PressFit 30, eccentric bottom bracket shell and horizontal dropouts
  • Optional head tube and seat tube extensions
  • Optional rear axle spacing, tire clearance, brake type, cable routing, and accessory integration
  • Optional custom frame geometry
  • 10 year warranty

Bamboo Benefits:

  • Our most crash tolerant frame
  • Amazing vibration dampening
  • Stiffer than many carbon frames
  • Low carbon footprint
  • Functional work of art
  • Uniqueness; very few on the road

Bamboo Bicycles Make a Statement

Calfee Bamboo Bicycle - Single - Side View  Calfee Bamboo Bicycle - Tandem - Side View

It doesn’t matter if you use a bicycle for exercise or fun or a ride to work, a bamboo bicycle frame is sure to turn heads. Handcrafted with a beautiful material that is environmentally friendly and sustainable, these bamboo bikes are available in a single frame design or tandem design. For more information, please visit Calfee Design.

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