Bamboo Bikes in Zambia

The BBC website has a great story on “Zambikes”, a small company in Zambia building hand-made bamboo bikes for local sale and eventually, export to the U.S. Here’s an excerpt:

Co-founder Vaughn Spethmann, 24, recalls how it all started with a game of football.

“We were here on a university field trip and we organized a match against some locals. Afterwards we asked them what they did, and they said: ‘Nothing’. They didn’t have jobs. “So we decided to come up with a business which would be a source of employment and provide a useful product.”

Zambikes is partnering with Bamboosero to export the bikes to the U.S. Bamboosero is a project started by Santa Cruz framebuilder Craig Calfee to improve conditions in the developing world by helping entrepreneurs start businesses making bamboo bikes.

Read the story on the BBC website

9 Responses to “Bamboo Bikes in Zambia”

  • Doug R. says:

    Ok, that does it, I want an american made solid oak bike! What about our poor people who are out of work? THe Bamboo bike is cool though, I am still looking for the place I can attach the metal “BONG” pipe fittings though! (Now thats what I call rollin’ high)

  • jameasmallon says:

    How is the weight on those wood Renovo bikes? Americans need work (and Canadians need work) but Ghanians need it more, dude. I will never be able to afford a bike frame made with N. American labour, sadly, but I could afford one of these Calfree authorised bikes made with Ghanian labour. Sure, it’s not going to be as stunning as a Calfree, but if he’s going to have his name anywhere near it, it won’t be shite either.

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  • Jim says:

    I have been to Renovo’s shop recently, their bamboo bikes are incredible. My wife fell in love with the bamboo commuter bike. Ken (the owner of Renovo) let us ride a few of them around the block to check them out. The Pandurban comes in around 17 pounds I think and costs $1950. They offer a 10 year warranty on the bike as well.

  • Doug R. says:

    If these Bamboo bikes turn out to be a Shelbro type joke I am gonna be pissed! I think they are the coolest! When we gonna get some huh Alan?

    I just had an brain flash! ” Introducing from RATCO”, the new Eco friendly light weight, RECYCLER! Patent pending! @

    The Recycler is mad of 100% recycled plastic bottles and aluminum cans!!! (insert creative mind here: a bike made of strapped together plastic water bottles and coke cans etc.) Wow, no more need for a water bottle rack or camel back! Just unscrew the stearing stem and tip the bike over for a refreshing slug of good old H2O! A true green, mean, machine! Remember, you can only get the RECYCLER from an authorized RATCO dealer! Peace man.

  • Alan says:

    @Doug & Jim

    “If these Bamboo bikes turn out to be a Shelbro type joke I am gonna be pissed!”

    You crack me up, Doug. Believe it, bamboo bikes are for real, and from all reports they provide a unique and wonderful ride. The guys at Renovo have promised a Pandurban commuter for review this summer. In the meantime, here’s a photo for you; don’t drool on the keyboard…

  • Doug R. says:

    You know me better than to just leave drool on my keyboard Alan, uuugh, a ughhh, a ughh! Baby!
    Thats what I call getting real wood! ha. So, lets really get down to it and recycle old cans and water bottles and vacuform a frame out the plastic and make the cans etc, into the components!
    The “RATCO RECYCLER” must live!

  • Doug R. says:

    P.S. CONGRATS ON THE 1,000! you da man!

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