Toby’s Road Bike Build

What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?

I enjoy working with natural materials, and exploring what they’re capable of. I’d been thinking about getting a more robust road bike, suitable for touring, for some time.. so when I saw the opportunity of building one myself out of bamboo it seemed far more exciting than buying something ‘off the shelf’.

Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?

Absolutely! The whole experience was fantastic, and a great (steep) learning process too. It’s really rewarding  to ride around on a bike having put it all together myself. Having built it from scratch I feel much better placed to know how to fix and maintain it in future, too

What did you find most difficult about your bike build?

Almost all of the procedures were new to me, so it all posed quite a challenge. The finishing work is particularly time-consuming, and feels potentially endless as you could always keep going, striving to make things perfect. Fitting the components was also tricky as a bike novice, but James was always on hand to assist and give guidance when I needed it.

What was the easiest part of the build?

Not sure if any of it was particularly ‘easy’, but working with the bamboo is surprising straightforward, and  

How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?

It rides beautifully, and feels both light and sturdy. I’m looking forward to taking it on some longer adventures soon.  

What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?

Not really, no. There are a few additions I still intend to make, such as pannier fixings and mudguard, but so far the bike has been spot on. I’m aware that James has started trialling the use of prefabricated lugs, which will speed up the work needed to put the frame together..

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