Zuri Handcrafted Bamboo Bicycles Out of Africa
By Chris Weiss
July 25, 2012 - No matter how many bamboo bicycles we see - and we have seen a few - they continue to astound with their otherworldly looks. Zuri is a German operation that hand builds bicycles in Africa out of locally sourced bamboo. It's multi-hued bamboo-framed bikes are designed for both city commuting and mountain biking.
Bamboo has taken off as a building material in recent years thanks to its sustainable growth, light weight and durability. Its distinctive looks don't hurt, either, especially on a bike, where they serve as a contrast to the traditional metal frame.
Zuri is the venture of two Germans, David Hoffmann and Philipp Sayler. The company is based in Munich, but it builds its bikes out of a small village in Zambia, where the bamboo is harvested. Though bamboo is a simple material, Zuri crafts it into ornate bicycles - the rich grain and multiple shades of bamboo combine to create bicycles that are almost guaranteed to earn looks and questions.
Zuri harvests bamboo when it's approximately three years old. After several days of impregnation, it dries the bamboo in an incubator for two months. Then, it selects the strongest bamboo tubes and constructs them into frames. The most stressed parts of the frames, including the head tube and bottom bracket, are made from CNC machined aluminum. The process to create the finished product takes about 50 hours of work, according to the company.(more...)