Platform for FAIR Dutch designers

Blackstar Bikes -

bamboo bike from Africa

BlackStarBikes are completely unique. Since no piece of bamboo is the same. That's why we asked our friends in Ghana to build it. They're the most skilled craftsmen we've met. And believe us, we've met a few.

So we combined their bamboo frame with the best  bicycle parts we could find.  Resulting in your perfect and affordable bamboo bike.

 

What makes this special?

Proudly made in Africa (Ghana)

Environmental friendly bamboo frame which offers great shock proofing

LED lights

Assembled in a social enterprise supporting people with learning and physical restrictions

 

Bamboo bike men

suggested retail price

€ 849,-

Bamboo bike women

suggested retail price

€ 849,-

Customisation

If you want to add your company’s logo on a bill board hanging from the frame we are happy to oblige.

The bike is also designed to add a carrier at the front or back which is convenient for transporting your groceries, bags etc.

The designers - We like to push ourselves to explore new ways

"We like to push ourselves to explore new ways of production, discovering new techniques and uses for unconventional materials. This may lead to terrible headaches and the occasional crying ourselves to sleep at night, but it also brings us unique, inspiring products and a reward no money can buy."

Imke Harm Schepers

industrial designer

The India adventure

In February 2010 IXX flew to India for the first time to learn more about Indian textile traditions and to discover the possibilities for collaboration. We were very lucky to meet wonderful people with whom we felt connected right away! What started as a big adventure is now a cross-cultural partnership with valuable chances for both partners.

When she saw the small bike workshop on her travels in Ghana with the bamboo frames, being Dutch and a bike enthusiast it was love at first sight and she was inspired to export a unique bike out of Africa. The challenge was to redesign the frame to improve both the quality and to ensure it passed the rigorous testing standards conducted in Germany for the Europe market.

 

Our main goal is to develop cool products and create employment opportunities. Made in Africa for export also supports our philosophy of trade not aid. In the field of environmental sustainability we’re no experts. And we’re not really sure what the artificial resin does for our environment, but this we do know compared to the ordinary steel or aluminium bicycles our bike is a downright saint. The production of 1ton steel leaves the world with the incredible amount of 480 kilo of carbon dioxide. You do the maths

 

The artisans

Our workshop in Ghana produces frames for both the local market and the Black Star Bikes market. The exporting of the bikes has meant that additional people could be educated and trained in working with bamboo and building the frames. Today there is a team of 40 young men and women with families who are engaged. The workshop also provides an alternative source of income for the communities where we harvest the bamboo.

 

With our contribution we hope to provide increasingly more opportunities for both women and the men in Kumasi as

well as allow the workshop to make more affordable bikes for the local market.

 

Our partner in Amsterdam that assembles the bikes is a reintegration organization that works with persons that because of learning difficulties, social issues or physical restrictions need support and work opportunities. These people get the guidance and environment they deserve which makes them perfectly capable and happy doing their jobs and building beautiful bikes.

The design inspiration

The Black star bike name was inspired by the star in the Ghanian flag and the name of one of the first shipping line between Africa and Europe established by Marcus Garvey.

 

The bamboo frame brings a link to nature and fun and sustainability.

It also brings a presence as you ride along and allows you to stand out in

the crowd. It’s a great conversation starter at the traffic lights.

 

The production

Making the bamboo frame takes upto 4 days by hand and is a labour intensive process involving preparing and then shaping the material using jigs.

The bikes are assembled in half a day involving 4 workers in Amsterdam.

I'm interested in Blackstarbikes!

Please leave your contact details and we will send you

the details and time estimation of making it for you.

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