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Gravel Lugged build by Craig

by James Marr 01 Dec 2023

Q: What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?

A: I love bikes and have enjoyed building up my own bikes and tweaking/upgrading. Back in 2015, I saw someone riding a wooden bike at the Haute Route Dolomites and the idea was planted. Found bamboo bicycle club online and finally decided to do it. It was a bit more accessible, and novel, than doing a steel frame building by experience and it's been well worth it.

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

A: Yes and yes.

Q: What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

A: Painting it. The build itself is pretty easy and the bamboo is good to work with. Getting a good paint finish took a lot more time and errors than I expected which subsequently delayed gluing up and therefore doing the complete build.

Q: What was the easiest part of the build?

A: Bamboo shaping! Very accessible and rewarding when the lugs slot together.

Q: How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?

A: Like a bike? Any current differences are related to my setup - after a couple of rides, it just feels like a bike. I don't ride it thinking about the fact it's bamboo, but when I do it makes me happy!

Q: What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?

A: Maybe more tips and tricks around painting. I used various YouTube videos and probably went overboard with what I needed to do and was capable of. Some little videos about how to get some unique finishes might be useful. Overall it was really well organised and the build made sense.

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