Passchier Gump Bamboo Handlebars

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Mike Baddeley, Rebecca Baddeley
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Dirk Passchier

Until now, handlebars have been designed to be strong and stiff as a means to point your front wheel in the desired direction. Unfortunately, anyone who spends a bit on time behind their bars knows that with this comes considerable vibrational stress on the hands, wrists, and arms, leading at best to discomfort, and at worst, to long term nerve and muscle damage.

This discomfort is a widely accepted fact among riders, simply how it has to be – However, our approach to riding is that you need to enjoy the journey, keeping as much comfort in the experience while protecting your body for years of riding to come.

So, we set about creating some fairly unorthodox handlebars that do just that.

Bamboo is an extremely strong natural fibre used for centuries in building and development, while possessing an innate flex that allows it movement without breakage. Not only this, but it is one of the fastest growing materials on the planet, making it an extremely sustainable source for production.

With these factors in mind, we began designing and hand making bamboo handlebars that utilised the attractive natural properties of the plant.

Engineered with eleven layers of bamboo, our bars are glued and laminated together in a manner that allows that coveted flex to shine through while compounding the natural tensile strength. They are hand-cut, pressed, sanded, and sealed in our small Christchurch work shop, before we craft carbon fibre sleeves to adorn the centre of the bar.

The final result is a piece of art, combining functionality, sustainability, and beauty.

The slight flex of the bars offers an experience not felt before in the bike industry, absorbing vibrations as you ride to deliver a far more comfortable cockpit, significantly dampening that ever-present vibrational discomfort. Through accelerometer measurements we quantifiably confirmed the improved vibrational absorption of our bars compared to popular handlebar materials such as alloy, along with countless rider testimonials describing the unique effect of our bars – allowing them to ride on for longer, more enjoyably, and even continue careers on their bikes when they otherwise would have hung up the helmet for good.
These vibration dampening qualities have been prominent enough to garner invested interest of hand therapists and the health and safety sector.

With the unique material, style, and functionality of our bamboo handlebars, the first question most people have is β€œAre they strong?”, which we are able to confidently answer, yes. Our bars undergo rigorous testing at the Kiwi Mechanical Testing Laboratory, withstanding two tests exerting 20kg and 50kg directly on the bars. Each test is repeated for 5 days over 100,000 times, with our bars coming out unscathed on the other end, taking them to exceed ISO standards.

Along with this strength and flex, the renewable nature of bamboo is what solidified it as the perfect material to craft our bars with. We are committed to running an environmentally sustainable operation, right from material acquisition and production, to carbon off-sets, to our recyclable packaging.