Product reviews

Passchier bamboo handlebars (Gump 760)

Words by: Jarrad Clatworthy

A lockdown treat

During an extensive lockdown in Melbourne, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out something new and exciting to spice up my local WFH commute around the local block.

I’d come across bamboo bikes in the past (in particular in Asia) – they were always a head turner – but I have never personally commit to a whole bamboo bike, as it can be a huge gamble. I first came across New Zealand’s Passchier Bamboo handlebars on one of Curve Cycling’s custom builds and I was intrigued… a couple of months later, I got my hands on a set for myself as a little lockdown treat.

The verdict

I found Passchier’s Gump 760 bamboo handlebars meet in the middle ground of being uniquely out of the ordinary while possessing some great practical elements. They are extremely lightweight similar to carbon bars, environmentally friendly and hosts great shock absorption whilst riding bumpier terrains (plus they are backed by research to prove they’re not going to snap in an instant!).

The handlebars not only added a lot of character to my commuter bike – they also held up well amongst many of Melbourne’s tougher inner-city conditions including potholes and dreaded tram tracks! When I ventured out further and tested the bars on Warburton’s rail trail, I was able to enjoy the full flex and comfort of the handlebars which provided great shock absorption and comfort across my ride.

The handlebars are at the pricier end of the market running with a price tag of NZ$350 (AUD $295) compared to a decent carbon handlebar which starts from about AUD$220 for reference. I am a big fan of how the bars look, how they enhance the comfort of the ride and a bigger fan of the story of how this local brand started from bamboo kayak paddles and developed into these great handlebars.

Pros:

Lightweight, looks great, well tested to surpass fatigue and strength tests for commuter and trekking bikes, locally made and developed in New Zealand, extremely comfortable.

Cons:

High price point, comes only in 31.8mm centre clamp sizing (Will best fit modern bikes rather than older bikes with a quill stem), easily marked (however does come with safety stickers to avoid scratches when sliding on breaks and gears), not suited for aggressive downhill riding.

For purchase in Australia visit www.passchier.co.nz

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.