Gravel Bike by Tom
11 Oct 2022
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I'd been biking for a few years as part of my daily commute and I thought it'd be cool to ride something I'd made myself. (Wanted to use the word 'crafted' but might be a push ha). Also liked the idea of using a sustainable material.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
Absolutely! It can be hard with projects like this if you don't have a full workshop or a huge amount of experience building stuff. Often all that's needed is a little bit of guidance and you're away - something that is easily done at the workshop. It also meant that the odd balls-up could be rescued easily and early! It was also cool to hear other people's stories and why they wanted to build a bamboo bike.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
There was a bit of patience required when getting the joints prepped. It's been a while since I started this project/did the workshop but I seem to remember shaving the ends of the bamboo pieces being slow and monotonous. I also got bogged down a bit with a bike shop - to help put bits and bobs on the frame - that was a bit disorganised which slowed the completion of the build.
What was the easiest part of the build?
Slapping the resin and hessian on. So much so that I had to sand a heap back to be able to access the various tubes/brackets to be able to put seat/handlebars/etc on!
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Amazing! Nothing beats the burst of energy and satisfaction every time I go for a ride. My standard whip is an 1980s road bike so having the shifters on the handlebars and disc brakes is a luxury even without considering how awesome the bamboo is.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?*
Really enjoyed the workshop. For the next ones, I'd been keen to invest in some kit (tools/stands/etc) so I can have a crack at home. I've got two daughters now and would be sweet to build them a few bikes as they grow.