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Gravel Bike by Cary

by James Marr 15 Apr 2021

Design: Gravel Bike
Build: Gravel home build kit with Gravel SRAM APEX Hydralic Disc Pack
Location: Marquette, Michigan

What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?

I was looking for a winter project and I did want a second gravel grinder. Plus, this sounded like fun, something I could handle, and I know if it worked, the bike would have lots of cache.

Gravel Bamboo Bike

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

I enjoyed the challenges presented. It wasn't as straight forward as I thought, and I liked having to figure out how to make it work. I'd have no trouble recommending this to someone who doesn't mind thinking out of the box in trying to get all the pieces to come together, but not knowing if it would until you put the wheels on the bike and the brakes line up.

What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

The hardest two parts of putting the bike together was cutting the seat and chain stays without cracking while placing them into the rear dropouts AND lining up the rear disc brake so it didn't rub (due to an error I made in the rear triangle).

Gravel Bamboo Bike

What was the easiest part of the build?

The easiest part was the wrapping with hemp and gluing the bike. This was not the neatest part by far, but it was easy.

How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?

The frame seems to be a stiff ride, can handle quick acceleration, without any significant shimmy. I haven't done a long ride on it yet.

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

The three improvements I would make are 1) edit the "Build Phases Manual" to give a bit more information on how to do key points (or give links to video that shows them...especially the rear triangle formation) and clean up a few editing errors (I'd be happy to help here)., 2) make sure the parts pack (if purchased) is complete going out the door (my parts pack was missing a wheel, quick set epoxy glue, sanding tube, and both brake adapters), and 3) maybe give a few extra small bamboo tubes for cracking stays.

Gravel Bamboo Bike

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