Sustainably sourced bamboo

Bicycle frames made out of bamboo have been made since the late 1800’s.

Bamboo as a material has historically been used as a dominant raw material in South and South East Asia, but it now widely used in manufacturing and construction around the world.

The Eker bicycle frames are made of select pieces of sustainably sourced bamboo grown in Uganda. The bamboo we use is strong and lightweight with high ability to resist wear and tear. We treat the bamboo and combine it with our own design and manufacture of aluminium fittings in such a way that our bicycles dampen and reduce vibrations, while maintaining a stiff ride ensuring that the power and force of the cyclist ends up where it should: on the track.

To prove our point, we offer five years of warranty on the frames sold.

Is there a way to make sustainable bikes?

Yes – the answer is to use sustainably grown bamboo that actually binds carbon dioxide leaving a positive climate footprint.

How much carbon do your bikes bind?

Our frames have a positive environmental impact compared to other materials. Each of our frames binds 4,04 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which can be compared with a traditional aluminium frame, which can produce up to 250 kg of carbon dioxide.

How good is a bamboo bike frame?

Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel and effectively dampens and reduces vibration. A hand buillt Eker frame will offer you amazing riding in all possible conditions thanks to the great properties of the material.

More about the environmental impact of this material

Our frames have a positive environmental impact. Each of our frames binds 4,04 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere*. That’s right. The bamboo we use is not simply neutral, but carbon positive.

Through photosynthesis, under the influence of sunlight, the plants convert water and carbon dioxide (CO2) into glucose (building block for biomass), water and oxygen. The CO2 is then stored in the material, in the biomass as biogenic carbon, and in bamboo’s case in the stem. If the bamboo stem continues to grow and eventually dies, the CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. If the bamboo stem is harvested after the growth period, and processed into a sustainable and durable product such as our bike frames, the carbon is locked in the material.

How we calculate

Around half of the mass of dry bamboo consists of carbon. And the ratio of the molecular weight of CO2 (44g/mol) to Carbon (12g/mol) is 3,67. To get the amount of carbon stored in our bike frames, we simply calculate the weight of the frame x 0,5 (=amount of carbon in product i.e., biogenic carbon content) x 3,67 (the ratio of CO2 to C). A bike frame which weighs 2,5 kg consists of about 1,5 kg of bamboo. 1,5 x 0,5 x 3,67 = 2,8 kg of CO2/frame.

Comparing with other materials

According to the World Steel Association, there is an average of 1.9kg of CO2 emitted per kg of steel produced. Whereas according to the European Aluminium Environmental Profile Report, an average of 18kg of CO2 is released per kg of aluminium produced. A report from Duke University estimates that manufacturing an aluminium Specialized Allez road frame alone produces 250kg CO2, while making a carbon-fibre Specialized Roubaix frame produces 67kg.

But the Eker bikes consist of more than bamboo, right?

Yes, they do. We also use epoxy in our manufacturing. Epoxy is not good for the environment, but we strive to use as bio-based epoxy as is available on the market. We then need to take shipping into account, and all the bicycle components which are made in aluminium, rubber or carbon fibre. We haven’t been able to make the full maths yet, but can at least say that compared to traditional bikes where the frames are in aluminium, steel, titanium or carbon fibre, our bikes have a much better environmental impact. We constantly work to reduce our emissions, and welcome any suggestions to improvements!

Eker Stark

Eker Stark is a cross country mountain bike that is swift, strong and elegant. The frame is made by hand, all the way from harvesting the tubes to preparing and joining them into unique pieces of art which nevertheless can withstand extremely tough riding in all types of conditions. All sizes are built around the 622 mm wheel size (also known as 29”) to allow you to scale those obstacles faster and safer than with smaller wheels.