MTB 29er by Rob
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
When I was working at Aston Martin and came across a colleague who had done a bamboo bike project at University and said how good it was, so when my old bone shaker finally died I asked the family to buy the course for my 40th birthday, I liked the idea of building my own custom frame.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
I really enjoyed the weekend workshop as got to meet a good bunch of people and it was a good social affair. I like to think I'm quite hands on so I found the drilling etc quite straight forward. The laminating of the hemp was good to do myself - as designing carbon parts is part of my job, this was the closest I've got to actually manufacturing a part.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
The laminating of the bottom bracket area was the most technical aspect, also getting the high standard of finish on the lugs was a slow, meticulous process and felt like a lot of effort, but having said that the end result is all worth it. When fitting the parts though I had to make some minor mods to the frame which was a little heartbreaking but again it all turned out good in the end.
What was the easiest part of the build?
Setting up the frame in the jig was the easiest and straight forward part of the build, plus the bamboo is a good material to work with and if I made a mistake it was not time at all to fix it.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
The ride of the bike is great, I thought it mike be soft or creaky but the whole thing feels solid. I'm yet to put it through a hard core ride but reckon it'll smash it! Compared to my old bone shaker its fantastic.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
I would certainly pay more attention to the yoke area as I made mine too wide, and I would look at doing some internal cabling. You do learn a lot from the build, and from the experience I've gained would like to have a go at another one and go for a natural finish. You basically get out what you put in, so if you want a high quality finish its worth putting in the extra effort.