Slashing the time to construct its bamboo road frame from around 70 hours (with the previous kit) down to just four hours with their new easy build option, the Bamboo Bicycle Club has impressively improved the accessibility of building a bamboo bicycle.
Founded in London in 2012 by James Marr, bamboo is said to have ideal properties for bike construction with its “excellent vibration dampening effects”, resistance to stress and durability.
Also very eco-conscious, Bamboo Bicycle Club says: “We are committed to enabling people to build cutting-edge bikes that are sustainable and can be completely recycled after many years of usage.”
The Bamboo Bicycle Club’s new easy build home kit (£395) contains pre-molded carbon lugs which removes the process of creating your own connections between each bamboo length. This is said to make it a lot simpler, while still ensuring a perfect end product. Noticeably, it reduces the frame build time by 75%.
With the road frame easy build kit, the Bamboo is already cut to length and treated, so new process simply consists of:
- Shaping the bamboo
- Inserting into the bamboo
- Allowing to dry
- Applying any finish, painted or decals
- Fitting components
For protecting the frame against the rain and now, the Bamboo Bicycle Club recommend finally coating with a lacquer.
The carbon lugs weigh in at 0.7kg, while the bamboo will be anywhere between 1kg to 1.5kg.
Tyre clearance of 32mm, mudguard and pannier mounts, internal cabling and a disc brake frame adapter are all included with this frame that is said to be designed for maximum functionality and compatibility, while also boasting a slick finish.
Bamboo Bicycle Clubs promises a “no mess simple construction” and the frame is said to come with a detailed build manual as well as a full-scale drawing, an alignment jig and high strength bonding glue.
A standard table, roughly sized 1200mm x 600mm, is needed to construct build, along with sand paper, a hobby knife, masking tape and disposable gloves.
For reference, using the original 70 hour build kit, which is cheaper at £285, you’d have your work cut out with:
- Setting up a jig
- Shaping the bamboo and cutting to size
- Tacking the frame together
- Creating Flax Fibre Lugs with epoxy resin
- Allowing the fibre to set
- Sanding and finishing the lugs
- Painting and finishing
- Fitting components
The 70 hour build is of course a much more involved process, which could be the sort of adventure you’d be happy to set aside time for, but this is not feasible for everyone.
Called the Bamboo Bicycle Club, a club atmosphere is encouraged with their “build with a buddy” scheme which offers 25% off a second kit, so you can build with a friend.
The team also provide complete support via telephone, email and video call, if you hit any hurdles along the build.
Find out more and buy your own kit at www.bamboobicycleclub.org (link is external). Gravel and city bike frame kits are also available on the site, and if you fancy the 70 hour option... well our very own Dave Atkinson has been there and done that! Check out our Bamboo bike build video series (link is external), from jigging right through to Cat 3 racing...