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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Ultra-light supercustom

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Buil...d-Light-it-up/

    ... if I ever do this, I'm not using a donor frame; all from scratch. Probably use steel for connecting, maybe wrapped in carbon fiber/epoxy as on there, or whatever. Depends.

    In any case, this is cool.
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
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  2. #2
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Yeah, there are several of us that have made bamboo frames here.
    Aircraft Spruce has most of the supplies you need.

    Quick list of tips:
    Sand the skin off of the bamboo wherever you want glue or epoxy to adhere.
    3M Scotch weld is a good glue to tack the frame together.
    West System makes an easy to use epoxy system.
    If you miter the tubes you don't really need a donor frame, just buy a length of head tube, a bottom bracket, and some dropouts from NOVA or other suppler.
    Buy your first batch of bamboo from a suppler like Bamboo Hardwoods or Frank's Bamboo. It will already be dried. Fresh bamboo need a lot of time to dry out and you can have problems with it splitting if you use it green.
    Rubber gloves, you need lots and lots of rubber gloves.
    3/4 or more of the work and time is sanding the lugs making them pretty.

  3. #3
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    Bamboo is very cheap, and light, and rather stiff. Durable?

    Would you say this would be a worthwhile first project if I decide to build a bike? Cheap? Viable?
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  4. #4
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. You need less specialized tools to make a bamboo or carbon bike than you need for a metal one.
    Other than some hand tools, a flat table you can build a jig upon, and a floor you don't mind spilling epoxy on, that's about all you need.

    Bamboo is not that stiff.
    Go with as close to 2 inch tubes as you can find for the main triangle.

    Bamboo is light but don't expect your first frame to be light. Shoot for rideable and make improvements on your subsequent frames.

  5. #5
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Oh, TOW line is easier to work with on the lugs than carbon fiber cloth.
    Hemp fiber works well too.

  6. #6
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Buying supplies, I was wondering which tow I should use. The local supplier has 1k, 3k,6k and i think 24k. What are the pro's and cons of using more filaments per thread?
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  7. #7
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Pro: The thread is wider so it does not take as many wraps to cover area on the lug.
    Con: It's more difficult to wet out.

  8. #8
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Thanks!
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenG View Post
    O
    Bamboo is not that stiff.
    Go with as close to 2 inch tubes as you can find for the main triangle.

    Bamboo is light but don't expect your first frame to be light. Shoot for rideable and make improvements on your subsequent frames.
    I think I would isolate the seat tube from the rest of the frame; and then fill the frame with a light weight, stiff foam. The seat tube would get an aluminum sleeve several inches long to stabilize a seat post and give a fixed gauge for a proper seat post. Actually, it'd be possible to wrap such a sleeve in carbon fiber, then epoxy it; make it the length of the seat tube and you've got an aluminum-and-carbon-fiber re-enforced seat tube. You could also just use a rigid foam (spray it in, it expands and sets) to bind it, which may be lighter and cheaper.

    It'd be neat to find a cheap way to make a production-worthy mostly-bamboo frame. Cheap, biodegradable, etc. A biodegradable re-enforcing foam would help durability/load capacity. Of course, biodegradable vs resistant to rotting out from under you...
    Own: 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0
    Own: 2013 Trek Domane 2.0 + Revolution REV22 wheels

  10. #10
    Awesomesauce sirmontag's Avatar
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    I hope there's a better way to build carbon fiber lugs without just using metal ones and covering them with carbon fiber. Obviously for the dropouts and such you're stuck with having to attach metal lugs, but for everything else... Thinner lugs too, I seem to recall 3 ply was used when I saw one made with CF fabric.

    Fantastic look though, definitely want to make one now

  11. #11
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefoxicy View Post
    I think I would isolate the seat tube from the rest of the frame; and then fill the frame with a light weight, stiff foam. The seat tube would get an aluminum sleeve several inches long to stabilize a seat post and give a fixed gauge for a proper seat post. Actually, it'd be possible to wrap such a sleeve in carbon fiber, then epoxy it; make it the length of the seat tube and you've got an aluminum-and-carbon-fiber re-enforced seat tube. You could also just use a rigid foam (spray it in, it expands and sets) to bind it, which may be lighter and cheaper.

    It'd be neat to find a cheap way to make a production-worthy mostly-bamboo frame. Cheap, biodegradable, etc. A biodegradable re-enforcing foam would help durability/load capacity. Of course, biodegradable vs resistant to rotting out from under you...
    For the seat tube you only need a short length of metal tube to slide and glue into the top of your bamboo seat tube (maybe 4 inches in length).
    Have it stick proud a few inches and secure it with your fiber and epoxy. Attach the seat clamp to that.

    Expanding foam could very well cause your bamboo to split. Bamboo takes compression much better than expansion.


    I've tried lining bamboo tubes with carbon cloth. Much more trouble and weight than it's worth. Bamboo on its own will do fine.

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