neil cummings

Bamboo bicycle

I've been cycling since I can remember, and assembled, ridden and maintained bikes most of my adult life. I have never made a bicycle from scratch though.........

I was researching, and read about the Bamboo Bicycle Club.

They offer workshops to provide the knowledge and tools for people to make their own bamboo bike frame, with custom geometry. You sign-up, pay, decide what kind of frame you'd like to make, send measurements of your body, and then in two intense days of a weekend workshop self assemble a bespoke frame...... I wanted to make a slightly compressed road bike.

Bamboo bicycle and beehive

And I made this. Inserted into the bamboo frame are a ready-made bottom bracket, a metal seat housing and head-tube, custom stainless drop-outs - thanks James- attached to the rear stays, and the rest is measured, cut and profiled Moso bamboo. All the joints and fixings are wrapped with woven hemp bound by two-part epoxy. Flintstonesque.

The cut bamboo parts are laid out on a one-to-one drawing of the frame, and then held in a custom jig for assembly.

Two weeks later, after amassing all the components, I went back to the club and assisted by James, assembled my road bike.

The front derailleur and water bottle rack were hemped on, and pretty much everything else (including threading the drop-out lug for the rear-derailleur) went to plan.

It rides beautifully. It's fast, very fast, nimble, and smooth too!!

If it, or I, do not crack too much, we'll ride the London to Brighton as part of Chelsea Cadence this year..... see below

More recently, I also made a Table Lamp, and some market stalls. I tried to grapple with the possibilities offered by jigs and I've have written more generally about things.


51.543146, -0.025792

Bamboo Bicycle Club
Unit 8, Caxton works
Jude Street
E16 1FF
United Kingdom

Submitted by neil on