Michael Mann of Boston University was inspired by the various bamboo bike mentions, but was frustrated he couldn’t find a How To. So he started a blog chronicling the steps he took to build his own bamboo bicycle. In the video he talks about his project and why bamboo is a good choice for DIY bike construction.
At his blog, Mike writes about bamboo selection, the metal parts you need and how to get them, the all important frame jig, mitering joints, joints with fiber and epoxy and seatpost issues.
Mike was featured today at BU Today. With all of this info I’m tempted to try my hand at building up a bamboo bike. It might make a good summer project with the kids.
=v= Check out Richmond Spokes, making bamboo bikes just up the Bay a ways!
OK, I realize I may be prejudiced about this since I'm a framebuilder who was actually taught by a master framebuilder, but the idea of someone building one of these off some instructions on the Internet scares me. Whipping down a mountain at 40 MPH on a bamboo and epoxy bike you built from the Internet? Does not sound like a good idea to me.
Yeah, I kind of wonder about a PVC jig like that guy has.
It might be that Mr. Mann and other bamboo bike builders have more engineering training and experience to bring to this type of project than a bunch of high school graduates who drifted toward messing around with bikes (rather than taking engineering classes). I’m sure the other commentators are able to discuss Young’s Modulus for bamboo and relate the over capacity of steel (a non-renewable resource) to that of bamboo for a bicycle frame.
From another viewpoint, it is sometimes the amateur builder/inventor who is able to bring a new perspective to materials and construction that had escaped the professionals or those who have accepted certain limits that may or may not have been appropriate to an endeavor.
I suggest the commentators make a jig of their own and try out the materials before they yammer on.