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Old 04-12-11, 03:47 PM   #1
nmichell
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Would you buy a bamboo bike?

Specifically, this bamboo bike:



Background: There is a small startup here in Fort Collins, CO, that is selling bamboo frames and bikes. I'm not actually in the market for a new bike (hmmm, I'm going to get laughed at for saying that), but the claim is that "Iron Bamboo" is strong, light and durable. And it certainly stands out.

Here's their web site: http://www.pandabicycles.com/

What do you think of it?
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Old 04-12-11, 05:02 PM   #2
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Calfee has been doing that for years. I'd trust them.

Let's put the question a little differently.

Let's say you have a bike builder asking what you want your dream bike to do.

What would be your answer.
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Old 04-12-11, 05:08 PM   #3
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I have seen the bikes, I have met the fabricator, Zach out on his "the one" and he does not baby that bike. He had it set up a as a fixie and I had been drinking beer so I didn't ask to ride it, hope to run into him again in LaPorte over the summer.

I would buy one, if I could afford it. But I like wooden boats also, so I'm a luddite that way.
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Old 04-12-11, 05:41 PM   #4
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no
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Old 04-12-11, 06:05 PM   #5
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no
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Old 04-12-11, 06:45 PM   #6
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Maybe.
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Old 04-12-11, 07:58 PM   #7
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Let's say you have a bike builder asking what you want your dream bike to do.
Exactly!

Criterium raceing - no. A fun change of pace bike - in a minute.
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Old 04-12-11, 10:08 PM   #8
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Exactly!

Criterium raceing - no. A fun change of pace bike - in a minute.
Yeah, that makes sense -- no one bike fits all occasions. Probably why most folks here own multiple bikes
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Old 04-12-11, 10:44 PM   #9
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No. I have seen them, Cal-free, I test rode one once. Nice ride but what is the point? To have one just to have one maybe? But I have seen Bamboo split just because of a extreme change in humidity. Might not be a problem but just not that interesting.
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Old 04-13-11, 03:42 AM   #10
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Yes.
Wood - the original carbon fiber.
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Old 04-13-11, 06:07 AM   #11
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No, I'd worry about swelling in the high humidity during the summer around here.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:04 AM   #12
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I'd worry about panda bears.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:18 AM   #13
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Nopers. Too many porcupines around here.
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Old 04-13-11, 07:28 AM   #14
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Nice ride but what is the point? To have one just to have one maybe? But I have seen Bamboo split just because of a extreme change in humidity. Might not be a problem but just not that interesting.
For some the point may be just to have something different. But my understanding is that the goal of some who are developing bamboo bike technology is to refine the manufacturing process to the point that they can be built cheaply in undeveloped countries using readily available resources. http://www.pedalpushersonline.com/?CID=1176
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Old 04-13-11, 08:07 AM   #15
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There's a bamboo bike place in Brooklyn as well. I have ridden them, they're incredibly light, but really only as good as their components, and it's possible to build a frame that is exactly custom to your measurements, at a relatively low cost compared to other custom frame builders. That said, here it's kind of a niche thing, it's pitched as being very erudite and green. But how secure is that thing when it's locked up? Someone could take a saw to it and harvest all the parts pretty easily.
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Old 04-13-11, 10:00 AM   #16
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Nice ride but what is the point? To have one just to have one maybe?
Yeah, I have nothing against either the concept or the execution, so I can't adamantly say "No I would not buy a bamboo bike", but there are so many other bikes I want more that by the time I got around to wondering "Okay, now what bike should I get? Hmm, I don't have a bamboo frame, so..." it would just be gratuitous collecting.

iow, I don't want a bamboo bike. But if I did, I'd buy one.
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Old 04-13-11, 10:42 AM   #17
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Probably not, but I've learned to never say never.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirtragmag/5477755926/



From bikerumor.com: (corrected by me, because the original text called it "tongue oil.")
Threepenny uses locally based bamboo from Virginia that’s flame treated in house and with tung oil. The heat caramelizes the sugars inside the wood which helps preserve it, and the tung oil absorbs into it and waterproofs it. Then they’re dried for three months to fully cure and weed out any pieces that crack.

Black Bamboo is good for seat stays and looks good. Mexican Weeping bamboo is solid and can take impact well, it’s used in the chain stays. Stone bamboo is bigger and used in the main tubes. Metal steerer and seat tube inserts are titanium. Carbon fiber with aluminized fiberglass woven into it to add reflectivity and design features. Some bikes have Kevlar woven into it for protection, too. Frames start at $1,400 and he’s built mixtes, fixed gears, touring bikes and road bikes.

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Old 04-13-11, 10:56 AM   #18
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"Threepenny uses locally based bamboo from Virginia thatís flame treated in house and with tung oil. The heat caramelizes the sugars inside the wood which helps preserve it, and the tung oil absorbs into it and waterproofs it. Then theyíre dried for three months to fully cure and weed out any pieces that crack.

Black Bamboo is good for seat stays and looks good. Mexican Weeping bamboo is solid and can take impact well, itís used in the chain stays. Stone bamboo is bigger and used in the main tubes. Metal steerer and seat tube inserts are titanium. Carbon fiber with aluminized fiberglass woven into it to add reflectivity and design features. Some bikes have Kevlar woven into it for protection, too. Frames start at $1,400 and heís built mixtes, fixed gears, touring bikes and road bikes."

So, essentially, this version is a melange of carbon fiber/titanium/aluminum/fiberglass/Kevlar structures held together by some bits of heavily-processed bamboo. "Green"/sustainable? Nope. Simple? Nope. Inexpensive? Nope. Still can't see the point.
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Old 04-13-11, 11:35 AM   #19
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So, essentially, this version is a melange of carbon fiber/titanium/aluminum/fiberglass/Kevlar structures held together by some bits of heavily-processed bamboo. "Green"/sustainable? Nope. Simple? Nope. Inexpensive? Nope. Still can't see the point.
Hey, rich people in 3rd world countries need bikes too!
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Old 04-14-11, 05:40 AM   #20
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But how secure is that thing when it's locked up? Someone could take a saw to it and harvest all the parts pretty easily.
And this is different from steel, aluminum and carbon fiber frames how?
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Old 04-14-11, 05:54 AM   #21
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^
I emailed the bamboo bikes studio people once asking them about that, and the guy compared it to a graphite frame securitywise. I mean, in this case, it seems pretty easy with the less fancy, less resin-intensive Bamboo Frames to just saw it off of it's lock. Non?
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Old 04-14-11, 03:56 PM   #22
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Would I try one out? Sure.
Would I buy one ? Not at that price.

I'd worry about how well cured and treated the bamboo was. It's a favourite target for carpenter ants, termites and powder post beetles if it gets wet inside.
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Old 04-14-11, 04:19 PM   #23
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I wouldn't go out of my way to buy one. If I was in the market for a bike, found one at a reasonable price, rode it, and liked it, sure - why not?

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Old 04-14-11, 04:52 PM   #24
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I'd worry about panda bears.
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Nopers. Too many porcupines around here.
Panda bears and porcupines, will need to carry extra pepper spray when riding on the MUP - I can't rely on all those Panda owners to keep them on a leash
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Old 04-14-11, 05:43 PM   #25
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My friend builds bamboo bikes in his basement as a project for some of the local kids. Would I buy a bamboo bike? No.
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