Pro Bike Check: Rotem Ishay’s Boo Bicycles Bamboo RS-X

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After placing third at the Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals, Israeli born Rotem Ishay joined the Boo-Training Peaks team alongside Skyler Trujillo. Intrigued by the Boo RS-X Skyler was riding, Rotem sought out a place on the Boo Bikes team, and is flying the bamboo flag for 2013-14. Starting Firday at the Cincy3 Darkhorse Cyclo-Stampede in dead last with no call up, Rotem managed to climb all the way up to an impressive 11th place on his own RS-X, which you can check out after the break.

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Built using a combination of bamboo and carbon, the RS-X certainly stands out in the sea of cross bikes. Fully up to the rigors of cross, Nick Frey the founder of Boo Bicycles told us that Skyler is on the same frame as last year – the rest of his components not so much. Racing has provided valuable insight into improvements for the Boo bike line like the addition of a replaceable driveside dropout instead of a derailleur hanger. The dropout offers improved shifting precision and allows for the use of a belt drive as an option.

Building race worthy bikes out of bamboo and carbon is not an easy process – we’ll have a more in depth piece on that in the near future.

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The RS-X uses a full carbon seat mast with a Ritchey WCS seatmast cap holding a WTB Silverado saddle.

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Rotem runs a 1×11 drivetrain with a SRAM Force 22 right shifter. The left shifter is a previous generation SRAM shifter with the shifting guts removed providing just the s900 brake lever. An alloy 3T ARX-Team stem and Ergonova Pro bar wrapped in Lizard Skins DSP Race tape finish off the cockpit. Of course the spacers are made of Bamboo as well.

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After speaking with Nick about Rotem’s set up, they are still using a standard chain ring with a K-Edge chain catcher and external bash guard to sandwich the chain. Nick said they are considering the move to a narrow wide chainring in the future. The single ring is mounted to a Force 22 crank in a PF30 shell.

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Avid BB7s Road disc brakes clamp 160mm Avid G2 6 bolt rotors mounted to the DT Swiss hubs with Centerlock adapters.

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Rotem’s other bike is essentially the same set up, though it is running Hed Ardennes or technically the Hed Belgium+ laced to Chris King R45 disc hubs. This was Rotem’s A bike for the Harbin Park Cincy3 race as the Challenge Chicanes were the tire of choice.

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Both bikes are propelled by a pair of CrankBrothers Eggbeater 11 pedals.

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Comments

eric - 11/06/13 - 1:14pm

People need to stop making bamboo race bikes. Bamboo is a useful material for mass produced utility bikes if nothing else than being a more eco-friendly material. Craig Calfee is also doing great things with bamboo bikes by teaching people in developing countries how to make bikes with the materials they have at hand (bamboo basically any wood at this point). That being said, for all the effort it takes to make this bike, the designers could have made a better one.

Yah bamboo is good at dampening and its pretty light and whatever, but you want those same qualities? Co-mold with an E-glass prepreg where you would use wood. Dampening in composites is mostly a factor of densities and a typical E-glass prepreg is nearly 1/10 the density of most carbon prepregs. You’re joints will be stronger, too. Not to mention more streamlined leading to improved aerodynamics (if that’s your thing) and improved aesthetics ( if that’s important to you too). These bamboo race bikes are nothing but novelty statements and do nothing for increasing the performance or technology behind the racing bicycle.

Been holding that rant in for a while.

FM - 11/06/13 - 1:28pm

Pretty sure that left brake lever is a S900, not a gutted shifter.

Ck - 11/06/13 - 1:54pm

Who cares if bamboo doesn’t make the race bike better. I guarantee you they’re seeing success behind the main reason they have people racing on these bikes: publicity.

Grateful - 11/06/13 - 2:06pm

I really could care less about who builds what for what purpose. I say “knock yer’self out”, be creative. Creativity is COOL.

But I have to agree with Eric when it comes to “the best technologies” for specific builds for specific purposes. He’s right – for the same amount of time and effort (maybe less) they COULD have created a more viable “tool” for the purpose.

1Pro - 11/06/13 - 2:07pm

eric, you mighta missed something. e-glass not so cool. used for its non conductive properties in the real world. and insulator.

E-glass is 22% more dense than std mod carbon 30% less tensile strength and a fraction of carbon stiffness. S-glass fairs better in the tensile strength but also suck in stiffness and mass.

Zach Overholt - 11/06/13 - 2:13pm

Good catch FM

JoeNomad - 11/06/13 - 2:13pm

So he reduced his carbon footprint with 6 little pieces of bamboo. Saving the earth 1 stick at a time I guess.

carl - 11/06/13 - 2:28pm

I met Nick at the Boulder Cup and had the opportunity to speak with him at length. A very nice fellow who works hard at building the best product he can; I came away impressed with him and the bike. But at the price there are a lot of REALLY nice bikes in this world. I can only believe bamboo is his material of choice because it distinguishes him from the other guys. Working in conventional materials he’s just be one of many…. witness all the bikes we see right here on BR. Still, nicely done BOO!

1Pro - 11/06/13 - 2:41pm

wow, i just did their price configurator. $4k is expensive for a bamboo frameset made in a village in SE Asia.

myke - 11/06/13 - 3:10pm

1Pro your right. I see Boo’s cx team as a point of marketing. When i think bamboo, i think cheap. most people will see that price and think their nuts when they can go get something flashy and cool for the same price and not feel they got something hi tech. This is low tech high cost.

Paul V - 11/06/13 - 4:23pm

I can’t believe people waste their money on bikes like these when you can buy a carbon bike for half the price. Hell, every carbon bike I have ridden has the best possible ride. I bet this company will go out of business just like all those companies that use another obsolete material; what were their names again? Richard Sachs? Speedvagen/Vanilla? Breadwinner? Oh wait….I guess aesthetics, creativity and personal preference do have a place in the veloconomy.

Jack - 11/06/13 - 5:13pm

This is a carbon bike with some of the most expensive bamboo imaginable. It is a “look at me” toy and nothing more.

carl - 11/06/13 - 5:58pm

@Paul V – Yup, there is a place for everything. You hit the nail on the head. (AND he differentiates himself from SACHS, SPEEDVAGEN, VANILLA etc etc).

Charlie Best - 11/06/13 - 5:58pm

myke: “think their nuts”

I LOLed

ben - 11/07/13 - 9:04am

Too many pandas around here, that bike wouldn’t see Saturday.

#getout - 11/08/13 - 2:19am

@Gratefull

You couldn’t be more right. Thanks. All this complaining.. Come on now, have some thought for other peoples wants. Who gives one sh*t if you don’t like it or want to buy it? You certainly don’t have to..

The people who makes these bikes probably love it! And that’s rad! They certainly have more creativity and a mind for something other than carbon and the newest, coolest technology. Who cares if you dislike how their time and energy is spent. Once again, it’s not your time, or your energy.

Anyway, wouldn’t you rather ride something like this than another asian-built carbon bike?? It’s unique within the industry.

Boo’s done it right. Solid job Rotem!

chasejj - 11/08/13 - 7:53pm

I will crash my car LMFAO when I see one of these lame Bamboo bikes (that are only ever featured on BR BTW) hanging off the back of a Tesla Model S.
Who’s Boos insurance agent? I will send him the bill for repairs.

Dr. Badtouch, child proctologist - 11/10/13 - 12:13am

As cool as bamboo is, it’s never going to be more than a novelty material for bike frames.

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