Road to NAHBS 2015: Boo Bicycles’ Bamboo Bombers


Boo has had a gangbusters year.  Through impressive competitive showings in fields internationally for both their original and Aluboo models, Boo has established the high performance capability of their product while reinforcing its proven durability and ride quality across genres.  The crowd at NAHBS has a diverse selection of naturally grown tubed bikes this year…

BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?

Boo: Bamboo and carbon composite (for Boo models) and bamboo and aluminum (Aluboo / Alubooyah models).


BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?

Boo: We have proven all of our models through numerous reviews. We have a burgeoning dealer network and are spreading the word around the country that Boo is working with dealers.

We’ve taken four podiums already in 2015, as well as a top-15 World Championship placing:

1st – National Championship Professional Women Fat Bike – Amanda Miller – Alubooyah
3rd – National Championship Elite Men 19-29 – Ben Castaneda – Alubooyah
3rd – National Championship Elite Men SS – AJ Turner – BOOlossal fat bike
3rd – Tour of Saigon Professional Men Road Race – Nick Frey – Boo RSR
15th – World Championship Junior Men 17-18 Cyclocross – Brannan Fix – Boo RSX
21st – Leadville Traill 100 MTB Overall – Nick Frey – Boo RSM 29er


BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time? 

Boo: Absolutely.

Boo NAHBS 2015 Sea-foam Alubooyah

ROAD: RSR Di2 Disc
FAT: BOOlossal Rohloff
FAT: Alubooyah Sea Foam
FAT: Alubooyah Rohloff XL
29ER: RSM Lefty XX1
29+: Alubooyah 14k
COMMUTER: Aluboo Hawaiian Blue

Boo NAHBS 2015 Alubooyah ROHLOFF

BIKERUMOR: What were some of your newer inspirations for recent bikes?

Boo: We’ve been inspired by the worlds of gravel and fat. Bamboo is adept at providing superb traction, handling, and comfort in rough conditions. We also like being among nature, away from traffic, and exploration. We’re working with Osprey Packs to innovate around the bike-packing adventures we enjoy so much.

Boo NAHBS 2015 CX CX1

BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?

Boo: We’ve made the ultimate gravel racing bicycle in the industry: the new Boo SLG (not shown). This is the first in our SL series which uses a number of new technologies relating to our bamboo and carbon. The SL shaves almost 1⁄4 of the weight from our frame with new full-carbon thru-axle dropouts, disc-only interface which deletes the chain stay and seat stay bridges, and features a custom integrated seat mast with fully integrated wiring for Di2 drivetrains. Our bamboo has been internally reinforced with a special composite that allows for dramatically thinner tube walls while maintaining stiffness and increasing durability against gravel impacts. Our carbon joint layups have been refined to optimize unidirectional fiber alignment in specific load paths to provide increased response while maintaining the supple ride Boo is famous for. Over the course of a 200 mile gravel race like the infamous Dirty Kanza, the new Boo SLG will float over the harsh flint and reduce the fatigue the rider must cope with.

Stiff+ responsive + comfortable = ultimate performance.

Boo NAHBS 2015 Alubooyah 29-plus Silver

BIKERUMOR: If you had to build a bike for a Kentucky Derby style race (think short, all out effort on deep, loose dirt), what would you build and why?

Boo: Absolutely our 29+. This bike has ridiculous traction in loose conditions, enough flotation for deeper dirt, and yet it sprints and handles like a racing MTB. The 29+ is the best of all worlds—it can be an adventure bike, and ultra-deep-snow fat bike (with 26×4.8” setup), and a superlight racing MTB.

Boo NAHBS 2015 Alubooyah 29-plus Silver BB

BIKERUMOR: Bourbon or beer?

Boo: We’re lucky enough to never make those difficult decisions.

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Cornelius Griggs
Cornelius Griggs
7 years ago

I’d love to know what they’ve done about the differential thermal contraction between bamboo and carbon. Calfee cited that as the reason for using hemp joints. What is Boo’s solution?

knanci djreaux
knanci djreaux
7 years ago

Is it just me or do their bikes seem to have less and less bamboo in them every year? It strikes me as a gimmick, seriously. When something like 25% of the tubing is actually bamboo does it really matter anymore?

Drew Diller
7 years ago

Cornelius, I’ve built a few bamboo frames with the same bamboo species as Boo. There’s a trick I call mechanical adhesion. You basically physically prevent the bamboo from coming out. It only takes some shallow roughing, but doing so conflicts with Calfee’s style of carbon layup.

…Think of it this way. If you were to magically make a bamboo pole disappear from one of Boo’s bamboo-carbon-composite frames, there’d be a very small amount of intentional chaos on the inside, it wouldn’t be perfectly cylindrical. You don’t need much – just a little, and suddenly two concentrically mounted tubes will be VERY difficult to remove from each other.

You should, in practice, be much more concerned with whether the bamboo itself is going to survive over time. Both parties go through a sort of elimination process to get the best poles used, and those poles eliminated go to… other purposes for bamboo.

Drew Diller
7 years ago

Forgot some words in there, “there’d be a very small amount of intentional chaos on the inside of the carbon lugs”

7 years ago


More carbon?
More carbon?
7 years ago

While the look of their latest bikes appears more refined (and they do look very nice), it does seem there is more carbon and less bamboo, or maybe the same lengths of bamboo, but less volume (as they say they are using thinner walls on some models). I too question how much effect the bamboo has. I haven’t ridden one of their old or new ones so can’t draw any conclusions, but it’s just a thought.

7 years ago

Certainly seems like it would be easier to keep all the tubes the same material. Might even perform better too.

7 years ago

I actually have the first bamboo/carbon fat bike BOO made (the BOOlossal), and absolutely love it. I’ve also ridden their 29″ mountain bikes before which are a blast as well.

Based on the above comments, I think one of the details that gets lost in the photos is that the bamboo tubes actually extend farther into the joints than what is visible. This includes the curvature of the seat and chain stays as well – the bamboo is actually curved with a carbon wrap to help form the joint and keep it all together.

I know this doesn’t really describe it from an engineering or technical sense, but basing on the pictures I have of when mine was being constructed, that’s effectively what it is.

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call up the guys at BOO. They are completely down to earth and are great to work with.