Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on June 13th, 2007 at 11:33 pm
One of the best things about Pedalpalooza is that you never know who (or what) you’ll run into on a ride.
A few days ago I met up with the Grant Petersen-style Ride (Grant Petersen is the personality behind Rivendell Bicycle Works).
This ride was devoted to, “lugged-steel steeds with a taste for tweed, shellac, cork, and francophile tires.” There were Bridgestones, Rivendells, a Waterford. Some gorgeous bikes (photo gallery here). But none of them caught my eye as much as this bamboo beauty.
Turns out it was made by hand, right here in Portland by Daedalus Custom Bamboo Bikes. I met the builder, Liakos Ariston. He said he and his partner, Jacob Prinz, have been making these frames from their shop on Southeast Ash Street since October of 2005.
Ariston told me he is a structural engineer by training (but is a wine distributor by day) and it takes him about one week of “non-stop work” to complete a frame. The bamboo comes from Seattle (via Vietnam), and they’re working on a new source for the material from Bandon on the Oregon Coast (they use it for Japanese shakuhachi flutes).
I noticed on the Daedalus website that they even have a Racing Division for, “pushing the bamboo design envelope in the toughest conditions.” A local racer will race on a Daedalus bamboo track bike at Alpenrose Velodrome this summer.
If you’re interested in learning more about these bikes, check out the Daedalus website.