Self Build Bamboo Bike Frame Kit Build Thread

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by chriswoody, 12 Oct 2017.

  1. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Come off it, we wouldn't have got this brilliant thread if he'd bought a ready built.
    keithmac, Nigeyy, RoubaixCube and 4 others like this.
  2. Cycleops

    Cycleops Veteran

    Accra, Ghana
    That’s true, and very interesting it has been but if you bought the ready built one I suggested you’d be helping a local industry which provides much needed jobs for local people.
  3. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    You could make up for his oversight by buying one yourself.
    keithmac, theclaud, Booyaa and 8 others like this.
  4. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    As we approach Christmas I find the amount of time I have has diminished even more and when I do have time I'm pretty knackered.

    However, I have found some time to work on the bike, so here we go.

    Last time I decided to fill and sand the toptube/seatpost junction before the rear triangle was glued together. It's not completely smooth, but it doesn't need to be, it's just a foundation for the hemp lugs.


    With that finished it was time to look at the rest of the rear triangle. I spent a little bit of time adjusting and re-sanding the ends of the stays, making sure they sat flush. Then I looked at the brake bridge again. With the dropouts they are quite long and because it's a single speed, the wheel will be mounted at various points along it in order to maintain chain tension. So given that, the bridge needs to be mounted so that the pads will always be able to hit the rim. Looking again at the Bridge I decided it was too short and hence to far up the seatstays, so I decided to make another one.


    Yep three of the bloomin things! no wonder this build is taking so long. So with that out of the way I made the final preparations for gluing and then it was all go.



    So thats it, the frames all glued together.

    Now it's a matter of checking it all for alignment and then filling and sanding any gaps I can find. Once all the preparation has been done I need to find five hours to go ahead with the lug creation. I need to sit down though and plan it all carefully, it's a big step and I need to be sure I get it right.
    Last edited: 18 Dec 2017
    theclaud, Robxxx7, GuyBoden and 11 others like this.
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    If it was easy it wouldn't be nearly as satisfying. Well done so far, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished bike and I bet you get more satisfaction out of it than if you'd spent 10K on some pro ready megabike.
  6. themosquitoking

    themosquitoking Veteran

    What colour are you going to paint it when it's finished?
  7. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    Oi, you owe me a keyboard now, this ones all soggy. :biggrin:
    themosquitoking and chriswoody like this.
  8. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Thanks, I'm definitely enjoying the challenges so far and feeling really pleased with the results. Strangely as much as I'd love a quick spin on a superbike, your right it would never give me as much satisfaction as this.

    Well most of it will be natural Bamboo, but the lugs will be painted. What colour though? Well I keep looking on their Instagram page at other peoples finished builds and I keep finding new inspiration so I'm not 100% sure yet.
    JhnBssll and themosquitoking like this.
  9. RoubaixCube

    RoubaixCube ~Tribanese~

    London, UK
    I was thinking black and white to keep the local panda's off it. They might think its one of their own.
    Dogtrousers, Drago, Illaveago and 2 others like this.
  10. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Big Update Part 1

    So far on this build I've just been working in the evenings, the odd half an hour here and there. However, the next step requires a solid 4 hour session to make sure that you complete it in one go. So the wife has taken the kids off today and with a massive stack of marking to do and nearly 100 reports to write, I decided to do the sensible thing and work on the bike!

    I've been working up to this point, by preparing all of the joints, making sure that there are no big gaps and generally getting everything together. So this morning the worktable looked like this:


    The first step is to cut the hemp to size and put the correct number of pieces by each joint so that were ready to go. There are two different thicknesses of hemp, thinner for the fine sections and thicker for the final wrap.


    Then it was a case of diving in and just going for it. Not much chance to take photos, so if you want to see what I was up to, then take a look at the video in a previous post above. The dropouts are the first area to be bound and are fairly straight forward to do. After wrapping and soaking in resin, the joint is wrapped in electrical tape to provide compression whilst the glue sets.


    So after several hours hard work the table was a complete mess, but everything was done and finished.


    So I need to wait a few hours now for the resin to set enough to remove the tape and then release the frame from the jig. Quite nervous and excited now and just hoping I've not stuffed anything up.

    I'll pop back later with some photos of the unwrapped frame free of the jig and I'll either be drowning my sorrows or celebrating!
    theclaud, Jenkins, Soltydog and 13 others like this.
  11. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    theclaud and chriswoody like this.
  12. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    breath suitably bated........
    chriswoody, Smokin Joe and raleighnut like this.
  13. roadrash

    roadrash cycle chatterer

    ooh......I cant hold my breath that long, cant wait to see it
    chriswoody likes this.
  14. JhnBssll

    JhnBssll Senior Member

    Amazing, I'm pretty excited :laugh:
    chriswoody and Smokin Joe like this.
  15. OP

    chriswoody Veteran

    Update Part 2

    Sorry about the delay folks, kids needed putting to bed, hope no ones turned blue from holding their breath!

    Anyway, the resin took a while to dry enough for the tape to be removed and then the tape put up a bit of a fight, but we got there in the end. So without further ado here's the frame in almost all it's glory:


    That didn't go too badly. There's a few places that could be a lot neater, but structurally it's all sound and it feels really light. Heres a few close ups:

    IMG_20180102_183822914.jpg IMG_20180102_183836317.jpg

    So constructions finished and it's now a case of working towards the final finish. So far I've removed some of the excess resin with a Stanley knife, at this stage it's too dangerous to sand. When it's fully cured and dried I'll go over it with some sand paper and start the process of smoothing down the lugs. Still some way to go yet.
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