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Thread: bambooo!!

  1. #1
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    bambooo!!

    anybody know something about these guys?:
    http://www.calfeedesign.com/singlespeed.htm
    looks really cool to me! this could take bike building right out of the industrial era and back into the true artisan/craftsman realm!!
    how light are these bikes? they sure arent cheap!
    anybody up for coaching me in making a frame out of bamboo?
    heres one with NO CHAIN!!!
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005...ga_biolove.php

  2. #2
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    ok, just found the bamboo bike thread...
    still, it really deserves another. maybe a whole forum dedicated to sustainably built cycles?

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    I thought there was a site with online tutorial on this? Or maybe it is a site with online info on a carbon bike. Not sure this is all that "green" You need to make most of the bike out of other very ripe technologies, and just splice in the bamboo mid span where the higher end tubes in steel might be paper thin.

    I like bamboo and make bike fenders, bows and flyrods out of it, all applications where it plays the major role.

    This bike uses quite a bit of wood though I can't say as to weight looks a little heavy:

    http://www.planenco.com.br/gota/indexe.htm

    And:

    http://www.blids.nl/gallery/Plywood-...-workshop-2003

    Or:

    http://www.woodenbikes.com/

  4. #4
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    anybody know something about these guys?:
    Yeah, Craig makes some of the coolest bikes on the planet!

    He's used the hi-tech goo of carbon fiber to overcome the one obstacle to making a bamboo bike, and that's joining bamboo tubes strongly enough to withstand the rigors imposed on a bike frame.
    Glue 'em together with carbon fiber!

    1,000 year old Chinese scaffolding mated with 21st century technochemicals.

    Craig likes to kid me that one of his bikes is only PAINTED to look like bamboo. Can I tell which one?

    Duuuh!


    NONE of 'em!

  5. #5
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    wow! great info! Yes, bamboo has much stronger load bearing capacity to weght ratio over any other wood, and joining it with carbon goo is a great solution. on the website they mention using hemp fiber and bamboo fiber for the "lugs". does this mean they just wrap the joint in goo-soaked natural fiber? or is it mixed with carbon fiber? dont know enough about carbon fiber building to really get it. how high-tech a facility does one need to work with minimal amounts of carbon fiber? bamboo and super strong natural fibers are readily available where I am... i am really thinking about making a franken-baboo-cycle!

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    Nice thing about composites is they don't require as much gear as working with steel. I've done quite a few different composite projects, mostly boats, and while it can be tricky handling the materials, the main tools required are fairly cheap. In most cases you can probably avoid many frame prep tools also, since you are heating and distorting materials.

    The less nice thing is that you are somewhat on your own as to how to configure the composite internal lugs. I don't know how it is done, but if I was going to do it, I would go out and buy some bamboo, of the size required and make sure I could get the stuff I actually need, as far as size and wall thickness. I'd go for tonkin cane since it has excellent structural qualities and is available if a little pricey. Then I would sellect the metal parts, probably aluminum, that I required for the BB and head tube, etc... I would work out the size of internal stubs required to bond the bamboo, and I would make foam models I could glue to the metal bits, then cover that whole assembly in carbon fiber.

  7. #7
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    wow peterpan1, that sounds good.
    ive opened a new thread specifially about building the "mexican prototype bamboo bike", please keep the good ideas coming!
    i am imagining something like what you say, the foam models, or maybe constructing a jig... especially after viewing these photos:http://www.bamboobike.org/Photos.html

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    I have lugs that will work good for bonding tubes like bamboo if your interested

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    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    superhotbug:
    the main triangle will be constructed out of 4" diameter bamboo rods, so I doubt theyll fit into your lugs. I was not planning on using metal lugs at all, but post pics of what you got and pm me with prices anyway. Who knows? I may wnd up using your exxon lugs after all....

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    The lugs are free and I try and post pics but don't know how to reduce the size, if you google search exxon graftek lugs you should come up with a pic

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    MichelleMachete MichelleMachete's Avatar
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    you probably catch Calfee at this years American Hand Crafted Bike fair in Portland in Feb. I saw in San Jo last year, f-ing sweet!

  12. #12
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    hmm, ill be in costa rica in february...
    lots of bambu there!
    I would love to invite Mr. Calfee to come to southern Mexico and teach cargo-bika making worshops, though!

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    Old Skeptic stronglight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiapasFixed View Post
    ... on the website they mention using hemp fiber and bamboo fiber for the "lugs". does this mean they just wrap the joint in goo-soaked natural fiber? or is it mixed with carbon fiber? dont know enough about carbon fiber building to really get it. how high-tech a facility does one need to work with minimal amounts of carbon fiber? bamboo and super strong natural fibers are readily available where I am... i am really thinking about making a franken-baboo-cycle!
    You'll notice in the photos on the World Bike Project (or is it Bamboo Bike Project) the joints were made by just wrapping the natural fibers around the tubes and then just basically slopping on the epoxy resin (from a donated 50 gallon drum of the stuff) with paint brushes. The result was certainly strong (and the bikes were indeed intended as cargo hauling bikes to begin with) but not exactly sleek or polished like any bikes which we are accustomed to seeing. ... BUT these were built in Ghana, with the crudest of hand tools, as a first attempt, and by a non-industrialized village population, which may never have even seen photos of any fancy modern examples to copy from - so all the more impressive!

    Kind of reminds me of a picture I once saw of prehistoric rock paintings onto which someone had photo-shopped images of cave men hunting mammoths... on bicycles. ~ Funny, of course, but in fact, I think that given a bit of guidance, and some minimal tools, even our ancestors 20,000 years ago could have built a bamboo bike. I think you should go for it!

    Remember, the concept has been around for a long time.
    Here is a bamboo bike from The Bamboo Cycle Co. (1894-1899)



    Larger Image Here

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    funny . most recently i stumbled over a bmaboo bike too. just a few minutes ago. here:

    http://www.bmeres.com/bambooframe.htm

    he had build his owncarbon bike too, and hubs and... enjoy

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    I'd like to know where to obtain good quality dry (not green) bamboo wood? I'm in NYC. Any help is appreciated.

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    Goldenwitch.com sells the best stuff by airmail. It's flyrod grade but there is a fair amount that goes through their hands that is too small for rods, and would probably be perfect for bamboo bikes, as the sub 1.5" stuff isn't good for rods.

    At one time Charles H Demorest company of new jersey was the sole importer of the high end tonkin cane, and this may well still be the case. You might be able to contact them with your inquiry, they are a wide spectrum importer of Asian goods for generations, so I don't know if they have a website, and they used to have minimums, but they could probably put you in touch with any local distributors.

    By the way, a lot of dry bamboo has a grenish gold tinge to it. To reach peak performance it needs to be "heat treated" which consists of baking or flaming the culm to drive off excess moisture. There is a lot of info on all this stuff in various bamboo rod texts. Nicely backed bamboo is stronger and has a chocolate colour.

    When I made my bamboo fenders, I needed to steam the bamboo (which also drives out excess moisture contrary to what one might imagine). The resulting colour while not dark was very pleasing, like late season golden grass.
    Last edited by NoReg; 01-20-08 at 03:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Thawing Member Aloyzius's Avatar
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    I like that workhorse utility bike. It's cool they are going to Ghana to teach people how to build them. But I sure wish they would let more info out. It would be a great tool for the folks at our local bike collective which already does a lot to help people get around.

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    Old Skeptic stronglight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
    Remember, the concept has been around for a long time.
    Here is a bamboo bike from The Bamboo Cycle Co. (1894-1899)



    Larger Image Here
    Gee, I hadn't expected to come across this so soon.

    Here is an ebay auction for...
    you guessed it - an 1897 Bamboo Cycle Co. Catalogue!

    Now, if only I could find one of the bikes...


  19. #19
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    well, i figured i would post an update on the bamboo frame, so heres a pic of where im at. i built the jig using an eddy merckx corsa extra that is my size, although i will probably have the seatstays attached to the top tube, like in the picture, for better tire clerance. next step: finish mitering and fitting the tubes, then the gorilla glue! any advice on getting the alingnment prefect would be appreciated.
    Last edited by ChiapasFixed; 02-04-08 at 12:28 AM.

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    Use epoxy if you can, Gorrilla glue is pretty iffy stuff. Also, don't get GG on wet skin it morphs into something highly carcinogenic from what I heard from a retired dupont chemist.

  21. #21
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    i was planning on using gorilla glue for the initial tacking only, then wraping the joints with the resin-soaked fiber.
    i will look into epoxy.
    alignment tips?

  22. #22
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    ...
    I like bamboo and make bike fenders, bows and flyrods out of it, all applications where it plays the major role...
    Which brings up something I've wondered about the Calfee bikes: based just on the photos it doesn't look like they use the "split cane" method used in flyrods for the tubing. Seems to me, just off the top of my head, that it would be a good if labor intensive idea. You could control the weight, stiffness, etc. thereby. Maybe even make butted bamboo tubing! Wonder if they actually do and if not would there be an advantage?

    Geez, I hardly wet a line at all last season...
    '04 Giant OCR2|'87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion (6,129)|'92 Trek 820 MTB|'85 Schwinn Super LeTour
    "People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles." - Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

  23. #23
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    arenīt split canes for flyrods meat to be super flexible? i thought this was why they were made that way. on a bike frame, stiffness is essential for power transfer, i imagine a split-cane bamboo bike frame would be areal noodle to ride...

  24. #24
    King of the molehills bcoppola's Avatar
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    ^

    I've not built one, but AFAIK the purpose of the split cane construction goes beyond flexibility. It enables the builder to make a more flexible tube than a simple piece of bamboo, sure, but it also makes it possible to vary the flex, and to make a more durable structure compared to a single piece of bamboo by using only the strongest part of the bamboo. Much of the flex characteristics of bamboo flyrods are due to the resulting tubing diameter and the machining/tapering of the individual bamboo "wedge" sections. The thick "butt" end of a heavier weight fly rod can be very stiff and strong. Even a steel or carbon bike with the tubing diameter of a flyrod would be a noodle!

    The species of bamboo used is also a major factor. Fly rod builders (as Peterpan1 pointed out) use what they call "tonkin cane" (I forget the botanical name). Other species may be more suitable for bikes, just as different species of wood are particularly suited to specific uses. (Hmm...yew forks and seatstays, anyone?)

    My thought is that using the same techniques with the appropriate bamboo species on much wider diameter (compared to fishing rods) bike tubing would enhance strength, make a lighter tube, and enable fine tuning of frame stiffness; it should be possible to build a reasonably stiff, light, and responsive frame; perhaps in the league of a high quality steel frame.

    This all might be academic, of course, if the labor intensive nature of split cane construction makes all this super costly.

    (EDIT): If I knew how to do split cane construction, I would be trying it instead of speculating about it! Perhaps someone with the skills, equipment and inclination will be inspired to do so. Peterpan1, are you reading this?
    Last edited by bcoppola; 02-07-08 at 07:42 AM.
    '04 Giant OCR2|'87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion (6,129)|'92 Trek 820 MTB|'85 Schwinn Super LeTour
    "People who spend most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles." - Flann O'Brien, The Third Policeman

  25. #25
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Calfee's 'boo tandem frameset.
    Have ridden Calfee 'boo single . . . rides like mother nature's carbon fiber . . . light, responsive, comfy.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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