Spotlight | AluBoo—The Commuter

Nick Frey wants you to have a custom bike, or if not a totally custom bike, at least a bike that is unique. His flagship Boo race bikes are custom-built from bamboo tubing hand-joined with carbon fiber.

His new adventure is AluBoo, a less expensive, but still customizable option, that mixes aluminum and bamboo.

"The Boo's are super nice and super expensive. They're made one at a time, and they're for you," said Frey. "The AluBoo is still made for you. We still want to make it cool and customizable so each person gets their own bike."

The aluminum slots into the aluminum, and the two materials are epoxied together with a two-step, proprietary adhesive. "It fits together, like male and female," said Frey, laughing. "Normal full aluminum bikes, they're just really uncomfortable. Bamboo absorbs vibration."

Frey plans to make the framesets available in six colors: Pearlescent green, pearlescent pink, blue, orange, and red. "Maybe Purple," he said. "We're on the fence about purple."

The commuter version features a belt drive, disc brakes, and surly bendy bars. "The belt drive is super smooth and there's no mess and there's no maintenance," said Frey. "You don't have to roll your pants up and have this crappy chainring mark on your leg."

Mainly, Frey designed the AluBoo for versatility. "You can turn it into any bike you want," said Frey. "It can run a belt drive or chain. It can even run a full road bike gearing system."

Frey recently launched a kickstarter to fund the new project, and he met his funding goal within nine days. "I can't believe everyone is super stoked on this bike," he said. The first production run of AluBoo, built in Vietnam, will become available in July.

"You look down, and there's wood between your legs," said Frey. "A lot of folks don't ever see that ever. It could be unique! It makes you want to ride more and see it more often!"