- A New Zealand company is all about bamboo and bikes
- These Gump handlebars are designed to be exceptionally comfy on long distance off-road rides
- And yes, they are named after Forest Gump
Bamboo is good food for Panda bears, but also a tremendous structural material.
In Asia, bamboo has been used as a building material for centuries, favoured for its excellent strength to weight ratio.
The bicycle industry is always seeking an advantage in component weight and strength, yet bamboo bits remain a rarity. Unlike aluminium or steel, mass production is impossible with bamboo and it has to be handcrafted for any cycling component application.
Making better bamboo 'bars
Fortunately, there are skilful and committed bamboo craftspeople worldwide, who remain drawn to the potential of this sustainable material for cycling. One of those is Passchier, based in New Zealand.
The Aotearoa bamboo specialist has a range of handlebars that look great and promise some real riding benefits.
Off-road riding can be punishing on your hands and forearms. Those with legacy hand, wrist and shoulder injuries can feel the strain on a long gravel or mountain bike ride. Creating a handlebar that can absorb terrain vibrations, has the benefit of lessening rider fatigue and delivering a more enjoyable ride.
Carbon-fibre has the advantage of allowing designers to orientate fibres in a way that increases vibration absorption without sacrificing strength. But carbon-fibre is not always a sustainable material to work with – or dispose of, due to the toxicity of those epoxy resins used in its curing process.
Taking the sting out of gravel road rides
Bamboo offers outstanding vibration damping, with the benefit of being a natural fibre. Passchier has designed the Gump handlebar by using eleven 3mm thick bamboo laminates. The Gump handlebars look gorgeous and has almost no environmental impact.
The Gump handlebars are shaped to give riders a comfortable hand position, with the ends featuring a 22-degree backsweep.
Designed for off-road adventure touring and bike packing, the Passchier Gump handlebars should last a lifetime and are available in 650- and 760mm widths.