Frequently-asked-questions

Frequently/Occasionally Asked Questions:

This page contains genuine answers to genuine (albeit sometimes not frequent) questions that we’ve been asked over the past couple of years. So, please remember that there is no such thing as a silly question!

Why build a bamboo bicycle?
Bamboo has ideal properties highly suited to bicycle construction. As a material, it has excellent vibration dampening effects and the all the bumps in the roads seem to be effortlessly absorbed. Amongst others, academic research has been conducted at the Universities of Princeton, Zurich and Oxford Brookes, all accrediting bamboo as a fantastic material for bicycle building. The Bamboo Bicycle Club team have been researching and experimenting with bamboo frames for well-over 4 years and we just can’t get enough of that smooth sensation!

Why bother building one yourself?
There is no welding, heat treatment or heavy mechanics involved in building bamboo frames – our workshops are design for people of all abilities and ages, and you’ll have as much help as you need from the team to build a bamboo bikes that you can ride and enjoy.

Why do you run the workshops?
We want people to share our experience and promote the pleasure of building your own bicycle. Cycling is fantastic, and we want more bikes on the road!

How much does it all cost?
Our workshops cost £495.00 and include all the materials & tools you need to complete a frame. Check out our build a bicycle page or email us for more info! Alternatibvly we offer home build kit which are £289.00.  The cost does not include bicycle components (wheels handlebars etc.). New or used components can be used or a donor bike. For new componenets cost generally start at £250.00

Are Bamboo Bicycles strong enough?
Well, yes! We have not gone through factory tests or pummelled our frames to total destruction, but we and others have heavily test-ridden our frames to simulate tough conditions and the results are fantastic.

All our models are designed for city/town use and we have built the odd mountain bike & BMX!
Obviously there are risks associated with building your own frame, and as long as they are respected, we’ll ensure you build to a high quality and achieve success.

Can two people build one bicycle?
Why not?! The more the merrier! Just let us know in advance so the workshop doesn’t get to crowded!

Can you sell me a complete bicycle?
Currently, we offer workshops and home build kits.  We believe passionately  that there is no greater feeling of riding something you have built yourself. Something that won’t be experienced if we just sell you a bike.

Won’t a dog try and bite it?
In our experience, no.

Will the bamboo degrade over time?
Not that we’ve experienced, no. We stock bamboo species that are naturally resistant to degradation, and if cared for and stored correctly, your frame will last for many years of smooth riding. We have also undertaken comprehensive analysis with Portsmouth University which have confirmed our experiences.

Can I store my bamboo bicycle outside chained to fence?
We wouldn’t recommend it. Give your pride & joy the love it deserves and set aside a dry spot indoors!

If you crash, won’t you get splinters?
Likely, yes – but that surely would be the least of your worries!?

What material do you use to join the frames?
We use a hemp webbing which is wrapped around the joints and soaked with an epoxy resin. Throughout all our experimentation, this proved to be the simplest and most effective method of bonding. It can be easily applied and if desired finished to a very high standard

How long will a frame last?
It’s difficult to say – If you care for your bike as you would for a musical instrument, the materials used should suffer no ill effects for up to 10/15 years (There is a bamboo bike in the National Bicycle Museum from 1889). If you treat it like a pair of old wellies however, the lifespan may be considerably shorter.

Some of our current frames on the road have chewed up 10,000 miles-plus without any issues.

How much does a Bamboo Bicycle Weigh?
Due to the custom nature of the bicycle which people build it can vary. However generally lighter then a steel and aluminium frame and slightly heavier then a carbon and titanium. However the comfort of the ride does exceed all other materials.

Can I build a bicycle at your workshop to sell?
No. We only offer the workshops to people who want to build a bicycle for themselves. It is not intended for the project to offer a platform for individual commercial enterprise.

Custom bikes and custom geometry ?
All our bike are design specifically the rider. Once you have signed up for a workshop or purchased a home build kit, we will request all your measurements and begin the process of designing your bike. If you have a frame you already love but would prefer it to be made of bamboo then we can use existing frame measurements  for more info on frame design contact info@bamboobicycleclub.org.

Couldn’t they catch fire?

…really!?

Do contact us if you have any further questions – info@bamboobicycleclub.org