Journal

Bamboo Bicycle post-workshop assembly

Released: 8th August 2012

Published by: James Marr


The bamboo bike building journey is far from over following the completion of our workshop – sourcing parts to fully populate your frame and get it on the road is now the final step. We can help you choose and source components to make the process as painless as possible! This is the how I went about completing by first bamboo bicycle: To achieve a glazed finish on my binds, I began by sanding down all the hemp bindings and recoating in epoxy – this makes them altogether more smooth and imperfection-free – but this step shouldn’t be necessary every time as careful final binds at the workshop stage should suffice.

It gets a bit busy with the hemp binds around the BB – with care good results are achievable

It’s so important at this stage for the tubes, dropouts and BB-sleeve to be well protected – as any wayward glue takes time to remove. I gave the cleaned finished frame 6-coats of clear-coat to protect the bamboo tubes. Bamboo’s natural coating is repellent to every compound applied to protect it, so the clear-coat will not be permanent and will probably need replaced every year or sooner, depending on exposure to the elements – it just adds that bit of extra protection against D-lock dinks and road chippings!

I sanded all the hemp binds using a Dremel after protecting the tubes with foil and tape

To ensure perfect drive alignment, I needed a 110mm spindle length on my bottom-bracket, and chose a Shimano UN52. I picked up a fairly decent Sugino Uno crankset from Condor and a sleek single-speed Shimano Cn-nx01 chain to tie-in the drive chain. Our water-cut stainless steel drop-outs run about 80mm into the bamboo stays and this horizontal design works perfectly for a single-speed set-up. They can be easily fabricated to accommodate a rear cassette or any funky customisations you want to add!

We have our drop-outs water cut to order – with this horizontal design suiting single speed set-ups best

Fitting the headset cups is by-far the most difficult process of assembly and requires a carefully measured balance of precision placement and brute force – for that reason, we recommend that you fit them with us at the workshop. From then, the world of bicycle components is your oyster – I finished my set-up fairly inexpensively with basic forks, wheel-set and controls. A sleek and unique look can still be achieved while keeping costs to the minimum.

Basic white wheel-set with striking white Vittoria tyres and a simple saddle