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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 05-23-12, 08:58 PM   #1
bborzini
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Need classy fork and wheels for Bamboo Bike

For my senior project (Mechanical Engineering) I built a bamboo bicycle. It preformed rather admirably but with the end of the school year the components have been stripped as they were the schools and I'm looking to build up the frame again.

At the moment all I have is the seat, crank set (shimano 105 octalink) and front derailleur (braze-on). I'm looking at several groupsets, mostly shimano-105 (silver to go with the front derailleur) and am wondering what you guys would recommend for a fork.

Previously we had a carbon fork installed without any issues but I wasn't really happy with the aesthetics of the fork with the bamboo; it just kind of clashed. I'm looking for something with a little more of a classic feel, possibly chrome or solid white or black. Technical wise the head tube is integrated for the headset and would require a 1-1/8" non threaded steer tube. I'd prefer if it melded with the fatter integrated headset but it's not necessary.






Sorry about the picture quality.

Also, if anyone has recommendations on a classy set of wheels for somewhere around $200 that would be great.
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Old 05-23-12, 10:40 PM   #2
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I know this isnt answering your questions, but i'm curious, how much does the frame weigh, and how many hours of labor did it take to make?
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Old 05-23-12, 11:15 PM   #3
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The frame weighs a little over six pounds. You have to understand that it's way over engineered though. Realistically if I were to build another one now that we've ran testing on this I could probably make it around 4-4.3 pounds. It's still heavy but you're not really going for top performance. That being said it gives a very stiff and smooth ride.

Laborwise we put a lot of time into it because we were learning and we did a lot of testing along the way (compression testing of bamboo, vibration of bike, deflection vs fea ect.). If I were to do it again (now that I have the jig) I could build it in probably two weekends, assuming you have the headtube and dropouts ready, with another weekend alotted for staining and varnishing. The main labor consumption is mitering the bamboo, prepping the dropouts and waiting for the epoxy to cure. The joints only take about two hours to wrap once you're set up.
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Old 05-23-12, 11:16 PM   #4
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Also, just so you understand how overengineered it is it's built to withstand a 5g drop with a 220lb rider on it and still have a safety factor of around 2. This is highly unrealistic but it ensured that we would have no issues.
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Old 05-24-12, 08:07 AM   #5
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you could easily paint a steel fork any color you like. maybe white won't look too bad, and you might be able to find a white carbon fork.
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Old 05-24-12, 08:21 AM   #6
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Calfee uses CF forks on its bamboo frames, as does Renovo on their wood frames.

IMHO, CF looks better with bamboo than a steel fork. (For one thing the steel tubes will look very small in comparison)

You could paint a CF fork a matching shade of brown.
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Old 05-24-12, 09:24 AM   #7
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Wow thats super cool

I think I'd go with a carbon fork too. But I suppose steel would keep it in the realm of something the professor on Gilligans island could possibly put together. But then McGiver could probably make one out of CF from pencil lead or something.
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Old 05-24-12, 09:33 AM   #8
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I actually was looking for a pure white carbon fork but couldn't find one that wasn't just primer (I don't trust my paint skills). Does anyone have an idea where I could find one? I'm probably either looking at that or a chrome one like nashbar has.

Also...and recommendations on wheels?
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Old 05-24-12, 09:53 AM   #9
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How's about some wooden wheels?

http://www.wheelfanatyk.bigcartel.co...-wheelbuilding

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Old 05-24-12, 09:59 AM   #10
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I wonder if you could find a good bamboo laminate to put over a carbon fork. I bet if you find a good home speaker builder in your area, he can do some amazing things laminate.

That would give you the benefits of the carbon fork, but the looks of bamboo.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:11 AM   #11
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or have an airbrush artist paint some faux bamboo on a carbon fork...a good one could match the bamboo of the frame really well.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:19 AM   #12
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I wonder if you could find a good bamboo laminate to put over a carbon fork. I bet if you find a good home speaker builder in your area, he can do some amazing things laminate.
vinyl graphics, maybe? It would be a beehatch to apply correctly to the shape of a typical carbon fork, but it would look good if done right.
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Old 05-24-12, 11:14 AM   #13
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Beat me to it! I'd definitely look for a sweet set of old school wood hoops for the "classic" feel/look.
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Old 05-24-12, 11:24 AM   #14
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Those are pretty sweet and I may look into it in the future but I'm looking for something more conventional as I am planning on putting some miles on it (right now it's only sitting at about 500 miles). Also, how well do you think the brakes would work on the wood rims? The main thing is I'm looking for some simple and clean wheels, no fancy decals ect.

Here's another pic of before the stain and finish if you guys are curious:

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