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  1. #1
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Bamboo Double Top

    My next bamboo project:
    It's going to be an upright tourer.



    To stiffen the frame I lined the interior of the main triangle with carbon cloth, using a thin bike tube as a bladder. I'm going to cut the head tube after I start the lugs, which is what I'm working on now. They will be hemp fiber, same as my last frame.

    I used the Surly Long Haul Trucker and Rivendells as a reference for the geometry.
    72 HT, 72.5 ST, 23" TT, 32" SO, 3" BB Drop, 19" CS (to be able to accommodate a larger tire and I'm going to mount a frame pump behind the seat tube).


    LHT superimposed
    Last edited by Allen; 05-29-09 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Looks nice!
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  3. #3
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    I thought the LHT was 73 HT, not 72. Anyway I prefer your geometry as long as you have a good trail number. Have fun.

  4. #4
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Thanks Peter.

    My TT is about 3/4 of an inch longer, my seat tube is a half a degree relaxed, the chainstays are longer.

    The LHT HT is 72 on their 700c versions, and since I'm using a LHT fork I kept the HT angle the same.
    In the image they look like they don't match because the fork steerer is sitting loose in the HT.

  5. #5
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Update the lugs are complete except for paint.

  6. #6
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    I have cosmetic work to do on the lugs still but it's rideable now.

  7. #7
    Hey let's ride. pathdoc's Avatar
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    Pretty cool. Please post color pics of finished frame.

  8. #8
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    They are on the way.
    I'm taking it out on a shakedown run for a few days before I complete every little thing.
    It's ridable now, I just want to make it is secure before spend hours of finish work on it.

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    That bike looks like it will be a great tourer! How does one make hemp fiber work as lugs? I am curious to hear how this bike works out and rides.
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  10. #10
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Thanks, pictures still to come.

    I used West System's epoxy (same that is used to lay up carbon fiber) to lay up the lugs on the frame.
    They are done in a couple of layers and vacuum bagged to cure the layers and compress the fiber.

    I've taken it through a shakedown run and it is preforming well.
    Currently it has a janky headset and crank but I've been riding it along the beach and don't want to subject nice components to sea water.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikeideas's Avatar
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    AllenG... where does someone who wants to try this get the bamboo?
    Thank you.
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  12. #12
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    How do you wrap the lugs? Is there a form in there first, are you wrapping it tight enough that it isn't a solid mass of resin and hemp, or something else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    AllenG... where does someone who wants to try this get the bamboo?
    Thank you.
    Bamboo is the least of your concerns. You need the carbon fiber and the proper skill to use it and all the machines to make the rest of the frame. I'd imagine this took a ton of work.
    2009 Trek 2.1

  14. #14
    Senior Member bikeideas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DwayneS View Post
    Bamboo is the least of your concerns. You need the carbon fiber and the proper skill to use it and all the machines to make the rest of the frame. I'd imagine this took a ton of work.
    Gee, thanks. Does having a gallon of WS 105/205 & roll of plain weave here and a couple decades of building carbon sailboats count? Obviously, a ton of work.

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    AllenG... where does someone who wants to try this get the bamboo?
    Thank you.
    Can you answer the question. DwayneS?
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  15. #15
    370H-SSV-0773H linux_author's Avatar
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    i have a quantity of bamboo... however, it's Tonkin cane and primarily used for building bamboo fly rods... i bought my batch FOB from Demarest about 15 years ago...

    the cane is well-seasoned now...

    :-)

    dunno if Demarest is still in business, but you'd be looking for thinner sections...

  16. #16
    meech151
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    I have only built steel fillet-brazed frames but I was curious as to the difficulty of building a carbon frame in a similar manner that you all are building bamboo frames. Where is the best and most cost effective carbon tubing and how difficult is it to wrap the joints correctly? Most people mention wrapping them in stages and I was wondering how many layers and how long each need to set up? When you mentioned a vacuum bag this was new to me, maybe a couple of details would be great. Thanks.

    "Fly with MEECH"

  17. #17
    Senior Member bikeideas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meech151 View Post
    I have only built steel fillet-brazed frames but I was curious as to the difficulty of building a carbon frame in a similar manner that you all are building bamboo frames. Where is the best and most cost effective carbon tubing and how difficult is it to wrap the joints correctly? Most people mention wrapping them in stages and I was wondering how many layers and how long each need to set up? When you mentioned a vacuum bag this was new to me, maybe a couple of details would be great. Thanks.
    I think that the wrapping referred to here is rather specific to the bamboo process out of necessity (infinite tube end dimensions). Though possible, seems doing it with carbon tubes would yield a heavy part. Maybe not.

    The vacuum bag - putting the part you just made, wet with resin, in a plastic bag and sucking the air out with a pump. The plastic pushes the cloth against a mold, squeezes out excess resin. Seems that AllenG uses an inner tube section to push cloth against bamboo tube interiors once inflated.
    Last edited by bikeideas; 07-10-09 at 07:40 AM.
    messengermirrordotcom

  18. #18
    meb
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    Gee, thanks. Does having a gallon of WS 105/205 & roll of plain weave here and a couple decades of building carbon sailboats count? Obviously, a ton of work.



    Can you answer the question. DwayneS?
    There seem to be many places alongside roads here in the DC area where the bamboo grows wild-is that a type suitable for framebuilding?

  19. #19
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    AllenG... where does someone who wants to try this get the bamboo?
    Thank you.
    In the original bamboo bike thread, detailing another of his builds, Allen lists sources of bamboo, IIRC.

    bambooo!!
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  20. #20
    Senior Member bikeideas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    In the original bamboo bike thread, detailing another of his builds, Allen lists sources of bamboo, IIRC.

    bambooo!!
    Yes! Post #31. Many thanks jsharr.
    messengermirrordotcom

  21. #21
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeideas View Post
    AllenG... where does someone who wants to try this get the bamboo?
    Thank you.
    I sourced the bamboo from http://www.bamboohardwoods.com/
    I can't find the url of where I sourced the hemp right off the bat.
    The epoxy resin I used was made by West System. It is very easy to use.
    The epoxy I used to tack the frames together is 3M Scotch Weld. Strong stuff.
    Both epoxies and the carbon cloth I used were sourced through http://www.aircraftspruce.com/
    I also sourced my pipe mitering jig through aircraft spruce.
    The bike specific parts came from either http://www.novacycles.com/ or http://henryjames.com/

    Before you cut your bamboo mask of the cut with painter's tape, it helps keep the skin of the bamboo from splitting and running.

    Sand the enamel off of wherever you wish glue to adhere to the bamboo.

    For anyone looking for information on how to work with composites I highly recommend you join your local branch of the EAA. http://www.eaa.org/
    It's an organization dedicated to homebuilding aircraft, but they regularly sponsor workshops on working with composites, welding, and nearly everything one needs to know to build a bicycle (and as a bonus you get to learn how to build an airplane to boot).

    Look at Brano Meres' article on building carbon frames. http://www.bmeres.com/carbonframe1.htm
    It is a very good starting point.
    His bamboo frame is also beautiful.

    http://www.frameforum.org/portal/
    FrameForum is also a fantastic source for information on building any type of bicycle.

    Basic order of building a frame is tack the mitered frame together on a simple jig. Be sure to score the surfaces of your metal components so that the epoxy is able to adhere well.
    Start your lugs with a layer of fiberglass cloth. Glue the cloth to the frame with epoxy. Smooth the edges with epoxy and filler, sand to shape.
    Start layering your lugs with the material of your choice, using vacuum bagging, shrink tape, or some other method to insure the excess resin and air bubbles are kept to a minimum. As far as how many layers to use in your lugs, you are on your own. I'm building these frames for my own enjoyment and not worrying about ISO standards. If I was going to market these frames I would be much more concerned with testing their strength. Since I am my own guinea pig I'm just going by feel.

    It is a good idea to build a few practice lugs and test them for strength. When you are happy with your test lugs, build up your frame.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-12-09 at 04:44 PM.

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