Over the finish line

After some 5 long months the first bike is finished!

I’ll write more up soon, but first impressions are it’s a sturdy smooth ride. 10.2kg with the current build on it, but could easily get under 10kg with some lighter wheels.

Many thanks to Huw, Scott and Tristram at Commuter Cycles for the constant good advice and for building it up for me. Brilliant job!

Here’s some pics of the final building and finished bike:

form over function

I’m not normally one for superflous veneers, but when given the opportunity to pimp my bamboo bike even more I just couldn’t resist.  With 2 hubs in tow (one new, one old), I measured the diameters between the flanges and got to work chamfering, splitting, gluing and sanding these bamboo veneers on. I’ve coated them in beeswax to protect them from the elements. I’ll need to reapply that every so often.

High gloss

Two layers of top coat later and the frame’s all finished!  It’s not the smoothest of finishes. There’s a few carbon fibre/cat hairs stuck in there and imperfections of my sanding back are clearly visible. Still, it’s just a prototype and doesn’t look too bad from afar.

The final processes haven’t been without drama though. During the drying process a few hairline cracks appeared on various parts of the frame. To mitigate further crackage I’ve wrapped the affected areas in carbon fibre tow (which are the black bands you can see on the down tube and chainstays).  The cracks are caused by the expansion of the bamboo at high temperature during drying (ie. around 80 degrees). I don’t expect it to crack any further, unless we get a severe heatwave…

It’s now off to the shop to get parts fitted. Hooray!