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Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Carbon-neutral cycles with a charitable spin

Bamboo bikes that support a social enterprise in Zambia

Carbon-neutral cycles with a charitable spin

November 25 2012
Lindsay Macpherson

When Nicki Boyd, Richard Chapman and Stuart Block embarked on a cycle ride across Zambia last year they returned not only having raised £115,000 for a number of charities, but with the seed of a new business plan: to sell bamboo bicycles, made by a social enterprise they encountered on their travels, in the UK.

The trio’s carbon-neutral Zamboo bikes are manufactured through a partnership with Zambikes, which provides transport for medical workers, pastors, teachers and entrepreneurs across Zambia. Since its launch in August, Zamboo has introduced two sustainably sourced, handcrafted models – the fixed-gear Sasa (£1,250), and the sleek, performance-focused Bambusa racer (pictured, £1,950).

According to Block, using bamboo has an additional benefit: “The natural fibres make its shock absorption far superior to carbon,” he explains, “so these bikes are brilliantly suited to Britain’s bumpy roads.”