Guapa Cycles is a new British brand that is combining natural materials to create elegant city bikes. Founded by brothers Tom and Harry Williams, the company’s first bike is the Urban One, which features a frame constructed of bamboo and flax fiber. The flax fiber adds strength and dampens vibrations, and Guapa says its bike frames are as strong as an equivalent steel or aluminum frame.
Flax might sound like a curious choice, but this is not the flax seed you’d find in your breakfast granola. After being harvested in France, the fiber is woven into an incredibly tough fabric in Italy and then impregnated with a resin.
“Flax has been chosen over the use of carbon or glass fiber due to its complimentary mechanical properties to wood,” the company says on its website. “This has enabled us to create a wooden bicycle that is lightweight and stiff yet with minimal vibration.”
Guapa completes the Urban One with a Gates Carbon Drive belt system and a NuVinci N360 continuously variable planetary hub for clean, smooth and simple pedaling and shifting. Read the Bike Radar story about Guapa. This is bike innovation at its finest. Call it natural selection.