In my years of riding bikes I’ve piloted my share of exotic frame materials, from aluminum to titanium, 853 to carbon fiber–but easily the most interesting of the bikes I’ve ever owned was grown, not machined.
I’d already ridden a Calfee Dragonfly for years when I made the mistake of asking Craig Calfee on a whim if he had any of his bamboo frames in my size. I’d loved the bamboo bike since I first saw it in his California workshop but at the time I had been fantasizing about creating a bike with a set of parts I was removing from another bike.
Not only did Craig have a frame in my size but he had one that had just come back from a dealer where it was built as a show bike–Calfee was changing the lug design of the bamboo bikes from carbon to hemp and the carbon-wrapped frames were coming back to Calfee. He’d just gotten back one in my size and the older design translated into a discount on the frame and fork combo. Even better for me, I prefer the carbon-wrapped lugs to the new hemp ones.