Bamboo Cycle Co., London,England - c.1897

The Bamboo bicycle was a very expensive machine. In 1895, as a public relations exercise, the Bamboo Cycle Co delivered Bamboo cycles to the top English aristocratic families, and asked them to comment on their usage. The reports were included in the Bamboo Cycle Co 1897 catalogue. Lord Edward Spencer-Churchill, the son of George Spencer-Churchill, 6th Duke of Marlborough, was born on 28 March 1853 and died on 5 May 1911 have writen: "In reply to your letter I am pleased to state that I have ridden the Bamboo Cycle you supplied me with last December, about 1500 miles and am very pleased with it. It is quite the best for hill climbing I have ever had." Geo. Sanders was the Wolverhampton works manager in 1898. A company of the same name based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and producing a 'Bamboo' model in 1898 may have been connected. The bamboo tubing was held in aluminium lugs. It was claimed that the bamboo frame provided increased comfort in the days when the roads were not surfaced. Furthermore the machines were claimed to be light weighing about 25 lb., but were not in fact much lighter than conventional machines. Prices were expensive and ranged from 20 to 28 guineas. Excellent testimonials were obtained from people in high society but it was not taken seriously by accomplished cyclists. However, the use of bamboo never caught on and, despite producing some machines in steel, but with the appearance of bamboo, the company only lasted until 1899. Source: