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
Bamboosero

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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