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 2 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 user-friendly and informative, and you’ll have as much help as you need from the team. You’ll also be able to teach your friends to so the same!
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!
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 haven’t broached the mountain-bike game (yet).
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’re just offering frame builds. We do have a comprehensive directory of manufacturers and suppliers of parts that suit our frames, and we can help you out post-build or order them for you in advance. If you source your own parts, then it’ll be a good idea to bring them along to the workshop so that you can use our tools to fit them.
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.
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 canvas 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.
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 years. 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 5000 miles-plus without any issues.
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.
Can a build a bicycle using custom geometry?
Sure! If you have a custom design in mind or an existing frame that you want to replicate we are happy to help you to build it. You’ll have to contact us in advance though so we can check the compatibility of our stock firstname.lastname@example.org.
Couldn’t they catch fire?