Putting bamboo (and hemp) to work for good

Posted by on February 26th, 2011 at 9:54 am

These bikes are made by entrepreneurs around the globe and sold through a company started by Craig Calfee.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Bamboosero means “one who works with Bamboo” in Spanish; but for a growing number of entrepreneurs in places like Ghana, Zambia, Uganda and the Phillipines, it means much more than that.

Bambooser at NAHBS-5

Headbadge of Wisdom Toxla, a
builder in Ghana.

Bamboosero is the brain-child of famed bike builder Craig Calfee of Calfee Design. The goal is to create a global network of builders trained in the craft of melding bamboo tubes to hemp-fiber lugs. Bamboosero not only teaches the framebuilding how-to, but also equips the budding builders with the business tools to ready their creations for the export market (or someday, even for the local market).

Sales manager Aaron Kaufman says they don’t see themselves as just another bike company. “We’re establishing independent businesses… this is more about economic development.”

Bambooser at NAHBS-6

Sales Manager Aaron Kaufman.
Bambooser at NAHBS-10

Cool jerseys!

We’ve all heard the saying, “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he feeds his family for a lifetime.” Kaufman says, “Substitute bicycles for fish and you get the idea behind Bamboosero.”

At Bamboosero.com, interested customers can shop online, choosing from one of four stock models. Frames run about $695 and a city bike is sold for just $1,295 — not a bad price for a handmade bike, especially for one that gives you not just a great ride, but direct involvement in the power of bicycles to change lives.

Bamboosero is great example of the diverse spectrum of handmade bikes here at NAHBS. Browse more stories from the show and see all our images in the gallery.

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My favorite! There truley is no reason not to buy something that dosen’t also support a good cause! That frame would go great with my Toms shoes…now I sound like a yuppie…


I switched to Recumbents several years back and wondering if trike (tadpole) frames have been tried yet? thank you, Dameon