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Glenn, MTB Builder
Published: 3rd July 2019
Written by: James Marr
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I’m a wood man, with no great skill in the metal world, and wanted to build a bike, so bamboo was a great option for me. And I love the fact that the main frame material is from a prolific and renewable resource.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
I was initially looking at just buying a frame, but changed my mind when I saw your DIY kits. The build process was great fun and pretty easy really.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
This bike is the second one I’ve built – there is now a third and three more in the pipeline. It’s all been relatively straightforward, although I’ve now built my own reusable jig, which took a bit of brain scratching to work out how to do it at zero cost. I’ve built two bikes on that jog now and they are all good, so I’m happy with the outcome. As I’ve tried to improve the finish of the lugs I’ve experimented with a variety of tools and tricks, and that’s probably where I’ve invested my of my thinking time.
What was the easiest part of the build?
I invested in a drill press, which made one of the slowest parts (sanding down the mitre joins) one of the easiest!
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Pretty darn good. This bike has been ridden by quite a few people who are all blown away by the way it rides. Is it the bamboo, the geometry, the combination of components that make it so sweet? I don’t know, but its been a winning combination! I can’t comment first hand on what it feels like to ride a bamboo bike if you haven’t made it yourself, but I suspect that a fair percentage of the enjoyment I get from riding my bikes is that I made them myself and I made them just the way I wanted them 😊
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
I should have left more clearance between the cranks and the chainstay on this bike. When I’m really working the bike hard there is just enough flex for them to touch – not a biggie, but it’s the one thing that isn’t quite right. I’ve also learnt a thing or two about how much roughness to give a bottom bracket shell, as this one started to move around a bit, but I’ve got that sorted now…