GRAVEL BIKE BY DAVID
04 May 2023
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I thought about buying a bamboo frame and building up from that, but when I found out about being able to build the frame as well the idea of having something I've made from scratch was exciting and I signed up for the workshop the same day.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
Absolutely. The workshop was really good and the process of finishing the joints, painting and building it up took a long time but very therapeutic. Working out solutions for integrating the headset and getting the decals to be visible on a fairly dark background was very satisfying. Just don't be in a hurry!
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
Building and sanding the joints took a long time and initially difficult but got easier with practice. I had to take a notch out of the chainstay because of a clash with the crank which was the most frustrating part. I also had trouble with internal routing through the chainstay because I used the narrow plastic tubing in the initial build - I got the gear cable through in the end but there was no way the hydraulic brake hose was going through.
What was the easiest part of the build?
In hindsight, the initial build at the workshop. James's guidance and instruction was really good, and he's been very helpful afterwards as well.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Very smooth. I haven't tried it on anything too tricky yet but so far it's a lovely ride.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?*
For the build experience it made sense to do it over winter because I wasn't in a hurry but I'd find somewhere warmer to do it than a cold garage. In hindsight I wouldn't bother with the chainstay internal routing, which didn't really work and just makes finishing some of the joints more difficult.