Iron Bamboo aka Dendrocalamus Strictus – Bamboo Bike Supplies

Iron Bamboo aka Dendrocalamus Strictus

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of bamboo groves, nurseries and farms both in the US and in China, but Dendrocalamus has alluded me. It’s a rather mysterious species known for its solid fibers, durability and ability to refrain from cracking – a golden species prized among many frame builders including Panda (Sanded), Boo Cycles, Calfee and BBS.

Here is a first hand documentation of the species from a 75 acre strictus plantation in Mexico.

I arrived mid morning with the birds chirping and day still rather cool. Temperatures can reach upwards of 100+ degrees here mid-day with a thick humidity that sticks all over.  I walked around the farm, scouting the environment that birthed our lovely bikes.. finding a handful of culms in various stages of growth: post-harvest, air dried, sunburned and fungal decay.

First impression – soft, supple and easily dinged. The fresh stalks felt firm and smooth but soft to the touch - they perspired in the early morning sun like they just came out of a sauna. I took a fingernail to the fresh stalk and was able to etch a line across the surface with ease. I took this as a sign of low silicon on the skin. Unlike Moso and Henon bamboo varietals, the grove expressed a much more rugged appearance.. a big of mangled jungle rather than the tranquility bamboo groves usually induce. 

iron bamboo fresh harvest iron bamboo machete harvest

Barbarian Dino-grass!

 iron bamboo dense grove iron bamboo grove 

Left & Right - Before and after shots of fingernail scratch.

fresh iron bamboo iron bamboo skin soft

Ok I lied, as a whole they're still pretty tranquil.. just a little rugged looking.

iron bamboo zen grove for bike riding

An interesting find: an antique stained bamboo chair with sharkskin leather coverings.

shark tooth iron bamboo furniture

1 comment

  • trees

    Can you give any clarification on the fact that the common name “Iron Bamboo” is applied to what seems to be two different species? Most sources I’ve found are consistent in referring to Iron Bamboo as Dendrocalamus Strictus while a few list Ferrocalamus Stictus as single species genera—seems like shaky taxonomy to me…

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