Any (Bamboo) Bike Frame Builders?


#1

After spending the last year commuting 25km/day, I’ve rediscovered the joys of biking.

Several years ago I attended a sustainability conference and saw a bike constructed of bamboo. On a whim, I searched the internets and it seems to be a thing that many people DIY.

With my new found joy and rainy season coming to an end, I have a strong desire to build my own bamboo bike. I would prefer to do it without the aid of a kit which means I’ll need tools and a bike frame jig.

I was wondering if anybody has attempted this in the past or would be interested in attempting it in the near future?


#2

I have not attempted this, but I was once interested in trying. I highly recommend doing it and I’m happy to help with jigs/advice as you need.

There is at least one member that has made a traditional bike frame from raw tubing, so it might be worthwhile doing this at the space.

What kit were you thinking of using?


#3

I’m not sure how wise it is, but I’d like to avoid using a kit. The jig is the scariest part for me - that and bonding the various metal parts to the bamboo.

Would you want to build one as well? I’m thinking the more the merrier.


#4

Hey Mike!

Just curious if you’ve built a traditional steel bicycle frame? If you have the knowledge then this will definitely help with constructing your bamboo frame.

Building bike frames is awesome! I took the two week UFV Frame building 101 class taught by Paul Brodie. It was a great class! I knew nothing about building frames and bikes so I spent a lot of time reading up on building frames before the class. It was still a scramble getting it all done in two weeks even with the help of an experienced bike builder and teacher there at my side everyday.

If you don’t have this experience and and don’t want a kit then great! Jump in and do it. It will be a learning experience. :slight_smile:

I had a look at this kit Calfee Bamboo DIY kit . It looks pretty complete along with rentable jigs (i.e. return jig for a refund) and how to videos to follow during your build. It might make building your first frame a bit more fun and whet your appetite for more?

Either way best of luck and please post your build photos!

Mark


#5

That course with Paul Brodie looks pretty awesome.

The Calfee kits look nice and I have to say, it’s an appealing option. I kind of like the PVC tubing approach they took.

I also came across a youtube channel where the guy used extruded aluminum to create a slightly more robust DIY frame jig.

How does that approach compare to the jigs used in the Brodie course?


#6

I’ve watched a few Pithy Bikes videos. I like them. I’ve see one local builder that uses extruded aluminum for their jigs.

Paul Brodie is is a master machinist and he made his own jigs out of steel and aluminum for his company. These were the jigs we used for our class. So my bike was made on a piece of Brodie history. The jigs are works of art.

This is a photo of my frame in the Brodie jig.

Mark


#7

Sorry for the late response. Home stuff…

I’m wondering if it would be worth building a slightly better jig so it can be used by anyone with a variety of geometries.

Do you think others would use a frame jig if it was available?


#8

It certainly interests me but I’m over-committed to making a bike right now. Would you consider doing a group build of bicycles? I bet you could probably find some interest if people did them together.


#9

I’m open to the idea of a group thing. Anybody building bamboo bikes will need 48 hours for epoxy to cure after wrapping. Not sure how to manage the timing of something like that.

Whatever the case, we’ll need the jig first:

  • anybody know where to get slotted aluminum extrusion?

#10

Metals Supermarket (Burnaby & Richmond) OR
Recycling Places on Hastings St.; 4th Ave & Clark Dr. (both Vancouver).
I am in for the group build.
Thanks!


#11

I threw together a very rough parts list for building a jig similar to the one featured in the Pithy Bikes video above:

Does VHS have equipment for milling aluminum?


#12

we have two CNC capable of milling aluminium. one of them (the larger of the two) is under repair. the smaller one has limited travel.


#13

Ok, only thing standing me in the way is membership…

If I understand correctly, non-keyholders can use the space as long as a keyholder is present. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to come in on weekdays after work. Are keyholders usually in the space at night?


#14

generally, non-member are welcome on tuesday open house night only, unless you are an invited guest of a specific member, who will be responsible for you.
CNC and other heavy machinery require specific training and are for trained member use only.


#15

So after becoming a member, how likely will I be to access the space on weekday evenings?


#17

@mctaylor17 right now there is an event in the calendar which recurs on Wed night so it looks like it would be possible to get access as a member if the event owner @Gibbtall opens the space. Not guaranteed though. Any access on nights other than tuesday is not guaranteed.

What most people do is become a member and attend tuesday nights then get to know other members and apply for keyholder after the 2 month waiting period. Then once accepted you can have 24/7 access which is pretty amazing.

Because we are entirely self-run and have no employees it really depends on when keyholders can open the space for members.

Hope this info helps. I know the membership page info can be confusing. Let me know if you have other questions.


#18

Thank you @Janet. I came in last Tuesday and I think I got how things work now. Basically, key holders are space gods who can create or revoke access to the space at their leisure. But they are also merciful gods who graciously communicate their intents through isVHSopen.com

By the way, did we meet on Tuesday?


#19

You can become a God if you wish after a few month :wink:


#20

from hence forth, keyholder application procedures shall be known as ritual of apotheosis