Road to NAHBS 2014: Boo Bicycles Growing Like Bamboo
At last year’s show, and probably at this year’s too, Boo Bicycles impresses with some super sleek bamboo and metal bikes with a couple one-off or prototype parts from others hanging on them. This year, founder Nick Frey says he’s got more than a couple surprises shooting up:
BIKERUMOR: What are your main building materials?
NICK: Bamboo (always!) with carbon fiber or aluminum.
BIKERUMOR: What’s new with your company since NAHBS last year?
NICK: A lot…we had a successful Kickstarter in May 2013 for the new www.aluboobikes.com and have been focused on perfecting our craft with Boo as well as introducing Aluboo to a wider audience. We are building a dealer network in the US, selling fat bikes like mad, and driving around the country in a decked out 1998 Bluebird All American: BooBus Maximus. The BooBus will be going to many of the biggest events in the US, meeting with dealers, and riding all the local Wednesday Night World Championships. We have some great partners in TrainingPeaks, BRAAAP, and Pactimo—they’ll be stocking us with some things we need for the road, both in the bus and on bikes.
We have been working closely with Retül to make it possible for any Retül trained and certified fitter to order a custom Boo frame—this system gives us the confidence that the frame will fit like a glove and the customer knows they have a physical point of contact for service. We couldn’t be more stoked that such a revolutionary technology is based just down the road from us in Boulder, Colorado.
BIKERUMOR: Any killer custom bike builds in that time?
NICK: Well of course. But we are not going to let all the cats out of the bag. I will say that we are bring bikes that can be ridden many different ways…up the side of a fourteener in February, with your honey, or at the Cyclocross World Championships (Editor’s note: Or the Collegiate CX finals, like this one!). We are working with SRAM and Gates as we’ve done many years now, but you’ll see some sweet new options on our bikes that few others are offering. Most importantly, we are going to be showing off some incredible custom paint schemes done by a hot rod painter in Fort Collins, Newstalgia, who is doing all of our spraying. So many sweet custom options, we can’t contain ourselves!
BIKERUMOR: Say a customer gives you free reign, where do you draw your inspiration for the best projects?
NICK: Last year with the Glissando, we were inspired by the graceful Ti of Budnitz and Black Sheep. This year, we’ve been inspired by the fat bike movement: 9:ZERO:7 and Borealis. Most of the design inspiration has come from within, honestly: recognizing challenges in current bicycles and designing them to overcome. For instance, the Aluboo has interchangeable slider dropouts from Paragon that we designed to accommodate all the different axle spacing options.
BIKERUMOR: What are you building this year that’ll draw a crowd?
NICK: A custom ski mountaineering ice climbing rig. We haven’t seen anything like this before, and as I live at 9,600’ in Breckenridge, it’s the bike I’m most excited about.
BIKERUMOR: Scenario: NAHBS introduces a new category called Mashups, pairing two completely different builders to make one bike. Who’s the yin to your yang, and what kind of bike do you think you’d build?
NICK: Honestly we draw inspiration every year at NAHBS…Don really has created a bike industry event that’s unrivaled in the world. We always love seeing our neighbors Black Sheep and what they pull out. We did a fat bike mashup together last year for a customer in Iowa City, and are always open to more of those partnerships! The curved Ti is such an organic compliment to the raw bamboo.