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The bamboo bicycles from Booframe
An efficient and environmentally friendly alternative for cycling
Text: Patricia Salvador, Pilar Cobo / Photos: P.Salvador, Booframe / Translation: Gaspo Sánchez
Tags: Ecuadorian Culture, Photoreports, Interviews, Handcrafts, Ecology
Page 1 of 1 │ March 01, 2011
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The search for both valid and innovative options that support various fronts such as the social, the productive and caring for the ecosystem is a complex task not always achieved, but for two young and determined Ecuadorian entrepreneurs from Quito obstacles are challenges rather than problems.

The combination of bamboo with metal joints allows the bicycle to be very light and yet very strong.
This is a bicycle made by Booframe with a complete bamboo frame. The bamboo used is a variety that is produced in the country and is much more stronger and thicker than the traditional Guadua cane.

Gastón Zambrano and Luis Fernando Puente, both graduated agronomists, sought to innovate from their professional perspective. They wanted to develop a green technology suitable for movility and human satisfaction. Luis Fernando used to work in a bamboo plantation and Gastón was a cycling practitioner, together and after a lot of experimentation Booframe was finally born in early 2009 with the sole idea to make bicycles made from bamboo in Ecuador.

The mixture of metal joints coupled with the bamboo allows the bike's frame to be very lightweight while resistant.
A technician show us one of the bamboo bikes under construction. The mixture of metal joints coupled with the bamboo allowthe bike's frame to be very lightweight while resistant.

Gastón told us that this idea not only reflects the fact of giving greater value to bamboo cultivation in Ecuador, it also encourages to recycle old bicycles by giving them a new more environmentally friendly frame. Most of Booframe's bamboo suppliers are small domestic crop producers from towns not so far from the city like Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas and Los Bancos, he also adds that this type of bamboo is not the one most people recognize, this variety is called Filostaquis, that has an adulthood diameter of 6 cms and is also very thick which allows a natural material with good strength and durability.

Booframe technicians calibrate and set the framework for a mountain bike.
Booframe technicians calibrate and set the framework for a mountain bike. Subsequently, both front and back brakes, steering wheel, bearings and other systems will be added.

"It is obvious that the bike's frame does not come from the plant to the wheels" a lot of technical procedures are needed, like everything else this too has its technique, says Gastón, which is why these small stems undergo a process of selection before drying, this process is to ensure the quality of the material. Booframe the bamboo bicycle is suitable for cross-country tours and mountain hikes, fast descents and jumps, the resistance of the bamboo frame on these bicycles is impressive. Those wishing to purchase one bamboo bike will only have to contact Luis Fernando or Gastón thru their Facebook page they will kindly give you a little test. Future plans of the company are the design of bamboo wheelchairs, prams and tandem bicycles. The bamboo bicycle from Booframe was one of the 53 selected ideas from more than 1000 participants applying for the Emprende Ecuador Program, an initiative that supports innovative ideas, this program comes from the Bureau for the coordination of production, employment and competitiveness. Remember that when acquiring one of these bikes you are contributing to national production of sustainable alternatives.