What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I've been working on bikes for a while. Wanted to take it a step further and have hands-on experience on building frames. Bamboo was the perfect low-investment way to get into it!
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
Yes! Shaping the bamboo took a lot of patience - it was very tranquilising working on it, and also rewarding when done. Watching all the parts and components come together at the end was the cherry on the cake!
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
Fitting the tubes: The insides of the lugs were not completely round and smooth so I had to make some creative shaping of the tube ends. When it came time to glue, the tubes didn't slide in perfectly and I ended up using some force (after which, I learned that having stress on the frame when joining is not ideal) Non-standard parts: The seat clamp and seatpost sizes were not easy to come by in Malaysia. Got the wrong parts and set me back a couple of weeks
What was the easiest part of the build?
Nothing done for the first time was easy! Spraying varnish was perhaps the easiest of the lot.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Surprisingly light (8.5kg overall) and stiff (when pedaling on the straights)! It does flex on the turns and on bumps, giving it very interesting suspension characteristics - extremely comfortable, and also somewhat predictable due to the natural feel.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
I would practise more care around the joints (absolutely no force fitting and use more generous amounts of glue). Also hope the lugs have better internal interfaces as there were some polymer ridges that made it non-cylindrical. I would also go with a 1x setup for a more seamless front derailleur situation!