The mention of bamboo handlebars often raises a few eyebrows –
The questions begin “How strong are they?”, “Will they last as long as my carbons?”, “What’s the technical control like?”.
We’ve heard it all, and the answers are – strong, yes, and bloody excellent. But don’t just take our word… we’ve got the evidence that proves it.
As part of the small team running Passchier Bamboo Handlebars, we’re serious about riding and genuinely want to improve the ride of anyone with the same passion. We developed Passchier as we felt that jarring, tingling sensation up our hands and arms far too often after a good ride (which we’ve now found out to be hand-arm vibration syndrome). Our muscles and wrists were taking the heat of the vibrations running through our carbon alloy bars, and it was leaving every ride a little less enjoyable while slowly damaging the nerves in our hands. It wasn’t ideal, and yet it seemed like a common experience simply accepted by riders. We aren’t going to stand for that.
We got to work, and after a good couple of years of testing and many, many prototypes, Dirk Passchier, the craftsman behind our operation, had finally sculpted the perfect bar. Unique and beautiful to look at, strength tested to no end, and with the perfect amount of flex to deliver just the comfort we were looking for – lo and behold, The Gump.
These beauties were genuinely unlike anything we’d ever ridden. The smoothness along all terrains – give us gravel, cobblestones, shingle – was second to none. The Gumps stood up to the test and proved so comfortable it was hard not to over-shoot your destination and keep riding, leading them to swiftly be named after a man of similar nature, Forrest Gump.
We continued on, crafting a few variations of the bars, The 45° Couch and 10° Scoot, but always came back to the Gumps – 760mm long and with a 22° sweep, they were the perfect combination of strength, comfort, and style that we’d been looking for.
As laminated natural fibers, the bars have just enough flex to alleviate the stress from the road and absorb vibrations that normally our hands, wrists, and arms take the hit from, while still having the stability to not compromise any control. (Interestingly enough, this is the reason we deviated from the aforementioned 45° Couch design – ridiculously comfortable to ride, they felt like you were parked on the couch at home! However, the flex was too much that they didn’t handle as beautifully and precisely as the Gumps, so the Couch has been left to kick its feet up while we’re back at the drawing board on that heftier sweep).
It was all on from there. Mike and Dirk put their heads down, handcrafting bar after bar and strength testing to determine what the bars were best suited for. After a 5 day stretch and 100,000 repeats in the strength lab, Passchier’s stood up to the test and proved the perfect bars for bike packing adventures, commuting, and easy trails, while we decided to lean away from promoting any downhill, technical work, and jumps. They’d actually proved to be so perfect for those long tours or daily commutes that we narrowed our focus to this area, and even designed another city friendly version of the Gumps – the Gump 650s.
Passchier bars are designed for the avid rider by mates who just love to ride. We take into account all of the nuances that come with a good ride, and want to make sure comfort and style are part of the experience for anyone else who spends a bit of time behind their bars.
Check out the video below to meet Dirk and Mike, the faces behind Passchier and hear their bar building journey start to finish, or check out our website to see more on what we’re about and pick up your own set of Passchier’s.