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Phil's Bamboo Gravel Bike

Posted by James Marr on
Phil's Bamboo Gravel Bike

Locoation: Scotland.

What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?

I have wanted to build a composite bike since I saw a Kevlar framed bike in a 90's Mountain biking magazine. By the time I felt I could build one the commercial carbon frames were so much better than I could build, so a home built carbon frame did not seem quite right. I then came across Bamboo bikes and liked the idea of the mix of materials, not megga high tech and with a strong custom look but still good performance. So I decided to go for it, I built this one with carbon lugs rather than the supplied sheet of hemp, but I have another project I think the sheet will work well on.

Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?

I enjoyed the experience it was an interesting mix of wood (grass) work, composites, metalwork then assembly of the final bike. I would recommend it with a bit of time taken to figure things out it was easier than expected.

What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

I enjoyed the experiance it was an interesting mix of wood (grass) work, composites, metalwork then assembly of the final bike. I would recommend it with a bit of time taken to figure things out it was eisier than expected.

What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

I found the spacing of the rear triangle, and keeping the alignment correct to be difficult. I had decided on a bolt through rear end and it took a few rounds of measuring to be sure I had things spaced and aligned correctly. Some extra diagrams in the build manual would help with understanding.

What was the easiest part of the build?

Shaping the bamboo was straight forward, just sand and check, then repeat.

What advice would you give to other bamaboo bike builders and what would you improve if anything?

I would recomend measuring carefully, it is important to get the spacing and alignment right. After tacking the rear triangle in place I fitted a wheel to check spacing and used string to check alignemnt as this corrected for any curvature of the bamboo.
I used hot melt glue to tack some extra supports on for extra rigitity before the lugs were finished.
Before mixing it is worth checking the epoxy as it will crystalise, and go white at the lower temperatures you sometimes get overnight or during delivery. To fix it just sit the resin in a warm bath of water for an hour shaking from time to time and it will go back to normal.

How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?

The ride is smooth, fast and it goes in a straight line.

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