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  1. #1
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    anybody worked with bamboo?

    ok, so im getting really excited about making a bamboo prototype bike. bamboo is readily available in southern mexico where i live, and i think it could open up a world of possibilities down here where folks are disempowered and tools and technology are expensive, which is why it is almost impossible to be insdutrious for many here.
    i already have a couple organizations that work with bamboo intrested in supporting a project to build a mexican bamboo prototype bike...
    so im running around trying to figure out what bottom bracket shell/sleeve to use, what track ends, or dropouts, headtube, etc.
    the prototype will probably be a single speed bike with 29" wheels, assembled using local "henequen" (the stuff we make rope from) fiber "lugs" with polyurethane resin, possibly in combination with carbon fiber cloth.
    should i use titanium parts for the bracket and head/seat tubes? chro-molly? track ends, or horizontal dropouts? or should i canibalize discarded frames for these parts?
    i imagine this will be similar to building a carbon fiber frame in some respects.
    any advice?

  2. #2
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    ok, where is the bamboo thread?

  3. #3
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    this is it!
    i will post updates of my research and actual work once it starts
    any advice is well appreciated!

  4. #4
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    ok, has anybody worked with carbon tapes such as these?
    http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/cm/tapes.html
    do you think this would be a good option for the first layer of bonding for teh jounts of the bamboo frame?
    my thought is put a layer of carbon, and then cover the bond with resin-soaked natural fibers to create the lug....

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Well not as in cycling. A mining engineer I knew used bamboo pipes to being water to a gold placer mine.
    This space open

  6. #6
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    I've used west tapes pre scrim. I think they would be good for tying loads back to the metal parts. You need some fabric to unify and add hoop strength.

    I would start your project with some tests on materials and joints. AS far as I know these are unsing internal carbon lugs. so you need to prototype that kind of thing. You need to figure how much overlap you need to get full strength. You could use anything inside a tube of bamboo to find out how much material is required for the tube to break outside the joint, then you could work on making a carbon plug that is strong enough. Them move onto the lugs. Or do the same with external lugs, but they will be a little lumpy.

    I wouldn't go for Ti, carbon epoxy bonds well to aluminum, it's strong enough, and it's corosion resistant to some degree.

    I think your drops should be metal with studs attached to make effective joints to the bamboo tubes.

    Not to rain on your parade, but there are significant differences in bamboos. This to the extent that certain species are used exclusively for certain products. Tokin cane is a stronger variety. A fair bit of it is imported into the US, and of that the smaller "bike sizes" do not attrack the premium price. I would be inclined to try experiments with Tonkin cane, and then compare that product to your local product, just to be sure the fiber density is sufficient.

  7. #7
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    A Titanium Bottom Bracket doesn't exactly scream "Help the disadvantaged".
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  8. #8
    hipster traffic dodger ChiapasFixed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine View Post
    A Titanium Bottom Bracket doesn't exactly scream "Help the disadvantaged".
    haha, no, it doesnt....
    on the other hand, i want the prototype to work.
    but it is problly best to source local materials, so the prototype can be viably reproduced. aluminum is available locally, but i am not sure what grade, most mexican aluminum seems pretty cheap.
    on the other hand, a few dozen steel bb sleeves and dropots could be imported fairly inexpensively, especially if the project gets some finanical backing....

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