I’ve come across a few bamboo bike frames during my cycling adventures, but had not seen a bamboo handlebar until a friend told me about New Zealand bamboo handlebar pioneers Passchier.
Christchurch-based craftsman Dirk Passchier built his expertise working with bamboo and lamination making kayak paddles and, along with co-founder Mike Baddeley, has now applied this to beautiful handmade bike handlebars.
I’ve been using a Passchier Gump (NZ$350) (760mm wide, 22-degree sweep) handlebar for a few months now and have been impressed with its ride qualities. Having used both aluminium and titanium bars in the past, bamboo has quite a different feel. Most notable is the flex; they are noticeably springy. Combined with the vibration-damping qualities of bamboo, this flex serves to take the sting out of rough pavement and gravel roads, significantly increasing comfort and saving energy.
These bars are rated to ISO standards for strength and are pitched as being suitable for bikepacking, moderate mountain biking and commuting. So far I have been using mine for gravel biking and easy single track and find that they pair extremely well with a completely rigid 29er. The 22 degree sweep of the bar puts my hands into a more natural position than a typical mountain bike bar, making it very comfortable for full days out on the bike.
The Gump also comes in a 650mm width for increased manoeuvrability in traffic or for riders who like a less-wide stance on the bars.
Passchier have now come on board as a sponsor, so we will be putting these bars on our Otso Voyeks too, and I’ll write a fuller review once we’ve tried them on some more technical singletrack and with loaded bikes.
Read more about them at Passchier.