Tam Vong Bamboo: World’s Best
Tam Vong Bamboo: A Building Material with 30+ Million Years of R&D
Our Tam Vong bamboo is not just any bamboo–out of the more than 2,000 varieties of bamboo growing worldwide, it’s one of the strongest. This is thanks to the extraordinary physical attributes of Tam Vong and the unique climate of Vietnam, where Boo master craftsman James Wolf cultivates this special species with his team.
Tam Vong bamboo is stronger by weight than steel. It is also as stiff as carbon fiber in bending. This strength and stiffness is the product of thousands of stiff longitudinal fibers in each tube (Tam Vong has an exceptionally high fiber density compared to other bamboos).
But Tam Vong bamboo is more than just stiff and strong. It’s also supple and smooth. This is because the thousands of fibers in each tube are surrounded by an insulating material, called lignin, that damps vibration.
In fact, because the bamboo has a density gradient of fibers, from stiff and tightly-packed mature fibers directly underneath the skin to layers of less-mature fibers surrounded by more lignin towards the center of the tube, it can absorb multiple frequencies of vibration.
Said another way, Tam Vong bamboo soaks up a variety of ‘noise’ from the road surface. The mature fibers respond to sharp bumps and hits. The layers of less-mature fibers, with more fleshy lignin, damp vibrations and chatter from the surface.
Tam Vong is also forgiving. The tubes have torsional compliance, meaning they can twist a little bit. This is felt when weaving through a rock garden or down a curvy descent, as the bike confidently follows the line you set and deflects the rest.
A Very Special Grass
Tam Vong bamboo grows without fertilizers or pesticides. It does not contribute to soil depletion or erosion. All it needs to grow is sun, water, and air.
Tam Vong bamboo is a clumping variety, meaning new poles ‘shoot’ from a culm of mature poles. Poles are harvested at 3 1/2 years old (the peak of tube maturity and strength). The harvest happens once a year, and each tube undergoes an extensive curing and seasoning process before being used in one of our frames.