Helium, the Italian bamboo bicycle

Oct 20, 2015 | written by:

Have you ever thoughtthat bamboo could be the perfect material to build bicycle frame? Well, it is! Some guys founded Helium and started to create masterpieces using wheels and bamboo.

“We think that the everything starts from sun, water and soil. The only three necessary elements to develop one of the most complete material that nature offers us: bamboo. It’s resistant, elastic, lightweight, comfortable and it is perfect to be used in the of bicycle frames construction”.

To build a bamboo bicycle you have to follow five basic steps: cultivation, harvesting, drying, construction and finally finishing.

“To build our bikes we chose the bamboo varieties able to grow in Piemonte (Italy). Cultivation of bamboo requires low energy input and a small use of synthetic chemical products. We take care both of our frames and the environmental sustainability of the production process at every stage: from the bud to the bike” - they write on their website.

“Monitoring our bamboo field we can select the bamboo canes ready to become bicycle. Germination takes about three years for a proper ripening of the canes. The best time to harvest is winter, when plants have a reduced sugar content, and therefore they are less susceptible to attack by pests.”

“During the drying phase, we analyze the best mechanical properties of bamboo: we carry out wet-dry, hot-cold stress tests of the reeds, in order to simulate what happen when our frames will be on the road.”

Each frame requires approximately 40 hours of manifacturing: “Our bamboo frames are “welded” joints of linen fabric composites reinforced with carbon and resins. We create our frames by hand, we prepare each tube and each joint individually, taking into account the demands of the customer.”

No two bamboo canes are identical, each has different colors, shades, shapes and size. Each frame is unique, like a fingerprint. “In addition, the excellent ability to absorb vibrations makes the bamboo frame very responsive and efficient in transferring the movement. It’s natural, warm and pleasant to the touch”. The result is an incredibly beautiful and incredibly green bike.

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