Abel Hailegiorgis runs Bamboo Labs, a company that began its work in 2019 by addressing a need for improved mobility for wheelchair users in Addis Ababa. With some seed funding from an international NGO in Addis Ababa, Abel was able to set about designing wheelchairs made from bamboo. Since then he has gained experience working at the Bamboo Bicycle Club in Munich and more recently participated in a three-month training and mentorship programme organised by the UN’s Global Green Growth Institute where Bamboo Labs won one of the Green Mobility awards.
Design: City Bicycle
Build: City bike home build kit
Duration: 3 Days
Location: Addis Abel, Ethiopia
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I had previously built a bamboo wheelchair frames in Bamboo Bicycle club Munich, That was really a great experience specially the joining technique of parts with steel frame and enjoyed the experience.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
I have seen the tutorial videos again and again before getting the home built kits, I recommend everyone to build and ride their own bikes.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
The most difficult part was sanding, sanding and again sanding. I used car body painting fillers to cover the dents and and took me more time to get the smooth surface of the joint.
What was the easiest part of the build?
Easiest part wes wrapping and jig setup.
What advice would you give to other bamboo bike builders and what would you improve if anything?
Based on my built experience, getting the right fitting and components plays vital role in getting a better quality bikes. So I would love to built the second frames by taking available spare and components.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Riding your own bike gives you really great satisfaction
To learn more from Abal, check out his website https://bamboolabs.org/ where you can read about his builds and concept.