October 31, 2009
Boo Cycles does not have a touring bike available at the moment, but there are three reasons I want to talk about them today.
1. Boo Cycles creator Nick Frey not only has the riding experience under his belt, but was brought up by a family of bike tourists, and has the education to back up his designs with an engineering degree from Princeton.
2. Not everyone tours loaded, and bamboo provides very comfortable ride while also exhibiting great strength. There's no reason you couldn't take their road or cyclocross bike and set it up with a BOB trailer that mounts through the wheel axle.
3. It's Halloween, and it's hard to resist writing about a company named Boo.
For a company in its infancy, their attention to detail is very impressive. For starters, they don't just grab a stalk of bamboo for any tube. Each tube incorporates its own breed of bamboo that exhibits the best characteristics for the stresses that are put through that part of the frame. From there, they hand wrap the joints with carbon for reinforcement, and sand it down for a smooth, seamless finish.
While bamboo bikes are often advertised as a 'green alternative,' Boo Cycles maintains an emphasis on performance. Bamboo is very strong, lightweight, and absorbs vibration efficiently. Combine that with a good frame design, and you have a bike that is light like aluminum, smooth like carbon, and strong like steel.
Currently, you can only find the R9 road bike on the Boo Cycles website, but don't count them out of the touring scene yet. They are very aware of touring cyclists (as well as Adventure Cycling Association), and are in the process of adding a few more bikes to their arsenal, including the pictured bike with an integrated rack.
It's my personal opinion that this is one of the sleeker looking bamboo bikes available right now, but that's my opinion and perhaps not yours. If you want to check out some other bamboo bikes, take a look at Renovo, Calfee, and Organic Bikes.
Photo by Josh Tack.
TOURING GEAR AND TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead.