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High fibre can be expensive | by John Rees
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High fibre can be expensive

More and more, bicycle parts are being made in carbon fibre. At first, it appeared only on very expensive bikes or bike parts. Naturally, the carbon would be left un-painted so the owner could show off his high tech parts. This aerospace material first appeared outside of defense contractors in Formula 1 racing cars. McLaren pioneered the use of the material in their MP4. Soon, all F1 cars were made of carbon fibre. Many of the properties of carbon fibre attracted bike builders, and today all major bike manufactures use this material, as well as a lot of small frame shops.


One frame builder that stands apart is Craig Calfee, who was an early pioneer of the material in bikes. Some of his early frames were used by America’s first Tour de France champion, Greg LeMond. His bikes have also been popular with triathletes, who value the stiffness, lightness and potential for previously impossible designs optimized for their sport.


But another reason Calfee stands out is his current work, making bicycles out of bamboo, and other eco friendly materials. Seeing the need to use renewable and local materials, Calfee has embraced this project like no other bike builder. He is sharing his technology to make low cost, locally made bamboo bikes available all over the world.

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Taken on March 11, 2008