At Netham Bamboo Bikes Are A Family Affair
Co-founded by siblings Andy and Laura, Netham Bamboo is Bristol’s only supplier of ready-to-ride bamboo bikes. It’s been a long journey, but we’ve finally made it – our handcrafted, ethical and eco-friendly cycles can now be yours. Netham Bamboo is open for business!
We may be a young company but our love of pedal power stretches back to the streets of 1920s Bristol, where Great Grandad Eddie built and serviced cycles from his back garden workshop. Inspired by Eddie, we intend to continue his legacy, supporting and promoting cycling across the UK and beyond. Netham Bamboo builds on Andy’s years of experience running the popular cycle workshop Holy Spokes, which has been building and servicing bikes in Bristol since 2012.
Bikes are still one of the greenest and healthiest ways to get around. But while cycling is much better for the environment than driving cars, we realised that the resource intensive, high energy processes involved in the manufacture of modern steel, carbon, aluminium and titanium frames generate a hefty carbon footprint. As Andy explains: “Over the years little attention has been paid to the impact of how and where bicycles are manufactured. We believe it is essential that progress is made towards bicycles that are both sustainably and ethically produced.”
It was our search for a sustainable and ethical alternative that led us to bamboo, the ideal material for eco-friendly bikes. “Bamboo bikes have been around for a while”, notes Andy, “so it is surprising that they aren’t more widely used. Bamboo is such a good material to make a bike frame from; it’s strong, durable, compliant and reasonably lightweight – these are all things we look for in a good bike frame. In addition to these qualities, if bamboo is grown sustainably we can use it to make big strides towards producing a bike that has a much more positive impact on the planet as a whole.”
The more we researched, the more we realised that bamboo offers a unique alternative to traditional bike frames. Formed from interwoven fibres, its high strength-to-weight ratio allows it to withstand large amounts of stress, even boasting a tensile strength to rival steel. As the fastest growing woody plant on the planet, it requires no fertiliser or pesticides and replenishes itself quickly. No wonder it is considered the world’s most renewable material!
Not only is bamboo tough and durable, it also dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of bike production. Unlike the manufacture of traditional frames, there’s no need for resource-hungry processes. What’s more, this amazing plant absorbs up to five times more CO2 than an equivalent mass of trees! We believe that bamboo will play a pivotal role in moving society toward a fairer and greener economy. For the environmentally conscious cyclist it’s the natural choice.
“We are one of the first companies to offer handcrafted bikes at affordable prices”, explains Laura. “Each frame has its own unique markings and its own story. We offer you the chance to make your bike truly unique with any customisation you want, whether it be different pedals, wheels, groupsets, tyres or saddles – the choice is yours!”
Our Bamboo bikes not only benefit the planet but its people too. We’ve teamed up with forward thinking organisations in Ghana and Bali who are making a positive difference in their communities. These companies provide our bamboo frames and our strategic partnerships help to create sustainable jobs and equal employment opportunities. When you buy a Netham Bamboo bike you are directly benefitting the person who made it as well as their local community. Visit our Partners page to learn more about who we work with.
“We were keen to do what we can to promote a different way of thinking”, says Laura. “Bikes can be churned out in factories very fast and very cheaply leading to things such as the “anti-dumping” tax (a massive 48.5% import tax on bikes from China) and a huge wastage problem. Starting Netham Bamboo has given us the freedom to create an affordable, high quality product that can start to move thinking in a more positive direction when it comes to care for people and planet.” We know that living sustainably can hit the wallet. That’s why we’re serious about keeping costs as low as possible without compromising on quality or ethics. We remain competitively priced by passing our savings on to you. Furthermore, our bamboo bikes are available on the tax free Green Commute Initiative and we offer deposit based purchases to help you spread the cost.
Combining Andy’s bike wizardry with Laura’s passion for the environment, Netham Bamboo is committed to building a future where cycling is even better for our planet and its people. Come and join us!