Building a Buffalo Bicycle

Putting Together a Bike

A huge thank you to world bicycle relief for inviting us here to the assembly plant to find out how all these Buffalo bikes are made hopefully somebody will get the use of this one at some point after it’s gone through some quality control. In the bikes’ assembly room was a cool group of ten people who put the Buffalo bikes together, where they will then be put into the various storerooms that we have over this side. So, we thought we’d show you exactly how they go about building the Buffalo bike from start to finish.

Video Transcript

Welcome back to world bicycle relief week here on GCN helping to change lives through the power of bicycles hopefully you’ve seen a couple of the recent videos on GCM where we followed some locals here in Zambia using buffalo bikes and how important they are to their daily life I would say we’ve been invited here to the assembly plant to see exactly how the buffalo bikes put together that’s a heavy door and I’m quite weak [Music] okay so if you come in here this is the world basically Buffalo bikes assembly room as a cool group of ten people who put the Buffalo bikes together where they will then be put into the various storerooms that we have over this side but we thought we’d show you exactly how they go about building the Buffalo bike from start to finish so we are going to start over here with Kelvin he is the man who takes the bear frames at the very start and as you can see he puts the forks in and the head set and the bearings but he is also in charge of putting the bottom bracket in the cranks on and also the pedal once he’s finished with that he will then put it over here and it will be ready for a central part which will get on to a little bit later over here is a man who has pretty the most intricate job of all the people here making the Buffalo bites this is Maybin as you can see he is in charge of making up the mud guards or the fenders for those of you over in the US and if you zoom in right now you will see a load of very very cool folks and pieces to put those fingers together and he is using as you can see a power drill to make sure that everything is as tight as it should be and doesn’t rattle loose when you get some rigorous use out in rural areas. As I said we will go into these guys Evans and Dudus in just a few mounts time but before we get to them I want you to come over to the back end here because this is where the wheels are all made from scratch so there’s a core group of four people here we have Wigan we have pison who’s going to help me build a bike a little bit later on we’ve also got Joe and Dennis so the first two Wigan and pison they are in charge of the smokes they were individually for each of the 36 folks into the front & rear hubs then when it goes over to pricing there in the corner he will feed them into the rim with the nipples etcetera and at the end of that we have a wheel which looks like this so it looks like a wheel not much use on any bike let alone a Buffalo’s bike so that is when they will go on to Joe and his partner in crime over here their job is to tension them up and make sure the dish is central let’s try a lot of quality goes into each stage of the process as well and then finally almost finally penultimately should I say and we had over somewhere George’s just over here a George is in charge of putting the tire and the inner tube and the wheel reflectors on these are all very important parts obviously the tire needs to be at exactly 60 psi that is what they have found has to be the most durable they are special tires incidentally with a slightly different compound which allows them to last a year or two as opposed around three months that you would get with rigorous usual of a normal compound so he will make sure that the tire is correctly seeded on here and completely okay for the next person to use then all of those separate parts so the bit that Calvin had at the start and then the fenders and the wheels are completely built up they will come over to Judas and Evans Normans two of them based here in the middle and they will put the whole lot together now those two are also in charge of putting the handlebars and the stem together and also the grips it will come to these two central stations and by the time that Evans and deuter’s are finished it’s pretty much have a full buffalo fight but there are two parts still missing so at the very final part of the process rest with this man urine now he has a very important job first he’s got two parts to finish off first the felt which is what he’s doing now that people can hear when a rider is coming and he also does the chain guard down at the bottom here but finally Jerome’s job is quality controls that he makes sure that everything is absolutely perfect on these buffalo bike before you then agree to put them in the storage room which is just behind you I should probably let those guys crack on with their job but they have become incredibly efficient in the years that they’ve been doing it over here in Zambia to the point where on a good day and if they are needed to they can apparently build a hundred buckler bike which really is quite incredible you consider there’s 36 spokes and that means 200 wheels very spectacular indeed a lot these guys have been working here for a few years it’s a very nice place for a Zambian to work because they get medical provision and care but they also if they are required to over time actually get paid overtime which is a rarity that’s what we understand over here now I understand that pison has got a little job for me to do we were to find out what is [Music] [Applause] [Music] right so now we have been looking at the professionals doing their job very efficiently over there in the Assembly Room they’ve decided that I should also have a go assembling a buffalo bike myself so hope you got some patience out there [Applause] [Music] [Applause] it’s a process which they make look very easy and which I don’t I blame the lack of power tool or perhaps lack of power of any sort yeah it’s still got a quarter turn on it [Music] [Applause] I’m happy with that it’s quite straight anyway whilst I’m struggling to turn some screws let’s have another look at how these bikes are actually used a couple of days ago we went to a distribution day a quite overwhelming experience now at the end of it we met two Silla we joined her as she for the first time rode the seven kilometers home instead of walking Susilo is the youngest of eight in her family none of her siblings finished their education the distance to school just proved too much and to Silla herself in fact actually stopped a couple of years ago too however a friend convinced her to continue her studies and it was this determination which earned her a buffalo bike she’s now got a much better chance of finishing school and has ambitions but finished lea becoming a nurse here we are i was tough for Cecilia’s got a really big climb up to her house but that was a maiden voyage on a newly donated buffalo bike I think she enjoyed it these are the differences that your donations are making in the real world what time do you know okay oh five you start walking and now with this what time do you think you will leave 6:20 an hour and 20 difference having seen it firsthand it’s really quite emotional for us a bike is a means of being sociable healthy a means of being competitive or adventurous for them it’s a means to a better life help us this year to raise as much as possible by clicking on the link on your screen right now and donating whatever you can and we’re done we’re gonna ride it thank you very much poison well I think I’ve decreased their productivity in a day having used pison for the best part of an hour but we’re there I’ve got a bike so holding together so far I did off the part in a back Ebert you didn’t want to get on for some reason alright well that leaves us to say is a huge thank you to world bicycle relief for inviting us here to the assembly plant to find out how all these Buffalo bikes are made hopefully somebody will get the use of this one at some point after it’s gone through some quite severe quality control now we are as you very well know trying to raise as much money as we possibly can for world bicycle relief again this year so that we can get as many of these bikes to the people that need them because as the tagline goes bicycles really do make a huge difference to people’s lives over here so if you’d like to see details of how you can donate to world bicycle relief you can find that in the description just down below this video and if we raise enough money won’t we me shave my hair this year but instead Matt and psy are going to write pretty much naked across central London so that’s worthwhile itself I think you have to say as a follow that link and please do donate generously as you did in 2016 now if you would like to see exactly how these bikes are used over here in Zambia you can click through to the following two videos just down here we follow a student and just down here a local farmer.