Year 2011, Chengdu, China. Abu, a product designer in the design department of a factory, received a call and was introduced to the prospect of building a bamboo bike.
Abu grew up in Lhasa, Tibet, and moved to Chengdu, China, at a young age to pursue his studies. He graduated with an engineering degree and found a job in the factory as a product designer.
After being tasked with this intriguing project, Abu spent the next 3 months sourcing materials but found himself stranded with a lack of resources and a fading business idea. He decided to leave his job in the factory to start a travel company with his friends, Extravagant Yak.
Extravagant Yak organizes trekking and biking expeditions all over Tibet, including to his hometown, Lhasa, and even to Mount Everest Base-camp. For a person who is outgoing and loves to be active, Life was now much more exciting!
Year 2014, Kang Ding, Eastern Tibet. On a road trip, Abu was inspired by the spectacular landscape and pristine mountain air. He thought to himself, "We should cherish and protect what we have today!" At the same time he recalled a conversation from three years back. Two boys, Ty and Clay (the children of his Extravagant Yak partner, Jim) asked "Abu! Where are the bamboo bikes that you promised to build for us?".
At that point, it struck a chord in Abu, "I should restart the project I left off 3 years ago. It is hard to think of a more meaningful cause than the environment, and building a bamboo bicycle that everyone will love to ride will help people have fun protecting the planet. Our future depends on it."
Abu on a road trip
Year 2015, Chengdu, China. Abu successfully completed his bamboo bike prototype and proudly unveiled his project to Ty and Clay, and their friends. Everyone loved it because it is unique, beautiful, light-weight, and very comfortable to ride. On top of that, it is also eco-friendly!
Abu devoted the next few months, along with a team of three, to constructing a few more bamboo bicycles. Together they shared a dream, "Let's start a company that will contribute to making eco-friendly and sustainable bike transportation a fun and affordable lifestyle for everyone!"
Simple Bikes was born.
Bringing the first few bamboo bikes prototype for a ride!
Year 2016, Chengdu, China. To commercialize a bamboo bike, Abu recognized that quality and safety were the top priorities of Simple Bikes. In January 2016, Abu sent a couple Simple Bikes frames for a series of safety and stress tests by Bureau Veritas in the United Kingdom. A month later, Simple Bikes had passed the bar with flying colors and was certified as meeting and exceeding all safety requirements for the consumer.
Simple Bikes, ISO certified to meet safety requirements for end consumers
To further prove the performance and durability of the bamboo bike frame, Abu decided to embark on a 2,500 KM ride from Chengdu, China to Lhasa, Tibet. Riding through sun, rain and snow, Abu reached Lhasa in 30 days.
Lhasa with Simple Bikes
After the Chengdu-to-Lhasa experience, Abu was confident that Simple Bikes had proven beyond doubt the safety and durability of bamboo frames. He decided to boost the confidence of Simple Bikes customers by offering a 3 year warranty on all their frames.
Sun, sand, snow. The result after 2,500KM of riding in extreme conditions? Still strong and resilient, and ready for another 2,500KM.
Year 2016, Simple Bikes team started building a range of bicycles for athletes, families, and mountain bikers.
Preparing to build a range of bicycles.
Year 2017, Singapore & Chengdu, China. Simple Bikes landed in Singapore via a friend of Abu's. Together, they share the same dream to see Simple Bikes compliment a country which has beautiful park connectors and landscapes, and to play a role in influencing the next generation toward even better environmental management.
Simple Bikes in Singapore, such a beautiful sight!
Our vision at Simple Bikes is to promote bike-riding to be more eco-friendly, fun, and affordable for everyone. Now we are setting our sights internationally. Between 2016 and 2017 we shipped bikes to the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai, and Beijing. The feedback was more than just positive, it was ecstatic! The next step for this small company is to expand our reach into the international market.
You might be wondering what exactly makes Simple Bikes stand out from other bamboo bike makers? It is not only our story, but it is the attention to detail and passion we put into making every single bike. Each and every bike frame is hand-made and signed off by one of our bike-craftsmen.
At Simple Bikes, we are unique from all other bamboo bikes on the market. The bamboo frame is the core and the main differentiator from all our competitors. We use the strongest bamboo (Tonkin) for the frame and a mixture of fibre (Carbon and Hemp) for the joints.
Tonkin bamboo has the highest density of fibres, giving it strength and flexibility. It grows consistently straight and the bamboo nodes are well-spaced. These properties below make it stand out as a qualified material for making a bamboo bike:
Simple Bike's Tonkin bamboo is purchased directly from bamboo farmers in Guangdong. We have no need to worry about deforestation due to the fact that this bamboo is farmed and easy to grow. The selected bamboo is wind-dried for a year and then soaked in Tung Oil to prevent bacteria or mould, and to eliminate the risk of splitting.
Abu selecting the best bamboo to start work on
7 pieces of Tonkin bamboo are carefully selected for the bike frame and the length of each piece is custom cut to the specifications of each rider.
Shaping bamboo for the bike joints
Both carbon and hemp fibres are the preferred materials for the joints as they are:
We have also selected bio-epoxy resin for its environmental friendliness, as it is made entirely from natural oils extracted from plants.
Prior to wrapping, both carbon fibre and hemp fibre are prepared and soaked in bio-epoxy resin. Then we wrap the joints with carbon fibre to ensure the first layer of strong binding. The second layer of hemp fibre follows with the same wrapping technique to ensure an additional layer of strength.The hemp layer also accounts for the beautiful natural finish!
Lastly, the wrapped joints are sandpapered thoroughly to create a gorgeously smooth and glossy feel. The amount of carbon and hemp fibre are calculated and fixed to prevent any cracks in the joints. Rest assured, your safety is in good hands.
Simple Bikes unique method of wrapping a joint. A beautiful end result!
Due to the nature of the fibrous materials Simple Bikes uses and our unique way of wrapping the joints, the durable frame can withstand strong impact at any point by absorbing and transferring the energy evenly throughout the frame, reducing the fatigue of the rider.
On top of a high-performance frame, quality components and gears are selected to go along with our bamboo frame.
Quality parts are selected to go along with our frame
Finally, the logos of Simple Bikes are fixed onto the frame before a few layers of wood oil are painted to retain and preserve the original bamboo colour. Every hand-made bike is signed off by our bike craftsman.
Simple Bikes Logos, finished with a layer of wood oil
Simple Bikes are created for everyone. We offer bamboo bikes for all ages and all walks of life: the adventurous, the athletic, the academic, and the artistic. Check out a whole range of Simple Bikes right here! Thank you for staying with us to hear our story! Get a bike for yourself today and join the Bamboo Bike Revolution.
Bring yours home today!