Calculus Bikes: Dream + Measure + Design = Perfection

Calculus Bikes

Custom Bamboo and Titanium Frame manufacturer, Calculus Bikes offers a unique, bike product which is exceedingly rare, and very different from the regular mass-produced bike brands manufactured around the world.

“You would hope that all bicycles were designed and built by highly qualified engineers. You would also like it if your bike builder named his company after ‘the mathematical study of continuous change’, and that he brought those sorts of practices into work with him every day.”

Unfortunately, with the multitude of bike brands manufactured around the world, this just isn’t the case. Well except, in one very particular case.

Calculus Bikes was founded in 2016 by brothers, Charl-Stephan and Millar Nienaber – a name with cycling heritage! Between them, they have multiple engineering degrees, engineering experience, and many years of bike racing experience – both on and off-road.

“Having bought and owned over thirty mass-produced bikes in my 56 years, I can honestly say that none of them felt ‘right’. None of them took into consideration the fact that my span is 4 inches longer than my height – or that I have very small feet for my size. How could they?” says Simon Bever, UK.

What makes Calculus Bikes different?

What does all that experience and knowledge bring to the world of bike manufacturing? Apart from a range of stunningly beautiful custom-made titanium and bamboo frames, Calculus Bikes brings an understanding of their customers ‘needs’, rather than their ‘wants’.

Yes, the customer will ‘want’ the bike to perform in a certain way, ‘want’ attention to detail, and ‘want’ a specific style – everything that goes with the process of purchasing a bespoke product. Calculus Bikes looks very carefully at exactly what bike the rider will ‘need’, to get the ride he or she ‘wants’.

Custom Engineering

“We need to understand that two riders don’t have the same biometric characteristics, style, attitude or desire,” says Millar. At Calculus Bikes they believe there is no reason why every rider should only have a choice of three frame sizes.

“At Calculus Bikes we engineer each bike exactly according to the client’s needs to build them their best riding dream bike,” Millar continues.

The process of designing and building a bespoke frame and the subsequent component choice and assembly, is a thorough and exacting science. Not only does the bike have to ‘fit’ and provide the correct performance criteria, but it must also provide the rider with the correct level of comfort for the rides to come.

Of course, none of this is taken into account when you buy a regular mass-produced bike. Bike manufacturers simply build four to five frame sizes they think will fit all sizes and shapes. Very few people are fortunate enough to find a set-up that is there or thereabouts, but they are few and far between.

Custom Bamboo Frame
Calculus Bikes is the first South African Bike manufacturer to build bamboo bikes. They decided to choose bamboo as their frame building material of preference, along with carbon fibre.

Nothing else comes to the lure of something as exotic as riding a bamboo bicycle. The ride characteristics of a bamboo frame are superior to aluminium or a full carbon frame, due to its damping properties. The bamboo absorbs much more of the vibration from the road or mountain. By using bamboo tubes and carbon fibre for the lugs – the best of both worlds are achieved: a light, stiff and responsive frame that absorbs the unwanted vibrations. These frames are truly the best that nature and technology can provide.

Custom Titanium Frame

Calculus Bikes have worked hard to expand their range of frames to include the king of metals: Titanium. The frames will be designed the same as any of their other frames, which is based on each rider’s unique application to create the dream ride.

Design and Build

The design starts with an ErgoFiT measurement of the client. Measurements, advanced algorithms and years of experience gives Calculus Bike engineers the perfect indication of the ideal position for the rider on his/her bike.

Once the engineers have determined the rider’s position, they design the frame around those parameters, taking into account the type of riding the bike will be used for, and the desired ride characteristics the rider want. The components are also chosen to best complement the design and desired riding characteristics. Whether riders choose Shimano or SRAM drivetrain, with carbon fibre or aluminium wheels, it is all taken into account in the design process.

With the customised design in-hand the building starts. The building of the frame is done with a combination of techniques, ranging from high-tech 3D printing to hand layups of carbon fibre between the bamboo tubes. When the frame is completed, the components are assembled to finish off the master piece, before sending it to the new owner.

At Calculus Bikes, they engineer bikes to fit the customer; to do what their customers want them to do, and have a spectacular look. Inspect the neat welding on their stunning titanium and bamboo frames, with bespoke carbon lugs; surely the best combination of natural and technological components on a bike frame.

In our world of mass production and global markets, where we’re all simply customers on a database somewhere, Calculus Bikes offers a product which is exceedingly rare – no substitute for brilliant, bespoke engineering.

“We would love to hear from you and your idea of your dream bike. Let’s start the journey to your ultimate ride.”

For more information contact 0641917329 or visit

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