Bamboo Bicycle Club London

Claire’s Hybrid Bamboo Bike

Date: September 9, 2015 Category:

Claire recently built a her bamboo bike at a weekend workshop. The lugs have been finished with white and a paint has been applied to the rear triangle with a single strip on the seat stays left showing. The components include,

  • Shimano Alfine 11 speed hub
  • Velo Orange stem and handlebars
  • BLB low profile mudguards
  • Brooks B17 saddle and grips
  • Velocity rims
  • Nexus Dynamo hub
  • Tekkie Brakes
  • Shimano Alfine Crank
  • Velo Orange pedals
  • Spray front carbon fork

A few notes by Claire

I have not had a bike since my early teens and am a dedicated tube traveller, I am not especially environmentally conscious, nor am I adept at design or particularly good with my hands… yet building my own bamboo bicycle at the Club’s workshop was a truly enjoyable and rewarding experience. Prior to the build James took my measurements (much like a tailor would if you were having a bespoke garment made) and designed a frame to suit my body shape and needs. Once at the workshop I was free to choose my own pieces of bamboo – I opted for a mottled variety – and was advised on how the thickness and node separation of each piece would work best within the frame. It was then time to put the design James had created into reality by accurately measuring the lengths and angles of each piece of bamboo, sawing and drilling the necessary holes, and fitting them into the jig. The outer surface of bamboo needs to be removed in order for the hemp which holds the frame together to stick to it, and so the next stage involves manually carving the outer layer off with what James originally referred to as your spare thumb but I quickly re-named the “power thumb”! It is then time to cut pieces of hemp and wrap them around the frame joins using an epoxy glue, being careful not to let it overheat. Once dry, it is time to sand the joins with an electric sander then by hand until the surface is smooth and free of imperfections, or as close as you can get it. Throughout the build it is useful to have a vision of your finished bike in mind, and with some pointing in the right direction I am now the proud owner of a beautiful and unique mottled bamboo bike with bright white joins, silver fixings, and a traditional brown leather seat and handlebars.