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James Cossick Bamboo Bike Build
Published: 15th July 2019
Written by: James Marr
What made you decide to build a bamboo bike?
I wanted a weekend single speed. So I built my first bike using Bamboo Bicycle Club’s kit. The bike rode so well that I decided that with some modifications I could make a light weight carbon fiber lugged race bike.
Did you enjoy building the bicycle from scratch and would you recommend the experience?
Short answers, Yes and Yes. But I must take a step back and explain my background. I am a bio mechanical engineer, so I have loved to build (and break) things since I was very young. Previous to the Bamboo bike I have used similar techniques to build wooden kayaks, surf boards and my current ocean going boat. I would totally recommend the experience, the instructions provided by the Bamboo Bicycle Club are better than any I have ever used. The instructions provide such a simple step by step process that I could follow the process without pausing for additional instructions or calls.
What did you find most difficult about your bike build?
Two areas. Rear triangle alignment and rear brake fabrication. For the rear brake I deviated on my race bike. I use the bike for fast tight turn criterium racing; we use the back brake to slow us coming into some turns. Knowing this I made an additional component and built it into the seat stay area. Over 30 some crits later, working great.
What was the easiest part of the build?
The actual layup of all of the tubes. Looks hard and daunting, but the instructions and simple jigs supplied mean that you have quick visual success as you quickly see your frame coming together in the early phases of the build.
How would you describe the ride of your finished bike?
Amazing. I have ridden Chrome moly Steel, Aluminium, Carbon Fiber and Titanium. The Bamboo bikes ride better than any and all of these. The ride is stiff enough for criterium racing, compliant enough for centuries and fast enough for triathlons.
What would you improve about the build experience or your finished bike?
Stability and alignment of the rear triangle drop out phase of the build. This is so critical to the rear wheel and alignment of the bike.