FAQS for Bamboo Bicycle Building
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. Academic research has been conducted at the Universities of Princeton, Zurich and Oxford Brookes, Queen Mary, and UCL (among others), and all credits bamboo as a fantastic material for bicycle building. The bamboo bicycle club team have been researching and experimenting with bamboo frames for well over 9 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 bike 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. 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 have seen 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!I f 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 have not experienced bamboo degrading over time, as 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. where researchers confirm our experiences.
What standard wheels and components will the frame be compatible with?
Our frames are designed to be compatible with all major component manufactures such as Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. You can therefore fit all types of groupsets. We manufacture a modular dropouts for the rear wheel which will allow, single speed, hub gears, derailleur gears as well as 12mm thru-axle. If your not sure about components we have standard packages available or can provide a custom quote to help you with options.
Is the frame durable in wet weather or snow?
Yes the frames are durable and can be used in all weathers. During the workshop we lacquer the frame with a durable automotive lacquer which protects the frame against rain and snow. For home build kits we recommend a lacquer and also sell on our shop if required.
Can I use disc brakes?
Yes all our frames are compatible with disc brakes.
Can I fit a pannier racks, mudguards/fenders and bottle cages?
Yes the frame comes with mountings on the rear wheel dropouts. We also supply inserts for the frame in the home build kit to fit racks and bottle cages and instructions for fitting is in the manual. They are provided in the workshop as part of the course.
Home Build Bamboo Bike Kits
Do you Ship Internationally?
We ship our bamboo bike kits all over the world. In our shop we have standard rates for USA, Europe, New Zealand, Canada, Australia. We have accounts with UPS and DHL and can provide quote for anywhere in the world by you will need to get in touch
What frame sizes are available?
We offer 4 frame sizes per style: Small, Medium, Large and XL. We also offer a custom frame option for those that want to create something truly unique!
What does the kit come with?
The kit comes with all the materials you need to build a frame including spares for any mistakes. We also provide a Jig and blueprint as well as a complete build manual and as well as supporting videos.
How long does the build take?
For a complete bike frame, with components fitted (wheels, etc.), it will take around 2 days or 5 evenings.
Do you offer a custom design option for home build kits
We do offer a custom design option. We have helped people build, cargo, tandem, tall and mini velo bikes. A custom kit will be £325.00 plus a £75.00 design fee (cost can vary depending on materials required). To find out more visit – https://www.bamboobicycleclub.org/custom-bicycle-geometry/
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 hundreds 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 at our London, Amersfoort or Munich workshop.
Do you supply all the components?
We can supply all the components if required. We offer custom component consultation 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. You can ask your local bike shop, visit us or use the world of – Youtube.
Bamboo Bike Building Workshops
How much is the weekend workshop to build a custom frame?
We require an initial £150.00 deposit. We offer a 2 day frame build workshop which £495.00 or a 4 day full bike build it’s £695.00. The final balance of the workshop will be due a week before the course.
Can I use a donor bike for all the components (wheels etc.)?
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 Saturday and Sunday.
Do you offer a warranty?
We offer a 3 warranty on all frames.
How long will my frame 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 on the weekend workshop. You can take the frame and fit at a local bike shop or at home we also provide a finishing guide. Otherwise we do offer a 4 day workshop to allow you to ride away with a complete bike.
How much can I customize?
Unlike purchasing a conventional bicycle from a shop, you can choose every element of the frame from the tubing, geometry, dropouts etc. We are of course on hand to advise.
What about the components (wheels etc.) can you help purchase?
We can advise and purchase if required. We have agreements set up with all the major manufacturers and can provide a competitive quote and order everything for you as well as assisting with fitting.
Do you have parking and advice on were to stay?
We have parking near the workshop at the Holiday inn and they offer secure parking for £10.00 per day.
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.
‘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!