Custom MTB 650b by Tim
Design: Custom MTB 650b
Build: Custom home build kit
Location: London, U.K.
Tim built a custom MTB 650b at home using a kit. He's added some extras like internal cabling and spent lots of time making the finished bike look polished. We've asked him some questions about his build!
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I needed a bike to walk the dog with, he loves it but can't maintain more than 5 miles with us on e-bikes, so with the spares I already had a new acoustic frame was logical, then I remembered the Bamboo Bicycle Club, had a brief chat with James and made an order.
Jig drawing provided with the kit.
(Left) Seat tube fitting into the down tube and (right) internal cable for drop post.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
Definitely, I didn’t rush it as I wanted to do it my way, plus time was limited, the end result has proved quite satisfying.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
Overthinking it, one of my flaws, however, some of that was worthwhile. I’d recommend cellophane wrapping the jig blocks so they remove easier, a sheet of polythene over the plans also helps to release the parts and with the clean-up too.
What was the easiest part of the build?
Not sure there was one, with the addition of internal routing and the changes in geometry all aspects needed a fair amount of time and precision. The part I disliked the most was the repeated filling and sanding.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
It’s been many years since I rode a hardtail so I can't compare, however, I’ve been pleased it rides in a straight line.
Finished head tube
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
On the next one, I will make an additional jig for the headstock alignment, using the forks helps tho, I’d advise anyone building one to concentrate on the centrelines of their frame, once you understand this setting up the jig gets easier.
Specifications: Crank Brothers Carbon wheels (27.5 boost), 35mm carbon bars, 12sp SRAM GX gears, Carbon XO cranks, SRAM bb, 170 reverb dropper, bolt through rear axel, Cane Creek headset, Guide RE brake set with 200 and 180 rotors, Lyrik 160 forks, Chromag Trailmaster saddle, Nukeproof pedals, internal cable routing, 2.35 rear tyre and a 2.5 front.