Hilton London Bankside have introduced its very own fleet of bicycles for guest use, with a twist. In a new partnership with local business, Bamboo Bicycle Club, the hotel now offers guests use of 6 custom-built unique bamboo bicycles, built from scratch by hotel staff – under the expert guidance and tuition of the team at Bamboo Bicycle Club. Fully tested by bike-riding engineers, the bicycles are beautiful, robust, easy to ride and environmentally friendlier than standard bicycles.
With its focus on good design, and on supporting local London businesses, Hilton London Bankside wanted to offer guests something a little bit different to your average Boris-bike, and so engaged The Bamboo Bicycle Club, a company based in east London specializing in teaching people to build their own amazing bamboo bike from scratch. Set up by cycling enthusiasts James and Ian, The Bamboo Bicycle Club has created a community of bike builders, creative thinkers and cyclists across London and further afield. They have conducted research with Portsmouth University and worked closely with Oxford Brooks University & UCL to advance the development of bamboo bikes.
The bicycles have been made in Bamboo Bicycle Club’s London based workshop. The bikes were first designed digitally to test the build and allow for initial analysis. A frame-building jig was then set up which allows the frame to be built accurately with the correct alignment. The bamboo tube is cut to shape using a mitered join, and once cut to size, the tubes are joined together using a hemp composite wrap. The frame is then finished and waterproofed and finally the components including the wheel and handlebars are fitted.
The bamboo bike builder’s club was founded by James and Ian, two bike riding engineers, who after their own enthusiastic experiments in building bamboo bikes, decided to create a bicycling community with others who are interested in building their own beautiful, robust and environmentally friendlier bamboo bicycle frames.
The Bamboo Bicycle Club began offering weekend workshops which then naturally evolved into offering home build kits, as more people got interested across the U.K.