Getting Started

There are a few things you should know before you get started building your bamboo bike.

1) Although better than metals in some ways this process uses a fair amount of chemicals (epoxy). There really is no avoiding it, epoxy is pretty nasty stuff. I look forward to hearing from folks trying to use epoxy alternatives.

2) It going to take a long time, but as long as you like longer projects it will keep you content and busy for at least a few weeks.

3) You need a lot of space and a room that can be filled with dust and filings etc.

4) I am still working on my frame, this is a bit of trial and error but I will let you know if something didn’t work and how you could avoid it. Also if you want to contribute feel free.

Unfortunately the blog format doesn’t lend itself to this project, but its what Ive got for now.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Forn Man on March 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    This bike looks great! Keep it up.

    I’ve been thinking of making one myself. We’ve got lots of fishpole bamboo in the Fort Worth area, and we could harvest it pretty easily.

    My ultimate dream is a “Bamboo Bike Club” at my school where I teach. Kids come in, design a bike, harvest the bamboo, build it, ride around and do it all again. A custom-built bike for each kid, anthropometrically designed to the dimensions of each student. All for less than $100. Wouldn’t that be cool?

    Forn Man


    • Wow sounds awesome. One of my friends did a project w students turning a truck into a vege oil engine. Getting kids actively doing something is the best way to get them engaged. Good luck! Hope the blog helps. Make sure to respond to polls, so that I know what to improve.


  2. Posted by Vincent on March 30, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Really cool! Carlyn told me about your project. I had seen a bamboo bike at a company out of California by the name of Calfee and thought it was great. I’m really impressed you’re taking this on. Good luck with it.


  3. Thanks for stopping by. I made your address on the comment you left an active link by adding “http://” to it. You may want to do that when posting to make it easy for people to come here. Good luck with the blog and with the bike!


  4. Posted by William on May 10, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    You said, quite rightly that “epoxy is pretty nasty stuff”.
    One (sort of) alternative to consider is the epoxy made by Resin Research. They make several with different qualities, but they don’t have any VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) – specifically no phenol or formaldehyde – which means fal lower chances of sensitisation.
    It’s widely used on surfboards and sailboards and as it’s usually used in a “hand lay-up” method, just like most people are using on bamboo bikes it’s been designed to be safer than normal stuff.

    Another plus is that it’s also UV stable which means it won’t discolour and (shouldn’t) degrade if you’ve got it in the sun a lot.

    When I get around to making my bamboo bike I’ll be using the resin left over from the last couple of surfboards I made and if there’s not enough I’ll be getting more of the same.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this blog together, I’ll be reading it, along with plenty more, when I get into the planning stages.


  5. Posted by andrew on June 29, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Wow! thanks so much for the information!
    I’ve been obsessed with human-powered machines ever since I was a kid reading World Magazine in the ’70s. I’ve been a commuter cycler on stealable bikes for most of my adult life, and have long fantasized about riding a LWB recumbent across the country at some point.

    I’m dreaming about building that recumbent myself these days, and bamboo seems like the kind of material I could enjoy working with–no angle grinders, no welding, no sense of carving up the fatty deposits of 20th century America in the form of cast-off steel bikes.

    The more vendors you can list, the better, as I’m looking to see that I can build my dream right here in New Mexico given what I know, what I have, and what I can get via the internet.



  6. Posted by andy on May 18, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Great post on bicycles


  7. Thanks for the site to know about bamboo bikes. Its very good, thanks for the information.


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