IN BÔ, bamboo bike manufacturer
Focus on In'Bô, a young and innovative company from the Vosges region that makes wooden and bamboo products. Vélo Spirit presents you their unusual and ambitious project, with of course a zoom on their bamboo bikes, from the workshop production to the use by frequent travellers.
In’Bô – Solidream
Lost in the swell
Hallawaya – Calfer design
the bamboo bike
a short introduction
Located in the Vosges, In’Bô manufactures various products made of wood and bamboo: glasses, skateboards and bikes. The idea was born in 2013, among a group of friends training at the École Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industries du Bois (ENSTIB) in Épinal. During this training, they had the opportunity to use the school’s workshop and machines to make their first wooden creations: glasses, surfboards, skis and bikes…
Some members of the team are doing their internship on the creation of bamboo bikes abroad. Aurel went to Ghana and Robin to the United States, to Craig Calfee, a precursor in bamboo bikes creation (see the article “Bamboo spirit” by clicking here)
With the technical skills acquired during their training, they decided to set up their company: In’Bô was born. The town hall of “Le voivre” wanted to promote employment in rural areas and lent them premises, while allowing them to continue to use the machines of ENSTIB.
At the same time, the entrepreneurs launched a participative financing campaign on the Ulule platform: it exploded its objective with a percentage of 648%! There is no doubt that the project is a success…
Although bamboo bikes’s creation is their favorite activity, the company focuses on what works best: the manufacture of wooden glasses. More than 550 opticians sell their glasses throughout France, Switzerland, Belgium and Luxembourg. This represents 75% of their turnover compared to 15% for skateboards and 10% for bamboo bikes.
in the Bamboo bike side
The company is specialised in tailor-made and only designs high quality bikes, from 3 to 5 per year, depending on the demand.
The frame is made of carefully selected bamboo, bio-sourced resin, flax fibre and aluminium inserts for the external connections. These elements are produced as locally as possible, which is one of the company’s strong values.
After defining the project precisely with their client, including careful measurements and a discussion of the desired use and feeling, the team draws up the custom-made plans.
The bamboo is cut and trimmed before being assembled, and once dry, the frame is sanded by hand to remove any imperfections in the gluing. An artist’s work…
The metal inserts are placed and fixed. Again, the craftsmanship is sharp to ensure that all the angles are perfect.
A top coat is then applied to the frame to embellish and protect it.
Finally, the team can proceed to the assembly of the bike with all the accessories: transmission, crankset, wheels, brakes, handlebars, saddle…
It takes about 8 weeks to complete all these steps and get a custom made bike. The bikes are EN 14764 certified, which means that they have been tested in a laboratory, just like more traditional bikes. The frames are also UCI approved, allowing them to be used in competition.
In 2014, Thibaud Lhenry won the Red Hook Criterium, becoming world champion… on a bamboo bike created by In’Bô!
Nothing better to prove that bamboo bikes can compete with carbon frames in terms of performance…
great travellers bikes
Because of the values and ethics that they convey, the great bike travellers are naturally attracted to In’Bô. This goes both ways and so several collaborations are set up around beautiful travel projects where adventure and sharing are key.
In 2015, the Solidream team left for three months to cross the Himalayan mountains of Central Asia, more precisely in the Pamir, on bamboo fatbikes made by the brand In’Bô. Their goal is “to bring back images of the challenge undertaken by the team, to film the adventures experienced, the interactions with the local populations and to make a sincere, committed and optimistic 52-minute documentary”. The film “Les oeuvres du Pamir” was released in 2016 and won numerous awards.
The “FatPamir” was designed especially for their world tour. A bike that allows them to ride in the most complicated environments, facing cold, heat, and the weight of luggage…
On their return, Solidream lent their bikes to the “Lost in the Swell” team for their 3-month trip to Gabon. An atypical and completely crazy project of two surfers who went in search of never before surfed waves.
A wild and authentic journey that gave birth to a film retracing this crazy adventure: Lost in the swell, to be viewed in several episodes. To see the first one, click here.
In 2016, Kalawaya goes on a one-year tour of the Andes with In’Bô bikes !
From Ushuaïa (Argentina) to Lima (Peru), they cross 4 countries.
The In'Bô team has 17 employees
To go further
The Andes on a bamboo bike with Kallawaya
Movies of Lost in the swell