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Thread: bambooo!!

  1. #176
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    Nah. You can get a bamboo to a point where it is structurally sound in just a couple of months. Spent a few years in Japan and Thailand; they use it from everything from scaffolding to actual multi-level high-rise construction. They just process it by 'cooking' it in a low-temp oven for a while once it reaches the desired size. I don't know if they treat it with anything (I doubt it).

    However, I think that even with a longer wait, you would wind up with a much more structurally sound bike frame. It wouldn't necessarily have to look like a typical bike frame... in fact, you could do some things with design by growing a shape that would be impossible to manufacture; especially when it comes to full suspension.

  2. #177
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    bamboo bikes not really bomboo

    the problem I have with bamboo bikes is that all the junctures of the frame are not bamboo. The only places wher it's bamboo is the tubes. you could use the same design and build a bike out of reinforced cardboard tubes.
    Suposedly the idea for the design was to help people in Africa use their natural resource to build bikes so everyone there could have transportation. I'm really wondering where somebody from the Congo is going to be getting a Campy crankset from....
    OK, obviously I am exagerating a little bit, (they would probably use a Shimano chainring) but still the fact that the head tube is machined and uses bearing and that the bottom bracket is machined and uses bearings, kind of precludes building these in your backyard.
    The tubes are nothing. I could take any bike, cut the tubes out of it and readily replace them with bamboo, or PVC or anything long enough and round. I could make them out of broomsticks on my lathe pretty easily. Would it ride as well as this bamboo bike, don't know, don't care right now, it's not pertinent to this arguement.
    If you want to build the bike like that and say "I did it for the ride quality", I am fine with that, but it's not really a bamboo bike frame.
    Let me say that I have no problem with bamboo. My other hobby is building bamboo fly rods so I know what the qualities of bamboo are. I love the material, it's great and it's increadibly strong, in some ways stronger than the equivalent steel.The problem I have is that these bikes are advertized as being built out of bamboo and it's the least dificult part of the frame that is made out of bamboo. Just doesn't sit right with me.
    Martin

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  3. #178
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    Because the lugs are not bamboo the bike should not be called a bamboo bike?
    Seriously?

    Yes, the lugs are the hardest part. So?

    If you are building one without access to new parts, I for one would scavenge the parts I needed off of a wrecked frame.

  4. #179
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    bamboo bike

    NO, I would call it a bamboo bike. I would like to know how someone would make one from scratch though. No fair taking parts from an existing frame either.
    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Because the lugs are not bamboo the bike should not be called a bamboo bike?
    Seriously?

    Yes, the lugs are the hardest part. So?

    If you are building one without access to new parts, I for one would scavenge the parts I needed off of a wrecked frame.
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  5. #180
    tinker flyntsharpstone's Avatar
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    I don't believe the idea behing a bamboo bike is to make it entirely of bamboo. the originator of the idea used it to provide a way to build bikes out of native easily attained materials. if you check out this link http://www.calfeedesign.com/BambooOverview.htm and all child links you'll see that these people have ample access to parts like cranks and forks but by giving them a way to make frames out of cheap readily available materails you give more folks the opportunity to do more work and produce more at a lower cost thereby strengthening the local economy. making an entirely bamboo bike would be an interesting project but I think that ultimately would be less effective than the currently used template of using metal parts for high stress areas. as a side note I believe calfee does not use metal lugs and lead tubes in his designs.

  6. #181
    tinker flyntsharpstone's Avatar
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    as an added note for those who don't follow the link provided in my last post, here are the reasons calfee gave for this bamboo bike idea

    Calfee Design is working towards assisting entrepreneurs in the developing world to make their own bicycles out of locally sourced bamboo. The reasons to do this are so strong that it would be foolish not to try:
    1. Bicycles are in great demand as a major labor savings device. Transporting water, people, food and other items is six times more efficient.
    2. Bamboo bikes cost less than inferior imported steel bikes.
    3. Bamboo is plentiful and does not need to be imported as a raw material. Bamboo is easy to grow and can be cultivated in dry areas with minimal irrigation.
    4. Bamboo bikes require a significant amount of labor to produce, providing skilled employment and an apprenticeship model that helps youth find opportunity.
    5. Bamboo bicycle production is not easily done in large factories. This keeps large industrialized countries from getting into the business and competing on an unfair level.
    6. Making Bamboo bikes does not require electricity or a large investment in equipment.

  7. #182
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    Actually the bamboo bike has been around for quite a while.

    This one is made by the American Bamboo Bike Company is from 1906.
    They have always been made with metal dropouts, bottom brackets, etc.

    Calfee revisited bamboo bikes when he came up with the idea of making them with composite lugs.
    Stroke of genius too, it allows hobbyist such as myself to be able to build my own frames without the need of much metalworking tools or setting my homemade jig on fire.

    Wood is too soft of a substance to make a fully wooden bike that has uses beyond turning circles in the driveway.

  8. #183
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    I, for one, didn't think it was possible to build a frame in your garage until I saw Calfee's segment on a show. Yeah, some parts are made of materials that aren't bamboo, but when was the last time you saw a domestic car that had all the parts made in the US? Like some of us, the idea of building a bamboo frame from scratch without heavy machinery is just plain cool. It may not win a Tour de France or anything, but when you can do Saturday rides with a group and have everyone stare because they can't figure out who made your frame, that's cool. Yeah, I get the occasional, "but it's not any lighter than my carbon", but I built it and I know every inch of it as oppose to shelling out 3-5 grand and not knowing how to tune it up.

  9. #184
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Wood is too soft of a substance to make a fully wooden bike that has uses beyond turning circles in the driveway.
    Allen, I saw these at NAHBS in Portland last year, and they're serious bikes. Granted, they're hardly "fully wooden"...

    Renovo wooden bicycles

    Last edited by Scooper; 02-17-09 at 09:15 AM.
    - Stan

  10. #185
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    Thanks Scooper.
    Renovos are about the most beautiful frames I've ever seen, they are high on my wish list.

    I've long though about putting a carbon rear triangle on a bamboo main.

  11. #186
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    Thanks Scooper.
    Renovos are about the most beautiful frames I've ever seen, they are high on my wish list.

    I've long though about putting a carbon rear triangle on a bamboo main.

    Once I get my jig happening, this is what I'm aiming to do. A full bamboo single speed looks easy enough, but I was not confident about getting the clearance for the drivetrain on a 10sp set up, so I've ordered a carbon rear end so I can 'get the best of both worlds'. Will post pics once it all starts happening.

  12. #187
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    I had to do some carving on my bomber's chain stay to have clearance for the internal gear hub's cog.
    With a full size cassette it would be tricky.

    I want to make a thin tired commuter with a carbon rear and an IGH. Mostly because I have three pieces of pretty blond Moso; enough to make the main triangle, but no matching stock for the rear.
    Thing is the IGH is 135mm and I can't find a pre-made rear end that will fit. I'll end up using balsa or foam and build up a core like Brano Meres did for his carbon mountain bike.

    That's a while off though, summer or so.

  13. #188
    Senior Member RoboMonkey's Avatar
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    Does anyone have ideas about how to smooth the hemp lugs like on the Calfee bamboo bikes?

    http://www.calfeedesign.com/bamboo.htm

  14. #189
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    Somewhat.


    Lots and lots of practice mostly.
    Forming the lugs has a lot to do with it.
    It helps if you can keep even pressure on them when they are curing.

    I used tape, which left ridges and I had a lot of sanding to do.
    I cut strips of sandpaper and "shoe shined" my lugs.
    I also used filler.

  15. #190
    Senior Member RoboMonkey's Avatar
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    Did you use fine or rough sand paper? Or does it not matter?

    For filler did you use translucent epoxy?

  16. #191
    Senior Member Allen's Avatar
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    It was around 220 grit.

    Gray epoxy, the same kind I used to tack the frame together. It's what I had.
    Bondo will also work.

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