What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I'd just begun to discover how brilliant cycling is and wanted to be able to understand, maintain and repair a bicycle so finding this kit was the perfect project.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
I massively enjoyed the project and it became much more of an obsession than I'd expected. I was so excited to spend time making progress and learning more about the bicycle - as well as puzzling over how to solve anything I'd not yet fully understood - as it got closer to its maiden voyage. The bicycle gains lots of attention and I'm always recommending the experience to anyone that wants to talk to me about the bike. I went from knowing nothing about bicycles to having built one which has become the only road bike I've taken outside for the last two years.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
Abandoning my friends and partner whilst I was obsessed with building it, haha! For me, the rear bridge for the rim brake caliper was tricky to get in the correct place so I ended up making a further two versions of it until I got it right (I believe the lugs now include the brake bridge anyway and I've decided to upgrade to disc brakes now). I also forgot about the solid nodes in the bamboo until after I'd glued it together so I had one interesting afternoon carefully hammering a metal rod into the nodes through the lugs to poke holes for the cables to be able to run inside the frame!
What was the easiest part of the build?
As someone who came to the project with no knowledge, the building of the frame was overall much easier than assembling the rest of the components. I really enjoyed preparing the bamboo to fit inside the lugs, sanding the bamboo to expose the beautiful grain and I also loved painting the frame.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
I think the bamboo absorbs road buzz really well, the frame is light and after two years, I still burst with pride to be riding something which is completely unique and is something that I made by myself.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
I opted for a mid-range groupset as it was an unknown project. Now that I rely on the bike and love it so much, I'm about to start upgrading the groupset and converting to disc brakes.