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Road Carbon Bike by Robert

Road Carbon Bike by Robert

Design: Road Bike
Build: Road Carbon Frame Build Kit
Location: Leicester, U.K

What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?

I'd been wanting to build my own frame for a while, but the investment in kit and available space to build a steel frame was too big to justify to my controller...

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

Building the kit was really enjoyable. There's nothing too difficult and the jigs hold everything where it should be for correct alignment. The adhesive gives you plenty of time to assemble the bamboo into the lugs before it starts to cure; provided you've double checked and dry fitted everything first it will easily drop into place. Half a day is spent measuring and rough fitting the tubes, the other half double checking, tweaking and gluing it all together. Fitting a front derailleur needs a vice or possibly a couple of mole grips to bend the braze on to fit perfectly to the non-perfect radius of the bamboo, but again, nothing tricky.

What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

Firstly during the build I spent a long time setting and aligning the rear triangle. Even using a laser pre-tacking I still had to make modifications to the wheel alignment after tacking. Secondly, getting the lugs smooth before painting was a painstakingly dusty job. Thirdly, once assembled I had a problem with the drive side crank arm fouling on the chainstay. James gave me the confidence that filing a groove in the bamboo to create clearance wouldn't compromise strength. It worked a treat!

What was the easiest part of the build?

Gluing it together. I rushed a bit on the first couple of tubes, but the adhesive cures much slower than I thought it would and there's plenty of time.

How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?

Really smooth and comfortable, almost like your wheels have large volume MTB/commuter slicks on rather than road tyres. Plenty stiff enough, I haven't had any brake rub from the rear disc.

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

I'm more than happy with the finished bike, possibly add in an extra cable port in the downtube so you don't have to modify the existing one to take two cables? I'd advise other builders to mask around the carbon lugs so you can use your finger to rub the adhesive around the joint leaving a neat glue line and no clean-up required other than removing the tape. Seems like most people are going to a 1x setup, traditional road set up is easy enough with careful measuring.

 

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