Branding

I’m still toying about with how to brand the bikes. The second frame is featuring a hand engraved steel tube (or half of one) that’s wrapped around the left hand side chain stay.

To be honest it looks a little DIY at the moment, but when polished up and covered in epoxy I think it’ll look pretty good. For the next bike I’ll investigate laser etching a logo and lettering for a more professional look.

Top Coats

The frame’s all done except for the top coats of epoxy resin. I’ve applied the first and it’s hanging up to dry. This will be sanded back and then 3 more coats applied. Check out the pics:

I’ve tried my hardest to make the carbon fibre as smooth as possible with this frame. It’s a balancing act between sanding back too much or leaving a few wrinkles. It’s painstaking work, and at some point you just have to stop and say, that’ll do – it is after all, a handmade frame and should have a few handmade qualities about it. I am, however, investigating new methods for the carbon-fibre layup that can decrease the time spent on the process.

Foam & carbon

I’m using expanding filler foam on this frame as lightweight way to make the joints more curvaceous (and thus stronger). It’s super easy to sand back and shape and doesn’t take long to set.

I’ve done the initial wrappings of the rear end and head-tube with 12K carbon fiber tow. So far it’s taken 90metres of the stuff!  I’ll cover these in 1-3 layers of woven carbon fiber cloth then 2 layers of clear coat. Job done.

Precision engineering

There’s something very sexy about lasers. Besides being commonly attached to sharks they’re also very sexy in that they can cut through 6mm stainless steel like it’s butter. That’s right folks – the drop-outs I designed have been laser cut by the good folk at New Touch Laser and delivered to my door. I’ve got 10 sets cut, which means there’s a run of 10 bamboo bikes being built in the very near future!

Here’s some pics of the drop-outs, me tapping the thread for the derailleur screw in and how they’ll integrate into the bamboo chain-stays: