General

Why build a bamboo bicycle?

Bamboo has ideal properties, highly suited to bicycle construction. As a material, it has excellent vibration dampening effects and the all the bumps in the roads seem to be effortlessly absorbed. Amongst others, academic research has been conducted at the Universities of Princeton, Zurich and Oxford Brookes, all accrediting bamboo as a fantastic material for bicycle building. The Bamboo Bicycle Club team have been researching and experimenting with bamboo frames for well over 4 years and we just can’t get enough of that smooth sensation!

Why bother building one yourself?

There is no welding, heat treatment or heavy mechanics involved in building bamboo frames. Anyone can learn. Our workshops are designed for people of all abilities and ages. You’ll have as much help as you need from our enthusiastic team to build a bamboo bikes that you can ride and enjoy for years.

How much does a Bamboo Bicycle weigh?

Due to the custom nature of the bicycle that people build, weight can vary. However they are generally lighter than a steel and aluminium frame and slightly heavier than a carbon and titanium. However the comfort of the ride does exceed all other materials.

Are Bamboo Bicycles strong enough?

Absolutely! Over the hundreds of bamboo bikes built, they have travelled thousands of miles and endured some punishment. We had people travel across the world in some of the most extreme environments, as well as people competing on the European amateur scene, heading down mountains and performing BMX stunts.

How long will a bamboo bike frame last?

It’s difficult to say. If you care for your bike as you would for a musical instrument, the materials used should suffer no ill effects for up to 10-15 years. There is a bamboo bike in the National Bicycle Museum from 1889! If you treat it like a pair of old wellies however, the lifespan may be considerably shorter… You put the work in, so love your work!

Will the bamboo degrade over time?

We’ve not experienced bamboo degrading. We stock bamboo species that are naturally resistant to degradation. If cared for and stored correctly, your frame will last for many years of smooth riding. We have also undertaken comprehensive analysis with Portsmouth University which have confirmed our experiences.

Can I store my bamboo bicycle outside chained to fence?

We wouldn’t recommend it. Give your hand built pride and joy the love it deserves and set aside a dry spot indoors for your beautiful bamboo bike!


Home Build Bamboo Bike Kits

Do you Ship Internationally?

We ship our Bamboo Bike Kits all over the world. If your country is not listed in our shop, please contact us directly for a quote via Shipping.

What frame sizes are available?

We offer 4-frame sizes per style. Small, Medium, Large and XL. Click here to download a frame size calculator to help you pick. We also offer a custom frame options for those that want to create something truly unique! You will need to Home Kit sizes to discuss your bike frame requirements.

What's a jig and why is it important?

The jig is key to making sure that the frame is aligned. Our home build jig is based around our workshop jigs, but simpler. Our jig is designed to be rigid and keep the design 100% accurate, essential for when you’re fitting parts.

Why don’t you pre-miter the Bamboo?

We ship all the bamboo with a minimum length of 700mm, allowing you customize the positioning based on our guidelines. It also gives you a more hands on approach to the build; following our simple guide you can create a perfect join.

How long does the build take?

For a complete bike frame, with components fitted (wheels, etc.), it will take around 3 days or 6 evenings.

How much can I customize?

When we started building bamboo bikes, the beauty of the concept was that we weere able to build our bikes based on our ideas. We still hold this philosophy 5 years later. We’ve helped people build every frame style, if you’ve got a crazy concept we’re interested!

What happens if I struggle on any parts of the build?

In our experience very few people struggle. Our manual is in depth and is based on having taught 100’s of first time frame builders at our London workshop. We do however offer full support via e-mail, telephone and Skype. You’re also welcome to visit us.

Do you supply all the components?

We can supply all the components if required. We offer custom component consolation or standard packs.

How do you recommend fitting all the components to the frame when I’ve built it?

If you’ve built your frame, then fitting up isn’t difficult. We have a curated range of You-tube videos, which offer a lot of help. (Why not subscribe to our Channel!) Otherwise most local bike shops should be able to lend a hand.

Bamboo Bike Building Workshops

How much is the weekend workshop to build a custom frame?

We require a initial £180.00 deposit and a final payment of £408.00 a week before the workshop. Total is £588.00 inc. VAT.

Can I use a donor bike?

You can of course use a donor bike. If you do please get in touch as bike specifications can vary.

What time is the workshop?

The workshop begins at 9am and finishes at 5pm both Sunday and Saturday.

Do you offer a warranty?

We offer a 1-year warranty on all frames.

How long will my frames last?

Some bamboo bikes are over 120 years old! So they will last a lifetime. As with any bicycle if you look after it they last. We have been building bikes now for 8 years and they are still riding strong.

Can I finish the whole bicycle in a weekend?

Unfortunately you only have time to finish the frame. You can take the frame and fit at a local bike shop or at home. Alternatively we offer top-up sessions with a flat fee of £150.00 to assist fully with finishing and fitting up. Sessions are run on weekends and weekdays.

How much can I customize?

Unlike purchasing a convention bicycle from a shop you can choose every element of the frame. From the tubing, geometry, dropouts etc. we of course on hand to advice.

What about the components (wheels etc.) can you help purchase?

We can advise and purchase if required. We have agreements setup with all the major manufactures and can provide a competitive quote and order everything for you as well as assisting with fitting.

Do you have parking and advices on were to stay?

We have on-site free parking in a private yard and your car can be left overnight if require. We can advise on local hotels and good areas to stay just get in touch.

Do you provide food and drinks?

We have Tea, Coffee, Juice and beer that are free of charge. We normally go to a local café or pub for Lunch, which we do not pay for.


Material Information

Metals

In areas where standard bicycle parts need to be fitted we use metal inserts very similar to a carbon frame. We use a UK based company called Reynolds which supplies; Cromoly, Aluminum and Titanium tubing depending on the specification. We take care in preparing al metals for bonding as delamination can occur without proper care.

Binding Materials

We us a BioFibre that provides high levels of performance, coupled with the ease of processing normally associated with glass-reinforced materials. The materials use twistless technology to provide a combination of sustainability, performance and processability. Compared to man made fibers, BioFibre offers reduced weight, improved environmental impact, vibration damping, similar speci?c stiffness and safer handling. It is excellent for beginner as well as experience user to handle and application is simple yet very effective.

Some technical info, – if your into your numbers if you your not- Basicly it has very similar strength properties to Fiber glass (used often in boat construction)

Mechanical Properties
Typical mechanical properties of moulded laminates
Fibre Volume Fraction
60%
Density
1.38 g/cm3
Tensile Modulus
9.3 GPa
ISO 527-4
Tensile Strength
78 MPa
ISO 527-4
Flexural Modulus
7 GPa
ISO 14125
Flexural Strength
195 MPa
ISO 14125

Bamboo

All our bamboo is sourced in the UK from an importer. The bamboo is from a variety of locations around the world. We generally use Moso or Tonkin two of the most common bamboo species for bike building. Both have excellent strength properties and good environmental performance.

All our bamboo is treated at source. We hand select each piece of bamboo using all our experience gained over the years selecting the bamboo at the correct maturity and consistency. We hold bamboo in stock for a period of 4 months before using it so that it naturally climitizes. During extensive research neither blow torching or heat treatment are ineffective as they result in compromised strength. We recommend coating bamboo with a protective coating which prevent moisture movements and seals the frame against the elements.

Glue

Similar to carbon and other composite based frame we use a glue to hold bind everything together. Our plant based bio resin has a 50% reduction in carbon emissions compared to regular products. Has excellent performance in both tension and compression well suit for the bicycles. We use a fast curing resin with a average pot-work time of roughly 30 minute at room temperature. It will be dry to touch within 3/4 hours and will have gained strength and be workable within 24hrs. It is excellent in all environments and has good UV stability.


‘Wheely Funny’ Questions!

If you crash, won’t you get splinters?

Likely, yes – but that surely would be the least of your worries!?

Couldn’t they catch fire?

…Really!? Maybe avoid cycling over hot coals on your bamboo bike?

Won’t a dog try and bite it?

In our experience, no. Always remove any trace of your lunch dropped on your bike to remove those troublesome, enticing foody smells?